Saturday’s Bonsai School

Peter Snart from Willowbog Bonsai in Hexham come over with a van load of bonsai goodies on Friday night to start what was to be a great weekend of bonsai activity for the NIBS.

We managed to get everything unpacked on the Friday night. The venue was Ian’s garden in Ards and his back garden became a temporary sales area with his garage being transformed into a classroom.

Unpacking the van

Garden Sales area

Between 9am and 10am on Saturday morning, Club members where able to browse the wares and make any quick purchases before the school started.

At 10am ish :-) everyone moved inside the garage to get the school under way.

Peter started off the morning session with a discussion on what problems members had experienced with their bonsai since the February School. This covered frost damage, wind burn and other weather related topics.

As part of the next session on pruning deciduous bonsai, Peter covered the reasons why we defoliate some deciduous bonsai at this time of year. A full run down on this will soon be available on our you tube channel video series. Peter worked his way through a few bonsai that had been brought by members to be examined as part of the school. One of these trees was a triple trunk Deshojo  Maple that was full of branch problems. In leaf this was hard to assess, so a quick defoliation was arranged and we could see the tree in all it’s glory, well…

Leaves hiding the branch problems

Poor front choice and many bad branches with poor structure. Typical issues with mass imported material.
Let the cutting commence

A new front and many of the problem branches have been removed. To some this seems brutal, but a problem this year will be a bigger problem next year. Better to make the hard decisions now and start off on the right path.

Another large Maple was defoliated and was used as an example of how to develope branch structure on the interior of the tree.

Peter earned his supper during this eight hour school day and I for one learned a thing or two about deciduous bonsai.