Nursery Challenge Info

The objective is to challenge yourself, learn and document the process. It is an opportunity to try something new or extreme, push the limits and gain experience from the exercise.


This year the focus will be on transforming/styling the tree by pruning, wiring, bending, trunk splitting etc. If you also want to repot, we recommend against repotting and styling in one big action, how you proceed will be up to you.  It is possible to style now (late fall) and repot in the spring as the buds swell, or repot in the spring and style next fall, however, styling in the fall will require additional winter protection.  Survival is important for the tree and for us to be able to document the progression of Nursery stock to developed Bonsai in the years to come.

Trees will be critiqued by a panel of judges from our club, with feedback and discussion when the challenge closes at the end of October.

Any untouched Nursery stock is eligible (even the one you got last year but never got around to anything but watering). No price limit, but the idea is to be willing to sacrifice it in order to learn, to not be constrained by financial considerations.

No limit as to how many trees, we are also building content for our website and social media, however, depending on how many submissions we have, each participant may only have two trees critiqued at the end.

What is required:

1- Untouched nursery stock tree(s)

2- A ‘high resolution’ photograph before any work is done and after any work is done (document progression) A final photo of the tree in fall and a ‘finished’ photo for judging the work. Pictures should be from the ‘front’ of the tree against a solid background (clearly showing the tree). A short 360 video could also be included to help with feedback.  The photos could also be taken at club meetings to assist any technologically challenged individuals who are interested.


Please specify the species/cultivar of the tree(s) and a short write up of the concept for the design/transformation.  Feel free to mention future plans, back story, highlight features (flowers, fruits, fragrance, colour change etc.) and unique characteristics.


Bringing tree to meetings is encouraged but they should be identified as challenge trees and suggestions/opinions/ideas/help* should be requested by the participant.

*All work must be done by your hand (unless there are any physical limitations that require assistance).


The challenge is open now, send your submissions to TBA


If you have any further questions please contact TBA or ask at a meeting.


Let the transformation begin!