BONSAI WORLD A series of articles by The Shikoku Shimbun focuses on the attractions of bonsai which encapsulate small universes in containers.

Grown By Misho, Most Suitable Cultivate Many Trees

March 5, 2016

 Yamadori (collected from mountains) tree is ideal for bonsai but there are few now. So Misho (seedling) tree is commomly used. Compared with Tsugiki (grafting) and Sashiki (cutting), it doesn't have the same nature of the mother tree but it is the most suitable way to cultivate many trees.

Important to Choose Seed

 Keiji Kandaka, the 4th generation of Kandaka Shojuen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town, cultivates many young trees of Misho. There are also many seedlings from one year old to 3 years old in his garden.

Kandaka taking care of Misho Kuromatsu (Japanese black pine ) at Kandaka Shojuen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town
Kandaka taking care of Misho Kuromatsu (Japanese black pine ) at Kandaka Shojuen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town

 Akamatsu (Japanese red pine) and Kuromatsu which was seeded this March grow about 5 centimeters in hight. It will be 10 centimeters in autumn, and 15 centimeters in the next spring.

Young trees seeded this March
Young trees seeded this March

 The seeds are gathered at his garden and the field, and sometimes he goes to mountains to get the shortage seeds. He thinks the seed of a tree having good bark often has the same nature. The ideal mother tree is the one having the crowded bright green needles and the rough bark. In October, take the green pine cone, dry in the sun, and pick out the seeds.

Seeds of Kuromatsu
Seeds of Kuromatsu

With Much Love

 As usual, 2 years old tree after seeding is used as a stock. However, he sometimes keeps it growing. A young tree grown from seed is flexible so it is easy to make the small curve.

 Kandaka says, "Misho tree doesn't have the great taste like Yamadori but we can make many good materials to take care of the young trees. They are made up by hand with love. Now Misho is the main way to make materials because Yamadori is decreased sharply."

60 years old Kuromatsu grown by Misho
60 years old Kuromatsu grown by Misho

 It takes a long time for a young tree of Misho to have good shape as bonsai. For artists, it's a long term work. There are many Kuromatsu at Shojuen bonsai garden which have been taken care for about 40 or 50 years since his father's time. The branches and trunk surface have the ancient look. Now the atomosphere is as great as the old Yamadori.
(By Shigeo Hano)
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