The Bonsai Development Intensive is a three-day course for enthusiasts who enjoy growing bonsai at different stages of development. We’ll cover refinement techniques such as wiring and styling as well as basic approaches to creating bonsai from younger material.
Participants will learn to identify the next steps required to improve their trees throughout the year using trees from my collection.
The topics covered in a given session will vary from season to season. Unlike other intensive programs, the Development Intensive will focus on refinement techniques and basic development techniques for improving young trees. Sample topics include cutback, wiring, styling, repotting, grafting, fertilizing, layering, carving, defoliation, juniper care, pine technique, watering, and monitoring and managing tree health.
We’ll work on different species throughout the year including azalea, crabapple, juniper (domestic species and shimpaku), maple (Japanese and trident), oak (cork and coast live), plum, pine (black and red), and quince (Chinese and flowering).
Written work and lectures are kept to a minimum so we can focus on practical techniques for developing and refining bonsai.
Who This Course is For
The Development Intensive is open to students of all levels, and is best suited to those with concrete goals for improving their collections. Retail and wholesale bonsai growers are welcome as the topics covered apply to nursery management and stock development as well as they do to refining mature specimens.
What to Bring
- Basic bonsai tools (pliers, wire cutters, branch cutters, scissors, etc.)
Power tools and large tools such as jacks and rebar will be available on-site. Bonsai wire (copper and aluminum), raffia, and other supplies will be provided.
- Spring: May 15-17 (sold out)
- Spring: June 19-21
- Fall: November 6-8
- Fall: November 13-15
- Cost: $650 for three days. Enrollment is limited to four participants per session. Minimum enrollment is two students.
- Courses will be held at my garden in Alameda, California, fifteen minutes by car from Oakland International Airport.
- Sessions run Friday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. with an hour break for lunch.
- Lunch and dinner are included; you provide your own lodging.
- You can reserve a space by registering online. Although the deposit isn’t refundable, you can apply it toward a future class if you cancel at least seven days before the event.
- Classes are a la carte: you can start the program at any time of year with no commitment for additional courses.
Given that I feel very much the novice, I was able to participate fully, thanks to the instructor and the other participants. Fear not! The intensive is suitable for all skill levels.–Wendy
There’s a fine line between too much help and not enough. I felt that the right balance was struck, at least for how I learn. I particularly noticed in the afternoons that there was an atmosphere of peaceful energy in the room as everyone was focused on quietly working on their tree. When help was needed or wanted, it was available, but it wasn’t intrusive.— Richard
The thing I found most helpful was that the class gave me the confidence to go back home and problem solve on some of my trees without being scared to mess it up.–Joshua
The Intensive is a great class to vastly increase your bonsai knowledge. This is done by working on show quality trees, watching, and listening to bonsai teacher Jonas Dupuich!–Bill
Participants are welcome to commute to class daily or stay nearby in a hotel or airbnb.
Here are some suggestions for nearby three and four star hotels (there are many one and two star options in the area). I’ll update the list based student feedback going forward.
- Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham
- Extended Stay America – Alameda
- Executive Inn & Suites
- Best Western Plus Bayside Hotel
- Hampton Inn & Suites Oakland Airport – Alameda
- Hilton Oakland Airport
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