Bonsai School

Saturday 8th February 2014 saw the start of the 4th year of the Northern Ireland Bonsai Society’s Bonsai School sessions given by Peter Snart of Willowbog Nursery. Although not as many attended this first session of 2014 as on former years the day proved to be both interesting and helpful as usual.

The day started with the usual review of the past year and the current difficult weather conditions in the UK which impact greatly on the care regime needed to ensure our trees are kept healthy by being given optimum growing conditions as far as possible.

The rest of the day was filled with an interesting photographic review of some of the trees that featured in the recent Noelanders Trophy, a short talk on the characteristics of Bunjin Bonsai followed again with a photographic presentation of some excellent specimens in various show settings.

As well as a short talk and discussion on the choice of suitable pots for our trees we also enjoyed a session on the selection and preparation of ordinary garden centre type nursery stock for bonsai training. This centred largely on getting the specimens, a nice scots pine and a pyracantha, into bonsai training pots. In this we covered such steps as finding the nebari, initial root pruning and some initial branch pruning which was obviously kept to a minimum.

The objective is to feature these trees in further schools in 2014 and give them an initial styling as their health and vigour will allow.

Once again thanks to all whose work behind the scenes made this day possible and contributed to its success.

These few pics (a bit of a mixed bunch) show some of the action of the day and also feature Ian Young’s excellent escallonia which was the subject of a short discussion.

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