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Bonsai Expert’s Free Demo on Tree Carving

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Date(s) - 03/02/2019
9:00 am - 1:00 pm

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Bonsai expert improves trees by carving

“It’s kind of reverse cosmetic surgery,” said Dan “Doc” Ward in regards to his carving skills on bonsai trees. “By carving, you create a physical and visual accent to the tree line. That’s the art in making your bonsai look weathered, old and ancient.”

Ward, a longtime resident of Granite Bay, will present his ideas, philosophy and techniques on carving at the Saturday, March 2 meeting of the Mother Lode Bonsai Club in the San Andreas Central Library, 1299 Gold Hunter Road (off Mountain Ranch Road) in San Andreas. His free public demonstration will follow the club’s member meeting, which starts at 9 a.m.

“If you can’t fix or hide an imperfection in the tree, make it a part of its design by carving. That way, you’ll improve your bonsai’s health, quality and value,” said Ward. He uses a Dremel power tool with a thin 4 ft. long flex shaft to achieve his goals. “And don’t be afraid to make mistakes because you learn from them. Carving is a skill that removes natural flaws – like dead branches, rotten spots, or proportionately incorrect trunks — by taking away surfaces and creating relief texture.”

Doc Ward, whose interest in this hobby started over three decades ago, has lectured at Sierra College (horticultural department) in Rocklin, taught Master Gardeners’ classes for several years, and currently leads weekly instructional groups on a variety of bonsai topics.

Following Ward’s demonstration, a hands-on workshop will be conducted for any interested persons by experienced club mentors. While there is no charge involved, participants must provide their own bonsai trees, soil, pots, tools and table covering. For more information, contact Richard McKinstry at (209) 288-2330 or go online to