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  • Writer's pictureTom Lau

Peter Macasieb Mr. Shohin!

Peter Macasieb has been at the center of shohin since the beginning of his bonsai career. Its just amazing to see how people's passion can really evolve over time to something this magical. If you did not know Peter still has an 8 hour day job yet, has the energy and stamina to take care over 150+ shohin at home!

One of Peter's demonstration tree of the night. In Peter's words shohin is not just a size category but a bonsai life style. Shohin is the bare essence of what bonsai is down to the fundamentals. Mainly, the trunk, 3-5 well placed branches and nothing else to hide.

Of of Peter's "larger" shohin which still fits into the 5-8" inches high from the rim of the container. This bonsai took roughly 5-8 years from raw stock. You can not buy shohin stock, the beauty behind it is that you can make a shohin out of most pre-stock material. The sawsall is your friend!

Peter now mainly grows his own pre-bonsai stock. He mentions its the control he has from start to finish.

Future pre-bonsai stock Japanese Black Pine. Starting from the beginning or ground level. This opportunity gives Peter the creative ability to design his final product within a relative short time period (10-15 years).

An older Japanese Black Pine with the same technique. The wires are enbedded into the bark and let cut in. With rough bark species, the flaky bark will eventually over up the wire without anybody knowing there was a wire to start with.

Above is a 8 year old Japanese Black Pine has already the bark is starting to bark up.

Peter also worked on a Pomegranate. He said deciduous trees are probably an easier way to make a shohin. Just cut the "$$$$$" out of them and let them back bud. If not you got yourself a finished tree. But, if the tree makes it out alive you have easily produced a quality shohin in a relative short time frame. Yes, you would need to grow the branches but remember its only a small number of them now.

For his last trick of the night, Peter worked on this awesome pre-stock juniper he grafted about 3 years ago. He states that with couple of skill set you can pretty much tackle any tree. And those skill sets are, "grafting, air layering and wiring."

Peter continues to work on this tree and says there is probably only 2-3 grafts on this tree. He is using all them to form the 1st branch, 2nd branch, 3 branch and apex.

With only working on the tree for less than 35-40minutes the tree was finished.

Peter quickly wires all three branches and apex before moving them all into place.

From this photo you can tell the tree only has one true face so positioning was an easier task.

The above photo for branch placement.

The finished products of the night. Six shohin trees from raw stock to pre-stock.

The main tree of the night. Peter explains he would let it grow up and reduce the main branch by 2-3 inches to have a more compact structure as the final product.

The lucky winners of the night! Until Thursday night everybody!

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