I am Daisaku Nomoto, a Japanese bonsai professional - ask me anything


(Daisaku Nomoto) #1

I am proprietor of Nomoto Chinshoen, a bonsai nursery in Miyazaki, Japan. I apprenticed under Kihachiro Kamiya at Kihachien in Aichi prefecture for 5 years and received the Professional Certificate from the Nippon Bonsai Association. One of my client’s trees won the Kokufu Prize. You can ask questions now - I will begin answering Saturday evening (January 17th).

Note: the site’s moderators, Jonas and Jeremiah, will do the typing.

Edit: thank you for the questions.
Jonas asked, ‘What do you want to tell the bonsai world?’ I say my wish is for more people to love bonsai.

Thank you very much for the great questions - you can see me on Facebook.


Repot Satsuki Azalea
(mac4) #2

Please address watering black pine. How much to allow soil to dry out? How often watering in different seasons? Always flood the pot or sometimes just a light watering? I still don’t get it.

I have a bamboo chop stick in each pot. I pull them out to check the moisture from top to bottom of the pot. How dry, and I know it’s hard to describe, should it get before watering and not over watering causing root rot.

Where I live we can have 2 weeks where it rains every day in the spring. I have my pines and junipers on a bench with a clear plastic roof on it so I don’t have to deal with the trees getting flooded every day during rainy weather. I control how much water they get.

Any help with proper watering would be appreciated.


(D Ho) #3

Mr. Daisaku Nomoto,

I have two questions about Japanese White Pine. First of all I live in Central Texas, USA (Zone 8b) so my luck with Japanese White Pine is not very good so far. We have intense sun and potentially 37+ deg Celsius days. I also believe our winters are possibly too mild as well with a total of maybe 4 - 5 nights a year that may be below freezing. Anyway, my first question and possibly overly general is if I wanted to have the best chances with White Pine what is most important? Afternoon shade, very dry and porous soil, etc? Or is it really not worth the hassle? My second question is in terms of White Pine to Black Pine stock grafts: is the graft better located closest to the ground or just below the first branch for a better possible concealment? Thanks for your time!

Dustin


(Jeremiah Lee ) #4

-What are some things you like about coming to the US?

-How did you get introduced to Mr. Kamiya?

-What was it like working along side Boon when you were both apprenticing with Mr. Kamiya?

-Where do you do most of your Bonsai work now?

-Does your Father practice Bonsai? If so, do you two ever work together?

-Could you please tell us about the tree you worked on which won the Kokufu prize?

-What soil mix or mixes do you use?

Thanks!


(Dan Wiederrecht) #5

-What are your favorite species of trees for bonsai in Japan?

-What native species have you worked on in the US? -And What are your thoughts on them (the good, the bad, the ugly)?

Thank you for your time! I’m looking forward to your discussion! :smile:


(Paul Pashley) #6

Do you have any professional tips for developing Japanese White Beech (Fagus Crenata)?


(Benjamin Goodman) #7

I would echo Dan’s question about native US species and ask specifically if you have worked with any from the east coast.

I also had a more general question for purposes of bonsai outreach: What would you advocate as a good five-year plan for a beginner to develop their interest and skills in bonsai assuming they are limited to maybe 12 trees plus 5 spots in the ground? I’m not necessarily asking your favorite species or shortcuts to a great tree, more like the best goals/steps for a beginner or a child in the first five years that would maintain their interest and help them develop as a bonsai artist.

I was also wondering how many of your trees are collected vs. nursery-grown.

Thanks!

Ben


(Lakeshore Bonsai) #8

Hello Mr. Nomoto:

Why is it seemingly so rare to see Larix (karamatsu) bonsai in Japan? Is it climate? Availability of raw material? Or something else perhaps?

Thank you,

Aaron


#9

The younger generation does not seem very interested in bonsai or pottery like previous generations. Where do you see the future growth of bonsai in Japan coming from to sustain artists such as yourself?

If the market is down for excellent trees and ceramics who is buying these great works? International markets?
thank you


(Lakeshore Bonsai) #10

Mr. Nomoto:

Question #2 from me… I want to take advantage of this great opportunity.

I purchased a black pine last fall. It is in very old compact soil that does not absorb water properly (it needs to be submerged in water for over 10 minutes to wet the whole rootball) and takes a long time to dry out.

The tree is not strong with hardly any interior growth, but at least has set good buds. The previous owner did not decandle it last year.

How would you proceed in rehabilitating a tree in this situation?

Thank you,

Aaron


(Lakeshore Bonsai) #11

Mr. Nomoto:

My third question.

I live in a cold climate (Toronto, Canada) where winter temperatures regularly go down to -15C and occasionally -20C or colder.

