The Art of Japanese Style Aesthetic Pruning Called “Sukashi” and “Niwaki”

Japanese style aesthetic pruning attempts to replicate nature in an artful way.

Are you frustrated with all of your shrubs being sheared into boring geometric shapes—spheres, ovals, rectangles—or just being left to grow in a tangled mess? How about looking to the East—all the way to Japan—for some inspiration to revitalize your garden? Think sukashi and niwake—that is, Japanese style aesthetic pruning!

The Japanese pruning styles called sukashi (or spaces) and niwaki (garden tree) are similar to the art of bonsai pruning, with which most people are familiar, except not in a miniaturized form, but involving full-sized trees. 

Each of the bonsai, sukashi and niwaki styles of pruning attempt to replicate mature trees as they are found in the  mountains, along the seashore, in the forest or in meadows. When we see such a tree, we are inspired by its character, beauty, symmetry or asymmetry and overall appearance of antiquity, stability and permanence. 

An example of our Japanese style pruning in the sukashi style.

Why prune some of the trees and shrubs in your own garden to fit the qualities of the sukahi or niwaki style of pruning? Simply this. Because this type of Japanese style pruning replicates nature, it gives the garden a more natural look and sense of beauty which in turn makes us feel better and brings us more happiness and a peaceful state of mind.

Seven aspects of Japanese-style pruning include symmetry, simplicity, austere sublimity, naturalness, subtle profundity, freedom from attachment, and tranquility.

These basic principles inform our pruning artistry.

You can learn to do this yourself by watching videos or reading books on the art and science of Japanese style pruning. You can also take a field trip to your local Japanese garden and absorb visually, mentally and emotionally what you discover there, and then experiment with your plants at home.  Or you can hire professionals like Good News Tree Service, Inc. to begin systematically transforming your mundane and boring garden into something that you look forward to coming home to—something that will cause your spirit to rise up, and waves of peaceful tranquility to sweep over your troubled and weary soul. 

Another example of our pruning artistry.

Here are a few videos from our YouTube channel ( that showcase our work.