Check List for Preparing for a Bonsai Show

Preparing a bonsai for a show or display is primarily a task of attending to detail work.  Here are a few tips which might help in preparing a bonsai for the annual show.
 
TREE
  • Trim/groom your trees at least two weeks prior to the show.
  • The foliage should be groomed for display by removing any damaged or discolored leaves or needles.  Wash off any dust on the foliage.
  • Shoots and/or branches that extend outside of the designed silhouette should be pinched or trimmed off.
  • Excess leaves and large leaves should be eliminated and make sure the maples have not developed very long internodes in the new growth.
  • On pines the needles that are pointing straight down from the branches should also be removed.
  • Scrub the trunk and primary branches of the tree to remove the accumulation of moss and mineral deposits.
  • Areas of dead wood (jin and shari) - treat those areas with lime sulfur to whiten them up.  Do this a week or so before the show as the odor of lime sulfur in an exhibit hall will not be a problem.
  • Check for wiring on the trees - remove, replace or re-wire.  Wiring should be neat and as unobtrusive as possible.
  • Make certain that the trees you want to show do not have any bugs, insects or disease that could infect other trees on show.   Spray your trees for protection.
SOIL SURFACE
  • The soil surface should be neat and free of weeds and debris, foreign grasses, dead leaves, pieces of compost, fertilizer cakes, etc.