Back to Back Issues Page
Bonsai Stories and Fun
May 31, 2016

Thank You for Subscribing

If someone sent you this issue of Bonsai Banter, it's a monthly newsletter. If you like what you see, please sign up!

Subscription Form in Right Column of Home Page

If you wish to remove your name, please see the link at the bottom of this page.

World Bonsai Day in

The Ocala National Forest

The VanBuskirks of D&L Nursery celebrate both World Bonsai Day and 'customer appreciation day' at the same time. It was quite an event, again this year!

If you look closely, you can see me about to deliver a talk. It was all about how a Ficus known around the world, originated as bonsai and how it developed into great subject.

(I know I've said I don't give programs any longer, however, this was an exception to the rule.)

Read 'The Willow Leaf Fig' story here.

A Beginner's Bonsai Guideline

Many of us learned the ‘Rule of Thirds’ in our basic bonsai lessons. It's not the perfect answer, but it is often a great guideline, especially for traditional upright trees.

Once you determine where the first branch is, consider that the first third. By mentally adding the two thirds above the first branch, you will know approximately where the top should be.

Cover anything above that imaginary line with The Magic Cloth

Now you can see what it could look like. It may be a little taller or shorter but this is still an excellent guideline for finding the top.

Then, as always, remember "rules are made to be broken!"

The Hiroshima Pine

As I was going to press, I received a copy of the latest National Bonsai Foundation newsletter. It was a timely article titled: 'Hiroshima Visitors.'

This is just the beginning:

"One of the greatest treasures at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum is the nearly 400-year-old bonsai known as the “Yamaki pine.” Donated to the Museum by Japanese bonsai master Mr. Masaru Yamaki, the tree survived the 1945 atomic blast, which occurred two miles from the Yamaki home. Thirty years after the bombing, Yamaki donated the tree to the U.S. National Arboretum as part of a larger gift of 53 bonsai from the Nippon Bonsai Association . . ."

Click here to enjoy the entire Hiroshima article.

Wire and Bonsai

In addition to bonsai tree wire, there are wire bonsai trees. It seems to be becoming a very popular hobby. I recently added the two shown here to the wire tree sculpture page.

Ben Aquino is a "handyman, artist/sculptor, guitarist, singer, composer, motorcycle tourer, and professionally a Nurse."

Ben lives in the Philippines and is being credited with being the first to add 'water' to his sculptures.

Matthew Gollop who resides in the beautifully wooded landscape of Norfolk, England says he began by "fiddling with a muselet from a champagne bottle (the wire which holds the cap on.) "

This is a close-up of a 'shari and jin' on one of his wire tree sculptures..

You May Have Missed

With over 135 pages on the BonsaiMary site, there may be a few pages you've missed.

Unique Bonsai - Some of unique bonsai on this page may be called strange, odd or even traditionally unacceptable. Others are just remarkable enough to get everyone's attention.

Sometimes the tree is traditional, but, as shown here, the pot is unique!

Some of My Favorite Books - I still recommend the John Naka books, although they have become very expensive. However, there are several inexpensive books available today, that are perfect for beginners.

Juniper bonsai - Here, in addition to several before and after pictures, there's a fun time-lapse video of the entire process from nursery stock to bonsai by David Cutchin . . . near the bottom of the page.

Quote of the Day

This is a picture from the annual display sponsored by the Bonsai Societies of Florida. Volunteers helping with maintenance of the trees during this event have free passes to Epcot.

"I'm at Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival caring for this year's bonsai display.
Some could say perk but I say 'privilege'

Photo and comment by David Cutchin.

Fun on Facebook

"You Know You're a Bonsai Freak when ... "

Yes, that's the name of the group. For the most part there are fun and funny posts. However, recently I saw a really good idea!

Mitch Alan Boatman said "There should be a group dedicated to Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes trees ... sharing how good they can get using some real techniques."

I've often seen "bonsai" in such stores that tempted me to buy them ... just to prove how a little knowledge can go a long way!

If you've created such a bonsai, please Contact Me

Bonsai Mary Gets Mail

Carl Moulin - Oxford, Florida

"Mary . . . two thumbs up for your presentation at the World Bonsai Day celebration last Saturday at the D & L Nursery. You gave us some excellent history, background and how to bonsai. Thank you for sharing your knowledge."

Florence B., Houston TX

I have already found your site more informative than most, and have added it to my favorites. I have bought (and killed) stuff that was 'set up' as Bonsai, which I thought meant “the miniaturization of trees”! ..... I have been to classes and shows, and want to start getting more serious about it!

Florence, welcome to the world of bonsai!

Never Say Never

Kevin J., Osseo, MN

"I have a Juniper Bonsai that is growing well indoors but the trunk is turning white from what I assume is calcium build up. I use slow release bonsai fertilizer and tap water. Should I use purified water or do you have any other tips to get rid of the white trunk? "

My response: Kevin, It's not unusual to have this problem on indoor plants. Try a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water in a small cup, dip a tooth brush in the solution and lightly brush the trunk. The slight runoff won't hurt. If your tap water is very hard, you may want to switch to bottled water. Placing the time release fertilizer a little under the top soil may also help.

I have to ask, you said your bonsai is a juniper. It is often difficult to grow them under the indoor conditions. How long have you had it indoors? I'm guessing you have high light? Tell me more.

Kevin's answer: "Your tip worked well in one day. My trunk is close to natural looking. I've switched to pure drinking water. I've had my Juniper for almost four years and I love my bonsai experiment. All of my windows face south so they get plenty of sun. I'd like my branches to get thicker but I'm sure it a condition of growing indoors. I also have a boxwood and this time of year have plenty of new growth. Thanks again for your help."

This is not a recommendation to grow junipers indoors, however I found this email very interesting.

With Appreciation

With an average of 20,000 unique visitors a month to my website, I continue to "meet" many interesting people. If you have a question, an answer or a story to share, please

Contact Me

Many thanks to all my subscribers who do continue to share bonsai thoughts, questions and pictures.

A special thank you to the BonsaiMary site sponsors.

Supporting these advertisers, helps keep the BonsaiMary site alive and well.

Most Sincerely,

Mary Miller

P.S. If you have a bonsai business, consider sharing it with my visitors.

Advertising rates

Leave this issue of BonsaiBanter and go to Home Page

Back to Back Issues Page