In Japanese: “Sashiki” - Cultivating trees from cuttings is very popular among Bonsai growers, as it is an inexpensive way to propagate new trees. This method will reduce the time it takes to grow trees from seeds by about a year, while also giving you the benefit of knowing in advance which characteristics the cutting will posses.

To start with, suitable cuttings need to be collected. Most types of trees (specifically deciduous trees and some conifers) are easily propagated using cuttings; select a branch of an existing tree and cut it off. The size of the cuttings should be about about 2’’-4’’ tall (5-10 cm) and 2-5 mm thick. It is possible to take larger cuttings as well but the chance of getting them to root is slim.



Generally, spring and summer are the best times to cut-off and plant cuttings. Some hardwood cuttings can be prepared and planted after their growth season (late summer). Read the Bonsai tree species guide for timing.


From cutting to Bonsai

Before we start propagating trees from cuttings, let's look at the stages of development of young trees first. Growing Bonsai from seed or from cuttings will be a test of your patience, but it is a great way to style Bonsai trees without the need to prune thick branches (which is often inherent to styling Yamadori or nursery stock).

Read the "Bonsai styling" section for detailed information about techniques including wiring and pruning. But first, six images of a Criptomeria tree that was grown from seed into Bonsai over the course of 15 years. Thanks to Jose Ontañón for sharing these inspiring images.


Young bonsai seedling

1 year old

Two year old Bonsai tree

2 year old

Three years old

3 year old

5 year old Bonsai

5 year old

10 year old

10 year old

Bonsai tree after 15 years

15 year old