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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Meet the Carlisle branch of bonsai enthusiasts

A GROUP of bonsai enthusiasts are continuing their quest to grow the perfect tree.

Carlisle Bonsai Club meet up every month at Morton Manor to compare and work on their labour of love.

In the early stages of the year this mainly involves trimming the trees.

Growing bonsai trees is an ancient Japanese art form involving cultivating the miniature plants in small containers.

There are around 15 people in the group and co-ordinator Phil Miley has been involved in the hobby for 20 years.

He explains: “We are trying to model the perfect tree. You never do it but that’s what we aim for. Different people have different reasons for doing bonsai. My reason for doing it is quite deep – it’s something that I am doing that I can leave to my children.”

The practice is more than a 1,000 years old and there are similar cultures in China and Vietnam.

Although to the untrained eye the trees may often look similar, this is not the case. Mr Miley explains that there are six different styles and a number of criteria they can be judged on. The styles include literati, cascade, slant-style, broom and windswept.

He says: “My favourite is literati and the trunk defines the character of the tree.

“There are a lot of styles including a twisty trunk and then you have twin trunk and triple trunk.”

The group meet on the first Tuesday of every month and Mr Miley explains that new members are always welcome.

To get involved contact Morton Manor or Mr Miley on 01228 710504.

JJohnson@cngroup.co.uk

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