December Guest Speaker

KAREN O’HANLON is the founder of a microbiological based company called Probio Carbon Ltd. She has developed a range of bacterial, biochar, and seaweed-based products for use as biological fertilisers, as an alternative to chemical fertilisers. She has coordinated field trials across Europe using these products. Using her extensive knowledge in this field she has created a range of products specifically for bonsai and results have been extremely positive.

Karen will be with us on Friday 10th December at 8pm at Fisherwick Presbyterian Church Halls, Malone Road Belfast. She will be outlining the benefits of using bacteria to help grow our bonsai and will be open for any questions you might have.

To keep you informed in the meantime and to stimulate a few questions, here are some articles worth reading before attending.

Plant growth promoting bacteria – the future of horticulture? – Karen O’Hanlon

Growing pains for Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria – Dr Karen O’Hanlon

Bonsai in Ireland: A Very Bright Future – Michael Guerin & Dr. Karen

The following video includes an interview by Peter Warren with Karen. Feel free to watch the full live stream recording or skip to 49 minutes mark for Karen.

This video has Peter Warren taking you through some of the products available from Probio Carbon.

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November Meeting!

Yes, you read that right! We are back to having meetings again. Friday 12th November at 8pm.

However we have had a temporary change of venue. We are now meeting in:

Fisherwick Presbyterian Church Halls

Click above to see location on google maps. A great location nice and central in Belfast with state of the art facilities for us to use. If you are unsure, drop us a query to and we will help.

We will be having a workshop session with those attending working their own trees with help available if needed. We will focus on seasonal deciduous pruning, but any species can be brought along. If you have a tree in good Autumn colour bring it along and share.

Please be aware that we will be complying with Covid protocols and ask those attending to mask up. If you are feeling unwell we would ask that you not attend.

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Club Garden Visit

On Saturday 14th August NI Bonsai Society members are invited along to the garden of Ian Young in Newtownards.

Starting at 1pm those attending can drop in during the day and walk the garden and check out Ian’s collection of bonsai. Ian will be giving mini tours of the benches talking about the trees, accents and elements of the gardens design.

There will be a basic BBQ for those who want to grab ma burger or hotdog and beer for those how can and wish to partake.

Some plants cannot receive the sun light directly, a good way to protect them is installing an aluminum pergola Arizona, besides looking really good will work perfectly for this purpose.

For further details please contact Ian via email

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Walk on the Wild Side

Better late than Never, some photos from our club wood walk back in July. This turned out to be a poplar event and a very enjoyable walk with friends studying trees in nature and seeing how we can bring these elements into our bonsai.

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Walk in The Woods

Now for something a little different. On Saturday 17th July at 10am the club will be meeting at the carpark at Cairn Wood for a guided walk into the old growth forest to study the characteristics of old trees and discuss how we can emulate this in our bonsai.

The wood has some stunning Beech, Oak, Sycamore, Birch and Scots Pine showing great deadwood and growing in many styles such as raft, multi-trunk etc.

Some stunning views from the top of the wood overlooking Strangford Lough.

We plan to walk at a slow pace with frequent stops over a 4-5 km loop. Nothing too strenuous but we will be leaving the hardcore path for roughly half the walk and the trails are uneven with a lot of trip hazards. Please dress appropriately.

We will also be looking at the forest floor and seeing what we can use for inspiration for accents and kusamono.

There is also a small chance that we might get a sighting of the elusive Cairn Wood Yeti!

Interested in joining us? We start the walk at 10am sharp. As there’s a take away coffee van in the car park I would suggest arrival between 9.30 and 10am allowing us to grab a coffee before we start the walk.

The location for Satnav for those who don’t know the area is 21 Craigantlet Road BT23 4TE. For more info or advice please contact us on

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