Monthly Archives: January 2021

January Bonsai

Jan. 01, 2021 in Bonsai by admin - Comments: 0

An article like this one is very limited in the amount of detail it can present on a subject. I would recommend that you read what Jonas Dupich of Bonsai Tonight started Dec 6th with a very good series on his blog ( to cover minute details on selection, watering, difference between healthy growth and vigorous growth, etc. It is written so that you can see it in your backyard and not with calendar dates (usually useless in other areas) or just like he does in California. It is written especially for beginners but most of the more experienced people will learn a lot too with a lot of pictures of the details.

It would be nice to be able to put your trees into 2 or 3 groups --outdoor trees, indoor trees, flowering trees. But nature has not done anything so simple. Some outdoor trees survive a lot of cold and others want to go dormant but can't have their roots frozen at all. Your job is to learn their foibles and work around them.

In general, you start by knowing that deciduous trees will go dormant and stay that way until something awakens them. Some are temperature sensitive, they go dormant when the temp drops in the fall and awaken when they get warm. These should be kept in a shady area to keep them cool. Others are sensitive in the change in day length: they go dormant when daylight gets short and will break buds when they sense the days getting longer. These are not so hard to care for.

Evergreens do not go fully dormant. They slow their processes but still use sunlight and some nutrients. However they still need their roots protected to prevent alternate freezing and thawing.

All outdoor trees, both deciduous and evergreen, need to have their soil moisture maintained and their roots protected from deep freezes. Since their sap flow is diminished, they cannot replace moisture lost to winds so they should be protected from a lot of wind. The plants can be protected by using ground heat to minimize the low and high temps. Set the pots on the ground and cover with mulch.

For those with tropicals care at this time depends on your facilities for giving them heat and light, the two things usually in short supply in January. I merely try to keep mine alive with the greenhouse at 50 degrees. Watch your greenhouse for the sun heating it too much. Be sure to monitor them for aphids and other problems. They do not get enough light to actively grow anyway. When the mame size shohin elms have had a month of dormancy I bring them into the greenhouse before the temps get to the lower twenties. They respond by starting growth so I have them for 'soul food' through January.

Styling can be done at this time but no repotting unless you are going to keep the tree from freezing after that. Repotting initiates new root development which is usually not very hardy. Repotting is 'best' done when the tree is waking up indicated by buds swelling before they show any green.

A better approach would be to study one or two thoroughly each day making notes on what needs to be done. January is an excellent time to start any remodeling projects that may be necessary. While the trees are dormant you have better view of the branch structure. Do any need to be moved or removed? Do any coarse branches need to be cut back to a smaller side branch for refinement? Do any long straight branches need wiring to give them motion? Does the tree really need a drastic redesign? You can also trim the twigs back while you have them there. You can also decide if that tree will need to be repotted this spring, is the present pot good or should you find a more appropriate pot for it?

Indoor trees will be using more water to offset the lower humidity. Soil will also be losing water faster through its surface. Be sure to watch the indoor trees for insect problems. Most plant insects love a controlled atmosphere like the indoors. Spider mites seem to get the most attention here because they do great in a low humidity and the lack of foliage spraying. Scale can be an easily overlooked source of trouble. There is usually more severe problems with plants that have been kept outdoors in summer than brought in without any treatment. Indoor trees need to be fertilized regularly and will require periodic trimming as they continue to grow through the winter.

Tender or tropical trees that are kept indoors will be using more water to offset the lower humidity. Soil will also be losing water faster through its surface. Be sure to watch the indoor trees for insect problems. Most plant insects love a controlled atmosphere like the indoors. Spider mites seem to get the most attention here because they do great in a low humidity and the lack of foliage spraying. Scale can be an easily overlooked source of trouble. The flat green kind can be hard to spot on the underside of leaves or tight against the stem. Indoor trees need to be fertilized regularly and will require periodic trimming as they continue to grow through the winter.

By John Miller - Reprinted From 2015

Circus of Clowns

Jan. 02, 2021 in People by admin - Comments: 4

A large number of Americans have started receiving the $600 stimulus money this editor included. Is it enough? Considering the impact of the COVID-19 virus pandemic on the American people, $10,000 would not be enough; though it would be a tremendous boost to the economy. However that is unrealistic but the $2000 payments called for would be a "Helluv-a-lot Better" than the tiny $600 payments.

The "Circus of Clowns" in the Republican party currently holding offices are a disgrace to the democratic system and should all be shot; or at least fired and hopefully the new Biden Administration will be able to flush out the rats from the ship and make sure the people get the remainder of the $2000 in their pocket.

Live And Let Live

Jan. 03, 2021 in People by admin - Comments: 3

Are you wondering why the world is in so much chaos? Does it feel like we are on the brink of a civil war? Are you wondering why we can't get along? Are you frustrated with the endless bickering between Republicans and Democrats?

Corona virus isn't to blame. The problem isn't our failure to elect the right person. Look in the mirror. We are to blame. We are the cause of our own problems. Fortunately, we are also the solution. We can bring about a much more free, peaceful, and virtuous world where people live in harmony and celebrate differences. I'm not pushing any religious views on you. People of faith and people of no faith can peacefully coexist just fine. So can all reasonable people; regardless of skin color, sexual orientation, or even economic status. We don't need to have an endless struggle with each other. It needs to end immediately. I'm suggesting one critically important principle to you: Live and Let Live. Can you get on board with this idea?

