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Bonsai Banter Issue #63 Amazing Tool, Secret No More
May 27, 2015

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Amazing Tool, A Secret No More

While I was admiring the 'Joy of Bonsai' exhibit this past January, I couldn't help but notice how especially clean the trees were.

When I mentioned how good the bonsai looked, I learned some of their local members were using a new (to bonsai) tool.

Mike Rogers explained it was a mini water sprayer with adjustable pressure strength.

He also said "To avoid tearing off the bark, it's important to test and adjust the spray before using it on your bonsai!"

More recently, I saw this photo in Bill Valavanis blog.

Paul Eschman is cleaning a Hornbeam at Bill's International Bonsai Arboretum nursery using this pressure washer.

Just under $100. may seem a bit pricey, but if you've ever spent hours with vinegar or soapy water and a toothbrush you will think it's a bargain!

Summer Wilt

So your bonsai is wilted, it's simple, water it. Right ?

Not so fast. Wilt has other causes. Some plants wilt when they are just too hot, others when it's windy. If you have an ongoing wilt problem, your bonsai may be rootbound. However, it may also be something else. Check the soil, if it's moist, find the real problem.

Sometimes wilt can be a sign of big problems such as borers or fungus.

See this near disaster story of a seagrape with single leaves wilting!

Seagrape wilted leaf story

World Bonsai Day 2015

The D&L Bonsai Nursery in The Ocala National Forest was the perfect place for such an event.

Nearly 100 people found their way to this World Bonsai Day (also Customer Appreciation Day.) Kay Karioth drove three hours to get there and said she wouldn't have missed for anything!

I helped out with "Let's Talk Tropicals." Mike Rogers, Randy Clark and Jeff Ketts also contributed programs.

No More Excuses!

Can't afford bonsai stands? Don't have the perfect one?

I remember (in the old days) being frustrated trying to set up an exhibit. Folks would bring beautiful trees and no stands. We used everything from old boards to floor tiles.

Reading this recent blog from William Valavanis is a must!

It's about how-to create stands from cork ... yes, the cheap kind, available in packs from craft and home improvement stores. This cork project could make a great club get-together.

Cork stands blog - Bill Valavanis

Flowering Bonsai

Last month's Bonsai Banter got lots of attention, especially the Grandfather Greybeard aka Chinese Fringe Tree bonsai (Chionanthus v.)

Seems like the article may have encouraged Randi Heise: "I live in Virginia and we have a Chionanthus v. as a landscape tree ... a bonsai left in the ground too long. :-) This summer I plan to air layer a branch and start bonsai ... again."

Victor Galloza wrote "It looks like Wrightia religiosa."

Although the Chionanthus flower is more wispy, according to one grower, it only blooms for apporoximately a two week period.

The Wrightia has fragrant flowers, and it's less 'wispy', however it blooms and blooms! Something to consider.

Regarding cutting hers down to size, my daughter Angela put it quite simply "Very funny Mom!"

Bonsai Societies of Florida Convention

Orlando this past weekend ... Congratulations to Louise Leister on her Best Small Bonsai award (shown here) and the well deserved Lifetime Achievement Award (although I'm sure she has plenty left to give!)

I had a wonderful re-introduction moment! With good reason, George Puig had to remind me where I knew him from. George had helped me weed and trim bonsai when he was a teenager in Miami!

And now, here he was at the convention still doing bonsai, over 20 years later!

I also met James Clements – he had "bugged" Dave at Bogan's Bonsai in Indiana to sell him a huge Ficus nerifolia for years. When Dave finally sold it, he included pictures of me working on it. (Actually, cutting it in half may be a better description.) James had a current picture of the tree with him, and today it's looking great!

It was also good to see guest artists David DeGroot & Guy Guidry.

Not Exactly About Bonsai

Joe Samuels often told the story about a bird that had flown along side his vehicle as he drove down the road by one of his favorite Bald Cypress collecting spots.

It was as if the bird was saying "so long." A few years later, Joe and I were hiking through the same area. This time instead of shovels we had cameras in hand.

As we were leaving, a crow landed on the hood of my car, walked up and looked in the window.

Then he hopped over to the rear view mirror.

I said, "Hey Joe, maybe it's your old friend!"

The bird stayed on the car as we drove away, acting like a hood ornament. We both laughed and enjoyed the moment.

Recently there was a TV program about how intelligent crows are.

"They have incredible memories which allow them to recognize human faces."

All these many years later, I have to ask myself ... could it be?

BonsaiMary Gets Mail

"I belong to the Cascade Bonsai Society in Medford, Oregon ... Love your web site!!! - Leigh Blake

"You're doing a great job with Bonsai Banter. I have an "Oh good!" response when it shows up in the inbox. - John Evans

Thanks for the kudos. I know I say it often, but it is words like this that keep writers writing!

BonsaiMary Advertising

Advertising on BonsaiMary literally cost pennies a day.

$50. will give you a large ad, with great exposure for three full months on 5 different pages! (A total of 15 ads.)

Even less per day when you purchase 5 pages for 6 months at $85. That is not a per month price ... it's a total for all 6 months on 5 of your choices of my most visited pages.

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Until Next Time

Now that it's warming up, there are lots of outdoor things to do ... be sure your bonsai care is one of them!

Here in the U.S., lots of folks are struggling with hostile weather. I hope you are not among them.

Thanks for your input and for visiting my site.


Mary Miller

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