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Items below from the November 20, 2023, CVBS Newsletter
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ADAMSí BONSAI HAPPENINGS> Although Adamsí Bonsai is still in business, it sometimes seems as if it is winding down faster than I would like. It is a delicate balancing act to eliminate trees and tasks that are either too heavy for me to maneuver or require too much attention to detail wiring and maintenance while continuing to produce unique smaller plants for sale here at the nursery and at the vending opportunities. Production from seed, rooted cuttings, and airlayers takes time, often two or three years at a minimum. The sale of one larger bonsai can easily leave a lot of unoccupied space on the benches. The last of my many advanced prebonsai Zuisho was picked up last week. My large Chinese quince left for a new home the week before. All of this yearís release of Adams Arakawa tridents and Zuisho rooted cuttings have been shipped to their new owners. The departure of these plants has left a good bit of free space to be filled on the benches next year.
Visitors to the garden from distant places have been numerous this fall. Last week I spent most of a day (8:30-2 without lunch) sharing some of my bonsai nursery experience with a customer from Ohio. He came to pick up two Zuisho airlayers which he had purchased sight-unseen a year ago. These two layers will be difficult to use as prebonsai. However, they will be perfect for providing lots of limbs for airlayering. This customer hopes to produce enough Zuisho to supply some of the US bonsai world. It is a slow process but he seems motivated and experienced enough to succeed. Iím always glad to see a younger person with plans to propagate more Zuisho on their own roots.
Another pair of visitors spent most of Monday afternoon with me touring the garden and talking about the challenges of propagating, growing, and marketing quality plants for bonsai. They committed to buy both of the air layers taken from Zuisho this summer. If the new layers survive the winter and grow next summer, they will be safe to move next September. It was pleasant talking bonsai and bonsai production with them. Itís good to see a younger generation of growers excited about bonsai and about spreading interests in bonsai.
The trident stump with unusually small leaves I noticed among this yearís batch of trident stumps rewarded me with very nice scarlet fall color. I had kept it separate in hopes that it might give me a source of trident plants better than variable seedlings. I took cuttings from it in early August, much too late for taking trident cuttings, but almost all of them appear to have rooted. The mother plant is a sibling of the original Adams Arakawa trident so I am not surprised by the great fall color. I hope to have a few for sale in late summer of 2024 and many more in subsequent years.
Using a particularly strong looking visitor to the garden, we moved my largest JBP to the studio to have the old needles plucked. The tree is responding nicely to energy balancing and July removal of new shoots. The crop of new needles from this yearís ďsecondĒ summer is excellent. Additionally, the buds for next year are numerous and mostly similar in size. This will help bring the desired energy balancing to fruition next summer.
Plucking the old needles is time-consuming because it is a large tree with many terminals. Where the shoots were not pruned due to weakness, very long needles were produced. These terminals have strengthened from being allowed to grow all summer. There are few old needles to be plucked on these terminals but the long needles are cut back in length to half or less extension which will reduce the energy driving the bud on these terminals next year. The goal is to have all of the terminals grow a similar number of needles in the spring growing period. All of these actions are intended to equalize the bud size and vitality of each terminal. With luck, this tree will be much more closely balanced at this time next year.
My trees are completely put away for the winter. A flurry of lifting and moving got the job done except for one or two trees which are tough enough to sit on the ground unprotected. When I finished, I went to the Y and did my core strengthening weight routine. Hopefully the exercises at the Y will mask and/or distribute any soreness which might result from the morning of bonsai moving.
I am not inclined to get a new cell phone every time a new model is introduced. With the upcoming trip to Japan, the age of my Pixel3, problems it has given me when returning from international travel, and the wonder ful camera improvements on the newer Pixel8 Pro I was unable resist moving to the newer model. Verizon didnít set the phone up properly so I had to make four trips back to the store before getting it to be fully functional. All seems to be well now although I was not happy for the first week or so. The better camera was the primary motivation for the upgrade. The old phone had a terrific camera but the new one is almost magical. In addition to the normal lens, the Pixel8 Pro has a .5 wide angle lens, and a 2x closeup lens. The best feature is that it also has a separate optical 5x telephoto lens which is capable of very closeup focus in addition to telephoto shots. All of these lenses can save 50 megapixel images for situations which call for the best possible resolution. These lenses will make bonsai pictures in Japan a pleasure to take and review later.
I donít like some of the interfaces with the new phone, mostly because I am old and donít like changes. On the other hand, it is very helpful that it a little larger which makes it easier to read information on the screen. I am very pleased that I made the switch. Iím enjoying the new phone much more than I thought I would.