Last landscape tree!

Today I went to prune what I believe to be the last landscape tree for customers.  Now I get to concentrate on finishing our own trees.  I am about half done with the field grown trees.  Now that I am working all day on the field trees, I should be done soon.  Then it is back to weeding.  I might have some fun next week and visit a few wholesale nurseries to see what I am missing.  Today a young man and his wife came to show me some nice tokoname pots.  The were purchase 20 to 30 years ago.  They were of very high quality.  The pricing was a little high for my customer base.  He was taking the pots to all of the nurseries and pot vendors in Central and Southern California.  He said he would be back in a month with more pots and travel further north.  I would like to purchase many of the pots, but selling them could take a while to accomplish.  Not too many people are currently purchasing high end bonsai pots.  They are completely worth the price that he is asking, but it is hard to spend that kind of money on pots that would sit at my nursery for a long period of time.  I would rather put my money to work purchasing less expensive bonsai pots, but better still to purchase some trees.

Busy, Busy, Busy!

The day started at 6:30am when I started to water up the hill.  I came back to the the nursery around 8:00am and began to water the nursery plants.  After watering the plants by 9:00am., my father and I went to prune a landscape pine tree.  The largest one sits in a planter bed that sits about 3ft. high and the tree is set about 5ft. back of the bed.  To make matters more difficult, the tree is surrounded by nicely manicured rosemary plants.  We put boards underneath an 8ft. ladder to stabilize it from sinking into the rosemary.  The tree stands about 10ft tall which makes it quite difficult to reach the top.  Remember you are only suppose to step on the second to the top rung ; ) .  Oh well, there went that rule.  In order to successfully reach the upper branches, we placed one foot on an upper branch of the pine and the other foot on the ladder.  After we pruned the tallest pine, the customer wanted us to prune here neighbors pine.  She said that the neighbor was concerned that we pruned it back too much last time and that the neighbor wanted her pine fuller.  The neighbor does not pay us to prune her pine, but she has the nerve to tell our customer how she wants it pruned!  We thought to just cut any large upward facing branches and only the longest candles.  Then we went to the back and pruned another landscape pine that is in a large planter.  The pine is about 5ft tall and sits at the edge of her pool.  It is quite an interesting challenge to cut candles on a pine that over hangs a pool.  We try to make sure none of the candles enters the pool and at the same time make sure that we do not enter the pool either.  When we got back home at around 11:30am. I checked my nursery phone.  I had 3 new messages.  As soon as I listened to the message, I received a call from a customer that wanted to get directions to the nursery.  They happened to only be about a block away.  They were visiting from Palm Springs.  I asked how they heard of us and they replied that they heard about our nursery when they lived in San Jose many years ago.  As the customer wandered, my dog started barking which means I was getting another customer.  This customer was from Santa Barbara and had never been here either.  They got our name from a mutual friend.  As I showed this customer around, another customer came in.  Now I have 6 or 7 people wandering around and my father went inside for lunch because when he was out here earlier, I only had one customer.  After a few hours, I ran inside to get a bite to eat.  As I was wolfing down a spam/pita sandwich, my dog begins barking!  Time for round 2.  A customer came by from Fresno and were shopping for trees.  As I helped them select trees, my dog starts barking again.  Another customer comes in and starts to wander the nursery.  As I started to show the customer around, another customer from a few miles away walked in behind him.  Now it is 4:00pm and my Father went inside.  He then left to go to his friends house.  When he went inside, I only had one customer.  Now I was again trying to help three people.  The last customer thanked me for showing him the nursery and said he would return at a later date.  The young couple from Fresno picked several trees and left.  Now I was helping my last customer.  He was having a wonderful time looking around.  I asked him where he heard our name?  He told me he was from Northern California but was headed to Santa Barbara.  He just punched in bonsai nursery and we popped up.  He was originally from Australia and practiced bonsai there.  Mostly with tropical bonsai.  He was fascinated with all of our finished trees and asked if he could look at my father's collection behind the fence.  After about an hour he left and said he would definitely return when he had more time.  After all this, I had to go to the hardware store to purchase a hose, hose repair kit and a cart for a display that we are doing this weekend.  Wow, I am finally done outside, now to work on my paperwork and to pay my sales tax.  All in a days work at a bonsai nursery!

Still pruning pines!

We are almost done with the customers landscape pines.  We have a few left to do.  I also have a couple of pines that I do on my own.  My father has about a dozen that he does for friends.  In between the pruning of our customer pines, we are in the middle of pruning our field grown pines.  My father has finished the landscape pines and I am about a third done with the field grown pines.  I am planning on only doing half of the field to let the pines grow a little faster.  Then we have the pre-bonsai's to do and the pines in the nursery cans.  It will still take a few more weeks to finish.  After the pines, its back to weeding!

Pruning Japanese black pines!

Church in Santa Tecla

My Son and Daughter - in - law

Playa Tunca

Pine at the top of a Volcano

View from the top of a volcano(There are many volcanoes)

Church at Suchitoto(Where the original capital city was located)

view of lake at Suchitoto
The race has begun.  I have begun to prune the Japanese landscape trees of my customers.  There are about a dozen customers that have pines that we prune.  Many have multiple trees.  We also have started to prune the pines in the field.  Every evening I come into the house with welts on my arms from the pines poking me all day. (Who ever said that bonsai wasn't a contact sport?).  I also have sap on my arms from all the pruning.  We have completed a few of the customer's trees, but we have many to go.  I have included a few pictures from my recent visit to El Salvador.

Where’s George?

If you have been wondering about me being silent over the last ten days it is because I was visiting my son.  He and his lovely wife live in El Salvador.  We just came back last night after a 16 hour day.  There are so many beautiful parts of the country and many that are sad, but we had a great time.  I will try and post some pictures of the trip when I have a chance.  I also visited several bonsai nurseries in El Salvador.  A gentleman by the name of Luis Molina got interested in bonsai as a young kid.  He has been doing and teaching bonsai in El Salvador for over 25 years.  Salvadorians have a great fondness for the Japanese culture.  As in the U.S. , some of the examples of bonsai were quite nice and others were more caricatures of bonsai.