Happy New Year!
Our New Year is bringing us wonderful rain, and colder weather right on schedule. I do hope you’ve had a joyful holiday season with friends and family. Want to go shopping? (enough already!) Check out the big box stores for those leftover potential formal uprights, five-gallon sizes, such as pines and even herbs such as rosemary. January and February are good months to begin our styling, even select sizes for a future forest. Frost protection was addressed in my last blog and should be used where indicated by species and exposure. These coverings should be provided after a rain, not before, to prevent the wet material from freezing leaves, even though lower branches should be okay!
If your deciduous trees still have leaves, best to remove them at this time. A dormant spray may be applied, such as diluted lime Sulphur at the rate of two tablespoons per gallon of water, covering all branches and trunk, to kill off overwintering insect eggs or scale. This is especially important for pomegranates, as they are prone to peach leaf curl, a fungus, evidenced by twisted and curled leaves in summer. You may want to keep these deciduous specimens in shaded areas, so that warm sunny days do not cause premature sprouting. January into early February are good months to repot those trees while fully dormant, and extensive root pruning may be done safely. If new leaves begin to emerge, you’re too late! Check out Greg Baumgartner’s Saturday field trips to the canyons, because this is an ideal time to select and dig those hackberries and desert willows while dormant – a lot easier than digging junipers, and it’s a good time for those, too, after our rains.
We have a nursery crawl scheduled for Saturday, January 18. Our mentors will kick this off at Mesquite Valley Nursery at 10:00 a.m. and from there we’ll go to the Magic Garden Nursery, on 22nd Street near Pantano. We’ll try to scout both places prior to the event and send out an email highlighting our finds. Plan to purchase a five-gallon specimen for Lindsay Shiba’s workshops Feb. 7th and 8th or bring them to our monthly meeting workshops. I plan to hold a workshop at my house later in February, with a focus on trees for our late April show.
Lindsay Shiba will be here for all day workshops at my house on Friday, Feb. 7th, and the fees are the same as last year, $100 for the day. You can work on two trees and bring a third for his critique and ideas. On Saturday, we have morning sessions from 9-12, and afternoon sessions from 1-4. The fee is $50 per session. You can work on one tree, with ideas and suggestions for a second tree. We welcome observers for all sessions, $25 on Friday and $15 each session on Saturday. Our enrollment forms will be emailed to you next month and will be available at our January meeting. This is your opportunity to study with a master teacher for a fraction of the cost going to a California convention. We urge our new members to attend and wiring assistance will be available from our mentors. At our Sunday meeting on Feb. 9th, Lindsay will give us a lecture and demonstration, and the tree will be raffled. Pres. Rod says that he will pick out “challenging” material!
Our final winter class for Bonsai Basics will be held on Sunday, January 26, for potting their trees. I do hope that we can welcome more new members, if they have not already joined. I invite, and urge, all of our newer members to let us know what kind of programs you want in 2020. Contact our VP, Malcolm Hooe, or any of our mentors and/or board members, at email addresses and phone numbers provided on our website. Our Society exists for the education of our members and the public, and we need to hear from you!
My best wishes to all of you for a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!