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Bonsai Photo Of The Day 12/28/2016 How Much Do You Know About Bonsai Jack?

Its almost the end of the year , and we here at Bonsai Jack's are grateful for all the people who support us day in and day out! We thought it would be neat to share a few  little known facts about us:

We have shipped out over 70,000 POUNDS of product!

Thats 35 TONS!

We have shipped to all 50 states in the U.S.

Our products are in 34 countries outside of the U.S.

Our newsletter reaches over 6,000 active bonsai enthusiasts in 27 countries!

We spend over 20 minutes per 6 lbs of product, while losing almost 50% of product due to the fact that its unsuitable for bonsai grade soil! That means on average we have spent over 23,000 hours ensuring that the product you receive, is up to Bonsai Jack standards!

Our brand new website took over 600 man hours and has over $2,000 in code designed to streamline customer service and enhance your experience on www.BonsaiJack.com!

Photo Credit: Mick Harper

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Bonsai Photo Of The Day 12/27/2016 (Why Do We Need Good Bonsai Soil?)

Having the correct soil can mean the difference between a healthy, beautiful and thriving plant or having a leafless twig straight out of a Halloween movie!

 

Bonsai soil has a few key moisture retention features:

 

It provides water for the roots

Soil must retain an adequate amount of water for the plant between watering.

It provides oxygen to the root system

The larger particle size of your soil will allow it to partially dry out between watering. Store bought soil, which contains peat, can prevent the soil from drying out. This can result in wet feet and root rot.

It provides good drainage

Excess water should drain from the bottom of your container IMMEDIATELY. Store bought soils, which are produced for pennies a bag, hold too much water causing root rot or damage to the root system.

Did you know we spend an average of 18 minutes of labor to produce a single bag of bonsai soil?

The raw ingredients for regular store bought soil can be purchased by the truck load for $450. A truck load contains about 8000 gallons of product. Regular store bought soils are often produced from fill dirt and recycled landscaping material which contain any number of pathogens. Our truck loads run between $2000 and $14,500 each. It then needs to be processed. Our soil and components never touch the ground and are screened exactly to spec.  Its not cheap but it is the best.

Photo Credit: Walter Pall

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Bonsai Photo Of The Day 12/26/2016 (Correcting Misconceptions)

Did you know that the majority of people pronounce “Bonsai”  incorrectly?

Ask anybody that has ever heard of our art form, and chances are they will tell you that of course they have heard of “Banzai”.

In reality the word “Bonsai” is pronounced “BONES-EYE”.

Pronouncing it “BON-ZAI” actually refers to a tactic used by japanese soldiers during the Pacific War that stood for “Long live the emperor”, a Japanese battle cry that consisted of suicide attacks brought on by infantry units.

Another common misconception is that bonsai is a strictly indoor hobby or that the word “bonsai” refers to an actual species of plant.

Bonsai is actually the art of showing off nature by stunting a tree's growth through horticultural processes in a small tray. The term bonsai literally means “tree in a tray”.

Photo Credit : Visa Netpakdee. Pre-bonsai Ficus. Ready for branch selection and ramification work. Appears to be potted in 1/4 inch black lava.

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Bonsai Photo Of The Day 12/23/2016 Japanese White Pine (Hiroshima Survivor)

In 1976 bonsai master Masaru Yamaki donated one of the most famous pines ever to the United States as part of Japan’s Bicentennial gift to the American people.

A Japanese White Pine (Pinus parviflora ‘Miyajima’) bonsai sometimes known as the Hiroshima Survivor, is on display at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum located at the United States National Arboretum. The tree has been  in training since 1625. That makes it over 391 years old! Even more incredible? It survived the atomic blast in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945!

Masaru Yamaki and his family will never forget the morning of August 6, 1945. They were home when a blast blew in all the windows of their home, cutting all of them in the process. Miraculously they all survived when a United States B-29 bomber dropped the worlds first atomic bomb less than 2 miles from their home and nursery in Hiroshima.

The atomic bomb, dropped during the final stage of World War II, destroyed over 90% of the city and killed over 80,000 Hiroshima residents or about 30% of their population. Another 70,000 were injured during the attack.

 

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Bonsai Photo Of The Day 12/22/2016 (Texas Baccata)

All parts of a Yew plant (Taxus Baccata) are toxic to humans with the exception of the yew berries even though their seeds are. The male Yew also releases toxins that cause headaches, lethargy, aching joints, itching, and skin rashes and is known to be a trigger for asthma. The pollen is so small that it can literally pass through window screens. The leaves remain toxic even when dry and wilted, and actually increase in toxicity the more drier it becomes.

There are a few very famous Yews in existence, but perhaps the most known is also the oldest specimen recorded for that variety. Known as the Teixu l'Iglesia, it stands 49 ft tall with a trunk diameter of 22.4 ft. Declared a Natural Monument on April 27, 1995 by the Asturian Government, this tree is known around the world for being a spectacular tree to look at. 

Credit: Mick Harper

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Bonsai Photo Of The Day 12/21/16 (Cascading Style)

A cascading bonsai is meant to show a tree that has determination and has persevered through a rough time. Usually this happens because of heavy winter snows, land slides or mud slides. These completely natural catastrophes will bend the tree down in nature. The main trunk of a bonsai in a cascade form will bend downward, past the lip of its container and past its root line. In Japanese bonsai, a cascade bonsai form is called a kengai bonsai.

 

Credit: Christian Papainog

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Bonsai Photo Of The Day 12/20/16 ( Difference Between Bonsai & Penjing)

 

What is the difference between Bonsai and Penjing?

Bonsai and penjing are closely related art forms. Penjing takes its name from the Chinese name for miniature trees or landscape plantings and predates the development of bonsai. Elements of penjing eventually migrated to Japan and became known as bonsai, which is the Japanese word for miniature trees and forest plantings. In the past, penjing took on unusual shapes that were symbolic, and sometimes the styling of early penjing was far from the natural form of the plants used. Over time, bonsai slowly began to adapt a more naturalistic, free flowing style. More recently, some penjing have also come to embrace a style that echoes nature as well. Today, it is very difficult for those outside the bonsai and penjing communities to tell the difference between bonsai and penjing. Both are outstanding examples of Asian art expressed in plants and natural materials, and both forms continue to evolve.