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Bonsai Banter Issue # 039 Bonsai Care
June 07, 2013

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Bonsai Care

A Special Note to Bonsai Novices

My original intent, for this issue, was to write about summer bonsai care. Then I received an email from Australia, and it reminded me … it's not summer everywhere! This gave me another thought about bonsai care in general.

Whether you are a newcomer to the art or experienced and giving instructions to someone else, it's important to remember there is never just one way to care for any bonsai.

One of my first bonsai books had been translated from Japanese. The plants and care instructions were based upon living in Japan. I lived in Miami, Florida. Many of us in those days were off to a rough start. Try growing a white pine in Miami,FL!

In today's world of the internet, I've seen care instructions for tropical bonsai trees that neglect winter care in climates other than tropical. Others have stated, “Oh sure you can grow that where you live!” for plants that will not do well in certain climates.

My advice to the novice? Do your homework. Ask lots of questions and be sure to mention where you live, when asking questions.

Florida Convention

Memorial Day weekend,the Bonsai Societies of Florida celebrated their 40th anniversary in Lake Mary, FL. Many thanks to Artura Cid for the video.

If you have some pictures from this exhibit or a convention near you, please share them with Bonsai-Mary here.

We Get Mail

Kat from Missouri sent me this note:

Mary, I just wanted to say thank you for making such a great, informative website. I am brand new to the world of Bonsai. I bought a Dwarf Schefflera . . . am learning, slowly but surely, how to care for it. Your website has been such a help!

Thanks Kat, I love a good hug!

I also received an email from “Nelson.” When I tried to respond the email address was returned via mailer.daemon.

I hate when that happens!

Since this is not the first time the mulberry question has come up, I decided to respond here in Bonsai Banter.

Nelson ... you're right, they are not popular as a bonsai subject.

The main reason is the young trunks are usually thin and very straight. They don't develop girth for many years.  When you do see a good Mulberry bonsai, it is often a yamadori.

Yamadori have been growing in nature many years before they become bonsai.

If you're not familiar with "yamadori," take a look at Introducing Yamadori and then see Urban Yamadori.

Nelson, you mentioned you had planted yours in the ground. If you would like to create some movement in the trunk, plant your mulberry a bit sideways and let it curve upward to reach the sun.

Let it grow! In the meantime, start another bonsai (perhaps with a larger trunk.)

P.S. If any readers out there have a great mulberry bonsai, I would love to see pictures!

Speaking of yamadori, Zack Smith of Bonsai South specializes in large collected and field-grown trees.

Zack has impressive yamadori trees for sale. See his ad in the right hand column of the Beginner Bonsai page.

Site Reminders

Don't forget, if you have a bonsai business or are a bonsai speaker, I have very reasonable spaces available for Your Ads.

Until next month, thanks for your input and for visiting my site.


Mary Miller

P.S. If you send me an email, photo or story and don't hear from me, I may not have received it. Please try again!

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