PAYBACK TIME

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PAYBACK TIME

Post  William N. Valavanis on Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:51 pm

We "enjoyed" two weeks of summer weather in March, but are now paying for it by moving deciduous bonsai every day for cold protection. These bonsai leafed out and cannot be left in the dark garage, even with supplemental light. So the daily ritual continues until the nighttime temperatures stay above 30F at night. Fortunately my friends and students help me move them at night and my lovely wife helps me move them in the morning. I've spent 45 years training some specimens and do not have the time, nor the energy to start all over again.

Bill


8:30 am before moving bonsai outdoors for the day


10:30 am after moving bonsai, looks nice, but everything must be brought inside again


Driveway view for the day only


Maples are especially colorful


Driveway view. The large hydraulic carts work well for moving large bonsai.


Full garage at 8:30 am. There are so many bonsai carefully packed inside that I'm very cautious about letting people look around for fear of breaking branches. Orange caution tape is used to rope off closer areas.


Empty garage at 10:30 am.

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Re: PAYBACK TIME

Post  Mr Miyagi on Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:12 pm

WOW! What a job to have to attend to twice a day. I feel for you. Very Happy. Beautiful trees though, so worth it!

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Re: PAYBACK TIME

Post  lordy on Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:22 pm

these are the times I'm glad my collection is much smaller in both size and numbers. Even here in MD (zone 6a-b) we've gotten hit twice with sub-freezing temps in the last two weeks. I have had to build covers for the trees to keep them from freezing. I lost all the racemes on a large landscape wisteria. The warmest March on record around DC definitely lulled (some of) us into a false sense of security.

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Re: PAYBACK TIME

Post  Rob Kempinski on Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:51 pm

Bill, Two words = "Conveyor belt!"

Kidding aside, I sometimes have to do that if we get a freeze. My daughter and I call it "the Bonsai Tango." Trees in and out of the garage.
This year though I made a bunch of plastic tents and provided heat so I didn't have to move the trees and low and behold we never got a freeze.

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Post  lordy on Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:01 pm

Rob Kempinski wrote:
This year though I made a bunch of plastic tents and provided heat so I didn't have to move the trees and low and behold we never got a freeze.
This is akin to washing the car and getting it to rain, or, like I did this year, rebuilt the carb on my snowblower and nearly prevented snow. Not necessarily a bad thing.

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Post  Poink88 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:07 pm

Rob Kempinski wrote:Bill, Two words = "Conveyor belt!"

Kidding aside, I sometimes have to do that if we get a freeze. My daughter and I call it "the Bonsai Tango." Trees in and out of the garage.
This year though I made a bunch of plastic tents and provided heat so I didn't have to move the trees and low and behold we never got a freeze.
I am doing the bonsai Tango as well (backyard, garage, and kitchen) and I plan on doing the plastic tent w/ oil filled heater and heater cable later this year. Hope it works.

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Post  drgonzo on Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:43 pm

After seeing this I feel so much better. When I'm carrying in the grow boxes and the maples tonight I'll remember the old saying about someone always being worse of.....But what a delightful burden.

I notice your trees are several weeks ahead of mine, though I worked hard to keep things dormant for as long as possible. yet our wisterias are synched up.

The Deshojo is just wonderful Bill, it's best time of year.
-Jay

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Post  Ed Trout on Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:57 pm


You guys need to move to South Florida, where we rarely have to "dance" with our trees Cool

Ed

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Post  coh on Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:02 pm

I'm pretty sure those of us here in upstate NY are doing the equivalent of 2 years work in one season, with all this plant moving. I've been doing it all winter, as my storage areas all stayed much warmer than normal. So...plants were moved outdoors during the mild spells, back indoors when the (brief) deep freezes hit, etc. The spring is just a continuation of that...

I haven't yet noticed any problems with my potted trees, but we lost all the buds on our landscape wisterias (and they were loaded) when the temp hit 20 F after a week and a half in the 60s and 70s. And some things that I had planted out to grow were severely damaged by that same cold snap...as they had already started to leaf out and I figured I needed to get them in the ground. In hindsight it would have been better to wait, but I'm pretty sure they'll recover.


Last edited by coh on Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:07 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: PAYBACK TIME

Post  Poink88 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:06 pm

Ed Trout wrote:
You guys need to move to South Florida, where we rarely have to "dance" with our trees Cool

Ed
Rob is in Florida Razz (and I am in Texas) LOL and we still have to do the Tango. I know a lot less compared to others but still.

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Post  Ed Trout on Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:13 pm


I must retract part of my previous statement ! During Hurricane season ( June-Dec ), we not only dance with our trees, but many of us then sleep with them in the house !!

Bill, if I lived closer, I would be there every day to help. Those are some American masterpieces, and I would be honored to help keep them safe.

Ed

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Post  drgonzo on Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:38 pm

Here are a few quick shots of my daily burden, because misery loves company. They're far from being American masterpieces but it's still a pain. Note the Brazilian Rain tree third from the left on the bench, top pic. Probably wishing it was still in Florida.


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Post  Sam Ogranaja on Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:48 pm

Jay, I'm digging that forest on the right of the Raintree. Is that a wisteria on the bottom right?

Thanks for posting!!!!
Sam

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Re: PAYBACK TIME

Post  Ed Trout on Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:49 pm

drgonzo wrote:Here are a few quick shots of my daily burden, because misery loves company. They're far from being American masterpieces but it's still a pain. Note the Brazilian Rain tree third from the left on the bench, top pic. Probably wishing it was still in Florida.


A nice collection ! BTW, I really like the movement on the raintree, and it looks like it's happy being in NY. Hope the weather warms soon so you guys can leave them out !

Ed

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Post  drgonzo on Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:58 pm

Thank you Ed, thats about 2/3 the collection. There is an unpictured bench in the second pic and many still indoors.

