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Bonsai Banter Issue #65 - Lucky Danny!
July 29, 2015

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Lucky Danny!

Danny Coffey is spending the summer "working" at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum in Washington DC.

Danny studied bonsai full time as an apprentice under Mr. Junichiro Tanaka, owner at Aichien Bonsai Nursery in Nagoya Japan.

He is shown here with John Naka's 'Goshin.' (The name ‘Goshin’ roughly translates from Japanese to English as 'Spirit Guardian.')

In his blog 'Tree the People' Danny said ... "It was an unforgettable experience getting to prep and set the tree up for this photo shoot and contribute just a small part to the ongoing history and evolution of an American Bonsai Legacy."

A Loss to Bonsai

On July 25, 2015 at 98 years of age, Harry Hirao, "Mr. California Juniper" passed away.

Although Harry collected many California Junipers, perhaps his most famous is the one shown here, exhibited at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum in Washington, D.C.

He will be greatly missed.



The Artisans Cup

September 25, 2015 - September 27,2015 Portland,OR The Artisans Cup "... received over 300 submissions, competition was fierce, and we are humbled by the artistry displayed in our field of finalists ..."


Of the 70 selected, I'm proud to say four are from Florida.

I can remember when Florida bonsai were the stepchildren of American bonsai. Tropicals were not considered "real" bonsai.

Thanks to technology, today the world is a much smaller place and tropical bonsai (from many areas) now rank among the best!

Congratulations to all 70 selected participants, especially to:

Paul Pikel - Buttonwood, Conocarpus erectus (Orlando, FL)
Paul's winning buttonwood bonsai shown here.

Mike Lebanik - Jaboticaba, Myrciaria cauliflora (Davenport, FL)

Louise Leister - Black Pine, Pinus thunbergii (Palm Coast, FL)

And
Michael Feduccia - Buttonwood, Conocarpus erectus (Plant City, FL)

Bonsai Europa

Bury, Manchester, England October 10-11, 2015

Tony Tickle is the organizer for Bonsai Europa and this year it will be held in the UK.

Rumor has it, there will be a special “Bonsai Beer” for the event.

Still time to make plans! Bonsai Europa 2015

The Heat is On

I rarely repeat articles, however, this issue again shares some of the valuable information regarding summer weather extremes from 2012.

Towel Tips

“... here in S. Indiana we have been experiencing severe heat and drought. Our trees are suffering. With this in mind, I just tried a new experiment and thought I would pass on my results. I have started covering my pots that sit in hot direct sun with heavy wet bath towels …

Experiment Results

Pots covered with towel at 9:30 a.m. and watered heavily. Temperature checked at 2:00 p.m. in full sun, no shade or shade cloth.

Pot in direct sun soil temperature 112 degrees. Pot in full sun with wet towel covering pot - soil temperature 95 degrees.

After watering at 2:00 pm all soil temperatures of covered pots dropped below 90 degrees. (Soil temperatures were checked with a meat thermometer.)” - Dave Bogan, Indianna, USA

An Idea with Styrofoam

“You may want to try cutting 1/2 inch Styrofoam pieces to cover the pot on the sunny side, shim them up with a few rocks and cut the trunk area out. A larger rock on top holds them down. I use them in hot months.

The soil temps will be what the temps are in the shade ... monitor them on windy days, but the blue Styrofoam does absorb and reflect the heat. They must be up enough for air circulation and to water.” - Kenny Popp, Louisville, KY, USA

Another Easy Resolution

“Here, we’ve have been using boards slanted on the pot to the south …”- Pauline Muth, upstate New York, USA

Watering Reminder

If you water with a hose, in the heat remember how hot the water can be when it first comes out!

The Mid-America Bonsai Alliance Convention

The Mid-America Bonsai Alliance convention was held July 10-12, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. There were lots of awards, but this one caught my eye. Congratulations to Barbara Bogan for this beautiful Japanese maple. It took the best deciduous tree award.

I asked Barbara about the wonderful accent plant. "It is a geranium 'Vancouver centennial.' She also mentioned "After this picture was taken, it was moved to the other side."

Photo by Bill Valavanis

Summer Dormancy

You may find some of your trees wilt in the heat. Before you water, check the soil moisture, you may be surprised!

Many years ago I noticed a dormancy period with my legume and buttonwood bonsai. The trees had seemingly shut down. They “pouted” and even shed a few leaves. Another symptom was little to no new growth.

‘Summer dormancy’ is a temporary inactive phase caused by chemical changes within the plant cells. This growth arrestment is caused by high temperatures.

During this time, allow your bonsai to rest. They have stored up enough nutrition to sustain themselves. Do not try to wake them up with fertilizer, it won't work!

Don’t overwater either. Before you water, make sure your bonsai need it.

Wire Tree Sculpture

In a recent blog, Tony Tickle, told of his friend Bryan Dillon's excitement over a new purchase ...

"Over 6,500 left turns and 550+ individual clusters, I’m mightily impressed with this fantastic looking wire sculpture."

I was also impressed, I added artist Jun Navarro to the wire tree sculpture page on my site.



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Until Next Time

To northern hemisphere subscribers, try to stay cool. To everyone else, enjoy the cool.

Thanks for your input and for visiting my site.

Sincerely,

Mary Miller

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