Studio Stories – Pruning….. a Midweek workshop!

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 – Pruning….. a Midweek workshop 

Interesting mix of material turned up at a recent midweek workshop and included the trees below. All of them required some autumn pruning!

The dwarf honeysuckle Lonicera had been allowed to grow freely and now required some definition. Extended shoots were selected and pruned back to a basic structure. This will now form the framework for next year’s growth and allow branches and foliage clouds to be developed. To a large degree this tree benefits from being treated almost like topiary.

The Cedar is developing really well and was pruned back in anticipation of wiring. This next wiring should really define this tree and show a good image.

The small half cascade Blue Carpet Juniper has a lovely intertwining live vein and shari. Once again it was lightened and pruned ready for wiring.

This small needle Pine is probably variety Zuisho. It stands now without wire and was pruned to refine its appearance. You can see how much was pruned out but this is almost like a “spot the difference puzzle”……can you see where it came from? Excellent tree!

Memory Lane – Yamadorii Larch January 2013

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 – Yamadorii Larch January 2013

This was one of two large Larch Bonsai that we had for sale. They had been collected on the Alps.

After a general pruning the tree was totally rewired……as you can imagine…..a lot of detailed work. The deadwood on the shari was opened up and improved at the same time.

When you see how the tree looks when it is starting to leaf out you realise just how worthwhile it is to do this work!

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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Topical Times – Styling an old Juniper

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

Topical Times – Styling an old Juniper 

This tree probably arrived from Japan back in the very early days when the first imported Bonsai were just beginning to arrive in England. At that time it would have been very highly regarded as a superior Bonsai, the likes of which we had not seen before.

It appeared in many of the larger national Bonsai exhibitions up and down the country. Times change, there are “new Bonsai on the block” and the tree was sold. Sadly the tree struggled and when my student finally acquired it the tree was in very poor condition.

Over the past few years it has simply been a case of nurturing the tree back into good health. With new growth, vigour and good colour the tree was at last ready for a styling. It arrived recently on a class totally wired and ready for branch positioning.

The tree is now well on its way to regaining some of its former glory and really does look well. Foliage areas will be refined and reduced to improve the tree’s appearance but this work will be carried out in sympathy with maintaining the tree in good health.

Studio Stories – A busy one to one…..

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 – A busy one to one…..

Andrew recently visited the studio for a one to one and what a busy interesting day it turned out to be.

One small needle white pine basically just needed cleaning out. This tree will be fed well next year and allowed to grow freely in preparation for wiring and styling in the autumn of 2018.

Multiple trunks had to be removed from the Taxus Bacatta to create a better more impressive nebari. A first branch selection was also made. This tree will be allowed to grow freely next year.

The second White Pine had originated in Japan but had then been field grown in Europe. Needles were cleaned out, branches selected, and then together we completely wired and styled the tree.

It was decision time for the Mugo Pine. The image was not really working with the two well branched trunks. We decided in favour of the smaller trunk which was then cleaned out, wired, and styled. Bark was stripped off the taller trunk and it was made into deadwood. With a smaller pot this will develop into a very dramatic little tree.

This was a good day with much to see for our deliberations and hard work. Andrew has already booked his next session……wonder what he will be bringing with him then??….