Topical Times – Pruning garden trees….a change is as good as….

A regular update on the life and times of John Hanby’s Newstead Bonsai Centre……..

Topical Times – Pruning garden trees……a change is as good as…..

I recently managed to arrange to prune two garden trees on the same day. My clients did not live too far apart so it was good to be able to do the two jobs together.

For one client this was my first visit. She had a large overgrown Cedar Atlantica which she wanted shaping more like a bonsai.

It was a case of considering the options, especially in relation to where she wanted to view the tree from. A design was initiated and the first pruning carried out. Instructions were left on how to continue with the trees development.

For the second client this was my third visit, an annual job to prune back into shape a large cloud tree that forms the centrepiece of a turning circle behind a very substantial and impressive detached property.

Made a change to be away from the small trees but the same principles were applied!

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Topical Times -One to one away from home!

A regular update on the life and times of John Hanby’s Newstead Bonsai Centre……..

Topical Times – One to one away from home!

Yesterday I visited one of my clients for a one to one at his home specifically to deal with his Satsuki Azaleas and his Black Pines.

We had selected a slightly larger pot for the small powerful azalea and as you can see the tree was ready. The fine roots had made a solid mass in danger of causing drainage problems.

Existing wire was removed and pruning carried out to reflect a new more extensive rewiring in the very near future.

After pruning the largest azalea I suggested a possible new front viewing the tree from the existing corner of the pot. We both liked the idea so we made the alteration and carefully pruned the rootball to fit.

The third azalea was growing strong and had become somewhat bushy. Pruning and thinning out was undertaken to redefine the foliage clouds.

Both these black pines were growing strongly and responding well to work we had carried out on previous visits. It was now a case of carrying out some shoot pruning and thinning out needles to prepare the trees for rewiring and styling over the coming winter.

This was a rewarding day working on and improving some very good trees!

Topical Times – Big John is defoliated!

A regular update on the life and times of John Hanby’s Newstead Bonsai Centre……..

Topical Times – Big John is defoliated!

Th timing for this work was just about spot on……although a little later than normal because of the recent cold weather which had slowed down the growth on most trees.

You can see how dense the canopy was from different angles and the difference defoliation makes as I work down the tree. The branch refinement becomes clearly visible and hopefully more twigs will be created with the next flush of growth.

Topical Times – Another delivery of pots!!!

A regular update on the life and times of John Hanby’s Newstead Bonsai Centre……..

Topical Times – Another delivery of pots!!!

Following an extremely good run of sales from both visitors and students the pot room was once again looking sparse.

At this time of year demand is always high so I acted quickly and organised another delivery. So now we have a good stock of pots and compost for all your repotting needs.

Topical Times – A simple Jin….but what a difference!

A regular update on the life and times of John Hanby’s Newstead Bonsai Centre……..

Topical Times – A simple Jin….but what a difference!

My first Wednesday class of the year took place this week. Keith had bought this dwarf Scots pine in our Christmas one day sale and it was now here ready for it’s first styling.

We discussed the various trunk lines and options before deciding which branches to remove. Large stubs were left on the major trunks for the creation of deadwood i.e. Jins.

Keith had not been feeling too well recently and as a Manchester Utd supporter determined to get his money’s worth asked if I would create the jins. Keith is extremely capable at doing this work himself but under the circumstances I was happy to oblige.

The jins were created simply by using a Jin plier and concave cutter. Cutting into the wood, removing bark, and peeling back produces some excellent textures and natural looking convincing results.

The tree is now ready for it’s first wiring which hopefully Keith will get round to ¬†as soon as he is feeling better. Once the tree has been wired and styled we can have a look at the jins again to see if they need removing, shortening or bending harmonise with the tree’s new shape.

Get well soon Keith I want to see it finished!!!

Topical Times – First Classes 2017

A regular update on the life and times of John Hanby’s Newstead Bonsai Centre……..

Topical Times – First Classes 2017

This weekend saw the first classes take place from our 2017 schedule. Saturday was an open workshop and three of the participating trees are shown below.

Sunday was a deadwood and carving session so as expected this proved to be a somewhat boisterous affair with a lot of noise and mess in both the classroom and workshop areas. Students used a combination of both hand and power tools. I tried to encourage them to do most of the practical work themselves whilst I provided them with instructions, guidance and the occasional demonstration. It worked well with some excellent results at the end of the session.

Back to Saturday and as usual there was a really varied mix of material both in terms of species and the level of training. I selected three examples below.

Ben’s Juniper Ittogawa originated in Japan and had some excellent Shari and live veins twisting around the trunk. Together we discussed the branch selection and after some pruning Ben was left to wire and position those that remained. I helped with the final tweaking but he did a good job on his first workshop with us.

John’s pine was a piece of raw material ready for it’s first styling. Once again branches were selected and the tree was wired. The initial styling was carried out leaving a larger profile at this stage to help promote vigour and back budding.

Dereks’s Taxus had been the live part of a wrap around tanuki bonsai but the deadwood had rotted away. This remaining live section had made a good tree in it’s own right but now the canopy was too wide. A lot of thought went into the selection of which branches needed to be removed as this was quite a substantial amount. The branches were then wired and repositioned to create a taller tree much more in keeping with the shape and character of the trunk.

A great start to the new year to warm me up with tools now sharpened and raring to go………bring it on!!!