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Bimer Bonsai Workshop Etiquette

What are Workshops About

A workshop is a good place to discuss your styling ideas for a tree, or to get some ideas if you are unsure what to do with a tree. If you are bringing a tree that hasn’t been styled before, choose a tree with lots of branching and a reasonable amount of potential. Please ensure your tree is healthy and disease free. Trees that are not healthy may not survive and diseases can be passed on to other trees. You may also like to take a “before shot” of your tree.

If possible, do as much preparation work on your tree beforehand, such as weeding, to maximise your time at the workshop. It’s a good idea to bring more than one tree to work on, so you won’t run out of work to do.

Don’t bring a tree that has just been removed from the ground or very recently re-potted. Trees must have a well-established and stable root system to withstand styling.

Bring all the tools you will need, although the trade table will be available if you need more wire etc.

If you need help with something, there are lots of experienced members who you can ask to lend a hand.

Remember to have a tea break and see what the other members are working on. Even by just observing you can still learn a lot.

Workshop Etiquette

Bonsai etiquette is simply good manners. Do not touch or style another member’s tree without permission. While you may have good intentions, you may offend the owner or inadvertently damage the tree.

Constructive criticism, when invited, is always welcome, unsolicited opinions may not be so.

If you have been asked for advice on a tree, make any criticism constructive. E.g. rather than saying “that’s bad/ugly”, say something like “it would be better if…” or “try…”.

Remember, a bonsai is a work of art, and should be respected as such.

Workshop Checklist

  • A tree or trees
  • Clean sharp tools
  • Wire (as many gauges as possible)
  • Turntable
  • Rubbish bag or handy blue bucket
  • White cloth to cover branches (to see how removing them would look)
  • Wooden wedges (to see how changing the potting angle of a tree would look)
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Gloves
  • Camera
  • Pen and paper