Weeds, weeds. weeds!

I am almost finished replanting the missing trees in the field.  I have also been weeding the aisles as I have been replacing trees.  I also spent some time wiring trees.  I have to be ahead on prepping trees for e-bay.  I have been doing well on e-bay lately and its seems that I can never catch up.  So I dedicated a few hours today to wire and prune trees for e-bay.  I have been getting calls from customers to prune their landscape pines.  We normally start pruning the pines in the field and the landscape pines in June.  I have had many antsy people call over the last few weeks.  We try to prune trees in the order that the customer called.  We have to go and prune the landscape trees when we have a spare moment from pruning our own pines.  At last count I have over 2000 pines in the field.  I have also started over 100 landscape pines in the field.  I am getting tired just thinking of all that pruning.  Pruning pines has many drawbacks.  First the pine needles constantly prick your hands.  Also, as the candles get cut, they ooze sap all over the place and it gets on your hands and clothing.  After the sap gets on your hand, everything you touch gets attached to you.  My hands are a mess at the end of the day.  My arms look like I hugged a porcupine, my hands become black from a combination of sap and dirt and to top everything off, it is hard to remove.  All in a days work at a bonsai nursery.  It’s not all fun and games.  Well its time for me to catch up on my beauty rest, Lord knows I need it!……….

Getting ready to prune pines

In the bonsai world, thing usually follow a schedule.  In June we normally start to prune the candles in the field.  Sometimes, if the spring is warm we may start in late May.  The candles in the field have not grown much.  We have had a very unusually cold spring.  Today’s forecast calls for rain late this afternoon with showers in the evening.  I will believe it when I see it.  If it does rain, we will have had almost an inch of rain in May.  We normally do not get any measurable rain in May.  I hope it does rain so I do not have to water the field.  This Monday was the first day we watered the field since late October.  Every time I think we are ready to start on pruning the field, a customer shows up.  We have had someone come by almost every day over the last few weeks.  Lately I have been wiring some cork elms, some ume and some cork oaks.  I am trying to prep them for e-bay.  I get caught in a dilemma that most bonsai nursery owners get caught in.  Do I sell the tree now and sacrifice some upside in the price or do I wait a few months or years and make more money on each tree?  Well, I normally sell the tree whether it is complete or not.  As soon as more trees become available, I will be able to wait longer and have higher priced trees….

Technology and Bonsai.

You don’t realize how important technology is to bonsai until your computer crashes.  Many people keep logs on the progress of each tree.  Some people keep records and photo’s of each tree.  I use technology to write my blog and to sell trees on e-bay.  My computer crashed last Friday and I had to get a new one.  It is amazing what I was missing out on.  I didn’t realize how slow my computer was until I plugged my new one in.  After I got it home and started catching up on things, I noticed that the old printer won’t work with my new computer.  It would have been nice for the clerk to tell me these things.  I did tell him that I was replacing an old computer.  He had to realize that the new computer would not work with my old printer.  So another trip to the store to buy a printer.  Little did I know that they do not carry just plain printers.  Now everything is a fax, scanner, copier and printer.  To me it is just more things that can break down.  So I get my printer home and I have to download a new driver for the printer because all the printers were meant to run on Vista, not on Windows Seven.  So I log onto the internet, and no response.  I check my router and everything checks out.  Every few months, I have this problem with the router not being able to find a server.  It turns out that the problem is with Charter Cable.  This happens for about 3 days.  In the meanwhile, I drive to the library to check my e-mail.  This morning I called Charter and was connected to the automated machine.  It told me to turn off my computer and router and it would check to see if I were receiving a signal.  It told me something that I already knew, that the problem is not with my equipment, but with their connection.  Finally they put me in touch with a real person, they refreshed the signal and I was back on the internet.  I am too tired to connect my massive fax, scanner, copier printer thingy.  Also, since it is so much bigger, it will probably not fit on the stand on the computer desk and will have to sit on top of the computer desk.  Progress is so wonderful, it tells me about all these things that I didn’t even know that I needed and was missing out on………

Rain in May?

It isn’t very normal for us to have measurable rainfall in May.  Today it has been sprinkling off and on.  I think we may get around a quarter of an inch.  Just enough rainfall that I won’t have to water the field until June.  I have been working on creating more landscape pines(my retirement trees).  I figure the more I plant now, the more that I will have when I am getting ready to retire.  If one of my kids does not take over the nursery, I am creating a lot of work for myself.  Hopefully, one of them will see the light.  I really didn’t take an interest in bonsai or the nursery until my mid 30’s.  So there is still plenty of time and hope for them yet.  I need to start on dinner, I will try to keep you up to date on the nursery…

Once stung, twice shy…

Yesterday I went up the hill to work on weeding.  It was last week that I was stung by 5 wasps.  This time I came prepared with a can of bug spray.  I didn’t see any wasps, but that does not mean they were not keeping a watchful eye on me.  I only go up the hill once or twice a week, so it always seems that the weeds grow much quicker up the hill.  I weeded a few lines and watered the plants.  I also have been weeding at the nursery and am still replacing plants.  It does not seem that I dug out that many, but apparently I must have.  In the afternoons, I sit at my table and work on shaping trees.  It is both relaxing and fun.  I had a couple of customers today, but both came by during my lunch period.  My lunch is really not a set time, but a time where I can sit for a few minutes, catch up on the business news and eat.  Oh well, the stock market was down today so it was not a very good lunch.

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