Classroom Corner – Dave’s root-on-rock Juniper!

An open window into the comings and goings of students and their trees attending our regular weekend and midweek bonsai classes under the ever watchful eyes of John Hanby.
Classroom Corner – Dave’s root-on-rock Juniper!

This planting was originally created by Nobutaka Sakuma at one of our Newstead Extravaganza events in 2008. The tree had arrived from Japan a few years before and the rock originated from Austria.

Considering how long the tree has been on the rock it is in excellent condition…….strong and healthy. In fact, aesthetically there is too much greenery for the trunk and the planting itself.

Discussing the tree with Dave as we proceeded several somewhat large branches had to be removed. The end result is a canopy more in proportion with both the trunk and the rock.

The superb movement in the trunk and the interesting shari are now exposed. Large stubs have been left for the creation of deadwood which may or may not be incorporated into the design.

The existing wire will now be removed. The tree can then be rewired and styled over the coming winter. Some more branches may yet have to be removed…….I look forward to it………the styling that is!!!

Classroom Corner – A tale of two Hornbeams

An open window into the comings and goings of students and their trees attending our regular weekend and midweek bonsai classes under the ever watchful eyes of John Hanby.
Classroom Corner – A tale of two Hornbeams

These two Korean Hornbeams were part of a batch of nine similar trees I had acquired when they arrived from Korea some 3 years ago.

Both trees had undergone some routine training and repotting into ceramic bonsai pots. Recently they both returned to Newstead on one of my open workshops.

Part of the discussion on Paul’s tree related to it’s height. By reducing the height slightly the crown becomes more rounded and less pointed. This enhances the tree’s appearance making it appear older and more mature.

Part of the discussion on Brian’s tree related to the selection of the front or viewing angle.The tree had merits from both sides. In the end a decision was made and some branches had to be removed to open up what would now become the front of the tree.

Branches to the rear would be left to grow for further fattening. Once the decision has been made the rest of the tree can be developed further to enhance the chosen front and improve the tree as a whole.

Classroom Corner – It’s that trimming time of year again……

An open window into the comings and goings of students and their trees attending our regular weekend and midweek bonsai classes under the ever watchful eyes of John Hanby.
Classroom Corner – It’s that trimming time of year again….

These pictures were all taken on a recent midweek class. All the trees had shown good growth this year so now it was time to carry out some pruning work to push the tree into it’s next stage of development.

This involved structural, maintenance and refinement pruning work.

 

 

Classroom Corner – Hard summer pruning!

An open window into the comings and goings of students and their trees attending our regular weekend and midweek bonsai classes under the ever watchful eyes of John Hanby.
Classroom Corner – Hard summer pruning!

Sometimes trees really need a drastic pruning. Often they are too dense but in some cases the branches have simply grown too long and the foliage is now too far away from the trunk.

Eventually the leaves can tend to be on the outer edge of the tree with no buds, shoots and leaves inside. To try and resolve this by encouraging back budding the timing of the pruning is critical and importantly the tree must be strong enough.

The Forsythia, Trident Maple, and Hornbeam featured here were given this drastic treatment recently.

 

 

Classroom Corner – A simple Beech forest…..

An open window into the comings and goings of students and their trees attending our regular weekend and midweek bonsai classes under the ever watchful eyes of John Hanby.
Classroom Corner – A simple Beech forest…..

John brought in some Beech he had been nurturing for a while with the intention of bringing some of them together to create a forest…..he even came with the pot ready for action.

Soil was removed and the trees were separated. We then brought them back together in a group arrangement. We even managed to use all the trees and fit them into the pot whilst also leaving ample space to enhance the landscape aura.

This was a relatively simple creation using simple young material and yet already the result is just so effective. This little creation can now develop into a very good mature looking forest planting in such a short time and was well worth the effort!

Classroom Corner – A forest and a raft…..testing times!

An open window into the comings and goings of students and their trees attending our regular weekend and midweek bonsai classes under the ever watchful eyes of John Hanby.
Classroom Corner – A forest and a raft…..testing times.

