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.

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Swindon President Reg presents Tony with a Certificate of Merit

Swindon President Reg presents Tony with a Certificate of Merit. taken by Mark

The tree awards were sponsored by Dai-ichi bonsai, Newbury & Redditch &  were presented by Tony Tickle. About 350 people attended this wonderful display. We hope that everyone enjoyed it.

Best Chuhin Award, Juniper

Best Large Deciduous Award, grey Alder

Chaenomeles Japonica bonsai

Chaenomeles Japonica

We are now back from our Annual pilgrimage to Lodders or ‘Bonsai Fest’. Derek, Amelia, Ross and I have been doing this for the last five years. You would think that by now we would have been bored by it, but everytime we go we find something else to interest us. The huge amount of bonsai trees,

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It has been a fairly harsh start to the winter and reported to now have been the coldest on record since the Met office started recording data. So with that said how will our bonsai trees fair? Here are a few of our members trees in the snow at the end of 2010. They show a magical winter wonderland with the blanket of snow covering the bonsai trees enhancing their visual appeal.

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New shoots showing the stipule at the end of the shoot

For general pruning and to promote back budding on Taiwan figs I tend to prune back to behind new shoots (know as the stipule which is the point at the end of the shoot) and this helps if you want a denser crown with smaller leaves.

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Trunk of mature Ginkgo tree

Maidenhair trees (Ginkgos) are also popular subjects for growing as penjing and bonsai; they can be kept artificially small and tended over centuries. They are amazing trees in that they are the sole surviving species of a group of Gymnosperms that flourished 65 million years ago, around the time of the dinosaurs.

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Taiwan Fig at first purchase in February 2006 from Lodders in Holland

This is the story so far of my first bonsai tree purchase which was a Taiwan fig and to share possibly common themes with others who are just starting out with a bonsai tree and hopefully to encourage them to along the way. The following explains a stage of events from a healthy tree to an unhealthy tree and its recovery. In February 2006 I purchased a Taiwan Fig from Lodders Bonsai nursery in Holland (www.lodderbonsai.nl/).  It was kept in my flat on a south facing window sill as an indoor bonsai and was in good health. By February 2007 my Taiwan Fig was fruiting profusely and very healthy but it was still in its original deep blue pot which made it hard to water as it was tightly bound in pot by roots. So in March 2007 I re-potted my Taiwan Fig in shallower Walsall pot and in order to do this I cut off one large root.  I re-potted the fig in Edo bonsai soil mix and carried out no pruning to canopy at time of root pruning and re-potting.

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Lonicera bonsai

This Lonicera clump was collected from a hedge at a condemned hospital in 1991. It was joined to a big trunked Lonicera which had fallen over and a large branch had rooted its self to the ground to form a raft. In the gap left after it had fallen it looked as though a lot of new sucker growth had sprung up and eventually fused together to form a tangled clump.

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