Japanese Black Pines are considered, along with several other species, as the royalty of bonsai. Opening a bonsai magazine or album and there you will find great examples of Japanese Black Pines.
Our program this month, presented by President Mike Wigginton will focus on Japanese Black Pines. Mike has been a member of PBS since 2003, is a graduate of Kaikou School of Bonsai (2013, a member of Delval study group, and has served as PBS President from 2013 to the present.. Mike has worked with both Howard McNeal and Chase Rosade over the years.
Mike will walk us through an A-Z look at the care and feeding of these trees. Japanese Black Pines aren't the most difficult trees to grow as bonsai, but there are some considerations specific to this species that need to be addressed if success is desired. Mike will provide this information and provide some bonsai for demonstration purposes.
Bring your notebooks, as lots of information will be forthcoming, and bring a bonsai for display - no raffle this month, but we'd like to see some trees , especially your pines!!
Guest Speaker: Mike Wigginton - Japanese Black Pine Program
Date: Tuesday, June 27 - Please note - TUESDAY!
Location: Greater Plymouth Community Center
July - No Meeting
August 20 - Picnic & Auction - Host: Mark Maher
Langhorne, PA - directions in Aug. Newsletter
September - TBA
The PBS Picnic and Auction is coming - August 20!!
We have just finished a very hot mid-June, fortunately the high temperatures only lasted a few days. As we move into summer, we need to keep a close eye on our trees when days get so very hot. Frequently during these hot spells the trees will need watering several times a day, especially when there is low humidity, Larch are very susceptible to damage from high temps - while they like full sun, on these really hot days they need extra cooling. Avoid watering just before dark if possible - fungus can take hold. We try to water early in the morning, and if the day is very hot, another watering in mid afternoon.
Most bonsai will become less active growers during mid-summer, so slow down on fertilizing or go with organics rather than chemical fertilizers. Fish emulsion, liquid seaweed, liquid kelp, rape seed cakes all provide slow even nutrients without the possibility of chemical burns. Later this season you can pick up the rate of fertilization.
Finally -bonsai pests & what to do about them - a short discussion:
Aphids - Sometimes known as plant lice, aphids are one of the most common enemies of bonsai. They appear as green (occasionally black or gray) and can be found under the leaves or on stems. They suck the sap and can spread disease to your plant. It is possible to remove them by spraying the plant with water, but you can use systemic insecticide if preferred.
Red spider mite - These nearly invisible little pests can destroy a bonsai fast and are hard to see, sometimes making it necessary to shake the plant over a piece of paper. Found more often on indoor bonsai, the mites feed on the tree, causing the leaves to turn yellow and brown.
Spray the bottom side of the leaves with an organic soap mixture or use systemic miticide.
Mealy bugs - These look like tiny balls of cotton on the branches and leaves and frequently gather in clumps. The insects are actually inside the balls, and can cause yellow leaves and slow growth. Not only do they feed on the juices from your bonsai, they also introduce a spectrum of diseases. Insecticide should be used to rid your bonsai of these pests.
Scale - These insects look like they sound, small scale-like bumps on the leaves, branches, and trunk. A scale infestation will cause wilted, yellowed foliage. They can be removed manually, as they have a shell that can protect them from chemical insecticides. If there aren’t too many bugs you can brush alcohol onto them to kill them.
Caterpillars - These ugly little guys can unfortunately wreak a lot of havoc on a bonsai, devouring the leaves. The good thing is they’re easy to see and you can pick them right off.
Our membership year ends with the last day of May. If your address label has an 16/17 on it, please send your dues check to our treasurer, David Spirt, as soon as possible, or rejoin at the next meeting. Labels displaying an 17/18 indicate dues are paid for the 2017-18 year. If you receive your newsletter via email, a reminder notice will be sent.
Our meeting site is ideal for most members, but we are charged a fee for each meeting, which is causing a drain on our checking account. Income from raffles, silent auction, and live auctions is helpful, but do not make up for rental expense as well as speaker and materials costs. As a result, the Board has reluctantly decided to increase dues. Dues are now at $40. Please clip the attached form, fill out, and return. The mailing address is:
The Pennsylvania Bonsai Society
Spring House, PA 19477
Directions to the Greater Plymouth Community Center
From Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-276)-Take Exit 333 (Norristown - old exit 25). At the end of the ramp, turn left onto Plymouth Road. At the light, turn right onto Germantown Pike West. Continue approximately one (1) mile, through five (5) traffic lights. At the sixth light, turn right onto Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.
From Blue Route (I-476)-Take exit for Germantown Pike West (Exit 20). Continue on Germantown Pike west for approximately one (1) mile, through six (6) traffic lights. At the seventh light ti right onto Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.
From Route 202-Follow Route 202 to Germantown Pike. Travel EAST on Germantown Pike, through five (5) traffic lights. At the next traffic light, approximately half a mile, turn left on Jolly Road.