This weekend Walter Pall and Jim Doyle hosted the Woodstock IV workshop at Natures Way nursery, near Harrisburg, Pa.
The focus of the workshop is on Naturalistic Bonsai, and Walter has a large batch of old collected trees brought to Natures' Way, so that bonsai enthusiasts can touch, feel, smell and work on his old trees.
Walter insists that sound horticultural techniques be used on every tree, and teaches how to move way beyond the cookie cutter bonsai seen in so many magazines, and on the web. As every student tries his / her hand at working on Walters' old trees, he maintains a watchful eye, so the tree is not taken too far.
Today Walter started work on one of two very old trees which have been in the nursery for 4 years.
This tree is a Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperus Scopolorum), that is very likely 2200 years old. The trunk is massive, and the image is powerful.
Walter forged ahead, first with a discussion of the tree and its' history, then outside the studio to actually perform work on the tree.
Here is the tree last June, in the nursery, and this year, just before starting work...
Tom & Connie Kruegl were enthusiastic listeners of Walters'...
Walter moved the group outside to discuss the old RMJ...
Clearly this is a massive old tree. The group is speechless! Walter...you are going to do...what to that tree?
Walter, after discussing the various options available in the tree, starts right in to "clean up the tree"...
...and then moves on to discuss the next steps, so they are clear to those who will next work on the tree...
So, once the group is comfortably started working on the various details of tree cleanup, Walter can relax, still keeping a watchful eye...
Eric, all the way from near Cleveland, steps right up to the carving suggested by Walter. A really neat face mask is provided by Jim Doyle for protection...
All who watched this work were amazed someone would attempt to style a tree that was already "old" when Christ was born. In actuality, Walter was showing that there is no difference in the techniques, or in the care given, between a young 200 year old and a 2000 year old tree!
It was fun to watch old wood chips fly...
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