The fastest way to develop deciduous bonsai: Walter Pall's hedge pruning technique explained!

The fastest way to develop deciduous bonsai: Walter Pall’s hedge pruning technique explained! New video. Postscript note to the video by Walter Pall: “I would like to add that, yes it is for developing trees. I personally have only trees in development. So I use this method on ALL of my broadleaved trees. I found that it also works well on many conifers. One drawback is that the tree only looks good in winter when it is in storage usually. But you can improve the quality so much more than with orthodox methods. A method should never be assessed according to what you know already, what is common knowledge. a method should only be measured by long term results. Who has the better trees in the long run has the better method.”


Oh those maples :slight_smile: I remember the post from last year when you dag them out. Nice to see the update on them. They look amazing and you obviously must take good care of them!
Well Done Rafi.
Also you are heading to a pro level with your videos :slight_smile:


Hi Anna,

Thank you! yes, I have big hopes for these maples. I am not sure I will keep all of them for a long time due to space limitations but I am in no rush to part from any. About the videos, it’s very hard, makes me appreciate on a whole new level not only the huge production put on by the entire Mirai team but also @ryan’s great easy and natural way with the camera.


You need a pair of these. Walter uses them and goes over as he would a topiary rather than scissor cutting a single extension.


Clearly the answer is to have multiple trees that you can try multiple techniques on. :laughing:

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Thanks for posting @rafi, very interesting. What are you fertilizing with? Organics or chemical? I believe Walter is a chemical fertilizer, which would make sense for this kind of rapid growth strategy.

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Just found your fertilization video.

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Yes, I was going to point you to it. I use liquid chemical in early (Canadian) spring and late (canadian) fall. I use slow release chemical on collected trees and I use organic (brand irrevant, currently Espoma Plant-tone mixed with Dr. Earth life 1:1) in teabags for all the rest.

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thanks for sharing Rafi. :+1: nice to see those “hedges” coming along. I need to fins some “hedges” like that as well. I have spotted a neighbor that has a sidewalk lined with procumbens…

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Thanks Moon. When I first decided to buy our current house, the first thing I saw besides the size of the garden were these hedges and I decided that if we were to buy the house I would collect them…

for a diferent perspective of this technique i recomend to listen the Bjorn podcast about hedge prunning :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

I do not wish to discuss any of this online but I invite you to continue to follow the quality and speed of results that I or others get with this technique as the final arbiter and also to come join me on a Workshop with Walter Pall to understand this directly from the source - April 2-5, 2020 at Nature’s Way Nursery in Harrisburg, PA.

just kidding man! i believe we can achieve results in diferent ways.

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Well said @Daniel_BR! You should still come to the workshop next spring… :slight_smile:

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I think whatever works for you works for you. Bjorn’s explanation is fundamentally correct. However you should listen to the beginning of the next pod cast where he clarifies some points. But at the end of the day it’s just about what do you want to achieve and what results you as a practitioner require or are happy with. The whole beauty of Bonsai is the freedom to do whatever you want with your trees. Don’t be constrained and let your individualism shine through.


That’s all very strong words. Having said that I would’nt put the said person you refer to any where near the league of Kimura. But I concede we are allowed an opinion. I’m not sure the Mirai forum is a place to hero worship anyone.

Nick, I agree those were strong opinions, I fully stand behind what I said but rather leave it out of the public record. I deleted my comment but now that you read it you understand the reasons why when I tell you that I think that Bjorn is fundamentally wrong in most aspects of what he said.

It would be interesting to get an in-depth into the results of the hedge pruning technique vs the classical technique. Just for the academic discussion. Not to prove that one method is right or wrong.

I didn’t get a chance to see what you said, but one thing seems to be true in bonsai. Ppl are going to do it differently. Heck, one person may treat one tree one way and another tree another way…of the same species! There are no wrong answers (well, mostly, I mean, don’t kill trees). There are a myriad of techniques, schools of thoughts, practices out there that work.

It is up to the practitioner to decide which methods work for them. If someone disagrees then that’s fine. If their technique works for them that in no way detracts from your technique. Rather, the beauty lies within the ability to analyze their technique and determine if some or all aspects of what they’re saying can be used in some way. If so, great! If not, well no biggie. At least you’ve gained some perspective.

For instance, I had a discussion with someone that stated that they no longer use an aeration layer or akadama. Instead of telling them that they’re wrong I asked them what they do and use instead. I understood that for their environment what they’re doing makes sense to them. Gave them my opinions as to why that may not work for my environment and then we thanked each other for the chat.


I fully agree Mike and I am no here to defend or attack anyone. I have the luxury of not having any stake in the game, the luxury that bonsai for me is a hobby and not a profession (although I strive to reach the highest level of professionalism in my hobby) and at the same time the character to always question and speak my mind - perhaps a bad combination.

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Here’s the question I have about this issue. For someone who has a relatively small number of trees, and who can devote whatever time is needed to their care, when it is needed - is there any benefit to using the hedge pruning approach? Does it actually speed up development time, or yield “better” (subjective of course) results, or is it just a way to improve efficiency if you have too many trees and/or not enough time?

I saw both of Bjorn’s videos and was not overly satisfied with his explanations of why the method isn’t good. In particular, I found his “appeal to authority” (no one in Japan does it this way) rather weak. For one thing, do we really know that “no one” in Japan does it that way? For another, most of the Japanese bonsai masters have a small army of apprentices whose sole job is to work on trees all day, every day. With that kind of help available each tree can be attended to when necessary. On the other hand, perhaps someone like Walter Pall uses the method because it gives him the best results given the amount of time he can devote to his vast collection. I don’t know, just wondering.

Has @ryan ever commented on hedging? I feel like he did at some point but can’t recall when.