July posting


This is a contribution from one of our members who has a passion for Ficus with his commentary.

All these figs are still a long way off being Bonsai, unfortunately the growing season in the UK is not long enough to get the growth needed to Bonsai the figs.

The light levels are not high enough to achieve shorter internodes and smaller leaves. I am just happy to grow all different species/cultivars of figs.

Air layer

This is an Acer obtained recently grown more as a patio plant, but when seen it had the potential to be a twin trunk if it could be air layered so taking a gamble that there is just enough time to establish it before Autumn sets in it was air layered this month.

As you will see 1st pic is how it was before starting, 2nd pic the top cut on the trunk has been cut just below where the two trunks split and hopefully the new roots will generate from for its new base making sure that the cuts are clean and the trunk scraped to ensure no tissue can form a bridge across the cleaned area.

Pic 3 is the clear plastic packed with moss tight as possible to make good contact with the cut area.

4th pic is the black plastic now wrapped round to keep out the light from any roots forming and to keep a warm environment for them

Will see how this progresses.

This is the thinning out of a Deshojo Acer which was featured in the May posting it has put on tremendous growth with many new shoots but it is time to set the branches for its future so it has been cut back drastically taking out all surplus shoots and any large leaves.

The tree can now put its energy into only the structure that has been left.

June posting

The hot dry conditions of May now going into June are challenging to say the least but trees seem to be putting on good growth some acers are showing signs of leaf scorch possibly not had time to harden off the spring growth.

Posting some pics of members trees in flower and my pics of the first styling to the club project Yew we had.

You may remember that when we had them they looked good but did go back as we went into summer and some have been lost, with my tree I just potted it into a large pot and left it feeding it regularly when I could see it was pushing new growth.

This year as you will see it is looking healthy so decided to carry out initial first styling only to establish an image, will let it rest now for this year and hope it will continue to regrow.

If you have any pics of your club Yews no matter what state would be grateful if you could send them to me, please try to take pics against a plain background.

Have also posted some pics of Lee Verhorevoorts new trees at his nursery, open by appointment only at this moment but you only need to phone him to arrange a visit.

Lee,s Trees

Flowering and thinning out

Few pics of some members trees the shohin Hawthorn is a double red variety which might explain why for its size it outperforms larger Hawthorns for number of flowers,

Now is also the time to be looking at thinning deciduous trees the previous warm weeks have brought on long extension growths and will probably have covered your trees in leaf.

They will require thinning out the old adage of let the light in should me your mantra, if your trees are healthy they will have sprouted long shoots as well as many new shoots particularly Acers.

I look at my trees and access what shoots I want to keep and cut out any that are not in the image I want, they just waste the trees energy, any long shoots be aware of the increasing distance between nodes and cut back to a suitable node, to keep the balance bearing in mind as you work your way up the tree these distances between nodes should get shorter.

The above help let light into the tree but also if you have a large amount of leaves they should be thinned out as well either by cutting off the leaf and leaving a small stalk to die back or cutting large leaves in half.

This is something I do throughout the summer if the tree is vigorous

If you don’t let the light into the tree the shaded shoots will die and you will not get fine ramification.

Here are some before and after pics of thinning out some little acers,

Air layering and thread grafting

These are some pics of an Acer Palmatum that was acquired few years ago, its main attraction then was it had a good trunk and was cheap.

It was planted in the ground and basically forgotten save for clipping back any long growth for about for about four years, it was lifted in 2018 and planted in a washing up bowl.

When it was potted up it had had a major fault in that it had a very ugly large root base and the two trunks were too high above the base, so in the spring of 2019 it was air layered with a third branch close to where the two main trunks split wired up to make a triple trunk, in August 2019 the wrapping around the roots was taken off this proved very successful as you will see the large root mass formed.

The tree was left to grow unchecked for rest of 2019, in March this year before the tree started budding there were areas where there were no branches some of the long extension shoots were selected a hole was drilled through the trunk angled slightly down and the shoot threaded through and sealed with paste.

The hope is over the next couple of years the tree will take up supplying these shoots with sap and they can be detached from the donor shoot and become branches.

Last week the tree was thinned out leaving only the branches required for its future development.

Lodder Bonsai Open Weekend 2020

A small group of members made our annual pilgrimage to Lodder Bonsai for their open weekend.

This year as well as having regular traders selling pots, scrolls, sushi and Bonsai related items we were amazed at the quality of Bonsai Gerrit had been able to scource.

From Shohin upwards there was so much to look at and to suit most pockets, we all agreed it was one of the best years for choice and well worth the long trek.

Here are some more pics of the open week end and Bonsai display

Swindon Winter Image Show 2020

Another year passed so quickly and we are at the 2020, hopefully it will have been a success for Swindon Bonsai club because the trees displayed both club and individual was high in number and quality.

Have added gallery of pics from the show.

Pots made with Tony

The club had two meetings involving a pottery workshop with Tony Oswin.

At the first meeting Tony supplied all the materials and took club members through the working of the clay, the modeling and the various effects that can be produced, members could go free hand or try a traditional shaped pot.

These pots were then taken away allowed to dry fired and then Tony brought them back in, and at this meeting he explained the use of glazes and how to apply them we were then allowed to make a huge mess glazing our pots, these were then taken away an given their final firing.

The results were much anticipated as there is no guarantee on the final finish below are some of the pots in their finished state.

Feedback from members was excellent all enjoyed the whole process many thanks to Tony for this.

Lee Verhorevoort workshop 2019

We always enjoy a workshop with Lee not only do you get a chance to have expert advice on your own trees but just listening to his comments on other members trees you learn so much. Most of us have learned that if your tree requires wiring do it before the workshop and as Lee circulates round shall I say briskly you don’t hang about working on you trees.

Here are some pics of the day.