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Late January 2016: In late January I had the pleasure of visiting the Noelanders Trophy event in Genk, Belgium for the first time. An exhibition of some of the finest bonsai in Europe, it is certainly worth the effort to visit.
Late January 2016: Exhibition rules at Noelanders meant that photography was forbidden, but I couldn't resist taking a quick snapshot of this fantastic Potentilla fruticosa bonsai by Manfred Weismuller on my phone.
Late January 2016: I had a phone call from apprentice Sean Stolp alerting me to a large number of big beech (Fagus sylvatica) that were being dug up by contractors, using chainsaws and a digger.
Late January 2016: I was allowed to choose a number of trees that I'd like and they were chopped at my requested heights with a chainsaw!
Late January 2016: One of the chopped Beech ready for the digger.
Late January 2016: And so, later that same afternoon, a tractor pulled up outside my house with 5 big collected beech!
Late January 2016: After a lot of effort, the beech had their roots pruned back, the groundsoil removed (by hand, I prefer not to wash the roots of Beech) and the branches pruned before the trees were potted up into large, but shallow, containers.
Late January 2016: Another Beech, reduced to around 90cm tall, with a 30cm wide base. Its hard to judge in these photos exactly how big and heavy these trees were!
Late January 2016: Not all of the Beech had root-systems suitable for bonsai, a number had plunging tap-roots that gave inverse taper, but in total 6 were found to be worthy of training for bonsai.