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!



Latest News – Extra workshop date added in March!

March has been sold out for weeks and I have had to turn many students away. There are only a few spaces left in April.

I have therefore decided to add an extra open workshop…….

Saturday 17th March…..Open Workshop!

2 places already sold before it hit the website! If you want to book your place contact John as soon as possible!

Topical Times – Larch forest repotted

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

Topical Times – Larch forest repotted

This substantial Larch forest from our sales benches was originally put together in the 1980’s. It had not been repotted for over 6 years so it was brought in to the studio on a recent academy class.

The rocks were removed and the tree was lifted from the pot. I examined and trimmed back the rootball explaining to the students what I was doing as the work progressed.

The tree was then placed back in the pot and the students helped with backfilling the compost. The rocks were then repositioned in a similar setting to where they were.

The pot really suits the group having been specially commissioned from Bryan Albright. The trees were also trimmed back so now the forest is back on the bench and ready to go when spring finally arrives.

Studio Stories – Busy day on a recent one to two!

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 – Busy day on a recent one to two!

There was certainly plenty for me to do on a recent one to two with Rob and Bob.

The Arakawa or cork bark Maple had been wired ready for branch positioning and repotting. We will refine this tree further once it is in leaf.

The Juniper Squamata Meyerii and the Chinensis had also both been wired ready for styling and branch positioning.

The large Larch was also styled and then pruned back to it’s profile. The Larch forest had grown really well and required extensive pruning. Lower branches were left long and will be allowed to grow further to thicken them.

Hard work before the class in terms of rewiring meant that we could achieve so much more on all these trees in a single day.

Memory Lane – Dianes Scots Pine Forest

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 – Diane’s Scots Pine Forest

Diane started this forest from young saplings with virtually no branches, a few shoots and long needles. To say she started this on her own with very little knowledge and experience the result is quite amazing.

I think I have been involved since about 2009 providing advice on cultivation and carrying out an annual pruning/thinning out of shoots and branches. I helped her repot the tree in 2013 and again in 2017.

It is just so nice to see a forest planting of Scots Pines in this size where everything is now in scale…..the trunks, branches, and needle length. This is shaping up to be an excellent bonsai and Diane should really be proud of what she has achieved.

I have tried to put the pictures in chronological order so hopefully you can appreciate the development process.


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.

Latest News – February….Extra Saturday Class

There will now be an Open Workshop on Saturday 17th February.

This is a busy time of year in the Bonsai calendar as the repotting season gets under way and trees start to wake up and grow. Classes at the school in February, March and April are virtually sold out.

Hopefully this extra date will help deal with the excess demand and appeal to those of you disappointed at not being able to get on a class. It may also appeal to those of you with too much work to do and not enough time on the classes you have already booked.

if you are interested contact John as soon as possible to book your place.