Pete Churgel, Certified Aesthetic Pruner and Certified Arborist
Japanese Gardens
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Japanese Gardens
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Japanese gardens are simple yet natural - a bit of nature transported to your site. They are a combination of many complex factors including rocks, water and plants.

Since the plants are the live part of the garden, they have to be grown, trained and kept in scale with the original design. Pruning a Japanese garden consists of pruning the individual plants each according to its place in the garden, its style and its growing requirements.


Pruning is done to accentuate the scale of a natural scene. Plants in the background can be taller, thicker and melt together as a forest. Plants in the middle ground need pruning to show some details. Plants in the foreground are more likely to be focal point plants and need to be pruned to show greater detail.

A pruning schedule is created for each plant in the garden depending on its growth rate, style and health.

Some plants may need to be replaced or added as accents.

Trees that are sick, damaged or overgrown may be candidates for replacement.

Because they need constant attention to keep them healthy and looking great while staying in scale, Japanese gardens tend to have high maintenance requirements.

Trees in Japanese gardens are not bonsai trees, although they may be trained in the same styles. Bonsais are trees in pots and have special needs as far as watering, feeding, pruning and repotting. I am a member of the East Bay Bonsai Society and have had many years of experience and training in the care of bonsais.

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Pete Churgel ISA Certified Arborist #WE-6700A