Deadwood
on a Bonsai

Creating Jin, Shari and Uro

Creating Jin, Shari and Uro

Creating deadwood on Bonsai, in the form of Jin, Shari or Uro, can enhance the tree's character significantly. A "Jin" is a bare-stripped part of branch, a "Shari" is a barkless part of trunk, and an "Uro" is a hollow, irregularly-shaped wound in the trunk. In nature, deadwood is created when a tree is hit by lightning, exposed to sustained periods of drought or when branches snap due to ice stress, wind or weight of snow. The wood dies off and is bleached by intense sunlight.

This technique is almost exclusively used on evergreen trees, as creating Jin or Shari on deciduous trees often looks unrealistic (deadwood on a deciduous tree often rots away over time). Uro can be found on deciduous trees in nature quite often however.

When?

The best time to create deadwood is the early spring or late summer, because the tree will heal any wounds created in the process quickly.

Jin and shari on Bonsai
Great trunk movement, and the deadwood (Shari) is absolutely stunning..
Jin example on a Bonsai
Example of a Jin.
Jin example on a Bonsai tree
Another example of deadwood on this Bonsai.
Shari on a Bonsai tree
The deadwood on this trunk (both Jin and Shari) looks very impressive.

How to create deadwood on Bonsai trees

Creating a natural looking Jin or Shari requires experience; practice before applying the technique to valuable trees. Using the right tools is important; use Jin pliers, graving tools and Lime sulfur, available at most (online) Bonsai shops.

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Key take-away

When pruning larger branches on a Bonsai, consider to create Jins out of them. A Jin can always be removed if you don't like it after all.