@Sam, the forest is a Trident "stand" that I just made this spring using trees from both Matt Ouwinga and Bill Valavanis. 31 trees total (I think) and yes thats a wisteria growing out a bit in a 5 gallon.
-Jay

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Post  Poink88 on Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:50 am

Bill, What an awesome collection. Something some of us can dream and strive for (though it is an impossible one for me). I too would offer my free service to help move and protect those if I am close.

Jay, You have a very nice collection as well. I hope in 10 years I will have somewhat like that. Love the raintree. What's the 1st pic lower right (2nd from end) in beige rectangular pot?

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Re: PAYBACK TIME

Post  drgonzo on Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:23 am

Poink88 wrote: What's the 1st pic lower right (2nd from end) in beige rectangular pot?

Thats a Phoenix graft of an (otherwise useless) Juniper Pro' nana onto a chuck of native white pine dead wood, Unglazed grey pot.

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Re: PAYBACK TIME

Post  marcus watts on Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:15 am

hats off to you but the trees are well worth the effort.

if it was a regular annual occurance i'd certainly have those plastic tables fitted with wheels - that would make the operation far easier.

Like Jay I kept the trees as cold and exposed as possible to keep them dormant as long as possible - only when individual trees woke up early were they protected. In the cold snap we are having here too I have put just 3 acers in the greenhouse because the brand new leaves are just opening and the likeleyhood of hail stones is high.

The deciduous trees that have hardened off are staying on the benches - even the kiyohime, as the center shoots have been pinched out after the first pair of leaves opened so there is no tender growth to be frost damaged. Later in the season the original leaves will be cut off or cut in half too, so a little damage to the edges makes no difference as the tree is being redeveloped rather than shown.

Beautiful collection of high quality japanese trees in those pics, very very nice. Are they your personal trees or trees for sale?

cheers Marcus




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Re: PAYBACK TIME

Post  William N. Valavanis on Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:12 am

Marcus

What do you mean "Japanese" trees!!!

Those are "AMERICAN" bonsai, all trained by me!

That's the problem with many European people, they don't think Americans have any beautiful and well trained bonsai. Just look at the two Commemorative Albums of the past US National Exhibitions to see other fine quality bonsai.

Even better yet why not visit the upcoming 3rd US National Bonsai Exhibition on June 9-10, 2012 in Rochester, New York? I'll be happy to give you a complimentary weekend pass.

Bill

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Re: PAYBACK TIME

Post  drgonzo on Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:15 am

and....back in again. Thank God my wife is cool with this madness of mine.


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Post  marcus watts on Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:41 am

William N. Valavanis wrote:Marcus

What do you mean "Japanese" trees!!!

Those are "AMERICAN" bonsai, all trained by me!

That's the problem with many European people, they don't think Americans have any beautiful and well trained bonsai. Just look at the two Commemorative Albums of the past US National Exhibitions to see other fine quality bonsai.

Even better yet why not visit the upcoming 3rd US National Bonsai Exhibition on June 9-10, 2012 in Rochester, New York? I'll be happy to give you a complimentary weekend pass.

Bill

hahaha, that was a big bite!

I know you have trained many of the trees for a long time as I have seen some fantastic progression pictures of some of them, and saying they are Japanese was not in any way derogatory, quite the opposite in fact......but were the original pieces of material born and bred in the USA?, for surely many originated from imported trees? - if everyone is an american seeded or grafted tree I apologise for my assumption. My acers began life as imported trees so they are not ENGLISH, and in 30 years they will still not be English either. Maybe you would feel happier if i'd said they are fantastic material trees of potential japanese parentage, totally styled in the good old USA in a way that would be credit to any japanese grower.

Many of the japanese material trees are infinitely better varieties than any homegrown - both for you in the usa and me here (as you know perfectly well)- the red varieties are more vibrant, even the basic palmatum they prefer to use is chosen for leaf colour & size, fine growth, nice bark etc, the fagus crenatas have whiter bark than any western seed grown one, the tridents have better leaf quality....the list goes on and on.

From the way you jumped to Americas defence I guess you have either heard or imagine others think you (as a nation) have no good trees or skills of your own - not me I can assure you - my upcoming highlight is two days styling with Ryan Neil and I would have loved to have accepted your very generous offer of a pass to the show - but this year my trip away is a honeymoon to Africa and my treat is finding a juniper for the workshop with Ryan (japanese of course) so alas all funds are spoken for in advance. (I dare not miss my wedding!! Very Happy )

There will be plenty of shows in plenty of years though for me to enjoy some American trees, you can count on that.

Regards Marcus

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Re: PAYBACK TIME

Post  William N. Valavanis on Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:10 am

Here are a few labels of the origin of bonsai.

Must go move trees back in again..









Bill

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Re: PAYBACK TIME

Post  Fore on Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:24 am

Wow, what a collection Bill! And your's aren't too shabby either Jay Wink

And I feel for everyone who has to undergo this aggravation! Fortunately here in Chicago, we're only hitting lows of 36-39F. The leafed out JM's don't like it though, they all have skinny leaves. Even the landscape Red Maple and Coral Bark Maple have skinny leaves. I hope the nights warm up for everyone.

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Re: PAYBACK TIME

Post  Mitch Thomas on Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:52 am

Very nice everyone!
Bill I have been a fan of yours for years, we met last summer in Kentucky. What about using some large carts or rolling tables to make it easier?

Mitch

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Re: PAYBACK TIME

Post  Mark on Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:16 am

The "seedlings" and "cuttings" and "air layers" have all grown up! I just finished helping Bill with class and then doing the tango in the moon light with most of them. I am really appreciating Shohin Bonsai more and more every day!
Mark

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