Meeting Report 5 May 2015

Fourteen members attended bringing various planted trees with them.  It was agreed at programme planning beginning of year that in addition to the subject matter for the evening. additional trees could be brought to the meeting which may be of interest for attendees to see.  They may be trees looking at their very best, trees in stages of development needing direction, or problem trees that need sorting out to promote social discussion and viewing, and help newer members who want to progress in their learning with questions and answers.  Members are doing this and its good to see different trees coming along.

The book borrowing scheme is also operational.  Thank you to those who have contributed illustrated text books to put out on loan and an even greater thanks to those who are retuning borrowed books so others have the use of them.

Before the formal meeting started, the finished glazed pots that members made at the Feb meeting with the assistance of China Mist Potteries, were handed out following firing.  This caused great excitement – such an assortment of shapes, sizes, colours and designs.  Unfortunately they were soon put carefully away for safe keeping and there is no group photo of the finished results – oh shame!  Perhaps members can bring them in again when planted up for a photo shoot and recognition of their crafting.  That would be good.

The theme for this evening’s meeting was Follow-up to Group Planting Workshop which was held Mar 2014.  A year on, the plantings came back for reviewing and advice on continued maintenance and development. It was quite surprising to note how much the trees had grown.  Some pictures were taken and hopefully will appear on web site.  Mike went round to each group brought to meeting – there was indeed variety on display.  He advised on identifying a leading tree which will determine the eventual height of the project, and where to stop this.  It was mentioned to learn about the species of tree in the planting and how they develop, and whether pine or deciduous. The end result needs to look natural, to be shaped in unison yet each tree still needs some individual definition.  Do we want the end result to look rounded, or triangular?  Smaller trees in the shadow of larger specimens need branches teasing out and wiring to allow air and sunshine in and encourage growth.  New growth lower down the trunk is good to achieve. Watering, feeding, trimming, pinching, pruning, ramification, wiring and Winter protection goes on same as for single trees. A group needs to be in harmony together.  leading to a pleasing overall shape.  Maintain small leaves, keep the soil healthy and replace trees that die.  It does happen.  Or change the presentation but don’t plant in rows  and odd numbers of trees are preferable.  The overall aspect is to display a group of trees in a natural looking habitat within a dish in the bonsai tradition.  Rebecca, one of our newer members. missed the original group planting but now has several young Larch and is keen to get started on her own project after the evening’s instruction. Thank you Mike for sharing your expertise.  We appreciate your knowledge and enthusiasm for the Club, which is now getting very busy at meetings with lots going on and people sharing their experiences.

Next meeting is Tues, 2 Jun at the Fire Station and will be a Show Tree Preparation Workshop with Mike’s guidance.  So we will be selecting our trees for up and coming shows for the public to see.  The Bosworth Show on Sun, 5 July will be our first event.

We are also looking for members who can host future Member Workshop days.  Are you willing to open your garden to us for these valuable learning experiences that provide us with more practical time ‘to be doing’ what we cannot manage in the time of a regular club meeting.  We bring lunch and all our stuff, hope the weather will be kind and have a very enjoyable time.  Please contact Mike or Carol if you are able to offer a workshop venue.  Our next one is Sun, 21 Jun and an important one. Thank you.