From the flower bed to the Tokonoma

An outskirts Juniper

Juniperus Old Gold

A long lasting workshop

Chamaecyparis Pisifera

The charm of Shari

Scheduled works on a Juniperus Chinensis

Twisting path

Yew : a splendid species




The charm of Shari

Many times I asked myself how a tree could survive to such a extreme ambioent situation.
The nature is ruthless, as a matter of fact, for some trees it's hard to survive the hard mountain climate. Sometime them need to find around the last wet grain of earth or protect themselves from the froze under the snow even if they are forced to sacrifice some branches.
In the brginning I was not so charmed by this kind of bonsai because in my point of view I found them too much artificial, more like a statue then a bonsai. Through the time intead, reading, and studying their peculiarity I began to appriciate them and have a form of respect toward them.
I happened to walk in small mountain paths, or near the sea, and see some trees living in a fistful of earth or in a few cwntimeters wide rock crack.
Thanks to dry needle accumulation and a bunch of dust, the roots could reach the earth beside a rock and survive.
Modelling a Bonsai it's not always necessary to create shari, by the way in some cases is nearly compulsory, as it was for the tree treated in this article, a nursery one never modeled before.
How could I hide cut branches and stumps without smooth and carve them to make them more suitable to a bonsai?
I am saying it ina contentious manner because it still happen to me to listen some critics about that, even from famous bonsai artists that do not take into account how was the tree in the beginning.
I am completely agree about the fact that deadwood will get natural only with time, using the present knowledge.
I am talking on basis of my experience got during a trip to Japan with my "Studio Botanico" friends, after the visit at Masahiko Kimura's garden, we had a discussion after lunch on his sitting room about the Bonsai state in Japan and the Italian developement.
We couldn't go out for bad weather and took the most from the master to ask him several questions, among them the request of some suggestion on dead wood techniques.
Kimura, showing us a well worked log asked us to estimate how time would have been necessary to obtain a result like that.
Somebody answered four hours, some others seven, I guessed five or six but hard to obtain a result like thet.
Mister Kimura starred at us with an hironical smile and shaking the head told us that just few seconds would have been enogh; we looked each uder disbeliving.Our master explained us that he created a special tool to make it, but there were no secret revealed over the tool, letting us in suspence.
For us all this seems like a since-fiction movie, so come back talking about something more "human" level.

Some junipers, after a strong trimming, tend to lose limphatic veins in correspondence to the wounds, after a year or two, removing the naturally dried bark, we discovered a shari obtained without any risk (a danger in case of artificail shari) to lose the tree.

Picture # 1

Spring 1996. The tree at the purchasing moment; in the same period the tree has been repotted in a cultivation pot to preapare it for the future.


Picture # 2

Branch selection, stump removing and bark cleaning.

Picture # 3

I decided in the first step to use the top branch for the modelling, but after a thoroughly observation I noticed it would be too high, so I used lower branch placed in the meedle, enough to recreate the foliage.

Picture # 4

Detail of mill operation.

Picture # 5

Tree back.



Picture # 6

Final result obtained in Novembre 1996. The tree is about 30 cm. high, in the beginning it was 80 cm. high.

2006 - Donato Danisi