How did the Buttonwood bonsai die at the National Arboretum?

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How did the Buttonwood bonsai die at the National Arboretum?

Post  jonkatzmail on Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:06 am

How did the Buttonwood bonsai die at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC? Crying or Very sad

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How Did the Buttonwood Die?

Post  bonsaisr on Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:50 am

Oh, dear, that was a famous one by Mary Madison. It was there for years. I can only imagine that in the heat we have had, although buttonwoods like heat, it may not have been watered adequately. My experience has been that buttonwoods in the North are far more sensitive & temperamental than in Florida.
Iris

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Re: How did the Buttonwood bonsai die at the National Arboretum?

Post  Mitch Thomas on Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:53 pm

Wow what a great loss. I hope it's not true! That tree is/ was a master piece. I was able to view the tree about 8 yrs. ago and it was a stunning tree. I can only hope its not the tree I am thinking of.

Mitch

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Re: How did the Buttonwood bonsai die at the National Arboretum?

Post  JimLewis on Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:55 pm

I hadn't heard that, but a display table surrounded by cement flooring and walls (all of which reflect heat) is about as different and hostile environment for a buttonwood as I can imagine -- especially with this intense heat we've been having.

The Arboretum may have to put more though into its display practices, because summers like this one will not be going away anytime soon.

That's bad news.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: How did the Buttonwood bonsai die at the National Arboretum?

Post  William N. Valavanis on Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:01 pm

I just spoke with the curator Jack Sustic who said the tree is fine and healthy!

He mentioned that he recently cut the tree back quite a bit, with the consultation of Mary Madison who shaped and generously donated the bonsai to the National Bonsai Foundation. The bonsai was getting too bushy and needed reduction. Mary recommended that it be drastically pruned now, in the hottest part of the summer to get more adventitious buds.

So the Buttonwood is fine there is nothing to worry about and Jack is doing a superb job with caring for all the bonsai.

Bill

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Re: How did the Buttonwood bonsai die at the National Arboretum?

Post  JimLewis on Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:04 pm

Good!

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: How did the Buttonwood bonsai die at the National Arboretum?

Post  Mitch Thomas on Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:09 pm

Bill
Thanks for the update. I am glad this treasure is doing fine!

As far as the heat goes as long as it is humid and well watered it can handle amything you can throw at it. We have been having heat indexs in excess of 100 deg + for the last month or so and my button woods are busting at the seams with new growth in full unshaded sun all day.

Mitch

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Re: How did the Buttonwood bonsai die at the National Arboretum?

Post  fiona on Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:41 pm

Thanks for taking the time to clarify things, Bill.

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Re: How did the Buttonwood bonsai die at the National Arboretum?

Post  jonkatzmail on Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:08 pm

Welllll.... I am glad it is not dead Embarassed , but it is brown and wavy, and has no leaves, just the opposite of what I would have thought it would look like in the middle of summer. alien Very different than all the other bonsai that are there.... bounce

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Re: How did the Buttonwood bonsai die at the National Arboretum?

Post  William N. Valavanis on Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:11 pm

If the Buttonwood bonsai WAS dead, do you really think the curator,Jack Sustic would have had it on display for the public to see?

Bill

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Re: How did the Buttonwood bonsai die at the National Arboretum?

Post  marcus watts on Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:29 pm

time for an up to date picture i think?
although it's a tree i've never seen it appears to be one held in high regard - i hope it is just sulking from styling and was not killed by too much styling. i've heard from friends that sometimes they have been very disapointed with their visits to national collections - some great trees have passed away while in these collections but then some are also weak and past there best when they arrive. due to many trees being offered upon the original owners becoming older or dying i guess, and the currators must have a hard job with some trees getting them back to former glory.

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Re: How did the Buttonwood bonsai die at the National Arboretum?

Post  jonkatzmail on Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:07 am

William N. Valavanis wrote:If the Buttonwood bonsai WAS dead, do you really think the curator,Jack Sustic would have had it on display for the public to see? Bill


It looks interesting anyway even if its dead, sort of like a brown thornless cactus with a lot of fingers poking up at the top. That is why I thought it was still on display, to show how interesting it looked even though it was dead. And because it would be really difficult to actually throw away something in a "National Collection" of anything. Such as, if the pine tree that has been in training for about 400 years (!!!!!) died of something then I think they probably would not throw it away, they would preserve it somehow so people could see what a 400 year-old bonsai looked like. Oooorrrrr.... Twisted Evil they would say it was "resting" or it had just been pruned! Wink
I wish I had pictures of the bonsai that are there but I didn't take any since I thought no picture would show me what I really wanted to see, which was how things were pruned and pinched and close-ups of the undersides of branches and trunks and a revolving view of how they looked from every side, and that kind of thing. I will say though that I got a book from the library a while back that said it showed the bonsai in the National Collection, and I suppose it did, but I had no clear idea at the time of the size of the trees, or the way they actually look. And, there was one bonsai of an Atlas Blue Cedar by (John?) Naka, that I think I just skipped over in the book, that gave me goosebumps in person, it was so impressive. And I don't even particularly like evergreens. Shocked
I also left thinking how pathetic my plants are compared to these "real" bonsai. Crying or Very sad I suppose that comparing bonsai that have been in training for 40-to-400 years to my hardware store plants that have been massacred for a couple months may not be a very fair comparison, but I am still daunted.... affraid

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Re: How did the Buttonwood bonsai die at the National Arboretum?

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