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Bonsai Making  (Pruning and Training)
Bonsai are classified into different groups with size. The size of bonsai is generally measured as the distance between the top of the soil and the apex of the bonsai tree. Below is the classification of bonsai in different sizes.
Keishi Bonsai (thumb size)  – Up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in height
Shito Bonsai (very small)     – Up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in height
Mame Bonsai (mini)            – Up to 6 inches (15 cm) in height
Shohin Bonsai (small)          – Up to 8 inches (20 cm) in height
Kifu Sho Bonsai (medium)   – Up to 16 inches (40.5 cm) in height
Chu Bonsai (medium large)  – Up to 24 (61 cm) inch in height
Dai Bonsai (large)                 – Up to 40 (101.5 cm) inch in height
These are some standard rules that become important and helpful in shows and competitions. Yet, often, these measures are not sharply outlined, and the exact height of the bonsai tree does not hold very strictly. For example, the majority of shohin bonsai at most bonsai shows are approximately 8 inches (20 cm) or less in height. Yet, an elegant, slim bonsai tree may easily override the limit in height but still be considered as a shohin. And this is same for mame bonsai.
Basically, the main “rule” is that we must be able to hold our shohin bonsai and mame bonsai in one hand, on our palm. They must express the beauty of a large aged tree in miniature.

How to Train and Prune Bonsai Tree

Small bonsai such as shohin bonsai and mame bonsai are small enough to be held comfortably in the palm of the hand. Mame bonsai should not exceed 8-15cm in height, while shohin bonsai should not exceed 15-20cm. While the size is much smaller, the care and shaping of these small bonsai trees are the same as for their larger counterparts.
Pruning a bonsai tree as shohin bonsai and mame bonsai can be a challenging task. We can use finger pruning techniques to train our bonsai. Since shears and cutters of normal size would be too big for a mame or shohin bonsai, it will require special tools for training our small bonsai trees.
Because our mame bonsai and shohin bonsai are too small to allow much training through wiring, pruning is probably the most important technique to master in the shaping of our mini bonsai trees. To start, we can prune back our small bonsai trees to one or two buds, and repeat this step until the bonsai trees begin to look more interesting. We can also cut off some dominant branches, or nip them off with our fingers to encourage the growth of some new tiny branches.
And similar to our bigger bonsai trees, to create some descending branches for our mame bonsai and shohin bonsai, we can bind the branches with bonsai wire or pull the branches down as far as possible with some wire and tie it to the container.
Lastly, because mame bonsai and shohin bonsai are so small, they are very light in weight and can be toppled off easily. Hence, it would be wise to secure the bonsai on the table, on the rack, or wherever it is put by fixing the small bonsai tree and its container with twine or wire.

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