Classroom Corner – Roy’s Tesco 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 – Roy’s Tesco Juniper
I generally go to Roy’s to work on his trees which are too big to get in the car and bring to class. I have been known to help students by pruning their trees to fit their cars but this is not always in theirs or their trees best interests!!!
Such was the case last August when amongst other things I was asked to work on a rather large formal Juniper.
A few years earlier Roy had been given permission to remove the tree from Tesco’s car park and when you look at the state of the poor thing in the first picture you can understand why they were probably glad to see the back of it. Apparently it had been whacked by snow ploughs and god only knows what else!
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You can see quite clearly that Roy has done an amazingly good job in transplanting the tree from it’s somewhat precarious location into the confines of a substantial bonsai pot. The tree was in extremely good health and was growing well. I had done some selective pruning on an earlier visit in April.
It was now a case of applying some fairly hefty wire on to most of the major branches and then using guy wires to help pull most of these branches down. Some fine branches were also wired to help shape the beginnings of an apex.
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After this initial styling session it is fairly obvious that the tree has great potential. In due course a shari can be introduced to the front of the trunk to add character and greatly improve it’s appearance.
I am happy to have done my bit to help this tree on his way and look forward to helping Roy do a little bit more in due course……because with this tree more than any other I can assure you that….”every little helps!”

Memory Lane – 2005 – New arrivals from Japan

Looking back….we can tell a tree’s story…..admire an image…..capture a moment…..remember a special event… inspired – to create a memory for tomorrow. 

I hope you enjoy this regular peep into some of John’s bonsai history.

Memory Lane – 2005 New arrivals from Japan
Pictured below are some of the trees we acquired from Japan at the end of January 2005.
Some of these trees are really exceptional. Three of them have never left the nursery whilst one of them has recently returned………but can you guess which ones?
All of the other trees were sold……I wonder where they are now and how they are doing??? Let me know if you recognise any.
New trees 2005 001 New trees 2005 002 New trees 2005 003 New trees 2005 004 New trees 2005 005 New trees 2005 006 New trees 2005 007 New trees 2005 008 New trees 2005 010 New trees 2005 011 New trees 2005 014 New trees 2005 016

Latest News – New Class Dates Released August – December 2014

It’s great to be back after a short break, hopefully with news and blogs to stir up some interest.

What better way to come back than with the launch of our Autumn schedule of classes….. 44 new dates in total hopefully with something for everyone.

Plenty of midweek and open workshops, with a few extra time class for those requiring a little more attention. Specific species classes on Maples, Pines, Junipers, Larch and Taxus.

Technique classes on wiring and deadwood/carving…….IMG_0727

……..and a really special Christmas special!

So have a browse under “courses and information” see what you fancy and then contact the nursery to book your place. The popular classes fill up very quickly so don’t take too long……….look forward to seeing you and your trees in the classroom.

Still a few places left in July if you can’t wait for August.

Don’t forget you can now follow us on Facebook.

Best wishes to you all…………john.

Studio Stories – Taxus Cuspidata from Korea (Part Three)

Sometimes I work on nursery trees, sometimes I work on client’s trees……and sometimes if I’ve been a really good boy I get to work on my own trees. Hopefully these regular visits will give you an insight into what goes on behind closed doors……….

Studio Stories – Taxus Cuspidata from Korea (Part Three)

Parts one and two of this blog were posted on the 1st and 22nd of May 2014 under Studio Stories. The last post finished with the tree’s appearance in Newstead 3 in September 2008.

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The first two pictures show the tree starting into growth in April 2009. The third picture above and the first one below show the tree in July 2009 continuing to grow well.

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The last two pictures above and the three below show the tree in September 2009.

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One year since his show appearance and having been left to grow and recover he is now given a pruning to shape with some thinning out and removal of branch extensions.

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The first picture above shows the tree at the beginning of April 2010 just coming into growth. By the end of May this growth has really accelerated and you can see the results in the second two pictures.

April and May 2010 004 Nov 2010 Taxus 001 Nov 2010 Taxus 002

The first picture above shows this new growth in the process of being cut back. The last two pictures above and the three below show the tree in October of the same year.

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This time I really got into the tree again with some severe pruning to open up spaces and identify foliage clouds. The outline of the whole tree is greatly reduced. With no wire on board the tree is not in bad shape.

With no show appearances to focus on the tree has basically been allowed to grow normally with some routine maintenance and shaping work. For the next two years the tree was to some degree left to grow freely with just routine watering and feeding. Moving the nursery and having a heart attack generally stopped me from giving my trees the close attention they normally enjoy. I think most of them loved it…..water, food, sun, and shelter but no scissors or cutters……at last a chance to stretch out and reach for the sky……but all good things must come to an end and for this tree it started in 2013………Part Four!

Topical Times – Academy Class – Afternoon session

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

Topical Times – Academy Class – Afternoon session

Our last post under the “Topical Times” banner was on the 19th May and detailed the morning session of a recent academy class where we caught up on a number of ongoing projects.

In the afternoon we turned our attention to some grafting. We have already had some good results with approach grafting using Ittogawa rooted cuttings.

We now wanted to experiment using the scion sealed bag technique. A rather leggy Juniper Pfitzeriana was used as the host tree.

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The method was discussed and suitable Ittogawa material was obtained from some of our stock plants. The cuttings were grafted onto branches and then placed in sealed polythene bags together with some damp sphagnum moss. One cutting was not placed in  a bag so that the results could be compared.

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Next it was the turn of some tall Trident Maples where the tops had already been air layered. The foliage was reduced and a selection of branches made.

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Some branches were deliberately left long and used to make a thread graft in the lower section of the trunk.

This was quite an intense days work, catching up with all the past creations in the morning and starting some new projects in the afternoon. These are invaluable lessons for the students as together they witness and execute established bonsai techniques that they can then apply to improve or enlarge their own collections. Looking forward to the next catch-up already !!!…….