Show Preparation – Part One

Show Preparation – Part One

I start by getting my African Bonsai Landscape ready for our club show and open house. This Serissa foetida landscape penjing requires lots of detail work to make the trees and landscape look large!

Trident Maple - Acer buergerianum

Trident Maple - Acer buergerianum

Trident Maple - Acer buergerianum

The Trident Maple - Acer buergerianum is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree reaching a height of 5–20 m with a trunk up to 50 cm diameter. The leaves are in opposite pairs, 2.5–8 cm long (excluding the 2–5 cm petiole) and 3.5–6.5 cm broad, hard, glossy dark green above, paler below, usually with three lobes; on mature trees the lobes forward-pointing and with smooth margins, on young trees with more spreading lobes and serrated margins. The flowers are produced in spring, yellow-green, in pendulous corymbs; they are small, with five greenish sepals and five yellow-white petals about 2 mm long, and eight stamens. The fruit is a samara with two winged seeds, each seed 4–7 mm diameter, with a 15 mm wing; the wings are forward-pointing and often overlapping each other.

Jin

Jin - Making a jin is one of my favorite thing to do in bonsai. When you have a branch that is broken or needs to be removed you can turn it into a jin. The effect is quite simple. A jin in it's most basic form represents a branch that was broken by wind, ice, or lighting. This technique really gives the bonsai tree the illusion of old age.
Jin

Jin



A jin is created by stripping the bark off of the rough cut branch. Then the ends can be crushed and pulled to show the struggle. Finally, a preservative is applied to slow wood rot. Mixing the preservative with a little black ink will produce a more natural color.

Several tools make this task easier and include a spokeshave or a very sharp knife, jin pliers for crushing the branch, lime sulfur for preservative, black ink, and applicators brushes.

Bonsai turntable

One of the most useful tools for bonsai is a moderately priced Bonsai turntable. These turntables can be priced as high as $1,500 buy you can buy a model that is around $20 that will server your needs for many years. Using a Bonsai turntable will allow you to quickly view your plant from various angles for styling, trimming, or wiring. It can also be used with an agled piece of wood to see different views priopr to placing the plant in a pot. I like to use a Bonsai turntable when I am trimming so I work evenly on each side as I proceed with the pruning.

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

Bonsai Knob Cutters


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 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.

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