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Bonsai Banter Issue # 030-Seasons
September 05, 2012

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Since I moved to Mt. Dora, watching sunsets at the lake ranks high on my list of favorite-things-to-do.

This time of year as the sun sets earlier each evening, it’s a reminder that summer in the northern hemisphere is almost gone.

It’s time to get those summer bonsai jobs done!

If you haven’t root pruned tropicals, wait until next year. Remember they need time to recover before cold weather hits.

(Those of you in the sub-tropics can still do more root pruning on some plants. However, just to be safe, there are a couple of trees that you should definitely wait until next year to trim roots. The buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus) and the dwarf black olive (Bucida spinosa) are best left for warmer nights.)

Clean your benches -- before the hose water is so cold you won’t want to do it.

Have a greenhouse? Get it ready now for your winter houseguests.

Mother Nature

As I watched Isaac spin its way through the tropics and gulf, we “celebrated” the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew. The flash backs were a strong reminder that violent weather of any kind is not to be tested!

In 1992, we saved all of our best bonsai by bringing them indoors.

Even though the roof mostly disappeared, the bonsai snuggled in the hallway, bathroom and closets all survived. It was the starters and pre-bonsai outdoors that suffered the most.

If you ever have any doubts about what to do with your bonsai – it’s easy to decide.

Whether it’s time of year pruning, protection from a frost/freeze or even whether or not to bring bonsai indoors from a dangerous rain storm -- just ask yourself:

Will I care if this one gets damaged or dies?”

Is This a Bonsai Tree?

Schefflera arboricola is a compound leaf tropical plant. It's almost impossible to shape in traditional Japanese styles.

Most bonsai growers do not take the time necessary to give them tree-like-forms. Therefore, they often look like bushes in a bonsai pot. Because of this, many bonsai artists do not consider this plant a good bonsai subject.

A quick glance at this tree may say ‘this is a Ficus,’ because of the canopy. For me, Andy Graham has accomplished his goal of creating a bonsai!

Read the dimensions, how it got started and how long Andy has been creating this Schefflera arboricola bonsai.

Your Two Cents

I have many new pages that are works in progress. You can help me get my priorities straight! Is there something you would like to see? What do you think is missing? Want more of any existing page?

I really do welcome your “two cents.”

Want to be on a Bonsai-Mary Page?

Speaking of new pages, Victor Mills sent me a couple of photos of his great new bonsai bench. I would like to share different types of benches with our visitors. Anyone else have a bench how-to story or photos of your benches?

Contact me!

Have a Bonsai Business?

If you do – before you say “No” to BonsaiMary advertising –

look at these numbers.

Until Next Month

Thanks so much for subscribing and please tell your bonsai friends.

Most sincerely,

Mary Miller

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