If you have a few bonsai trees then you know the feeling. You look at a tree and start to think about how you could improve the design: move a branch here, change the front a little to the left, or maybe an even more radical change.

Even a tree styled by a well-known master is subject to continual reevaluation over the years as the master seeks to bring out the best in a tree. Times change. Your bonsai change. You change. Your appreciation and interpretations of what the beauty of nature is all about changes with time.

Perhaps some would call this needless tinkering with your trees. It is more than that, it is an effort to express your vision of what a tree could be, and to refine that image is the very best possible way that you can. That is one reason why we say a tree is “never finished.” As it grows and is refined over time, you as the stylist and the tree as the art form will continue to evolve. We always must remember that our trees are a living art form, and we have the privilege of being their curators for a period of time.