March Madness

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It is hard to believe that March is nearly run its course. It has been a crazy month with health issue for me and for my trees. COVID shots are 1 down and 1 to go so that is a thing and I am overjoyed about it. The removal of a major stress point and then a way to move forward.

As a bonsai guy, I am always eager for the arrival of Spring. The time when winter dormant trees come back to life. Sometimes, however, I am saddened by what failed. No all bonsai survive for the long haul no matter how hard we try to make it so. So far, I have two losses. One a young shohin juniper that was hit with scale last year, treated, but then over backed in the California sun. Too much stress caused it demise. The saddest loss if my wester fig. That fig was started in the ’60s and had been doing so well. It was repotted last year in a new colorful pot and all seemed fine. Then during the summer I began to have leaves turn black. First only a few, then many. It went to sleep as always in the fall with very few leaves. Today, it is dead and brittle, all life gone from branches. As I said, it has been a hard year.

Juniper on right, fig on left.

However, Spring is here and trees are coming to life. I enjoy walking out in the morning and watching them return to beauty. Here are just some exciting signs of the season. First in the Chinese quince. The second image is a return from near death North American Ficus from SoCal. The lovely blossom is from the Japanese quince. Second row: Japanese Black Pine (Shohin), Ficus Benjamina, and Pearl berry. Third row is a very difficult Dwarf Bottlebrush – don’t like root work but must be repotted this year (hold my breath), and the Boston Ivy.

Kicking up the design work on Junipers here after attending so many Zoom lectures on styling this winter it is time to up my game there. Several other projects have been a success, working to rebuild an Acer P owned by a friend who has not been well. It will stay with me for a while as I develop branches.

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