Category Archives: How Trees Grow

Conifer flat leaves

Flat leaves are found across the conifer families including Taxus, Cephalotaxus, and even in Pinus (check out Pinus krempfii) as well as many of the Araucariaceae and Podocarpaceae families. Commonly known trees with this leaf shape include all varieties of yew, swamp cypress, dawn redwood and coast redwood. Here are some examples: Conifer flat leaves […] Read more… >

Why do some conifer leaves go bronze in winter?

You may have noticed that certain conifer species’ leaves go a different colour over the winter without dying. This phenomenon is most associated with Buxus (box) and Cryptomeria japonica (Japanese cedar) which take on a range of bronze, reddy-brown colours, as shown in the examples below: Although it may look a bit alarming, these leaves […] Read more… >

Conifer Leaves

I’ve been planning a post on this subject for a while because conifers have always been a bit scary to me from a bonsai point of view – they don’t seem as forgiving or obvious in terms of their growth behaviour. This was one of those subjects which ended up being a lot more interesting […] Read more… >

Tropical Bonsai

We recently had guest speaker Amelia Williams talk to members of Twickenham bonsai club about tropical bonsai. She has moved entirely to keeping tropicals & sub-tropicals, to the extent that her back garden is full of her ex-non-tropical bonsai trees which are now planted as a foliage bed! This post references some of Amelia’s talk, […] Read more… >

Root-Shoot Connections (aka sectional growth) – when will pruning one kill the other?

Sometimes in a bonsai context it’s said that specific branches are connected to specific roots – often in discussions about pruning and carving. For example it may be suggested that pruning a specific branch will kill an associated root, or vice versa. As I’ve learned over the last 6 months researching this site, when it […] Read more… >

Live Veins on Bonsai – do they exist?

Most bonsai enthusiasts will have come across the term ‘live veins’ in the context of bonsai. Live veins are areas of living bark surrounded by deadwood. They are often seen on juniper bonsai, where a section of bark twists around the tree in a dramatic contrast to the white deadwood (Sierra juniper are particularly amazing). […] Read more… >