Terry Adams discussing his English Elm (Ulmus procera)

During the evening meeting there was a critique of club members’ trees for anyone who wanted guidance and to share their thoughts on the development of their trees and the first to share their thoughts was Terry Adams as he discussed his new project, a recently purchased English Elm (Ulmus procera). Terry put forward his ideas on how he planned to develop the tree and perhaps remove the top branch that veers to the right as it has a deep undercut. He talked about whether he would air layer it as well as develop the other elements of the tree that formed a natural raft. He also proposed to drill through the cavity and develop a central crown on the main trunk and subsidiary crowns on the side trunks to the right.

English Yew tree

The shari on the Yew

Shari in detail

Close up of the carving

This English yew (Taxus baccata) is a collected tree that formed a small formal hedge in a garden of a site that being developed for housing back in around 2004. Derek has been working on the shari down the front of the tree in addition to the branch development and using wire guys to aid with bending branches down. He asked for views on his progress so far and ways to develop it further. Suggestions included to widen the shari at the base and make it deeper to add more depth either with a dremel or hand chisels in addition to carving more out of the top as this section is thickening quicker. The callous around the edges of the shari have sealed (rolled over) well and this has been aided by the application of cut paste at the time of carving in 2010. A further suggestion was to pull of some of the leaves to encourage back budding and re-shooting and to pull these off in the direction of the branch. The discusion expanded out to a debate on the natural shape of English Yews being that of a very upward branching habit as opposed to the style chosen for this tree of pads more like a Juniper or Cedar. Also discussed as part of the tree critique were a Japanese Yew (Taxus cuspidata), a Korean Hornbeam (Carpinus turczaninowii), and a Needle Juniper (Juniperus rigida).

In addition to the tree critique, the AGM and the programme for 2011/2012 club members brought in a range of trees for interest and general discussion and here is a selection.

Common Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) owned by Paul Bowerbank.

Japanese Maple (Acer Palmatum

Ash (Fraxinus spp.) owned by Derek May purchased from Lodder bonsai nursery in the Netherlands in 2006. It was re-potted in 2008 in a pot made by Derek at a swindon & district bonsai club workshop with Reg Bolton

Cotoneaster in the style of root over rock owned by Sally May purchased at the Brighton & Hove bonsai show in 2009

Japanese flowering quince (Chaenomeles japonica) purchased from Lee Verhorevoort Bonsai in 2010 and owned by Ross Addison

Japanese Black pine (Pinus thunbergii) purchased from Greenwood bonsai at the Joy of Bonsai show in 2009 and owned by Sally May

Korean Hornbeam (Carpinus turczaninowii) purchased from Lodders bonsai nursery in the Netherlands in 2011 and owned by Amelia Williams

Chinese Climbing Rose or Lady Banks


Mame collection belonging to Mike Partridge

This Mame collection contains three trees all less than 6 inches in height and all grown from cuttings by Mike and the species are a Firethorn (Pyracantha ‘Orange glow’) approximately 6-7 years old, a Forsythia now eight years old and finally a Cotoneaster around 4 years old.

Looking forward to the next club meeting which is a Springtime workshop on the 12th April which follows on from hopefully a great weekend on the 9th and 10th April at the Best of British Bonsai show which is held at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and includes an exhibition, demonstrations, trade fair, and lots more.