Video from Manchester City of Trees: Ancient Oak

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In the 1960s my father-in-law Geoff Duckworth, was the assistance chief engineer for Ramsbottom District Council. One of his responsibilities was the construction of new roads as the town began to expand. The widening of Summerseat Lane was needed as a new housing Estate was in the planning, the route of the existing lane would have required the felling of an ancient oak tree. The idea of tree preservation was introduced in 1947 and was yet to be widely adopted throughout the United Kingdom. Read the rest of the story here

My Demo at The National Bonsai Exhibition in the US

Bill Valavanis trusted me with this Hinoki Cypress, the tree was simply too tall and the style was lost, having previously worked by Corin Tomlinson a few years ago my job was to bring the tree back on track. I pre-wired most of the lower branches in the morning prior to the demo that took place at noon. This is because watching somebody wire a tree for a couple of hours is frankly mind numbing.

I attempted to create some drama with the upper part of the tree by making a twisted jin, this works superbly on green wood however the heartwood of the tree was too stiff making the bending impossible. I noted at the start of the demo that it may well be cut off if the technique was not successful.

I was very pleased that the finished tree made a record figure in the Auction at the end of the event.

Thanks to Bonsai Empire for recording the demo, take a look at their website here, its full of great content.

First Styling of the BIG Yew including Time Lapse Video

This is the first styling of the BIG Yew Bonsai, I have waited three years since the tree was potted into this pot, it was VERY healthy so now perfect for the work involved. There are no short cuts when it comes to creating a Yew Bonsai from raw yamadori stock, its a long process of structure, branch creation fine branches and foliage. I guess from mountain to Exhibition this will take 20 years, its already been 8 years since this tree came from the mountain, you can read earlier blog posts where I cut the tree in half, and Potting the tree for the first time