Dennis Coad Maple Living Art Bonsai Society
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President's Message

It's April and our trees are growing rapidly.  This month the Living Art Bonsai Society will be discussing
"fertilizers" at our monthly meeting.  However, here we have a bit of a "chicken and egg" situation: 
all living things need nutrients to grow and live, and if we feed our trees heavily they will grow.  But we
want them to remain small.  Another concern is internode length (the distance between limbs or the
potential budding spots on a limb).  In order to keep our trees in perspective (a little tree that looks
like a big tree) we need to keep short internode lengths. 

All plants need nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash as basic nutrients along with the micronutrients
needed for proper plant growth (much like vitamins needed to promote human health).  And even
though we want small plants, we must feed them regularly.  A healthy green color is a good indicator
of a healthy plant, and a "limited" (yet adequate) feeding regimen of a complete prepared
commercial fertilizer helps to maintain a controlled growth rate.  

Clearly, an in-depth discussion of bonsai fertilizers would be quite lengthy, and if one asks four
different bonsai artists, "what is the best fertilizing method," four (or five!) different answers might result.
Study the subject on our web site and others.  Join a local bonsai group and take advantage of the years
of experience others have gained raising their trees.  Happy planting and enjoy this wonderful art!

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