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Gnarly Trunk San Jose Juniper Grafting Workshop with Peter Keane (Saturday, April 15, 2023)

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Grafting an Awesome San Jose Juniper Workshop with Peter Keane (Saturday, April 15, 2023)

Grafting is a common technique used in bonsai to combine the desirable characteristics of two different plants into a single tree. While grafting can be done with many different species, San Jose junipers are one of the most popular.

4 Years ago, we acquired a bunch of gnarly fat trunk San Jose Junipers. As a San Jose, they’re not the most desirable tree – mostly because of the foliage. However, they turn into awesome trees once grafted with new foliage.

Here are some basic steps for grafting a juniper bonsai:

  1. Choose the right plants: Choose a rootstock plant that has a thick, sturdy trunk and is compatible with the scion plant (the plant that will be grafted onto the rootstock). For junipers, San Jose Juniper is a good rootstock, while the scion can be any juniper variety that you want to combine with the rootstock.
  2. Prepare the plants: This is Peter’s magic and Ninja skills.
  3. Join the plants: The tools will be provided, including the grafting tape to hold the two plants together.
  4. Wait and watch: After grafting, keep the tree in a warm, humid environment and make sure to keep the soil moist. Peter will leave you with the necessary skills to care for the tree / grafts.

Remember that grafting is a more advanced technique and should only be attempted by intermediate / experienced bonsai growers. Grafting can be a delicate process, and there is a risk that the graft may not take. But if done correctly, grafting can produce stunning bonsai trees with unique characteristics that cannot be achieved through traditional growing methods.

While this may seem like a daunting task for many Bonsai enthusiasts, grafting specialist Peter Keane will teach you the ins and outs of establishing healthy and beautiful grafts.

What To Expect:

Peter will lead a demonstration before instructing. He will then help each student with 3-5 grafts, as time allows.

Each student will choose one of our handpicked San Jose Junipers to work with. (Please Note: the tree and grafts will be provided for the workshop) 

Each of these junipers has been chosen for their unique trunk and branching as they will be an excellent specimen for grafting.

About Peter Keane:

Peter Keane is a bonsai enthusiast and bonsai grafting teacher. He studied bonsai design at Colin Lewis' Ho Yoku School of Bonsai and with other bonsai artists over the years. Peter has been grafting bonsai for over ten years, and the methods he uses to create or improve bonsai vary according to the season and needs of the tree.

His bonsai creations have been displayed several times at the National Exhibition in Rochester, NY as well as the New England Bonsai Gardens members’ exhibition, the New England Flower Show, and the Topsfield Fair.

Peter teaches grafting techniques to bonsai clubs throughout the Northeast and resides in the metro Boston area.

Participation Level: Intermediate / Advanced
Attendee Cost: $250 per student and Includes the San Jose Juniper Tree and Grafting Whips
Duration: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Please arrive a few minutes early.

Included with Workshop:

  • Experienced instructor.
  • San Jose Juniper and Graft Whips: Peter will help each student with 3-5 grafts, as time allows.
  • Bonsai tools, soil, and aluminum wire to support the class

What’s NOT included:

  • Bonsai Pot: Participants have color and shape preferences. It’s not included but we have thousands of pots to choose from.

About the Workshop & Location:

  • Attendee Cost: $250 per student
  • Duration: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. If you arrive a few minutes early, you'll have more time to enjoy the nursery! 
  • Limited Class size: 8 students.
  • Location: 914 S. Main Street, Bellingham, MA, 02019. Unless otherwise specified, all students should meet in the greenhouse labeled “Workshop.” It’s right behind our retail store – you can’t miss it.
  • Refreshments Available: We have refreshments available for sale (Soda, Water, snacks).
  • Bathroom: There is a portable washroom at the facility, starting March 1st.


** All sales are final. No Refunds will be given on workshops provided by New England Bonsai Gardens.