Meeting Report

There was no meeting of WBC in January 2013 as members celebrated New Year with friends and families.

We are currently experiencing the cold winter season in the UK and our bonsais are resting. Outdoor deciduous varieties will have lost most or all their leaves. The naked winter tree can be just as beautiful in its skeletal form when the artistry of shaped branches in the bonsai form can be appreciated without their leaves. This is the time we look at deciduous trees and larches to improve their shape and undertake structural branch pruning.

 12 people turned out on a very chilly evening for our first meeting in 2013 and catch with each other after the festive break.  Our Secretary, Mike Konig, gave a workshop demonstration on the difference between structural and refinement pruning to encourage a tree to develop its chosen bonsai shape. Cutting is done when the sap is down in the trunk to minimise damage. Scarring from removed branches needs to be correctly treated to prevent infection and promote healing.   Attention was drawn to careful consideration of the tree structure in determining the front and back views for displaying bonsai and photographing. Keeping a record of the development of each tree can provide a good aid memoir for new stock beginning their journey towards becoming a bonsai.

Members brought an assortment of their own trees to the workshop and Mike worked on them to illustrate the various considerations and methods.  These varied from a 2-yr old Hawthorne, a 12-yr old Trident Maple, an English Elm and Oak at approx. 20-yrs old and a Deodora Cedar and Korean Hornbeam approx. 30yrs old. Other species were also brought in for Mike’s advice and some wiring was done on the Oak to start its structure. It had been grown so far just to increase its trunk thickness.

A small Hawthorn ready for some strucuture

Lee’s Oak

Olly with his impressive tree

Mike explaining the considerations and methods relating to structural pruning

A small trident maple in the process of being thinned out

Explaining the design considerations for further development on this Deodora

Demonstrating branch refinement through pruning and wiring techniques


Next meeting is at our usual venue on Tuesday, 5 March 2013 at 7.30pm when the theme will be spring clean-up and re-potting.  Members to bring their deciduous trees for re-potting, or stock plants for putting into their first bonsai pot.  If you are new to bonsai and want to attend our meetings, please see the contact page for further information. You will be warmly welcomed and refreshments are free.