Dennis Coad Maple Living Art Bonsai Society
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President's Message

It is September, and maintenance pruning of our Bonsai is the theme of the month.  Remember that,
considering the eventual approaching of colder months, heavy pruning now will likely initiate rapid
new growth in our plants and any new growth should have a sufficient growing period to "harden off"
before freezing weather.  Tender new green shoots and freezing temps are, we might say, "enemies."
In most cases, it is now too late in the year for grafting (which should be done earlier in the year during 
the plant's rapid growth), air layering (tender exposed roots should not be allowed to freeze),
or leaf pruning which puts too much stress on the plant. 

Fall season repotting is a practice of some Bonsai artists and if you fall into that camp, you should
begin to mix soil, prepare pots, and remember that trees must be completely dormant to prevent "lurching"
into post-repotting budding and rapid growth.  As mentioned above, tender young shoots that freeze
will die, so it is also necessary to ensure they are not only dormant prior to Winter's cold weather,
but will remain so until Spring. 

These and many other very interesting techniques are a part of the unique art of bonsai.
Research this art online via our website, or better still join a local Bonsai group and benefit from the
vast amount of experience accumulated by the members.  If you are in the North Alabama area, come
visit us at our September meeting, where we will focus on Pine bonsai specimens.

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