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Matsu Bonsai Study Group 2012 - Spring Work

Posted Apr 2, 2012 by matsubonsai

It's time for another meeting of the Matsu Bonsai Study Group, this Saturday April 7th from 10am - 5pm. For this meeting of the Matsu Bonsai Study Group we'll focus on tasks for Spring. We'll discuss defoliation of trident maples, pinching of pines and junipers, and perhaps perform some carving and light wiring.

Be sure to bring plenty of trees to work on. If you don't have enough to keep you busy or just want to practice there will be material on hand.

Please make sure you're on time, we have a lot to cover!


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Matsu Bonsai Study Group 2012 - Repotting

Posted Feb 28, 2012 by matsubonsai

RepottingThis Saturday, March 3rd will be the first meeting of the Matsu Bonsai Study Group.

For this meeting we will focus on the proper technique for repotting bonsai. We'll work with established bonsai as well as young trees in training. Bring plenty of trees to work on, soil, and tools. If you run out of things to work on or simply wish to work on some of mine, please let me know.

Please do RSVP, as space is limited.

As always, please do your best to be on time.

For more information on the Matsu Bonsai Study Group, please follow this link.


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Majoring in Bonsai

Posted Sep 12, 2011 by matsubonsai

I recently had an email exchange with someone that was interested in attending college to study bonsai.  I gave it some thought before crafting a response.  Below is my reply:


To my knowledge there is not a college program anywhere in the United States that relates to bonsai.

There are a number of bonsai professionals spread across the country, the most successful of which have studied in Japan.  The Japanese apprentice program is very difficult, but very rewarding.

Boon Manakitivipart studied in Japan and has helped others make contact and begin apprenticeships in Japan.  Boon offers an Intensive program that may help you prepare, if an apprenticeship is something you are interested in.

Michael Hagedorn is another American bonsai professional that studied in Japan.  He offers what he calls "Seasonals" that may also be a good experience for you.  Michael wrote a book about his experience as a bonsai apprentice in Japan, which is a good and fast read.

Ryan Neil recently completed his apprenticeship with Masahiko Kimura.  Ryan offers a wide range of educational opportunities.  He is an extremely energetic and engaging person.

Peter Tea is currently a bonsai apprentice in Japan, studying at Aichien (http://bonsaiaichien.com/).

Tyler Sherrod is another new American apprentice studying in Japan.

Bjorn Bjorholm is another American that studied, and continues to return to Japan.  He also posts some great videos.

Owen Reich (Owen is slacking and doesn't have a website yet) is currently studying with Mr. Fujikawa, and is featured often in Bjorn's videos.

I would also highly recommend the following resources:

Bonsai Tonight a great blog covering all things bonsai.

Bonsai Study Group is perhaps the most focused online bonsai forum at the moment.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

What do you think? Did I miss any? I tried to put together a rather detailed list of the current and past American bonsai apprentices in Japan, past and current.  I won't deny my personal bias towards recommending my teacher, Boon Manakitivipart, but I tried to include others, too.  The great part about those bonsai professionals that I've had the chance to meet is that they're all as nice as they can be and are willing to help out in any way that they can.  

Does anyone know of any college bonsai programs out there right now?


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Matsu Bonsai Study Group - Wiring and Carving

Posted Jul 5, 2011 by matsubonsai

We'll be carving and wiring junipers for this meeting of the Matsu Bonsai Study Group.

We will break for lunch, but this time we'll be grilling out! Burgers are on the menu, so if you would like something different please feel free to bring your own.

Be sure to bring plenty of trees to work on. If you don't have enough to keep you busy or just want to practice there will be material on hand. As always, do your best to be on time.

For more information about the Bonsai Study Group please visit this link: http://www.matsubonsai.com/blog/page/Bonsai-Study-Group.aspx


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Bonsai in the Bluegrass

Posted Jun 13, 2011 by matsubonsai

This Thursday, June 16th marks the beginning of "Bonsai in the Bluegrass", the joint ABS and BCI Symposium hosted by the Greater Louisville Bonsai Society.

Bonsai in the Bluegrass will be hosted by the Greater Louisville Bonsai Society and will include 46 learning sessions and workshops, a bonsai display, vendors area, and several bonsai demonstrations. We have scheduled instructors from around the world who will share their expertise with the attendees. Two hundred guests from all corners of the globe are expected, including Australia, South Korea, Europe, and all across the US.

More...

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Bonsai Study Group - JBP, Azaleas, Show Prep

Posted Jun 8, 2011 by matsubonsai

For the next meeting of the Matsu Bonsai Study Group, Saturday June 11th, we will primarily be focusing on Japanese Black Pine Pinus thunbergii (黒松 kuromatsu) and Satsuki Azaleas.  Now is the perfect time of year to perform very specific tasks to improve your bonsai, particularly these two species.  We can learn a lot about bonsai and tree care in general from studying the growth habits of pines and azaleas.  One is apical dominant, the other basal dominant.  

For Japanese Black Pine we will be working on decandling and needle pulling.  It's all about energy balance and working towards a specific goal.  Timing is everything, and that's what we'll be discussing.

Satsuki Azaleas may still be in flower, but now is the time to remove the flowers and trim back to 2 shoots, 2 leaves.  Being basal dominant means that the top may not be as strong, so we'll leave 3 leaves towards the top and in weaker areas.

We'll also discuss the finer points of Show Preparation.  Bonsai in the Bluegrass is happening next week and the show trees need their final tweaks done.  These trees have been worked on all year to get them ready for the show.  Now is the time for the final adjustments.

We will break for lunch, but this time we'll be grilling out!  Burgers are on the menu, so if you would like something different please feel free to bring your own.

As always, do your best to be on time.

For more information about the Bonsai Study Group please visit this link: http://www.matsubonsai.com/blog/page/Bonsai-Study-Group.aspx


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Greater Louisville Bonsai Society at Yew Dell Gardens

Posted Apr 26, 2011 by matsubonsai

This weekend, April 30 and May 1st, the Greater Louisville Bonsai Society will have it's annual Spring show at Yew Dell Gardens.  I'll be there and will be bringing a tree to display.  

I've written about the event before and always enjoy at least stopping in each year.  It's a treat getting a chance to greet people and share the joy and enthusiasm for bonsai with all the visitors.  Be sure to stop in and say hello if you get the chance.


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