Are you looking for an opportunity to enhance your Japanese landscape skills?
Portland Japanese Garden offers an amazing opportunity to learn stone setting, bamboo fence construction, and other skills including tools, aesthetics, and history.
Deadline for the beginner’s course is today (February 15) with the course set for June 3-9. Intermediate level deadline is in April with the course set for September 16-27. More details and registration at the link below:
Meanwhile, in Hilo a pruning class will be taught by Dennis Makishima in Lili`uokalani Gardens Tuesday and Wednesday, March 19 and 20. Advance registration is required. The course is geared toward public park maintenance personnel, Master Gardeners, and active landscape industry workers.
UPDATE: As of Monday, February 25, class registration is full with 50 participants. There is a small waiting list.
Dennis is the founder of the Merritt College (Oakland, California) aesthetic tree pruning program. He is a past president of the Golden State Bonsai Federation. Dennis used to come to Hawaii annually to help with the bonsai show at the Okinawa Festival in Honolulu.
Now he says he’s retired, but Dennis is coming to Hawaii in March to work on clients’ trees over two weekends on Oahu. In between, Dennis will return to Hilo to teach pruning workshops to County park maintenance personnel, local landscapers, and Master Gardeners. Registration in advance is required for the two-day workshop Tuesday and Wednesday, March 19 and 20.
“Several Sister City trees have been planted since the last time Dennis visited,” K.T. Cannon-Eger of Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens noted. “They are in need of pruning so it’s a good time to share these skills with others.”
His pruning career started in 1980 when he was working for a produce store in Berkeley. He and a plumber friend traded labor and Dennis pruned his first black pine tree. Over the years, Dennis studied urban horticulture and developed multi-year plans to work on clients trees.
While taking a horticulture class at Merritt College, a team project tackled the pruning of a maple tree on campus. Student interest led to the formation of an aesthetic pruning series as well as a continuing organization that offers a certification program.
“His teaching and leadership made it possible for pruners to make a living at aesthetically pruning trees,” said Randall Lee, president of the Aesthetic Pruners Association. Lee said he learned under Makishima starting around 1988 and said he would not have been an aesthetic pruner without him. Lee said many pruners now advertise themselves as aesthetic pruners, and his organization, founded 10 years ago, was started to certify and support them. The association’s website lists 77 affiliated pruners throughout the United States.
“I was fortunate to meet Dennis at a North American Japanese Garden Association conference. He expressed an interest in Lili`uokalani Gardens and two years later he managed a side trip to Hilo during which 20 County maintenance personnel and Master Gardeners took hands-on workshops with Dennis.”
The two-day workshop will be held in Lili`uokalani Gardens Tuesday and Wednesday, March 19 and 20, from 7:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. each day rain or shine. Lunch, refreshments, and workshop materials are included in the $15 registration cost. Meet at the old sumo ring, a shelter near the tea house and parking lot off Banyan Drive.
To reserve a space, contact K.T. Cannon-Eger at email@example.com or phone (808) 895-8130.