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Bonsai Banter, Issue #009 -- Taper, Taper, Taper
September 13, 2010

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Bonsai Banter is a companion newsletter to Once a month, I send out bonsai news, comments, stories and a little about ‘What’s New’ on my site.

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Taper, Taper, Taper!

Donna Dobberfuhl recently ‘friended’ me on Facebook. In her note, she reminded me of a message I gave on my visit to Texas a few years ago.

My message was:

When selecting and designing bonsai always keep in mind: taper, taper, taper.

Taper as you go from the base of the trunk up the tree, taper every time there is a bend or curve and taper on the branches too.

This is a very basic guideline, however, one we often forget. The taper most frequently ignored is when there are bends and curves.

When it comes to bends and curves – on branches and/or trunk line - there is another important guideline … whenever possible, the length between each point should also get shorter and shorter.

Taper can often tell us where to cut and sometimes, (when there is none), what not to buy.

Great reminder, thanks Donna.

(Illustration by the late Joe Samuels)

New Comment on Fertilizer Page

I recently added the following notation regarding time-release fertilizer:

Another good reason for mixing these “little balls” in the soil is, a crust often forms as they dissolve. This crust can disturb the effectiveness of your watering.

If you do choose to sprinkle this type of fertilizer on top of the potting medium, be sure to disturb the top of the soil mix from time to time with a chop stick.

For more notes on bonsai tree fertilizer see the Fertilizer Page.

Auction and Sale Update

My Auction and Sale is scheduled for Sunday, October 17, 2010. The event begins at 9 am


On a Personal Note

To everything there is a season … A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away …" Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Growing bonsai trees has been a major part of my life for over 30 years. As you’ve probably heard by now, I am experiencing big changes. I've heard it called “downsizing”, “senior freak-out” and “the bucket list”. Whatever it is, I’m calling it Exciting!

I will still keep a few (very few) of my favorite bonsai. I will keep lots of bonsai books (to keep me company in my new winter environment). I will also keep some of my favorite containers for display only. I will continue sharing what I know about bonsai. And, most of all I will keep my bonsai friends!

I would like to assure those who have expressed concern, this move is by choice. I am perfectly healthy, mentally and physically!

The Future

Although a brief edition this month, I will continue writing this Bonsai Banter newsletter and, of course, will continue growing the BonsaiMary website.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback?

Is there something you would like to see on the BonsaiMary site? Let me hear from you!

Did anyone check for root mealy bugs last month and find them?

Bonsai hints, tips, photos – all are welcome.

Until next month’s issue, I’m back to cleaning pots, trimming bonsai plants and sorting “stuff”.


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