Classroom Corner – White Pine Styling…simple but effective!

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 – White Pine styling…..simple but effective!

This Japanese White Pine was brought along to a recent open workshop. The upper trunk was just so straight and did not relate to the cascading movement/direction of the lower more dominant trunk.

It was decided to remove the upper trunk and go with the half cascade style of the lower trunk. The wired branches were positioned and then the upper trunk was made into deadwood.

The original problem had not really been solved but then with a bit of work on the deadwood and some heat bending…….suddenly the whole image is much more cohesive. The two trunks now relate to each other and we have the added drama/character of the deadwood providing much greater interest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classroom Corner – One to one….deciduous day!

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 – One to one……deciduous day!

On a recent one to one at the nursery Roy brought along some deciduous trees for advice and pruning. He had grown most of his trees from seedlings and really has done the most amazing job.

The help and advice he needed now was about how to take these trees to the next level. Each tree was discussed in turn and then I pruned them as required.

A growing plan for the forthcoming season was then outlined for each tree. With some good controlled vigorous growth we should be able to notice quite a difference by the end of the year.

 

Classroom Corner – Academy Class January 2018

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 – Academy Class January 2018

This was the first meeting of my Academy 9/11 group and the first Academy session of the year. I presented the group with a number of trees for discussion.

The discussions would then lead to selective ( in some cases drastic ) pruning, extensive cleaning of trunks and deadwood, and some wiring/styling.

The material was varied and of good quality with excellent potential. I was looking for good work and a good result!

 

 

Classroom Corner – Johns Larch 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 – Johns Larch Forest

John arrived at a recent midweek class with literally a “load” of trees! He had been cultivating these young Larch trees and now wanted help in putting them together as a forest.

First we selected the ones that we thought we could use together and removed them from their pots. In selecting and arranging the trees consideration was given to trunk diameter, height and movement.

Positioning the trees on the slab also involved allowing scope for some negative open space. Keto was used to help hold the compost and planting in position.

The last job was the selection and pruning of branches. The soil areas will be covered with moss once John gets the tree home.

These Larch forests mature and develop very quickly into a convincing landscape Bonsai.

Classroom Corner – Thinning out….Spruce and 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 – Thinning out …..Spruce and Juniper

These two trees were recently brought along to an open workshop for advice on the dense foliage canopies after a season of good growth. Kevin’s Spruce and Alan’s Juniper are two very good trees.

The Ezo Spruce originated in Japan and is very much in the old natural style of Bonsai. To try and restyle this tree with a more modern strict tree-like approach would destroy it’s character and diminish it’s quality.

It was a matter of selecting branches and twigs for removal to let more light/air into the canopy whilst at the same time refining the contours of the foliage clouds.

The Juniper Squamata Meyerii had been created from field grown stock and since it’s original styling the progress is simply remarkable. Alan had followed my instructions over the past few years really well which has resulted in a dense foliage canopy.

Once again extensive thinning out of branches,twigs and shoots was required to let more light and air into the tree. The branches can now be more clearly defined by another wiring which will then provide a more accurate guide for pinching during the next growing season.

The target now is for tighter more compact foliage clouds.

Two great trees to have in a workshop to discuss their progress, watch what happens and then see the plan for the next stage of development. But then this is what the classroom is all about…….together we learn!!

Classroom Corner – Case Study….Ians Juniper Squamata (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….Ians Juniper Squamata (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.

This Juniper has come such a long way in less than 12 months. The first pictures were taken on December 18th 2016 when we started work on the tree on our Christmas Special class.

The trunks have since been extensively carved whilst the branches have been wired prior to styling. The last pictures were taken recently on 4th November when the shari area was widened to take account of the tree narrowing it’s live veins. The bark to be removed was first marked with chalk.

Classroom Corner – All in a days work!

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 – All in a days work!

A few before and afters from a recent Sunday workshop. For some deciduous trees it was a chance to carry out some autumn pruning to correct this year’s growth. This includes a Maple, pear tree, and a Potentilla.

The small Privet had become very dense and needed a really thorough cleaning out. The Cedrus Atlantica was wired and styled.

The pines were pruned ready to be wired over the winter……and in one case we decided to cut the top off to get a better line and a more compact tree.

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.