I enjoy speaking on a variety of bonsai topics. Below are some of the more popular bonsai programs I’ve presented mixed with some of the programs I most look forward to sharing. I’m also happy to mix elements from different bonsai programs or tailor a presentation to your group’s needs.
Black Pine Bonsai
Developing Black Pine Bonsai from Seed – How long does it take to go from seed to exhibit? Not as long as you’d suspect. For this program I bring examples of trees at different stages of development and explain what work needs to be done along the way. Good for all levels and appropriate any time of year.
Developing Exposed Root Black Pines – Creating black or red pines in the exposed root style has gained popularity in recent years. For this program I demonstrate the techniques used to start bonsai in the exposed root style and describe the work that needs to be done through the years to produce exposed root bonsai. Good for all levels. Best presented November through May as young pines can be repotted during this time.
Decandling Black Pine – Decandling is the key technique to developing and maintaining beautiful black or red pine bonsai. While there are many factors to consider when decandling pines, I recommend starting with a simple approach from which you can learn and improve upon in subsequent growing seasons. Good for all levels. This program is best suited for events in May, June or July. A hands-on approach or workshop setting for the topic is also available.
Black Pine Bonsai: Putting it All Together – While decandling is the key technique to developing and maintaining black pine bonsai, decandling works best when it’s part of a year-round approach to improving your pines. Topics include approaches to developing black pines, techniques like needle-pulling and cutback, and how to identify the best approach for your pine bonsai. This program is best suited for events in October through January-April – right up until spring candles begin to elongate in your area. Good for all levels.
Exhibits and Bonsai Display
Bonsai Display – An introduction to setting up bonsai displays. Activities include an overview of approaches to display, an exercise in understanding bonsai stands, a slideshow of exhibits in Japan and the US, and ample time for setting up practice displays with member trees. Good for all levels. Program may be presented anytime or at meetings scheduled just before exhibits.
Preparing Bonsai for Exhibit – Different techniques apply when working on trees for the long-term versus preparing bonsai for display at exhibits. This presentation covers top tricks and techniques for making your bonsai look its best. Specific topics include preparation of the foliage, soil top dressings and pot selection. Good for all levels. Program may be presented anytime or at meetings scheduled just before exhibits.
Evaluating Bonsai – Learn a repeatable process for evaluating bonsai critically. This program features an overview of the topic, a slideshow, and group and individual exercises designed to sharpen evaluation skills using member trees and/or trees provided for the program. Good for all levels and appropriate any time of year.
Finding the Right Container for Your Trees – This program presents an overview of how to match pots to trees. Pot size, color, style and quality are considered. When possible, members are encouraged to bring pots they no longer need and trees in need of pots for a pot exchange. This program may be presented anytime, but is best suited for events during repotting season in your area. Good for all levels.
Repotting – This program outlines approaches to bonsai soil, how to wire a tree into a pot, and the steps required to successfully repot bonsai. The topic can be presented during a club meeting or in combination with a repotting workshop. Good for all levels. Best presented during repotting season in your area.
Hands-On: Wiring – Wiring is one of the best known and least understood bonsai techniques. Learn a simple approach to common wiring situations. The topic can be presented during a club meeting or in combination with a workshop. Good for all levels. Best presented when trees are commonly wired in your area.
Bonsai Styles – Program features an overview of the topic of bonsai style, a bonsai design exercise, and slides that show examples of trees in nature from which we can take styling cues. Good for all levels and appropriate any time of year.
Bonsai Health Clinic – An overview of common bonsai pests and diseases and approaches to treatment. Participants are encouraged to bring trees with health problems. Good for all levels. Best presented spring through fall when deciduous trees are in leaf and pests are most active.