This was a very helpful workshop in which we all gained from, in more ways than one. Lee helped all of us assess our trees from new perspectives

and helped us to understand what the next steps were in order to develop our trees further. It was a great opportunity to learn about how to encourage the best results from your tree. Lee is very knowledgeable each tree species and provides species specific guidance and advice from how to maintain your tree from a health aspect to that of pruning and shaping it. We all had many opportunities throughout the whole day workshop to spend time with Lee working on our trees as well as observing him work on other peoples trees with them to learn about their species of trees too.

I found the workshop extremely useful as I had bought along some of my Taiwan Figs to work on. I have tended on these two trees to only prune the new growth at this stage to reduce the leaf size which has been good. It has also helped to produce a more compact crown, as well as maintain a high level of vigour in the trees. However, I had not addressed the overall styling and structure of these Fig trees and one of them had two main leaders which conflicted with one another. Lee advised that in order to develop this tree, that one of the leaders should be removed, and to retain the leader with the most taper. Furthermore, that I should then wire down some of the side branches to form a better overall branch line and crown shape, as Figs naturally tend to have a very upright branching habit. The end result was very pleasing and I hope that it will now back bud and grow on to fill in the space created as the wiring has allowed for more light to the branches.

A range of tree species were worked upon by Club Members including an Olive, Chinese Elms, Junipers, Spruce, English Yew, Trident Maple, Bougainvillea, Chinese Privet, Quince, Pistachio, Holly, Lonicera, and Box. Lee did some carving on a group of three Box which had great trunks and will over time become a great group bonsai and then worked with Paul H to prune the crowns. Paul B wired his Holly and got some ideas for his Juniper. David discussed the next steps for his Elm which has a great trunk and fabulous bark. Sally worked on her English Yew and repositioned the branches using wire and the lowest branch was removed to aid with the overall design.

Here are a selection of images from our workshop today…

We also asked Lee for his views on one of the Club trees which Paul kindly brought along, the Juniper and we discussed what were the next steps now that the tree was in better health. Many suggestions were run through but the consensus was to reduce the overall size of the Juniper down to a more compact form by raising up using clamps and wire the branch with the most natural taper and shape to it as well as creating a cascade with another lower branch. We also discussed re-potting and re-positioning of the tree within the pot to provide a better overall design to the trunk lines. At this stage no work was carried out on the tree, and the final design will be decided once all the Club members have had the opportunity to provide their ideas.

Lee bought some trees to sell to the Club members and we couldn’t resist, and Lee will be at the Bonsai Traders Show at Capel Manor tomorrow ( between 10am and 4pm. He is also going to be at our 10th Winter Image Show on Sunday 19th February 2012 if you want more opportunities to buy excellent quality trees at a range of prices to suit all. Otherwise have a look at his website at