You can email me at My blog archives and post labels are way down at the bottom of the page.

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Bring Your Own Tree" bonsai workshop

I really enjoy being able to take bonsai workshops at the shows. It is such an opportunity to get some one-on-one time with really talented bonsai artists.

As I mentioned Saturday, this year Guy Guidry was our guest judge and workshop instructor. Guy comes from the New Orleans area and it’s not surprising his specialty is bald cypress. Two of the workshop participants even brought cypress to work on. I didn’t know this (my negligence) but it didn’t really matter as I didn’t have a cypress anyway (my little cypress forest didn’t make it thru the winter).

We all gathered in the work room and spread out our tools. It’s always interesting to see what everyone brings. Of the seven participants we had 2 bald cypress, 1 dawn redwood, 1 azalea, 2 junipers (different varieties) and my elm.

v. Zeldova carpinifolia (medium sized tree native to the Caucasus Mountains of extreme SE Europe).

And my little tree.

First thing Guy did as he worked with each person was to sketch what form he thought the tree should be trained towards. How cool! (I have a new B&W for my art wall!)

Next step for those of us who brought deciduous trees was to defoliate them. That’s right… pluck ALL their leaves off! This causes them to rebud and produce denser foliage with smaller leaves

One does not realize how many leaves even a tiny tree has…

When I was finished I had a naked tree.

Then it was time to wire it. Every supporting branch had to be wrapped in wire so the branch could be bent to create its new shape.

An elm as a lot of branches…

Once done with that, Guy came over and helped bend each branch to the position it should be in.

From there, it was done… for a while. I am to let it regrow and this fall repot it in a bonsai pot and pinch each set of leaf brackets back to the last two buds.
Next spring it should really pop out. Then I will have to take this wire off and rewire (to allow for growth of the trunk and branches without the wire cutting into them).

BTW, does anyone else think that Guy bears a resemblance to…

… actor Scott Bakula??


  1. Teri, that's so neat. I didn't know that about the leaves. I know yours will look great. How long before the leaves grow back. And yes, they do have an uncanny resemblance.

  2. Thanks for posting this, I had no idea that's how it is done! Looking forward to your updates on this. ~Lili


Thank you for coming walkabout with me! Sorry I have had to put the word verification back on... the spam jerks have been overloading me lately.

However... I do not approve comments whose purpose is to spam. My readers do not deserve such garbage. I also do not allow anonymous comments. If you have something to say, then put your name to it.