This is too cold for some non-native species like black pine, trident maple, and azalea to be reliably wintered outside. To protect from the cold, some practitioners here (including myself) winter tender species in a dark garage or garden shed.

My question is: do you foresee any long-term issues with overwintering evergreen species like azalea or pine in the dark?

Thank you for offering your time to do this AMA.

Aaron


(Lakeshore Bonsai) #12

And finally,

How do you get the moss off the trunk without damaging the bark? :slight_smile:


#13

I would like to thank you in advance for this opportunity.

  • Could you elaborate on your fertilizing schedule?

  • Would you advise people to start with larger specimens before branching down in to the sho-hin category? If yes, what are the important aspects one should focus on?

  • What is key in developing and maintaining good sho-hin bonsai?

  • Do/would you advocate starting from seed or cuttings, besides specimen that are ready to be worked on? If yes, what is in your opinion the added value in such projects?

  • Can you elaborate on the use of wound sealant. Do you use it on all cuts you make (decidious trees)? Are there situations you don’t use wound sealant?

  • With regards to the nursery, do you have apprentices from the west? If yes, how did they end up at your nursery? How do you screen their potential, or do you adhere more weight to their willingness/eagerness to learn?


(dd1) #14

グリーティングでは、あなたの知識の共有をありがとうございます。

Greetings, thank you for sharing your knowledge…I hope the on line Japanese translator worked correctly.

In my collection I have a 30-40 year old Japanese Maple. Good nebari, trunk size and movement, main branches…smaller and finer branch development needed.

When is the best time of the growing season to do the following:

1] Major Pruning [greater than 1 CM]

2] Minor Pruning

3] Pinching New Growth

4]Partial Defoliation

では、非常に野元さんありがとうございました。
Thank you very much, Mr. Nomoto

Best Regards,

D/D
Chicago


(Ryan) #15

Mr Nomoto,
Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to answer questions for the masses.

  • Are there and any English texts that you would highly recommend for an amateur bonsai enthusiast?

  • In your opinion what is the best brand of tools?

  • I am young and plan on long term growing of most of my subjects, do you have any tips or techniques for long term planning of the style of look of specimens?

-Lastly, Do you think it is possible for someone without formal training to achieve the skills necessary to help nature create outstanding bonsai?

Thank you again.

_


(Daisaku Nomoto) #16

Please address watering black pine. How much to allow soil to dry out? How often watering in different seasons? Always flood the pot or sometimes just a light watering? I still don’t get it.

I have a bamboo chop stick in each pot. I pull them out to check the moisture from top to bottom of the pot. How dry, and I know it’s hard to describe, should it get before watering and not over watering causing root rot.

Where I live we can have 2 weeks where it rains every day in the spring. I have my pines and junipers on a bench with a clear plastic roof on it so I don’t have to deal with the trees getting flooded every day during rainy weather. I control how much water they get.

Any help with proper watering would be appreciated.

Plant say, ‘Ah, dry, I want water, so I grow.’ Many people think, if wet, roots grow. But roots only grow if dry. If too dry, roots die.

When watering, apply lots of water. In summer, one day, 1 time, 2 times, 3 times. In winter, maybe 2 days, one time.

In Miyazaki, strong sunshine so sometimes mist only in evening.

America weather, Japan weather, different, so watering different. If very hot, pot and soil hot. Adding a little water, water will be hot. Adding more water, the water will cool the soil.


(Daisaku Nomoto) #17

White pine is high mountain tree, White pine don’t like many water. White Pine like cold and dry. In Summer season use shade cloth. In summer season water one time one day. But, make sure water tree is soaked. White Pine don’t like sea wind. I use a little bit bigger soil size for better drainage for White Pine.

On Graft, Low better.


(Daisaku Nomoto) #18

Little difficult because Boon not Japanese, but Boon smart so no problem. Boon was the junior apprentice so it was hard work.

Oyakata is king, apprentice is slave. Apprentice say, I want alcohol, I want girlfriend, but nothing.

Oyakata is my king, my second father. I love Kamiya, so I want more study, study, study. If I no like teacher, I back to home.

Kamiya win many Kokufu prize, Sakufu prize two times.


(Daisaku Nomoto) #19

I like black pine and juniper.

I work California juniper, Sierra juniper, Western juniper.
I like Western juniper, but too much sticky.
California juniper, too big leaf. Japan juniper light needle so it grows up, wire down. California juniper leaf heavy so hang down, wire up.
I work ponderosa pine one time only. Cannot make compact.

If bring US juniper to Japan, graft itiowigawa better. American trees in America, no change. Nature is important.


(Daisaku Nomoto) #20

Do you have any professional tips for developing Japanese White Beech (Fagus Crenata)?

In Japan -as the spring growth elongates, cut in half and this will reduce internode.

Beech don’t like strong sunshine, so use shade cloth.