Can you truly accept that competent adults have the right to peacefully live their lives as they choose; even if they choose to live in ways you morally disagree with? Or, ways that are unhealthy? Or, unwise? All we need to do is simply agree to Live and Let Live. Does this seem too simple and naive?

To the extent we have allowed others to peacefully live their lives as they choose, freedom and peace have resulted. Prosperity follows freedom and peace. We urgently need to unite around the principle that initiating aggression, even to achieve laudable goals, is always wrong. All laws should reflect this basic principle. Without first agreeing upon this basic principle, arguing about anything else is a waste of time. I'm not advocating pacificism. Reasonable self-defense is a response to aggression; not aggression itself. If we truly believe all people ought to have equal rights, we need a Movement that has such a principle as the anchor of its philosophy. Let's commit to aspirational values such as tolerance, open mindedness, voluntary kindness, rational thought, honesty, civility and a commitment to pursuing truth.

We must recognize that in order for you to live the life you want in peace and freedom you must extend that same right to your neighbor. Your right to pursue your life as you choose cannot infringe upon another's to do the same. If we all adhere to this simple truth, we can live in a free and prosperous society where human happiness is maximized and suffering is minimized. It's that simple. We must oppose all forms of initiated aggression if we are ever to achieve a peaceful world. We can solve our problems within this pro-peace framework.I challenge you to seriously envision a world where all laws are consistent with the Live and Let Live Principle. Intrigued?

Learn about the new global peace Movement here: LiveandLetLive. Be part of the solution!

FWBS New Blog

Jan. 27, 2021 in Bonsai by admin - Comments: 3

Fort Worth Bonsai Society's new blog system is a home grown endeavor that has taken many many months of coding and testing. I am proud to finally have it online for the members of our Club to use and enjoy. Members are allowed to post their own blogs by accessing the link on the FWBS main site, when logged in. Anyone may post comments to the existing blogs and if you wish to receive emails when a new blog or comment is posted please Subscribe under the Contact tab.

Keeping Your Bonsai Safe During The Cold Winter

Jan. 28, 2021 in Bonsai by admin - Comments: 0

Winter is coming and, depending on where you live, this might be a big deal or it might not. However, winter can be a dangerous time for some bonsai species, so we wanted to talk a little bit about how to deal with the coming season for those in colder areas.

This blog will only be an overview. You'd be well advised to also look up a specific care guide for your bonsai species to ensure it doesn't have any special needs to take into consideration.

Tips On Ensuring Your Bonsai Tree Has A Safe Winter

  1. Indoor Trees
    Obviously, if your tree lives indoors all the time, winter isn't going to be a major issue. However, there are a couple things you should be aware of, or which might necessitate moving the tree during cold months.
    • Sunlight
      Does your tree need a lot of direct sun all the time? This could pose a problem at higher/lower latitudes, if your days are getting especially short. You might consider moving it nearer to a window, specifically so it can get as much sunlight as possible. Alternately, a grow light could be a good idea, to supplement the lessened UV rays it's receiving.
    • Heating Drafts
      Be aware of where your Bonsai is, relative to your heating vents and the airflow around a room. The air coming out of those vents is going to be quite hot, so if the bonsai is being hit directly by the heat, it could get scorched. Also, the tendency of the air vents to turn on and off frequently will give it extreme temperature variations. Move it to someplace away from the vents, where the room temp will stay relatively stable.

  2. Outdoor Trees - Tropical and Sub-Tropical
    The combination of a tropical\subtropical tree and a colder area of residence can be a big issue. Tropical Bonsai expect warm or temperate weather year-round. They are, therefore, the most at risk of damage or death during cold weather as they're simply not built for it.
    • If you have a tropical\subtropical Bonsai and expect a cold winter with plenty of freezing temperatures, snow, and ice, it will need to be moved indoors for protection. A greenhouse is another option here, if you happen to have one. It needs to be kept someplace heated which will always maintain temperatures well above freezing, and where it won't see any frost or ice.

  3. Other Outdoor Bonsai
    If you have a Bonsai which naturally grows in areas that see colder winters, rejoice - you probably don't have to do much to protect it. This is particularly true of deciduous bonsai which shed their leaves in the fall and go dormant during the winter. They're accustomed to cold temperature, and actually expect it.
    • Many Bonsai beginners don't realize it, but cold-weather Bonsai actually need a period of dormancy in the fall and winter. It's just like how humans and animals need regular sleep. Bringing a Bonsai like this indoors actually prevents the dormancy, and can cause health issues.
    • One other warning here: If your outdoor Bonsai lives in a pot rather than directly in the earth, AND you experience winters with prolonged temperatures well below freezing (-10C/15F or lower) you will want to give it some protection. In this situation, the roots could freeze, and that's fatal. Moving it to an unheated building or garage usually works. It needs to be cold, but not too cold.

Credit: Bonsai Outlet


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