Major Branch Removal: Shore Pine

Here’s a pine with an odd branch. It arises from the lower part of the tree, across from another branch. It’s a bar branch.

Those who have read Bonsai Heresy know I’m willing to leave a bar branch now and then if it’s needed for balance or fullness. In this instance the odd branch isn’t filling those needs. In fact, it’s making the tree more symmetrical.


We were told this Shore Pine was knocked over by a vigorous kid. Last week it was in the studio to reset the branches after that encounter.


After initial wiring and rough setting. The low branch on the right doesn’t feel like it adds much. It’s a bar branch, and there’s a space there that is better activated by back branches. We decided to remove it.


Branch being removed…


…and, branch gone. Without the low right branch, the flow of the tree—to the left—is enhanced. It’s also more asymmetrical. This Shore Pine was ground-grown by Telperion Farms. Fun to see one of their trees begin to mature. Well-developed bark can be seen on young Shore Pine (this one is maybe 20 years now).

February 2023 Bulletin Board 

  • Bjorn and I are back at it, teaching a course together on Bonsai Empire! This one is the “Developing Bonsai from Seed” online course, for those who like to create something from nothing. This will be out on February 25th. Cheers! Please pass on-
  • Bonsai Heresy is on sale! Go to Stone Lantern to get $5.00 off my offbeat educational book about the myths of bonsai practice. This will only last a week or two, so if you know someone who doesn’t have this, in the words of Captain Kirk, this would be a good time…
  • And now for something completely different…visit my Indiegogo campaign Buy Binoculars for Young Birding Guides in Ecuador! In our third week we’re now 106% funded at $5,320. We still have some platform fees to pay and shipment of our as-yet-unpurchased binoculars, so please: take a look, donate, pass on to friends—


  1. Ray says:

    Coming along nicely Michael. Looks much better without that lower branch

  2. Malcolm Athey says:

    I think it would have looked better if you had made a gin of the bottom left branch,and kept the bottom right branch

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