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Care in Spring (1)Thinning out the needles promote photosynthesis and prevent disease and pest

September 3, 2010

 Bonsai needs seasonal cares. In springs, trees which remained dormant during the winter start to move and its buds and needles start to grow. The important care of this season is Hasukashi (thinning out the needles). Hiramatsu Koji, the forth owner of Shunshoen Bonsai Garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town, told us how to do it.

Lots of sunlight

 Growers do Hasukashi (thinning out the needles) from the second half of November through the first half of April. By thinning out the needles, trees can catch the sun and the wind, and it promotes photosynthesis and prevents disease and pest. It is also important work for the inside buds hidden by thick needles to give lots of sunlight.

 They thin out the half of the young needles which come out this year as well as the withered old needles. About half or a third needles are thinned out. Hiramatsu thins out the needles rhythmically with his hands.

 The professional growers do Hasukashi (thinning out the needles) and Hariganekake (wiring) at the same time and form its branches effectively. It is called Seishi.

Branch before Hasukashi
Branch before Hasukashi

Branch after Hasukashi
Branch after Hasukashi

Be carefully for old tree

 There is a bonsai in Shunshoen Bonsai Garden for which Hiramatsu adapted a-meter-high Kuromatsu (Japanese black pine) tree. It is so famous that a bonsai magazine featured its change.

Hiramatsu works on Hasukashi (thinning out the needles) of Kuromatsu (Japanese black pine) which he adapted in Shunshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town.
Hiramatsu works on Hasukashi (thinning out the needles) of Kuromatsu (Japanese black pine) which he adapted in Shunshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town.

 Before adaptation, the Kuromatsu (Japanese black pine) tree was huge and it seemed the only way was to grow it in the garden. But Hiramatsu found its great character. He cut down the long and thick branches in upper part and adapted the height and width to 58 centimeters by Jack. Shari (decayed trunks) and Jin (perished branches) which show us its history are arranged in well-balanced. The finish is wonderful.

 Hiramatsu said the tree is about 50 years old. It is also important for old trees to do Hasukashi (thinning out the needles). Every spring, he works on Hasukashi (thinning out the needles) with the fondness.
(By Shigeo Hano)

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