One-Year Progression of A Shohin Chinzan Satsuki Azalea Bonsai

Bonsai Penjing & More

The purpose of this post is to show how to care for and maintain an imported satsuki azalea during the first year by selective pruning, encourage back budding and developing ramification of the branches.

I purchased this shohin “chinzan” satsuki azalea pre-bonsai from David Kreutz of the Satsuki Bonsai-En in April, 2014, at our state bonsai convention. This satsuki was imported, bare-rooted, from Japan about 3-4 months ago. It has a beautiful nebari and trunk taper. Since it was a newly imported tree, I removed the flower buds and let it gained strength for the rest of the year.

IMG_1734 Front of the tree, 02/25/2015.

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Mini Chinese Elm Bonsai Grown from Root Cuttings

Bonsai Penjing & More

Whenever I repot my large Chinese elms, I save the roots and grow them into shohin and mame bonsai. Typically these roots have very interesting, twisting and meandering movements. By using these characteristics, one can grow mini literati, exposed roots and cascade bonsai with unusual twists and turns that are difficult to duplicate by wiring.

The followings are some examples of my mame size Chinese elms grown from root cuttings.

IMG_2592 An exposed twin-root Chinese elm literati. Height: 5″.

IMG_2619 An exposed-root literati. The three roots twist and bend naturally. Height: 10″

IMG_2629 A cascade Chinese elm. Note the cut-root has a sharp bend at the base which made it suitable for a cascade design. Width: 12″.

IMG_2649 A semi-cascade Chinese elm. I left the main trunk bared to expose its natural twisting movements, only a few leaves were left at the tip. This is a Lingnan penjing “Suren” literati style which emphasizes heavily on negative space and minimum…

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