Fall Steps: Winter Hazel and Chojubai

This week’s photo essay features three young plants in development, a Winter Hazel and two Chojubai.


A young Winter Hazel, left to grow all year. About 13 years old. Still building information into the trunks and branches by wiring and pruning.


Faisal wiring the Winter Hazel in a Seasonal session.


A single yellow flower bud contrasts with three shoot buds below it, which are tiny, dark and reddish.


The pruned and wired Winter Hazel set up for next year’s growth. We left some upper shoots long to increase trunk diameter, pruning back others to keep them skinnier. This Winter Hazel also appeared on the blog in 2018.


Chojubai in development, 9 years old.


Fall trim complete. Leaf removal helped see the structure, and what should be trimmed. Shoots were left one or two internodes longer than on a developed tree, to build branches.


Another Chojubai in development, also 9 years old. The yellow leaves look striking against the dark blue glaze. This would also be a good pot for a ginkgo, or zelkova.


After leaf removal and trimming back shoots. Thinner shoots were left a little longer, stronger ones cut back harder. Over time this general pruning guideline helps even out plant energy. Though awkward looking today, building a Chojubai with only scissor cuts can be an enjoyable way to develop it. Many engaging bonsai start as awkward plant teenagers like this one.

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  1. Ray says:

    Thanks Michael

  2. Terence Krista says:

    Can you tell us anything about the light blue pot the chojubai is in? Simply gorgeous.

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