|PHOENIX BONSAI SOCIETY :
BACK-TO-BASICS WORKSHOP NOTES
| Bonsai are living miniature representations, in containers and growing outdoors of full-grown mature trees that have been shaped by the elements over the course of many years.
A few years ago our late teacher Leroy Fujii suggested that we do a series of workshops covering the basics of the art as practiced here in Phoenix. These lectures and demonstrations would be of use to both novices and longer-termed members, whose excellent display trees occasionally showed apparent ignorance of a basic or two.
These notes, originally from the ’96-’97 season and very slightly amended since then are provided for the benefit of new members to our club — and now to all who are interested in what we do. We are aware of the absence of care instructions specific to our location, with its particularly challenging climate. These notes and the continually expanded material in our club yearbooks which will also be added to this site can serve as a guide. Will some type of general purpose book for desert bonsai ever be published in hardcopy? Perhaps. In the mean time we offer this material. Member and nonmember input about any and all of these notes is always appreciated.
Although some workshops touched upon more than one subject, the material herein has been grouped primarily according to a single general topic. Please use these notes in conjunction with other material on this web site, one or more of the following references, and seek assistance from other club members at meetings, shows and workshops.
|1. Bonsai Techniques, I & II by John Yoshio Naka, (Santa Monica: Bonsai Institute of California; 1973+ and 1982, respectively)2. The Bonsai Workshop by Herb L. Gustafson (NY: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.; 1994)
3. Sunset Bonsai by the editors of Sunset Magazine (Menlo Park, CA: Lane Publishing Co.; 1994, third edition) [A fourth revised edition by Susan Lang was published in 2003.]
4. The Living Art of Bonsai by Prof. Amy Liang (NY: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.: 1992)
5. The Bonsai Book by Dan Barton (London: Ebury Press; 1989)
6. Basic Bonsai Design by David DeGroot (American Bonsai Society; 1995)
7. Bonsai; Its Art, Science, History and Philosophy by Deborah Koreshoff (Brisbane, Australia: Boolarong Publications; 1984)
8. Chinese Penjing, Miniature Trees and Landscape by Yunhua Hu (Portland: Timber Press; 1987)
9. The Complete Book of Bonsai by Harry Tomlinson (NY: Abbeville Press, Inc.; 1990
10. The Creative Art of Bonsai by Isabelle and Rémy Samson (London: Ward Lock Ltd.; 1986)
(Presented by Bill Newton, 9/17/96)
| Look for material which is not appropriate for front yard landscaping, what others consider garbage: too large of a trunk, overgrown in the pot, growing in the wrong direction, neglected. This is just as important whether the plant is from nursery stock, pre-trained material, landscape dug, or propagated from cuttings. Healthy plants should have:
Note the micro-climate of the tree, if you can remember: was the plant in full-sun or shade, which direction was it facing (east/north is cooler than west/south)
Roots should be:
Branches should be:
Determine the probable front of the tree:
What style does the tree naturally suggest?