Due to our usual venue being redecorated we met at Ruishton Village Hall and possibly due to holidays the attendance was not great but there were still enough Bonsai Brains around to offer advice and comments on all the trees that were brought along to be shown under the heading of ‘My Favourite Tree’
It was good to have two new members there to join us and the first to show his tree was Dave with a collected Hawthorn which he acquired from a garden about four years ago.
Dave has only recently moved the tree from a large collected tree container into this pot and has let it grow well to encourage a possible new leader but was a bit unhappy with a branch and was a little unsure as to it’s intended height. Club members were very impressed with what Dave had achieved though and could appreciate the obvious potential of it being a really good tree.
Dave’s business in landscape gardening must present some good opportunities for collecting new trees and we are looking forward to what he brings in next. In fact Dave had also brought along a Trident Maple collected tree and it soon became the centre of attention for a number of advisors. See the top photo above.
The other new member was Ray who got up to promise us a little light entertainment over his very favourite tree. Ray has had his Chinese Elm for about thirty years but only recently joined our group and taken a more serious interest in bonsai art and techniques.
Ray kept on apologizing for the undergrowth, the compost, the state of the tree and the fact that there were two rocks in the pot.
Two Welsh rocks evidently, that obviously meant something to Ray and the general opinion was that If Ray wants a rock why shouldn’t he have at least one there, after all it is his tree.
It is all very well following Bonsai styling rules and thoughts but we all have memories and sentiments attached to our treasured trees and unless one is entering a serious competition they may well be very important to the tree’s owner.
These Chinese Elms have been sold in vast quantities in garden centres over the years and have often started someone off down the road to more serious Bonsai. Many Elms though have died and most were kept as indoor trees, few have managed to keep a tree as long as Ray has kept this one and we could all see why it was his favourite and certainly not something to apologise for.
Brian ,our host at our last meeting which met at his farm, brought along a nice little Acer which he called his ‘play tree’. This had been his first serious total defoliation exercise inspired by our meeting two months ago and it looked as if it had worked pretty well. It was good to see Brian was wearing his Club members badge, Andy has allowed us a little forgetfulness us this month but the 50p fine steps in next month.
Jon our professional forester and the Club’s scientific tree advisor brought in a nice little Larch which he has had for about 12 years but said that it had only really come together as a nice bonsai in the last two years. He explained the various changes in direction of it’s growth and about Lammas growth, the term for the second burst of foliage growth on certain trees.
Lammas Day, the 1st of August was a Harvest thanksgiving time in Britain and comes from the Anglo-Saxon word Hlafmaesse which means Loaf Mass.
Our Club competition judge Ade brought in two trees to show us a few points to look for in bonsai technique and styling. The first was a Crab Apple, bearing fruit, which Ade has had for about 25 years and is now a really handsome specimen.
Ade’s other tree was a Cornelian Cherry, Cornus Mas, which he encouraged us to look out for in garden centres as it is easily available and has curious yellow blossom in the spring somewhat like Witch Hazel . This particular tree Ade purchased from Peter Chan’s Herons Bonsai about 20 years ago. In showing us these two trees we newer members must all have picked up some very useful tips.
Our last ‘Favourite Tree’ was my own Kashima Acer which my Wife Sue bought me for our Golden Wedding last spring.
I purchased it at the Swindon Winter Show, repotted it straight away and brought it into the garage at night for a month or so as it had been reared in a poly tunnel. At our June meeting it was the demonstration subject of a defoliation demonstration and every single leaf had been removed and the branch /twig structure within had been refined. Following a long few weeks it eventually burst into leaf again with much smaller leaves and a more open foliage allowing the structural character of the tree to show better.
TREE of the MONTH COMPETITION
My Favourite Tree
FIRST M.C.’s Acer Kashima ( seen above)
SECOND Jon’s Larch
FIRST Dave’s Hawthorn
Here are the detailed judges critique notes for all the trees
SOUTH DEVON BONSAI SOCIETY SHOW 11th SEPT
We are having a display there, come along and support your club.