Friday, July 26, 2013

Frank Leads Cotoneaster Workshop

Frank demos initial pruning (R) and one that has grown a bit (L)
by Michael Rusnak
At the July meeting ACBS members began creating bonsai from sizable cotoneaster nursery stock.  ACBS member Frank Mihalic lead the workshop.
The raw material was nursery stock that had be left to grow wild for the first half of this season.   Most were in 3 or 5 gallon containers and were sprawling with lots of long overgrown branches.

Frank first cut away the top couple of inches of the plastic nursery pot and pulled loose soil away from the trunk in order to expose a little more of the trunk, and at the same time allow for better viewing of the plant itself.  After studying the plant, he explained what he might cut away in order to create a skeleton for the bonsai.   He then pruned away several unnecessary branches and produced what will eventually become the trunk outline with some side branches --the basic structure for the bonsai.

The raw material
Turing the plant so that it could be viewed from multiple angles, he also explained that the next step was to feed the plant and let it recover and grow for the balance of the season.  This should allow the plant to respond with some foliage and begin to fill in the outline.  He also mentioned that it would be best to do any re-potting next spring at the start of the new growing season, after the pant had recovered.

The kids at play
Following his initial demo, Frank then worked individually with members, helping them study their raw material and suggesting what areas might be used to create the trunk-line and skeleton for branches, and what areas might be cut away.

It was great to see that much of the collaborative spirit from the club's benjing project carried over into the cotoneasters.  At one point much of the club was huddled around one of the trees.  A brief VIDEO of Frank working with members can be seen at this link.

Collaboration or How many ACBS members does it take to make a bonsai?

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