In April 2004,  my old Bonsai friend Tony Tickle came over from the UK to pick me up. Together we started the long journey to Munich (Germany) were we would visit the ICHI SHUN-TEN spring Bonsai show! My idol Kimura was giving a two day demo there and I was really excited  to see him at work! But first we made a small d-tour to Austria were we would visit our Bonsai friend Wolfgang Putz. After a very long drive we arrived late at night in Wolfgang’s home town were he was waiting for us to guide us to a hotel. Needles to say that we went strait to bed to get some well deserved rest! Early next morning Wolfgang picked us up and drove in front of us to his house. His wonderful garden was one of the cleanest I have ever seen. You could literary eat from the floor ! You could see the devotion of Wolfgang in every tree and accent plants, truly inspiring! Wolfgang is beside being a great Bonsai artist also a great schnapps maker! Trees, plant or herbs, you name it and Wolfgang will show you the schnapps he made off it! We did a lot of sampling, wile it was really early in the morning (look at the clock)! I never knew that you could drink Pine? But I have to admit it tasted heavenly!


Below: Tony and Wolfgang. They look in the camera like this because it was my Fourth attempt to make a decent picture off the two of them and that was not that simple after all that schnapps!


 Me and Tony brought along some Yamadori material to swap. I had a Yew that Wolfgang was interested in and he generously agreed to swap it for a amazing small Mugo that I fell in love with! That pine, that I named “WOLFIE” in honor of Wolfgang, is the hero in this following story!

Below: The first picture of “Wolfie” back in my own garden! This is the front that I selected.


Below: Backside.


 Below: Half way up the trunk there is a in batted stone. I wonder just how long that stone is a part of this little tree?! I love these quirky things one yamadori and I would never think of removing such a important part of the history of this tree!



In Spring 2005 I was invited to give a two day demonstration at the prestigious “JOY OF BONSAI” in the beautiful historical town of Bath (UK). And because “Wolfie” was doing real fine I decided to tack him with me and give him his first styling.

Below: The main branch, that was full of natural Shari, was first protected with a layer of wet raffia to prevent it from breaking!


Below: Than lengthwise copper wires were applied to give extra support to the places most likely to snap. These wires were hold in place with thin copper wire.


Below: Than a other layer of wet raffia was applied and on top of that more copper wire was applied in the normal way! This should be enough to prevent the old branch from cracking or even wurst, breaking! And as you can see below, the branch is already bend in wards with out any problems. Now the foliage that I need to style the whole tree is much closer to and above the center of the tree!


Below: Wiring the branches with copper wire.


Below: Positioning the branches in to their new places.


Below: With power tools the deadwood was shaped. The boy in the back was to scared to watch any longer! 🙂 note: and he is right!! You should always (at least) wear eye protection when operating a power tool!!!


Below: Shaping the deadwood.


Below: Still working on the deadwood. Here you can also see the layout of these show. The audience is able to walk up real close to all the demonstrators. This is ideal because they can see up real close what the demonstrators are doing and ask what ever the like!


Below: Roughly styling the thick large deadwood section on the left side of the tree.


Below: Top view of that same deadwood section. Here the large stump is all ready reduced quit a bit and the shape that I had in mind is slowly beginning to emerge.


Below: I wanted to show different way’s of protecting branches that needed to be bend severely! Here I use normal bandage for protraction. This is easy to apply and works really well on branches that are not to thick! A extra bonus, when using bandage, is that it stays moist for a very long time, so little cracks that might appear when bending the branch wont dry out and have time to heal with out any problem!


Below: On top of the layers of bandage a tight layer of tape is applied. Then copper wire is applied in the normal way.


Below: Front of the tree. The top section is more or less in the desired place. On the bottom right side you can just see the back branch that needs to be bend all the way to the left side of the tree. It needs to fill out the big open space under need that large jin on the left. This will  pull the tree more to the left and bring more balance into the composition!


Below: Wolfie after my demonstration.


Below: Tired, but happy with the result of this first styling.


I hope you like the new image of “Wolfie” so fare ?!


Hans van Meer.

You can read part II of it’s story HERE .