Several years ago, the club decided to award a merit shield to a club member, together with a voucher to attend one of John Trott’s workshops near Shepton Mallet, so not too far away. This was decided by the current committee and consideration was given to the improvement of members trees, what that member had contributed to the club and which member’s trees would benefit from a workshop. John is well known in bonsai circles and regularly displays a major events and RHS shows. In 2019 he was recognised by the RHS [Royal Horticultural Society] as their ‘Master Grower’ for that year………

Way back at the 2020 AGM, just before the first lockdown this award was presented to David, but due to the virus he wasn’t able to attend a workshop until May 2021………… this is his report and photographs of the day.

I had a very enjoyable day with John for the Maple workshop. There were 5 of us attending the workshop and all Covid regulations were strictly adhered to.

After introductions John gave a demonstration and brief about leaf pruning of Maples with some important “Dos and Don’ts”.  He advised that it was beneficial to remove the lower and larger leaves leaving the smaller leaves on the tree so the process of photosynthesis isn’t halted. Also, the tree should not be fed for between 4 and 6 weeks This is to ensure that the new growth results in smaller leaves.  John then went around the room with each of the attendees having one of their trees examined by John and recommendations made.

The next photo is a “before photo” of a stunning Maple with what was considered a major defect. The tree had a lovely trunk taper but the two opposing lower branches caused a lot of discussion.

The next photo shows the tree having one of the lower branches removed and sealing paste applied. Also, the new lengthy growth has been removed.

Some major work with this maple as the top of the tree has lost it’s taper due to excessive growth.

I did not have any Japanese Maples to take with me and the stump Field Maple I took had powdery mildew on a few leaves. Understandably, John requested that I didn’t take this tree into the workshop for risk of infecting other trees. He gave us a brief on the use of SB Plant Invigorator & Bug Killer which was very useful.

At lunchtime I selected a tree from John’s nursery, a Hawthorn which had an interesting trunk and also some flower buds about to open.

With John’s supervision I commenced work by the removal of new & excessive growth. Next all downward growing leaves and tiny branches were removed and unwanted branches in the crown also removed. Finally, a few branches were wired to create a little more balance in the tree.

I will certainly by attending more of John’s workshops in the future. I did ask John’s permission to take the photos and explained you would be doing a write up for our club. I hope this resume of the workshop is helpful.

Thanks to David for the write up and pictures and also John for his efforts with the workshops. Luckily he is able to resume workshops for this year and a list of them are on his Mendip Bonsai Studio web site……..

Sorry David but the Shield has to be returned for the AGM in March 2022 and if all back to normal it will go to another club member.