Welcome to our monthly series of Bonsai tips. We are a little late with January, from February onward our monthly tips will go live on the 1st of each month. We do hope you enjoy them. If you have any tips to share please do leave a comment below or start a conversation on our Facebook page : Facebook.com/WessexBonsaiSociety
January Bonsai Tips :
January is normally a quiet time for most bonsai enthusiasts. Trees need less watering, if required it’s best to water during the early part of the day, but not if you’ve experienced freezing temperatures as this could cause the root ball to stay frozen. If the weather does not get above freezing day and night keep your trees cold but protect from the frost and ensure they thaw during the day. It is also worth using a systemic insecticide to help keep pests at bay throughout the year, during January and February.
Now that some of your Bonsai trees have no leaves, inspect from every corner. Seeing what the tree looks like with no leaves will help to plan what you would like your tree to look like when in full bloom. For those that do not shed their leaves again look at them regularly as during the next few months. They will start to grow and probably sprout from every corner, try and imagine them in the height of the summer, are there any cross over or straight branches, will the new growth block too much light, BUT do not prune, mark the branch that you think you might want to remove later, as it might be the wrong one and sadly you cannot stick them back on with superglue.
Now is the time to clean the shed, wash the pots, start the shopping list, book time off work for the shows that we get invited to, mark off all meetings in the diary for the coming year, as often February is full speed ahead.
For further information : 2017 Schedule
I started helping my father with his trees many years ago with pruning and re-potting. Since his death when I inherited them I became involved with Wessex Bonsai Society. The club has always made me feel very welcome and has helped to nurture the most inexperienced into someone who is able to pass on their own advice and experience.
My first tree was planted with my father within a hole in a stone and we had many failures over the years, and it was not until I started to attend the Bonsai club in my own right that I realised we have been doing it all wrong, we seemed to have not thought as to how we could keep the glue on the stone that was holding the soil and tree – thanks Italo for the advice on how to glue to mesh to the stone, we also forgot the base, so the soil disappeared when it rained or was watered. Sadly I have the stone without a tree now as I have not found the right one yet, but I have many more trees to keep me occupied of various varieties.
Sometimes I enjoy half an hour after work with a cuppa and scissors as this is enough to unwind me and there are also days when I can spend hours pruning a tree. Two of my children attempt Bonsai trees and have some luck or no luck with them, just like the rest of us, but it does not stop them trying or helping me to prune and re-pot all mine, which they all enjoy looking at as they make the most wonderful of displays in my garden all year round.
Julie | Bear Cross
Looking to learn more about Bonsai check out our 2017 diary including both our Tuesday Meetings and Sunday Workshop dates.