A common question that I have been getting here at the museum is, “Do the fruit bearing trees in the collection actually produce fruit?” The answer is that it really all depends on the current year, the health of the tree, and if it has undergone a lot of pruning recently. We constantly prune trees back to maintain [...]

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Last week, I and a number of other people had the distinct privilege and honor of doing some routine maintenance on John Y. Naka’s amazing forest planting called “Goshin, Protector of the Spirit” (Juniperus Chinensis ’Foemina’). We  plucked out yellowing, brown and dead needles, removed dead branches, took off wire that was starting to damage the bark, rewired it [...]

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Chinese
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One of my next tasks is to tidy up this Chinese Juniper (Juniperus Chinensis ‘Femina’). The different pads of foliage have outgrown their silhouette and must been pruned back to a shapely form. There is leggy and loose growth at the bottom of each pad that must be removed because it deters from the tight compact aesthetic that [...]

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Rain
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Even when it rains, the sun still shines at the Bonsai and Penjing Museum. If you can stand to get a little wet, I highly recommend a visit in the rain or on a dreary, overcast day. You most likely will have the entire museum to yourself to fully appreciate the collection. Also, the trees [...]

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2 Cork Bark
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This week I learned a lot about when, how and why to de-candle various types of Pine trees, including Cork-Bark Japanese Black Pine trees (Pinus Thunbergii Corticosa Group). We remove the candles ( new growth) in early June to help balance the tree’s distribution of energy. We do not want “hot spots” on our tree, [...]

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1 Black Pine
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A new task that I have been given is to lower some of the foliage pads on this Japanese Black Pine Tree (Pinus Thunbergii). When trees are really old, their branches are huge and heavy, and so they tend to sag downward. By lowering a few different branches, we can make this tree look a [...]

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Trident 1
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This Trident Maple (Acer Buergerianum) is growing strong, and is ready to be defoliated. When these trees are in good health, roughly once a year in the late spring/early summer we can remove all the leaves in an attempt to reduce their size. The tree will respond by putting forth new ones, but because it [...]

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AZ 4
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After a lot of prep work last week, (deadheading flowers, editing weak growth, applying moss to each soil surface, and finally cleaning the pots) the Azalea show is in full swing. Here are a few of my favorites, as well as a picture of the show poster.  

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