Chopping in bonsai is a technique that involves cutting off a large part of the trunk or a branch to create a new leader or a new direction of growth. It is usually done on young or thick-trunked trees that need to be reduced in height or reshaped. Chopping can also be used to create taper, movement, or deadwood features in the bonsai. Chopping is a drastic and risky procedure that requires careful planning, execution, and aftercare. It should only be done when the tree is healthy and vigorous, and at the right time of the year depending on the species. Chopping can result in a dramatic transformation of the bonsai, but it also takes time and patience for the tree to recover and develop new branches and foliage.
Chop is also a term that refers to the seals or stamps that are used in East and Southeast Asian cultures to sign documents, contracts, art, or other items that require acknowledgement or authorship. The word chop comes from the Hindi chapa and the Malay cap, meaning stamp or rubber stamps. On handmade Chinese and Japanese bonsai pots, many makers apply their chop to the bottom of the pot.