A Critique Meeting
Every so often we have a Critique Meeting when two of our bonsai elders share their years of experience and offer advice and tips to other members who bring their trees along to be the subjects of their deliberation. At our June meeting we had combined knowledge of Roger and Clifford to help us improve our trees and understand why and when certain things should be done.
Tony brought along an Azalea (above) to be the first tree to be the subject of their inspection. He has had it only a few years but was rather concerned as it was a bit lack lustre compared with some of his other trees which we know are real gems. Roger and Clifford pointed out that though it was sad in parts there was plenty of new growth showing signs of fresh life and that the remaining blooms could now be remove to conserve the tree’s energy and that thinning the crown a little would encourage energy further down where it was needed.
One of our newer members, Adam, submitted a Chinese Elm for R & C’s pearls of wisdom, a really sturdy and healthy tree which he obviously looks after but could do with being in a smaller pot the present one being far too large.
Paul Y managed to get two trees dealt with at once as they were both in the same pot together, a couple of Junipers which frankly needed sorting out and bravely he was confident enough to join Clifford with the cutters and get to work. He had obviously not seen Clifford wield his pruning tools on earlier occasions as he is fond of a good chop. Always to the benefit of the tree concerned and it’s owner once they get over the shock.
R & C pointed out a number of improvements that could be made and drew attention to the movement of the two trees one above the other and where foliage should be removed to good effect.
Dave G’s Japanese White Pine and Richard M’s Oak were next for the panel and both were able to go home with some ideas of what to do over the next few months to improve their trees.
Dave was shown where best to cut and reduce the trunk to and how to bring in the growth nearer the trunk to create pads of needles.
Richard received praise for his very healthy little oak which they were most impressed with but suggested that it was time now to get it out of it’s training pot and into a popper bonsai pot, Roger pointed out that the pot colour might do well to pick up the silver grey of the trunk.
GOOD NEWS NIGHT
One of the really welcome things about the evening was that we welcomed five new members into the Club, faces that we hope to see frequently at our gatherings in the future.
One of these new members was Aimee who turned up with her first bonsai, a flourishingly healthy Carmona, also known as a Fukien Tea from Southern China. R & C showed her where best to trim it now and what steps to take in the spring.
Michael brought another Pine along which seemed to amuse Roger and Richard P showed us all his group planting of Hornbeams
Both members came away with some sound advice to follow over the next year or so.
Audrey another of our new members on the night brought in an anonymous indoor bonsai which she has had for seventeen years ,I think she said, so yes Audrey you can certainly keep trees alive longer than a lot of folk do when the get their first tree.
R & C pointed out the mat of roots underneath and look forward to helping Audrey at re-potting time next year. Let’s hope we know what it is by then folks.
I should think the first correct suggestion should deserve a free drink , from club funds, at our annual night out next month.
Howard brought in a windswept Hawthorn that he had acquired at our club auction in November. Personally I am very fond of Hawthorns and Windswepts and if it wasn’t for the fact that Howard’s pockets are much deeper than mine I would have given him a better run for his money at the auction.
R & C showed where cuts could be made bringing the branches more into the windswept design and varying the lengths as too many were the same.
Looking good already and one could also see that it had great potential and I was quite prepared to offer Howard a small loss on his purchase by now.
The next tree was Andy’s Acer which had suffered badly this last year but was now suddenly leaping back into life sprouting forth vigorously, a bit of tidying up and it was soon looking even better.
The last tree was Jon’s Escallonia an evergreen flowering shrub which he had purchased at the Exmouth Show and which attracted a number of differing opinions, should or should not the dramatic root system be so exposed? What is to be it’s main feature, the trunk textures certainly look worth making something of.
There had been a couple more tree during the course of the evening when members brought more than one along but I think the selection shown here gives a good illustration of what such a night achieves and how worth while it is to join a club and benefit from the experience of the ‘old hands’
So thank you to all who brought in their trees to face the inquisitors and our special thanks to Roger and Clifford for making it such an interesting evening.
My Wife wonders how I remember some of the small items of the evening’s proceedings with so few notes when I can’t remember a shopping list between Sainsburys car park and their store.
TREE of THE MONTH COMPETITION
Theme- Shohin Class trees under 8 inches high
FIRST (by members votes)
Second- Jon’s Larch and Third -Tony’s Juniper
Second –Aimee’s Carmona and Third – Richard M’s Larch
The in depth and well worth reading judges critique for Tree of the Month can be viewed via this link.
Bonsai score sheet June 2018
Club President John Trott could be seen briefly on TV being interviewed at the Chelsea Flower Show where he came away with his 11th Gold Medal making it a grand total now of 86 RHS medals, congratulations John.
I also happened to hear him being interviewed on BBC Somerset Sound Radio and if John ever needs another career he has a splendid radio voice.
Our next meeting is our Annual T. & S. B. C .Night Out.
Which this year is to be at The White Horse Bradford on Tone to mix and mingle from 6pm prior to our evening meal. Members meals will be paid for out of our special outing fund up to a certain level, members guests will have to be paid for in full.
See you there folks!