Friday, March 30, 2007


Pretty much all the deciduous trees have swollen buds, or the leaves have already come out.

Some trees which are slow at breaking their buds this year are the smooth bark elms, hackberry, hedge maple, and dwarf dawn redwood.

For most trees, root growth comes later then bud break, but not by much. Some exceptions are yew, boxwood, some pines, and wisteria.

Keep an eye out for aphids. Use leaf friendly bug sprays; lime sulphur will cause problems with leaves.

Monday, March 26, 2007


I have a guest coming over tomorrow!

A couple things needed to be done. I had to put out my display ready bonsai. I usually have projects or favorites out on my main table. I hosed the dirt and debris off all my tables. I weeded pots. I cleaned my yard of small pots and plant flats - the wind really throws then around.


I hate to show my friends pictures of my bonsai because they "WOW" in real life and they "uh" when I show pictures.

I have arranged for my photographer friend to teach me how to photograph my bonsai better. I don't thing composition is the problem. It is depth and color and background contrast that I have the most trouble with. With many of my pictures of my bosai, it is hard to tell the difference between the bonsai and the shrubs in the backyard. But even with a solid backdrop I find the back branches 'vanish.' Part of bonsai is the 3-dimensionality, something the 2-D picture steals away somehow.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Juniper Bark

Juniper bark comes off easy at this time of year.

Don't forget to shape your branches, if necessary. Leave the wire on the jinned wood for the whole year.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Crab Apple - Time to repot

I got this crab apple from a friend. It was a good stump but with no-where to go, artistically. He gave it to me. I plunked it in the ground for two years. This year (grown last year) there was a branch that did just the righ thing for the stump. I cut back everything not that branch, and I potted my new pre-bonsai.

Monday, March 5, 2007

One of the Reasons for Bonsai

Over the past week I have been appreciating my bonsai. The last few days have been really hectic. I have spent some time each day in my garden looking at the bark on my middle aged hedge maple trees - a nonhectic activity. I really like the bark at this stage, about 3 or 4 years old.
I like having bonsai.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Snow After Repotting

My maples and larches have started to break their buds. As per bonsai literature, when this happens we repot the trees. However, Victoria's weather is so mild that the buds break before winter actually ends. Hence the "I've already repotted some things, yet it is time for the last sub-zero cold snap."
It is all about aftercare.
I bring my plants right up against the house, where the radiant temperatures of the house will keep the repotted plant a few degrees warmer then outside is in general. Others put their repotted plants in an unheated garage or shed. Still others have a greenhouse to leave the plants in. One could put their trees into a deep pit, where the ground will insulate them.
The only other solution is to wait until after the early March Victoria cold snap. Most of us know it is coming. And the trees whose buds have broken aren't going to be growing very fast when the temperatures are so low. So if the tree doesn't bud out too early, it is ok to wait.