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Classroom Corner – Sometimes it’s all down to one branch….!

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 – Sometimes it’s all down to one branch….!
Bonsai come to classes in all shapes and sizes, evergreen and deciduous, starter material and specimens. Sometimes the advice is simple and straight forward…..maybe just one branch needs to be removed.
Sometimes it can be a bit more drastic…….when the best way forward is to remove everything except one branch and just work with this.
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Susan’s Hawthorn lacked taper and structure. Extensive deadwood is created to taper the trunk, the planting angle is altered, and a side branch will become the new trunk line.
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Rob’s Hawthorn appears to have a nice foliage shape but there are multiple trunks which are too thick and parallel. The selected trunk can give better taper, form, movement and character.
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Dean’s Pyracantha has branches and trunks in all directions so you just know the solution will be drastic!
After air layers had been removed from Frank’s Trident Maple the base had been allowed to sprout and grow freely. It was now time to make a new selection.
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Lou’s impressive evergreen Oak already has a good canopy but rather than fatten up the lower branch it is better to remove it and open up the space.
Phil’s San Jose Juniper raft suggests a windswept location with the trunks and branches growing towards the left. Once the strong branch growing in the wrong direction at the front right corner is removed unity is restored to the whole composition.
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Sometimes one branch can become so important that it defines the whole identity of the tree. The crucial point is often identifying the branch and then deciding how to deal with it……..get it wrong and………….!!!