Summary of Nov. 10, 2018 Meeting

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Josiah

In our latest meeting we covered two topics, Tropical Bonsai and the next year of the club. President David Kuntz brought in a number of tropical species from his collection, including his newest Brazilian Rain Tree from Brussels, and shared some of his knowledge on the topic in a discussion format. He also encouraged us again to bring trees to each meeting.

Tropical trees generally have very short, but existent, dormancy unlike the dormancy of our native trees. Additionally, tropical dormancy is triggered by light, not temperature. While they will stay alive inside your home, if you wish to promote its growth towards greater girth and branching there are a few things to know. First, light inside the house will not fully meet the need. For around $10, a simple T5 lightbulb will provide better quality light than the light filtered through modern windows. Our windows block some of the light frequencies that promote best development. Many tropicals will thrive on no more than 4 hours of darkness a night, but will be survive on less. Second, humidity is a significant factor with most tropicals. Indoor environments in our region will often be very dry so attention to the substrate moisture levels, and the branches moisture are important. Some species will benefit by being bagged to promote environmental moisture. 

Our second topic was planning the next year. We heard from President Kuntz about his arranging workshops in 2019 with Larry Jackal, Bob Randal and Charlie Sesk. We also discussed relationships being built with Phelan Gardens and Rick's Garden Center. They are becoming more aware of the things that are interesting to our hobby and keeping them in stock. We're expecting Phelan to start having more maple and tropical material to work with. Rick's will have pine and juniper material along with tools, wire and a custom soil substrate mixture. We are also hoping to have the opportunity to do several shows with the two nurseries.

Other resources we discussed for learning more included:

Finally, we were reminded to water our dormant outdoor trees once a month, considering snow as a watering of our trees to prevent branch die back. Moisture also helps conduct heat from deeper in the ground.