How to grow raft style bonsai

How to Grow Raft Style Bonsai

This English Elm bonsai tree was air layered and the top part separated and is growing as broom style bonsai. The lower part was allowed to grow freely to be made into a raft style bonsai. This video shows weed removal from the pot containing the lower part now being grown as raft style, thinning of the new growth and selection of future trunks. The thinning of the new growth allows more light to get through and also for the energy of the tree to be directed into the remaining future trunks. More bonsai soil is added to the pot.

The upper part is being grown as broom style and is shown in this video, but did not need any work done at this time.

Bonsai English Elm Temporary repot

Bonsai English Elm Temporary repot

The Field Elm cultivar Ulmus minor 'Atinia', commonly known as the English Elm, formerly Common Elm and Horse May, and more lately the Atinian Elm was, before the spread of Dutch elm disease, the most common field elm in central southern England, though not native there, and one of the largest and fastest-growing deciduous trees in Europe. R. H. Richens noted that there are elm-populations in north-west Spain, in northern Portugal and on the Mediterranean coast of France that "closely resemble the English Elm" and appear to be "trees of long standing" in those regions rather than recent introductions. Augustine Henry had earlier noted that the supposed English Elms planted extensively in the Royal Park at Aranjuez from the late 16th century onwards, specimens said to have been introduced from England by Philip II[6] and "differing in no respects from the English Elm in England", behaved as native trees in Spain. He suggested that the tree "may be a true native of Spain, indigenous in the alluvial plains of the great rivers, now almost completely deforested".

Bonsai Branch Bender

This bender is very helpful as you become more advanced in bonsai. This tool is very adjustable and will easily handle tree trunks up to an inch. They are very low priced and can be left in place. I did a short demo video on this bender. Watch the Bonsai Branch Bender demo video.

Bonsai Knob Cutters


A good pair of Bonsai Knob Cutters is essential for advanced bonsai artistry. These tools are great for gettting in close and removing small buds, branchs, gins, and inperfections. This is a high quality pair and is made from carbon steel.

Bonsai Tweezers

This is probably not the first bonsai tool I would buy, but it sure comes in handy. There is always something small, like a bud or a bug that needs to be grabbed. This type is good because there is a blade tool on the opposite end. This can be used to loosen the plant from the edge of a pot.

Bonsai Leaves Branch Shears

For a smaller hand, the best pair of shears is Bonsai Leaves Branch Shears. The smaller opening allow the user greater control and the length allows you to reach deep inside a plant and clip interior leafs and branches.

Bonsai Knife

A good sharp Bonsai Knife is one of the most important tools you can have. There are so many uses that I can't even list them all. You just need it there when it is needed.

Free - My First Japanese Maple Bonsai eBook

Japanese maple cover

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