Dennis Coad Maple Living Art Bonsai Society
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President's Message

Welcome to the month of October.  In the South with the appearance of "cooler" weather, most of our
bonsai specimens are beginning a period of somewhat lethargic growth, and some deciduous trees
are showing signs of what we would normally consider stress.  Though this is to be expected, we must
continue to be on the lookout for disease or insect damage.  Spider mites are still an issue this late in
the growing season.  To check for spider mites, hold a sheet of white paper under a limb and tap the
limb sharply.  Rub your finger across the paper, looking for the tell-tale red smears of the microscopic
mites' remains.  I am amazed at the damage these small "demons" are capable of: they actually suck
the life-giving juices from a plant, due to the fact that there can be literally hundreds of thousands, 
if not millions, of them on a small tree.  Treat for spider mites with a good miticide available from
local garden centers or farm supply stores. 

Avoid major pruning this late in the growing season, as this can cause rapid new plant growth that may
not have time to "harden off" before winter.  Though soft green shoots may make it through periods of 
frost, they will probably freeze and die during periods with temperatures below 30 degrees. 

The art of bonsai is not difficult and there are many aspects to its pursuit.  As we grow in the art and
enjoy our plants, much can be learned from a local bonsai group.  Visit with and join a local group of
bonsai enthusiasts to benefit their many years of experience.  If you are in the North Alabama area, 
come visit with us at our October meeting, where we will discuss wiring techniques in bonsai styling.

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