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Deadwood on a Bonsai (How can I handle this?!)

Deadwood on a Bonsai

In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of deadwood one might find on a bonsai and how to best handle each type. There are many reasons why people would want to add deadwood on a bonsai, but you must know what you’re doing before beginning your project!

Types of Deadwood

There are three types of deadwood we will be discussing: jin, shari, and uro.


The most common type of deadwood on a bonsai is created when a branch dies off and the bark separates from the wood.


Created when the bark peels away from the trunk in long strips.


The least common type of deadwood and is created when a tree dies off completely, leaving behind just the trunk. This type should only be used by advanced bonsai artists because it takes many years for this to happen naturally.

Creating Uro on Purpose can Ruin Your Bonsai!

The process of adding jin, shari, and uro to a bonsai should never be taken lightly! If done incorrectly, you can ruin your tree and lose all the years of work you’ve put into it. It is very important to know what you’re doing before starting any type of deadwood addition.

Deadwood on a Bonsai

How to Handle Deadwood

Now that we know about the different types of deadwood, let’s talk about how to handle them!

How to Add Jin

Jin can be added to your bonsai in one of three ways: by cutting, carving, or sand blasting.

Cutting jin: It is the quickest and easiest way to add deadwood to a tree, but it’s also more likely that you’ll damage the wood underneath. Make sure your cut is clean so there are no frayed edges! If you’re not comfortable with doing this yourself, you can always take your tree to a professional.

Carving jin: a more difficult but also more accurate way to add deadwood. This involves removing small pieces of wood until the desired shape is achieved. You must remove an equal amount of wood on both sides of the branch in order to make sure the deadwood will appear balanced when viewed from either side.

Sand Blasting: another way of creating jin, but it’s expensive and time-consuming! If you’re not careful while sandblasting your tree with bonsai needles (known as shari or koke), then you can end up completely ruining your bonsai. Again, this should be done by a professional if you’re not sure how to do it yourself.

When adding jin to your bonsai, you must make sure it is very cleanly cut and free of bark. If any of the wood is left behind or there are gaps between the trunk and branch, the rot will become an issue. This can be prevented by applying a wound sealer (such as Eze-Bond) to the cut and covering it with wax (such as Renaissance Wax).

How to Add Shari

Shari can only be created using the sandblasting method and is, therefore, best left up to professionals! If you try adding shari with any other technique or tool then there’s a high chance you will ruin your tree.

Adding shari requires patience because it can take many years for this type of deadwood addition to happen naturally. It is best not to wire or place any branches on your bonsai when you first purchase it, but rather wait until new growth appears.

How to Add Uro

Uro should only be attempted by experienced bonsai artists! There are a few different ways to go about adding uro, but the most common is to use wire to create the desired shape and then carve it into place.

The process of adding uro to a bonsai is very similar to that of shari, except it can take much longer for this type of deadwood addition to appear and it may require the use of some wire. Adding Uro is only recommended by advanced bonsai artists because creating this type takes many years of patience!

Deadwood on a Bonsai

What Are the Benefits of Deadwood on Bonsai?

Deadwood on a bonsai can have many benefits, including:

  • Helping to create the illusion of age and maturity in your tree.
  • Adding interest and character to your bonsai.
  • Creating a more natural appearance.
  • Preventing rot from spreading.
  • Helping to balance the overall shape of your bonsai.

When adding deadwood, you mustn’t add too much at once! Slowly add pieces over time so you don’t disturb the health of your tree and cause any damage. It’s also a good idea to wire each piece in place after it has been added. This way, you can create a more natural look and prevent the deadwood from falling out of place or shifting over time.

How to Care for Deadwood on a Bonsai?

Once you have added deadwood to your bonsai, it is important to care for it properly in order to keep it looking its best. This includes:

  • Washing the deadwood regularly with clean water to remove any dirt or sap.
  • Applying a sealer (such as Eze-Bond) to the cut and covering it with wax (such as Renaissance Wax).
  • Checking for any signs of rot and treating immediately if necessary.
  • Removing any deadwood that is no longer needed or has started to decay.

Remember that all types of deadwood must be maintained regularly to keep them healthy! Make sure your tree is not exposed to any type of moisture by keeping it indoors during winter months unless kept in a greenhouse. You can also add a layer of wax to the wood if you wish, but this is not necessary and the deadwood should be fine without it!

Deadwood on a bonsai doesn’t require much maintenance unless any new growth appears. Dead leaves need to be cleaned up regularly before they have time to rot or attract pests while the trunk and branches must be checked for any signs of rot. If you do find any areas of rot, remove them immediately and apply a wound sealer to the cut.

Deadwood on a Bonsai

Final Thought

Deadwood on your bonsai is only attractive if done correctly. If you’re not an experienced artist then please leave it up to the pros! Adding deadwood can be very dangerous and should never be taken lightly. Jin, shari, and uro are all great additions to any tree but must be handled carefully or else your hard work could be ruined.

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