We always enjoy visiting Kew Gardens during the dormant season; they have a fantastic selection of trees and calling in at this time of year allows you to see the structure of the plants better. And no trip to Kew Gardens is complete without popping into the Bonsai House and seeing how the collection is going.
Removing needles can be as important as pruning branches, in order to stimulate back-budding and develop branch structure. As with most evergreen conifers the normal approach is to cut back to something green but if there isn’t anything growing lower down a branch, what do you do? A fellow club member asked me to look at his Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii) at a recent show as he was concerned about this.
A change from the usual at the club this year; we held a December meeting and invited members to decorate their bonsai trees with Christmas decorations. The response was amazing, we had to bring out additional tables to fit the record number of entries on! Our members fully got into the swing of Christmas.
This month we held an open tree critique, and invited our members to bring in their trees for open discussion with new ideas, feedback and suggestions. These are usually bonsai you have but no idea in what direction it could be going in.