Dennis Coad Maple Living Art Bonsai Society
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President's Message

 July is here, and as we watch our Bonsai grow in these warm summer months we must be ever-vigilant
for problems.  Many things can affect the success of our "small tree in a pot" investments, primarily 
the attention paid to water, sunlight, and insect damage. 

The tender shoots at the tips of the plant's limbs will bow slightly (wilt) as water is needed, just prior to
plant damage occurring.  A watering cycle should be set so that bonsai don’t reach this point.  And
sunlight needs are species-dependent: 
while excessive shade will cause long internodes and yellowing
of leaves, too much sun on some plants (e.g. Japanese Maples) may cause burn spots on the leaves.   

The presence of small holes in leaves usually indicates insect damage, with a call for preventative 
measures such as an appropriate insecticide application.  Lack of leaf luster, with tiny webs, says
"look for spider mites."  To find spider mites, hold a white sheet of paper under a plant limb and tap it,
firmly shaking the branch.  Rub your finger over the sheet and look for red smears.  If found, treat the 
plant with a good miticide per the instructions.  Further, a plant's overall "yellowish look" with a weak appearance may be the sign of a fungus, so in this case apply a fungicide. 

A great source for more information is a local Bonsai group; join one and enjoy the benefits of the
many years of accumulated experience.  If you are in the North Alabama area, come visit us 
at our 
August meeting, where we will discuss Grafting techniques for bonsai.

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