These two trees turned up on a recent one to three afternoon session.

The Hawthorns had been together for a long time but were now in need of repotting and some rearranging. They were very tall and not the easiest of trees to combine but it was a case of looking at the trunk characteristics, arranging them accordingly and then finally some pruning.

The Cotoneaster stump had sprouted well but was never going to make an individual specimen tree. The student had already made up his mind about the possibility of a raft…..so …….anything to oblige so off we went.

Branches were selected, wired and then positioned as individual trunks. Pleasantly surprised to see that suddenly this old rotting stump shows really good potential.

Two testing trees but well pleased with the result!

Classroom Corner – Deciduous and Conifers….pruning for the next level.

An open window into the comings and goings of students and their trees attending our regular weekend and midweek bonsai classes under the ever watchful eyes of John Hanby.
Classroom Corner – Deciduous and Conifers….pruning for the next level.

The pictures below were all taken during the same open workshop held in September 2016. These were just some of the trees that turned up on the class and as you can see it really was a varied mix.

All these trees needed some pruning to guide them to the next level. In some cases the pruning was more drastic whilst in others the pruning required was more subtle.

Sometimes the pruning was carried out for correction and in anticipation of new growth which could be controlled and better placed. In other cases the pruning was carried out prior to branches being wired for styling.

Lighter pruning could also be carried out as part of the refinement process of trees with an established good shape.

Pruning is where most students require help and guidance……it’s a confidence thing….there is always that worry of cutting off the wrong branch….once it’s gone…..it’s gone!!……it’s never a worry for me……they are not my trees!…….only joking!!!!?

Classroom Corner – Two Larch Groups

An open window into the comings and goings of students and their trees attending our regular weekend and midweek bonsai classes under the ever watchful eyes of John Hanby.
Classroom Corner – Two Larch Groups

Just before Christmas Larch material was turning up regularly on classes. Some of this material involved group plantings.

The first student had been growing this young material on in preparation for creating a forest planting. We had a good choice in terms of different heights and trunk thicknesses. All the trees had ample side branches.

A selection was made, the trees were arranged, planted on a slab and then pruned to shape.

The second group was a little more complicated and required a bit more thought. A trio of old Larch had struggled and were not really working well together.

The student had some younger material to add depth and enlarge the composition. The original material was dismantled and a totally new arrangement made.

The new group was then replanted and pruned. Two very simple groups that should look well when they leaf out and offer excellent potential for further development in the future.

Classroom Corner – Some recent visitors

An open window into the comings and goings of students and their trees attending our regular weekend and midweek bonsai classes under the ever watchful eyes of John Hanby.
Classroom Corner – Some recent visitors 

One of the benefits of attending an open workshop is that you learn from your fellow students trees as well as your own. You see such a huge variety of trees …..almost every species and variety you could imagine…..large trees, small trees……trees just starting out as bonsai to mature specimen trees.

Here are some pictures of a few recent visitors………

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Classroom Corner – Derek’s Tanuki Juniper

An open window into the comings and goings of students and their trees attending our regular weekend and midweek bonsai classes under the ever watchful eyes of John Hanby.
Classroom Corner – Derek’s Tanuki Juniper

Derek recently brought his Tanuki Juniper Blue Alps to a class for advice on it’s progress. This tree really has come on immensely.

I couldn’t resist taking pictures of some of Derek’s old photographs showing how this tree started out. A piece of driftwood from an aquarium shop and a Blue Alps Juniper from a local garden centre.

I believe he started working on this project some 6/7 years ago….and what an amazing job he has done. I have helped him in the past with some pruning and branch selection but the transformation he has achieved really is first class.

The tree had reached the stage where it could now be pinched on a regular basis and you can see the result with the density of the foliage clouds. The problem now is that some of the branches /clouds are simply too big. As you can see in the pictures I was soon able to take care of that!

The tree has now become lighter and much taller. It will be rewired over the winter so that the branches can be opened out and the foliage clouds clearly identified. We will then discuss a programme of growth, pinching and pruning for the next growing season.

Excellent job Derek!……..

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