New beauty acquired😀

Hello everyone,

Our bonsaiclub had its annual clubshopping where we go to our local bonsaicentre and get 30% off all things bonsai.

Of course i could not resist and got myself a new beauty :star_struck: besides all the other things i needed i was able to get my hands on a A. Palmatum
Seigen. A variety that ive had on my wishlist ever since starting my bonsai journey. They never had any here in the shops and they were scarce online aswel. Especially (more or less…) affordable ones.

Anyway i got one now and i am quite literally beaming every time i see it :rofl: :smile:

Had to repot it though because the soil was basically clay mush.

Now id love to hear your opinions/experiences with Seigen.

The Seigen part of the tree was grafted on to another palmatum variety i dont know. Do you think the graft site will disapear in time?

Would you consider doing a styling aswel this season? I read a lot that Seigen are very finicky so i kinda hesitate doing a styling this season having done a repot. Though i did not remove a large amount of roots(maybe 10-20%).

Well here some pictures of my repotting:

Before repotting:


Side and rearviews


Soil removed

After repotting and cleaning out some dead twigs:



Rearview (which i kinda like too)

Hope you guys have a great week and a succesful repotting season!

Best regards



Hello Steven,


I’m also very interested in the Seigen cultivar. Please show us the tree in spring leaves.
I would prune after the leaves hardened off. Then come back in fall when leaves drop. If it would be mine, I would consider air layering.


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Yeah im looking forward to the spring push aswel :star_struck: ill post a picture or two when its ready.

Why would you consider airlayering?

Because I’m not sure if the graft site will ever disappear.

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The air layer will become less noticable as the Seigen bark matures and they are a similar color. I like your proposed back as a potential front as well!

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I think you will find most bonsai professionals stay away from grafts whenever possible. As you advance your skills you will become more critical of trees. This is how we get good trees. We don’t accept trees with major flaws. May as well get critical sooner rather than later if you want quality trees.

I think the graft union on your tree is unforgiving and will only get worse with time. The tree should have been started as a cutting or been air layered before starting the development.

You don’t have a lot of Seigen trunk to work with since the first branch is so low. This will make the air layer technically challenging. If this was mine and I was interested in this variety and could not find more suitable material for bonsai, I would.
1 put it in the ground and grow it out until you have material.
2 propagate from the newly grown material and use this as a genetic source for the variety you are interested in.

That way you can have a few of them.

As it is it can not be a worthy bonsai.

JM generally air layer well but some are harder than others.

Start practicing if you don’t have experience doing air layers. Some trees are born to grow roots and other wood rather die then become two trees.

In the future avoid grafted trees.

I also suggest you start practicing grafting skills. That way you can “when needed” know how to graft at the root junction. Like for cork bark pine.

I’m sorry to not be enthusiastic about your new tree. I think there is a reason it was on sale.

I too picked up grafted trees early on. Now I have nice conifers with unacceptable graft unions.

I bought a few grafted cork bark maples this year. I will layer them after first flush and only got them to get access to the genetics.
In the case of your tree the root stock is almost certainly genetic Acer Palmatum. It is more vigorous than the scion so the mismatch will only get worse. I do not think the bark will ever match.

Now you have Seigen. Time to start growing. Personally I think leaving this in the pot and trying to develop a bonsai as is will not be fruitful.

I prefer working with standard JM. They hare easier to grow, faster and far more forgiving.


The graft is not an issue, just a feature. The trunk will even out. Look at the long game.
Use a small rosebud bit with a dremmel (or, a sharp knife and curved chisel) to get rid of the several dead limb stumps; and, carefully wound the INSIDE edges of the rolling callouses. Later, when the wounds have completely grown closed, shave rhe outside edges down to smooth the trunk line.
Work with this as front. As Mr Degroot said, put the (but) in the back. Work the roots into a shallower pot.

Let it grow out. If you like the leaves and trunk color, take some second year cuttings and start new trees.
No one said Bonsai was easy. Be happy, suit yourself…
Bonsai On


Thank you all for your inputs! I really appreciate them! I will let the tree grow for a while and let my thoughts wander as to how to procede. I will take all your thoughts into consideration! Thank you for your time.


It’s your tree, and it seems like you like it.

The mismatch between the scion, and the rootstock will continue to enlarge because the rootstock is inherently a more aggressive tree.

It will not become better with time, but rather worse

I also have grafted trees.

When I have issues with the graft junction or mismatches I wrap Bonsai Wire around the junction of the thicker part of the tree.

By wrapping wire tightly without leaving space, it forces the trunk to stop growing.
The callus or scar tissue that forms from forcing the tree to grow against the wrapped wire, can also even out differences in the appearance of the bark. I included a picture that has a graft junction on a spruce. Picea Omorika Aurea. I think the tree initially came from conifer Kingdom

The first picture shows the trunk of a tree that was wrapped with wire when it was about five years old. The wire stayed on for two years and that was done three years ago.

I’m still growing out the trunk but I think I got good control over the graft junction early by using this wiring technique. Initially, the route stock was at least 40% wider than the scion top.

Included are some pictures of how I like to do this.

The first thing I do is trim all excess wood/bark and encourage some scar tissue formation in the area that bulges at the graft junction. I cover it in cut paste, then wrap copper wire. The earlier you do this the more successful the process is. The pictures included is a cork bark black, pine grafted two years ago. I’ll let the wire stay on for one year depending on what it looks like.

I’m not sure if that helps.

My teacher is Eric Schrader.

He always rolls his eyes when I bring in grafted trees.

The more I think about grafted trees, the more I realize that I never see them in the collections of people who have great trees with a few exceptions.

Cork bark Pines seem to always be grafted.

It is possible to grow these as cuttings, but it is extremely difficult, and they are rare to find. I usually air layer off the graft junction on any deciduous tree that is amenable to that technique.

Bonsai is a bit of a show off hobby.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with growing trees for our own purpose, receiving the joy that growing plants, including propagation can bring.

My intention is not to be critical, but simply to share a graft junction technique that I have not seen other people use.


It’s a nice tree, and works for you!!!


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interesting technique thanks for sharing, roughly how long did that take to heal over 2 seasons?