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Classroom Corner – “Get by with a little help from your friend…..”

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 – “Get by with a little help from your friend…..”
Last week one of the trees Roy brought to the open workshop was his Sango-Kaku Maple, a beautiful species with it’s stand out red bark. It wasn’t until I received a series of pictures from Roy that I realised just how far he had come with this tree.
1 # 7-4-08 2 # 11-7-08 3 # 5-12-08
The first three pictures above were taken in April, July and December 2008. Roy managed to create a flowing new trunk line and achieve vigorous growth in the same season which would help the tree’s recovery and progress. He also carried out some excellent carving/hollowing work which has helped to blend in pruning scars and promote the appearance of a much older tree.
4 # 10-11-11 5 # 26-5-12 6 # 26-5-12
The first picture above was taken in November 2011 and the tree has continued to grow well. The last two pictures are before and after shots taken in May 2012 at what I believe was the trees first visit to a Newstead bonsai workshop. The strong early growth has enabled us to make a branch selection and remove a considerable amount of foliage.
7 # 10-11-12 8 # 10-11-12 9 # 31-5-13
The tree returned in November and having put on another good flush of growth was again drastically pruned to help build the correct structure and to remove long internodes. The final picture shows the tree in May 2013 with more controlled compact growth.
10 # 1-6-13 11 # 21-11-13 maples 1 after (3)
The first picture shows the tree after leaves have been removed and some pruning adjustments made in May 2013. The middle picture is from November 2013, the leaves have gone and the improving structure is now clearly visible. The final picture was taken last week. the extended branches have been wired into position and then safely pruned to shape(no bleeding occurred because the sap was flowing).
Roy now has his advice for the coming season to control the growth to continue to fatten the lower branches and refine the apex. Roy has done an amazing job in a relatively short space of time and is creating an admirable bonsai from very humble beginnings. This is Roy’s tree, it’s his work…….. with just a little help from a friend!