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This is how Japanese form-cutting art works
Niwaki are artfully cut trees and shrubs in Japanese style. With these tips, you can also cut and shape the woody plants.
Niwaki is the Japanese word for “”garden trees””. At the same time, the term also refers to the process of its design. The aim of the Japanese gardeners is to cut through Niwaki woody plants in such a way that they create structures and atmosphere in their environment. This is mainly to be done by the fact that they seem”” more mature “” and older than they actually are. The gardeners try to achieve this effect by cutting and bending the branches and trunks. The appearance of Niwaki is similar to that of bonsai. The woody plants are intensively cut, but in contrast to Bonsais, Niwaki are always planted – at least in Japan.
What do Niwaki-style woody plants look like?
The idea is to create the ideal image of a tree, as it is represented stylistically in drawings. Forms of growth, as they occur in nature – such as trees struck by lightning or drawn by Wind and weather, are role models for the design of the woody plants. The Japanese gardeners do not aim at symmetrical forms, but rather “”asymmetrical balance””: a strict spherical shape is more likely not to be found in Japanese cut art, rather softer, Oval outlines. Against the background of white walls and stone surfaces, these organic forms come into their own particularly well.
Which plants are suitable as Niwaki?
Only certain trees will tolerate this type of culture. In principle, a distinction must be made between woody plants, which can precipitate out of the old wood after a pruning, and those whose ripping capacity is limited to the green area. The treatment is adjusted accordingly. The Japanese like to work with native tree species such as pine (Pinus) and sickle FIR (Cryptomeria japonica), but also Ilex, Japanese yew and European Yew, Liguster, many evergreen oaks, camellias, Japanese maples, ornamental cherries, willow, beech, Juniper, Cedar, Azalea and Rhododendron are suitable.
Niwaki: this is how you do the editing
On the one hand, they work on adult trees – this method is called “”fukinaoshi””, which means “”reshaping””. The woody plants are reduced to a basic framework of trunk and main branches and then rebuilt. In a first step, you remove dead, damaged branches as well as all Wildlings and water travelers. Then the trunk is capped above a pair of side branches and the number of main branches is reduced. This should make the structure of the trunk visible. Then shorten all remaining branches to a length of about 30 centimeters. It takes about five years for a”” normal “” tree to be transformed into a Niwaki or garden bonsai and to be able to continue working with it.