Classroom Corner – Case Study…..Andrews Privet (1)

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 – Case Study…..Andrew’s Privet (1)

Case Study is a new feature you will find cropping up in several of my blogs. This is a pictorial record of a students tree over a period of time.

It gives you the opportunity to see how we go about developing our trees. The pictures were taken when the tree was brought to a class at my bonsai  school.

Sometimes we work on the tree during a class session sometimes I just give the student advice on what to do next. The student does his work and then brings the tree back to another class when he is ready for further advice.

The pictures below start on the 26th March 2016 and end on the 26th August 2017……a little over 18 months. Andrew bought this Privet stump from our stock just before the first class session.

He is relatively new to bonsai and all the carving is his own work…..he really has done an amazing job. The branches, the basis for the foliage mass are also developing well as we concentrate on fattening up the lower ones.

Hope you enjoy and get some inspiration from this new feature.

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Classroom Corner – Amazing shari…….

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 – Amazing shari……..

………on this small Juniper……….now we need to sort out the foliage! The hollow trunk and shari work is really impressive on this yamadorii Juniper.

After being wired and styled the height of the tree has been reduced and the smaller foliage canopy is more in keeping with the trunk. We now have to concentrate on shaping the foliage clouds and making the foliage itself more compact.

Classroom Corner – Stan’s Juniper Ittogawa

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 – Stan’s Juniper Ittogawa

Stan fetched this tree to a recent Wednesday workshop. It had grown so well it was now like a bush again. It had lost its shape.

I set about removing branches I didn’t think we would need and Stan cleaned out the foliage ready for wiring.

Two weeks later the tree returned and was now completely wired. It was a case of repositioning all the branches……this was quite a detailed wiring.

Next year the foliage can be pruned and compacted more during the growing season whilst retaining the trees health and vigour.

What a difference a couple of weeks can make in the life of a tree. It has regained its shape and once again looks really well….this is undoubtedly a fine Juniper bonsai.

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!!!!?