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Bonsai Society

2018  40th Anniversary year

Honorary President - Peter Chan

Keith’s Monthly Newsletter

Chairman Tips.

 I hope everyone enjoyed the July meeting as much as Collette and I,

not too many fears and tears I hope!  We managed to get through the

many trees brought in by members, some very good trees in the near


Unfortunately we did not get around to unwrapping Clive’s’ beech to see if there

were any roots yet. I have since had a look and unfortunately no roots,

just callused over, so applied new air layer.

The following are just a few details on pinching and pruning.


Bonsai need repeated trimming, so that they grow in a balanced fashion in all directions and maintain the desired silhouette. Pinching is the slight pruning or trimming of new growth that keeps the tree in proportion and counteracts the tendency of the tree to grow strongly upwards.

As bonsai begin to bud in the spring, just as in other trees, there is a strong tendency to shoot up vertically. If this is not discouraged in some way, it will not be long before a healthy tree will be tall and spindly, lower and interior branches will have died back and all the foliage will be gracing only the ends of the branches. What was perhaps an artistic statement no longer has much to say.

Pitching is an ongoing activity throughout the active growing season. When the end of a small new shoot is pinched, two small shoots will usually form. If these in turn are pinched a few weeks later, each will form two more shoots. So if one could pinch three times in the growing season what would have been a single straight branch now is much shorter with perhaps eight little branches.

Pinching then is the primary technique for developing the quality of the branch structure or ramification. The distance between leaf nodes will also gradually shorten and in time leaf or needle size will diminish.

Typically each new shoot on deciduous trees is allowed to lengthen to five or six leaf nodes and then pinched or cut back using scissors to one or two leaf nodes. If a specific branch needs to lengthen, then it is pinched to leave more nodes.

For needled evergreens, except pines, pinch new buds with the thumb and index finger removing half or more of the cluster of emerging needs. It is important to do this by hand, if pinching were done with scissors, the cut tips of the needles would turn brown and quite possibly many of the small buds that have not yet become active would be damaged.


At the end of a year of growth, we have, through pinching, been concerned only with the silhouette of the tree and branching, but when the autumn and winter arrive, and leaves fall, we can better see the branch structure and may find branches that are tangled and confused. Pruning is the process of cutting and removing branches from the growth of the previous year or previous years to clean up the design.

As a general rule, avoid all branches that grow straight up, straight down, towards the trees interior, or that cross each other, cut them off. Also cut off any dead branches (unless they can be used for a jin).

Most growers of bonsai consider the use of a sealant on fresh wounds to be beneficial, although there are some contrary views. Until conclusive studies prove otherwise, it is recommended that a sealant be applied to the branch or trunk where it has been cut. Most bonsai growers use Paste, a Japanese compound developed around the turn of the century, or more readily available white glue.

Trees that naturally produce substantial resin when a branch is severed, like young pines do not require a sealant.


 Solent Bonsai Society

40th Anniversary Year 1978 - 2018

Honorary President Peter Chan

 Hi all Solent Bonsai Society members and friends.

The next Meeting, on 31st August, is a Pine Workshop. Please bring Trees. August being the ideal time to prune and work on pines and conifers, although other species are welcome. Please bring your trees to work on, Robert and other members will be giving you advice and helping. If you would like advice on any of your trees please bring them along.

Next month’s meeting, on 28th September, is a Talk on Pines by Malcolm Driffield. This is one talk not to be missed. Many of you will know Malcolm from previous talks or from shows, he has many talents apart from Bonsai, he is one of the best makers of bonsai stand I know, his talks are always very informative and interesting.



Shows in 2018

The Heathrow Bonsai Show 21st October 2018

Solent’s last bonsai show of the year is The Heathrow Bonsai Show on 21st October 2018,

it is held at:-

The Harlington sports centre, Pinkwell Lane, Harlington, Middlesex. UB3 1PB

The show open to public 1000-1600, Entrance fees are, adults £3, children under 12 go Free.

This is an excellent show and well worth attending, there are 38 clubs exhibiting bonsai and viewing stones, 25 traders. All Day Refreshments available.

More information can be found at www.heathrowbonsai.weebley.com

Swindon Winter Image Show 2019

Solent Bonsai Society will be showing at the 2019 Swindon Winter Image show on 24th February 2019, it is one of the best shows of the year at:-

Grange Leisure Centre, Grange Drive, Stratton St. Margaret, Swindon, Wiltshire. SN3 4JY

It is open from 10am to 4pm. It is a good opportunity to buy those elusive pots, trees etc. as there are many traders at the show. More information can be found on their website www.swindon-bonsai.co.uk.


Other Local Club Meetings in our area.

Eastleigh Bonsai Society meets on second Monday of the month start at 7:30pm, the next meeting is on

Monday 10th  September 2018  Workshop

Chichester Bonsai Society meet on second Thursday of the month start 7:30pm, the next meeting is on

Thursday 13th September 2018  Members Stones and Accents display plus tree styling   

For more information on Chichester Bonsai Club go to www.chichesterbonsai.co.uk

All the clubs in the area support each other. If anyone would like more information on other local clubs please let me know.

Look forward to seeing you all on the 28th September at the Talk on Pines

Keith Hartley

Secretary Solent Bonsai Society


Email kb.hartley@ntlworld.com

Tel: - 02392640985

Mobile: - 07847487435

Secretary's Report

Many thanks to Robert and Collette for a very interesting July meeting. Those members who brought along trees I hope went away with perhaps a clearer idea of the way forward with their tree, even members who did not have trees at the meeting learnt from Rob and Collette vast knowledge.


July Tree of the Month Result

1st. Enid Jones, Large Leafed Chinese Elm.

2nd. Eddie Savory, Horse Chestnut.

3rd. Keith Hartley, Cedar Lebanon