At our April 2019 meeting member David Bennett gave a presentation on utilizing Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) for bonsai.
David talked about some of the benefits of this tree, such as the fact that it is locally available and hardy to the area. It is shade tolerant (though prefers sun), fast healing, has good needle reduction, and tends to have compact growth when cultivated properly.
Because it is fast growing David prefers using guy wires instead of wiring branches and pointed out that hemlocks tend to have a lot of “memory” in them and bends don’t always hold. He also warned that they don’t usually backbud on old wood so that needs to be taken into consideration when styling the tree. They are also strongly apically dominant so need frequent pinching to maintain shape.
Are you interested in attending a meeting of the Cleveland Bonsai Club but aren’t sure what goes on? Well, it really depends on the meeting!
Some meetings will have a featured speaker on a particular topic. It could be about a style of tree, species, propagation technique, wiring, fertilizer, pretty much anything bonsai or bonsai related. One of the presentations this past winter was about Suiseki (stones).
Some meetings are basically mini-workshops. Attendees can bring any tree they want and work on it at the meeting while getting advice from other members. The pictures accompanying this article were taken at the June meeting. At this meeting, the new club website was unveiled and it was also a workshop. You can see some of the trees brought in to work on.
Anyone is welcome to attend any of the monthly member meetings so if you’re interested in learning more about bonsai feel free to stop in and introduce yourself! We are a good group of folks and welcoming to newcomers of any skill level. There is no cost to attend.