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2017 Mid America Bonsai Association Convention

Valavanis Bonsai Blog

The 2017 MABA Convention was held on July 7-8, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The two day convention had lecture/demonstrations, seminars, workshops, critiques and a bonsai forum. The heighlight of the event was a fine bonsai exhibit with some stunning bonsai. All of the bonsai were beautifully displayed on display tables with companions. A few featured American themed scrolls. All the bonsai were well detailed, ready for exhibiting and were enjoyed by all registrants and visitors.


Matt Reel and his completed demonstration Douglas Fir bonsai.

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Partial Defoliation of a European Beech

Scratch Bonsai

I bought this early last year from an auction at the local club.  It’s the biggest bonsai I have and it was grown from scratch by someone else over a long period! I can only hope my efforts at field growing turn out as well in 20+ years.  Anyway, it spent last year recovering from being lifted from the ground and this year flushed out pretty strongly.  I read up a bit on defoliating beech and am informed that they don’t like entire removal of foliage but only partial and a leaf must be left on the end of each branch as a sap drawer.  There’s a lot of ramification to develop and I wanted the inner branches to receive more light so I was selective.


I think that the tree would benefit from a tilt at repotting time  so that the trunk is more vertical.  We’ll see.  I’ll branch…

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Partial defoliation of a Japanese Maple 

Nebari Bonsai

In the early summer, as the first flush is hardening off, it is good to remove one of each pair of leaves, to let more light into the tree. This promotes back-budding, and keeps interior shoots from dying off.


Dense canopy:


Less-dense canopy:

The trunk is beefing up, even after 12 years in a pot, with annual repotting.

Part of the charm of this cultivar, Chishio Improved, is the bright red new growth. Here is an area that was pruned back a month ago, and new growth is popping out brightly!

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