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

I haven’t visited East coast so I don’t know.
About 20% collected, black pine, shimpaku, needle juniper only.

Number one important: watering
Number two, cutting
Wiring is number 4, or 5, or lower

Find good teacher important - find Boon!

My teacher teach me, everyday, talk to the tree:
How are you?
You want water?
You want spray?
You want fertilizer?
But tree cannot talk.
You need to learn to understand what the tree say or tree not happy.

Long time ago popular, but now not popular. I don’t have any so wakarimasen.

Not many young customers in Japan, but I have many young customers. Before many young customers, but not many now. Now many other hobbies: pachinko, golf, shopping, hiking, watch movie, etc.

International buyers are many from China, Korea, Taiwan and Europe.

Conifers and trees with leaves I fertilize year-round, but only a little in winter. Trees with no leaves, no fertilizer (deciduous trees in winter).

Start with big tree or shohin both ok, but start with big tree better. Shohin styling more easy, big tree more work so better. Shohin no space to work so difficult.

Shohin very, very difficult. I direct shohin group now. Display is very important. First branch should be very low.

Seed bonsai is important. All bonsai start from seed in nature. If we don’t make seed bonsai now, in future, 100 years, 200 years no bonsai.

Young customers don’t always have money so seed bonsai good. Old customers have more money, can buy bonsai.

I always use cut paste.

I have no apprentice, but I want one. I only have a little famous trees. If you want to work famous trees, go to bigger nursery.

Spring best for big cuts on maple.
For small cuts, any time when tree has leaves.
Since new growth when the new leaves come out, before they open (you need to reach in between the new leaves with tweezers)
My style for partial defoliation: in May, where there are two leaves, I remove 1 and cut the other leaf in half. If branch weak I don’t cut.

I read Kinbon (Kindai Bonsai) and Bonsai Sekai (Bonsai World) only.
This is Bonsai Tonight so maybe I say Bonsai Tonight :smile:

I use many brands of tools, but maybe 80% is Yoshimitsu.

To help make good trees, find good bonsai friend and study. If no good teacher, making good tree is difficult. Good teacher and good friend important. My bonsai friends are Sasaki Masahiro and Urushibata Taiga.

Hard soil all take off, but not at one time. This year take off 1/2, next time repot take another 1/2. Do not water too much.

I use Clay King. Black bag for conifers and Red bag for deciduous. I add 5% charcoal for all trees but not Red pine and white pine. If weak tree, I use a lot of yamazuma (similar to decomposed granite) for weak trees.

Daisaku showed us many of the trees he styled for Kokufu. I apologize for the poor image quality, these were taken from my phone. However here are a few of the trees he worked on.

Kokufu #78- Kokufu Prize

Kokufu #80- Daisaku said that this tree scored very highly in judging, however his customer ended up being late to the prize judging and the tree was not considered for the Kokufu prize.

Kokufu #73- Daisaku explained that this was the first tree he showed at Kokufu during his fourth year as an apprentice.

Kokufu #80



Thanks for all of the information you’ve taken the time to respond to so far. I would like to ask about 2 species.

First Silverberry, do you defoliate the whole tree ever, or do you only leaf cut the large leaves? How do you reduce leaf size? http://www.finegardening.com/thorny-elaeagnus-elaeagnus-pungens

Second Dwarf Gardenia is evergreen in my climate. Do you defoliate this species to give it a dormant period or do you let it keep it’s leaves and leaf cut it like silverberry? http://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/1304/miniature-gardenia/

For silverberry, take off big leaf only all year. Take off all leaves in February.
For gardenia, cut leaves 1 year 4 times: May, June, July, August.

Thanks again to everyone who participated! The questions were great and Daisaku had a great time responding.

For a slightly expanded version of the conversation, see Daisaku Nomoto AMA on Bonsai Tonight.


Thank you for making this happen! :smile:
And thank you Daisaku for your time and insight. :smile:

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