Studio Stories – Student John’s Juniper Pfitzeriana

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 – Student John’s Juniper Pfitzeriana

This Juniper has recently attended two classes in the studio and you can certainly see a difference.

On the first visit we discussed the tree and it’s possibilities. I pruned away all the branches that I thought we would not require. John then had to take the tree home to be wired. This included some raffia and longitudinal wires on the main trunk as we envisaged some serious bending being required.

On the second visit, with most of the wiring completed I was able to set about positioning all the branches hoping to bring the foliage much closer to the trunk. The result is quite a dramatic change.

This tree has a very impressive substantial trunk with interesting deadwood and Shari. The foliage silhouette is now much more compact and in keeping with the nature of the trunk. This tree has a great future to look forward to!

Memory Lane – Newstead 4, 2010…..a touch of colour!

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 – Newstead 4, 2010…..a touch of colour!

Newstead 4 in September 2010 was an amazing exhibition. There was such a variety of trees, both in conifers and deciduous species.

There was every shade of green you could imagine but there was also a subtle touch of colour……a touch of class!!

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!!!

Latest News – Class availability……September

Wed 6th       Midweek workshop             Sold out

Sat 9th          Open workshop                  Sold out

Sun 10th        Junipers two                      1 place

Sat 16th         Open workshop                  Sold out

Wed 20th       Midweek workshop             2 places


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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Memory Lane – Cedrus Atlantica Glauca

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 – Cedrus Atlantica Glauca

Can’t really remember where this tree originally came from…….it was the beginning of 1999 after all! I do know that this was when it was potted up into a large mica training pot. It must have seemed drastic at the time because I cut off the top and kept it so I had something to gauge how well the tree was recovering.

It was a bit disconcerting to see the bit I had cut off was sprouting stronger than the tree itself!! The tree grew well that summer and I decided to use it for a demonstration at the Norfolk bonsai society in November of that year.

You can see from the before and after pictures that I really had to compact the foliage to reduce the trees height and take full advantage of its impressive base.

The tree progressed well in the ensuing years and when Craig Coussins asked me to do an article for inclusion in his “Bonsai School” book I decided to use this tree and its story.

At one of our Newstead shows, I think it was 2006, I was asked if I would sell the tree and decided to let it go. I knew it would be going to a good home and it would be going back to Norfolk where it’s major transformation had begun……. a fitting end for what was becoming a very good tree.