Ankerwycke Yew 2500-year-old Tree

The National Trust’s oldest tree, this iconic 2,500-year-old (I think a lot older) yew is steeped in history. According to popular belief, it was beneath this tree that King Henry VIII courted Anne Boleyn, and some reports suggest that he even proposed in its shadow. While Magna Carta is said to have been sealed at Runnymede, there are those who argue that the event actually took place on the other side of the river, perhaps under this very yew.

Carolyn and I visited this amazing Yew tree earlier this year It’s a little out of the way, across a few fields, down an avenue of lime trees and across another field but well worth the journey, open all year round its not easy to find, only small signpost quite a way from where you can park.


Further work on a Yamadori Yew ‘Pagoda’ style

This tree was collected over 5 years ago, this is a tall thin English Yew (Taxus Baccata), it has a shari that runs from top to base. Its never been re-potted out of this washing up bowl and it is now ready. The first work was done in December 2017 you can see the blog post HERE, not actually styling but formulating the branch structure and foliage locations. No wiring, no styling no branch positioning, the tree was left to grow. All I will do over the next 12 months watch out for wire cutting into the branches. The tree will be re-potted in February 2020.


Bonsai Empire The Advanced Bonsai Course review

Bonsai Empire

Part 1 of Advanced Bonsai Course

A simple look at the internet shows quite clearly that there is an army of so-called “professionals” and “teachers” out there – those whose ability to switch on a camera and make YouTube recordings of themselves butchering a tree far surpasses their actual Bonsai knowledge, skill and teaching prowess. So how do you recognise a good Sensei, Master or Teacher? Just as you trust a recognised name in anything you buy you must do the same when choosing an online bonsai course.

Two of the biggest names in Bonsai have collaborated on producing an Advanced Bonsai Course, Bjorn Bjorholm and Bonsai Empire have put together an exceptional course for intermediate and advanced learning. I consider $69.99 for lifetime access with no membership incredible value for money.

I have been working with bonsai for over 30 years but still, I found this course to be informative, educational and enlightening. Perhaps the most valued aspects of this course are the detail video coverage and execution of techniques. I particularly liked the approach grafting as I have not seen anyone go into the level of detail as shown on this course.
This is the Advanced course and Bjorn does refer back to the Intermediate course on a few occasions so it’s worthwhile subscribing on that too!

Course highlights

– Advanced techniques – including grafting, heavy bending, detail wiring, nebari
development, applying moss for display
– Wide selection of tree-species, in different stages of development
– Background information on philosophy and aesthetics
– 6 hours of video-lectures, with English subtitles, added where necessary
– Questions about the lectures are answered by Bjorn

So the burning question is why pay when you can get it for free? The answer is simple, this course is concise, well executed and damn good value for money.

To quote John Ruskin:

“It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little, or even free. When you pay too much; you lose a little money – that’s all. When you pay too little or even get something for free, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.

The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”