What is Shohin Bonsai and Mame Bonsai?

Apr 1st, 2010 | By | Category: Style

Mame-Shohin-BonsaiYou probably know that bonsai are the miniaturized versions of the big, aged trees found in nature. But do you know that bonsai have their miniature versions as well? These bonsai trees are commonly known as shohin bonsai and mame bonsai.

“Shohin” is a Japanese word. It means “tiny thing” and in the bonsai world, shohin bonsai refers to trees that are within a certain size, 6” – 8” to be specific. As for “mame”, it is a Japanese word that literally means “bean”. In terms of bonsai, it is the mini bonsai between 3” – 6“. And because mame bonsai and shohin bonsai are so small, they can easily fit onto our palm.

Check out this articles for more details on Classification of Bonsai Tree Based on Size.

The Challenges of Training Shohin Bonsai and Mame Bonsai

Creating mini bonsai is surely an arduous task. While growing and training a normal bonsai tree is difficult enough, training a bonsai as incredibly small as a mame bonsai is definitely a challenge. One has to create the image of an aged tree with the extremely small amount of soil and foliage in mini bonsai. It becomes essential to fully understand the dynamics of plant growth in such a constricted environment. In addition, with the limited amount of branches and foliage in a shohin bonsai, or even smaller, in a mame bonsai, the bonsai artist has to use some imagination when she visualizes the bonsai tree.

The Lure of Mini Bonsai

While shohin bonsai and mame bonsai bonsai is very challenging and demand lots of time and attention, these little bonsai trees surely have their advantages that fascinate so many bonsai artists.  Mini  bonsai gives apartment dwellers the opportunity to grow bonsai and keep quite a large number of bonsai trees on their balcony or windowsills. With limited space, apartment dwellers can also enjoy the thrill of bonsai on a small scale. And without the use of a turn table, we can just pick up our shohin bonsai, twist and turn the trees easily to view the structure, roots, and trunk of the trees. We can easily bring our shohin bonsai to the living room, sit in a couch and study our shohin bonsai before pruning and trimming them.

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