Acquiring & Caring For Bonsai

Written by Sara Chute

Acquiring & Caring For Bonsai

Most bonsai trees sold at garden centers and nurseries are of excellent quality, but there are a few points to bear in mind when buying a new plant.  Age and shape ofrepparttar tree  General health  Soil should be damp but not soggy, unless it has just been watered  Leaves should look bright and healthy, not burnt aroundrepparttar 116359 edges or spotty  If buying a deciduous tree in winter, last year's growth should be smooth and plump, with no sign of bark wrinkling  The tree should be steady in its container, which should have at least one drainage hole  A white fungus in and aroundrepparttar 116360 drainage hole is natural and harmless

General Care

Purchasing A Tree

When buying a tree from a store duringrepparttar 116361 summer, be sure to give it at least 2 weeks outside, avoiding heavy rain and high winds before displaying it indoors. If purchasing in winter, however, do not allow it to be exposed to frost forrepparttar 116362 rest ofrepparttar 116363 season, as it will probably have begun to shoot. This is most important with deciduous trees, and while varieties of junipers are very hardy it is as well not to take any chances.

Most bonsai are hardy trees and shrubs whose natural habitat is out inrepparttar 116364 open. They are not permanent houseplants; and even semi-tropical trees should be placed outside when weather permits. Duringrepparttar 116365 summerrepparttar 116366 plant must be able to carry outrepparttar 116367 process of photosynthesis, and during winter it is resting and building up its strength forrepparttar 116368 coming spring. Too long in a warm room will persuade it that spring has arrived early and it will start budding. If this happens more than once,repparttar 116369 tree will simply die of exhaustion.


Sunlight, especiallyrepparttar 116370 ultra-violet ray, affectsrepparttar 116371 growth of trees. Therefore, except in special cases such as immediately after repotting, extensive trimming, etc, bonsai should be placed in a sunny location. Bright light will also work well butrepparttar 116372 tree should not be placed more than 12" away fromrepparttar 116373 direct light source. An east, west or southern exposure works best. A northern exposure will requirerepparttar 116374 use of "grow lights" which should remain on up to 16 hours each day andrepparttar 116375 lamp should not be more than 2 inches fromrepparttar 116376 top ofrepparttar 116377 tree. Incandescent light is too hot and will not providerepparttar 116378 various spectrum of light that is required to maintain your bonsai tree. If you do not have a window or light source that provides an east, west or southern exposure, be sure to select a bonsai tree that does well in lower lighting conditions.


Unlike a houseplant, bonsai trees use a "free draining" type of soil because their roots cannot tolerate "wet feet". In addition, they are grown in significantly less soil and, therefore require more watering. Factors such as tree location, temperature, lighting conditions, quantity of soil used, andrepparttar 116379 changing seasons will determinerepparttar 116380 frequency of watering. You can get to know when your tree needs to be watered by observingrepparttar 116381 foliage, testingrepparttar 116382 soil with your index finger just belowrepparttar 116383 surface, or just byrepparttar 116384 weight ofrepparttar 116385 pot. (The drierrepparttar 116386 tree,repparttar 116387 lighter it will feel.) To takerepparttar 116388 guesswork out of watering, an inexpensive moisture meter which works very much like a thermometer comes in handy. Insert it intorepparttar 116389 soil andrepparttar 116390 movement ofrepparttar 116391 needle will tell you if it is time to water.

Rainwater is best for watering plants, but tap water that has stood for a few hours is adequate. In summer, trees should be watered inrepparttar 116392 early morning or late afternoon to avoidrepparttar 116393 midday heat. This will preventrepparttar 116394 leaves ofrepparttar 116395 finer bonsai from burning. In winter, water early to permit any excess to drain beforerepparttar 116396 night frost. Plungingrepparttar 116397 pot into a bowl to soak is ideal for recently potted trees, small collections and for trees that have dried out. Be sure to drain properly, however!


All trees grow in more humid conditions than our homes, offices and dormitories. So what can we do to provide this essential humidity ? Mistingrepparttar 116398 tree is only beneficial for a short time, so what we recommend is to placerepparttar 116399 tree on a humidity tray and add water torepparttar 116400 tray. Asrepparttar 116401 water inrepparttar 116402 tray evaporates it creates a humid environment aroundrepparttar 116403 tree 24 hours a day. Whenrepparttar 116404 water inrepparttar 116405 tray is gone, add more water. It's a good idea to separaterepparttar 116406 pot fromrepparttar 116407 water inrepparttar 116408 tray by adding some pebbles torepparttar 116409 bottom ofrepparttar 116410 tray. This will prevent any roots from sitting inrepparttar 116411 water.

Finding The Value Of Precious Metal Dollhouses

Written by Joan Bramsch

Finding The Value Of Precious Metal Dollhouses by Joan Bramsch copyright: 1999

Fromrepparttar publication Antique Trader Weekly

The art of creating miniature scenes and rooms has been traced and documented to ancient Egyptian times, this is according to a member of Tiny Talk, an internet Newsgroup comprised of almost 400 miniaturists from aroundrepparttar 116358 world, who exchange tips, swaps and mini help with each other. Several famous personalities have enjoyed collecting dollhouses, some of them torepparttar 116359 point of obsession. For example: inrepparttar 116360 early 18th century, Princess Augusta Dorothea von Schwarzburg-Arnstadt actually bankrupted her husband's estate and died in debt torepparttar 116361 Catholic Church, all to make 'Mon Plaisir,' a recreation of an 18th century German Court (Classic Dolls Houses, Faith Eaton). Furnished dollhouses were also used in long ago times by mothers to teach their daughters how to run an acceptable household. And yet, miniatures started out as a serious adult pastime and weren't included as children's toys until pieces were available commercially and so, as with all things, history repeats itself. Miniatures and dollhouses are again considered very collectible adult toys.

In Victorian times,repparttar 116362 houses were made from wood, then cardboard houses became quite popular. Later inrepparttar 116363 20th century, metal dollhouses came into vogue. Marx, Wolverine and Cohn were amongrepparttar 116364 producers ofrepparttar 116365 most popular models.

Twentieth Century Classics Louis Marx & Co., Inc. began business after World War II, producing wind-up mechanical toys and metal trucks and cars. In 1949,repparttar 116366 company produced its first metal dollhouse. Featured inrepparttar 116367 Sears Christmas catalog it was calledrepparttar 116368 'Disney' house, so named becauserepparttar 116369 cartoon characters were festooned alongrepparttar 116370 nursery walls. The 'Disney' had five rooms, garage and patio, and was fully furnished and electrified for only $4.98. Value today is $75-$100. For over 20 years, Marx made metal dollhouses, often usingrepparttar 116371 same model year after year. Painted in different colors and architectural design,repparttar 116372 house had several interchangeable components which could be mixed and matched to create different styles or sizes. In this way, they metrepparttar 116373 requirements of varied sale prices. The L-shaped ranch house was new in 1953 and sold inrepparttar 116374 Sears Christmas catalog for $7.29 furnished. Value today is $70-$100, unfurnished; $125- $150, furnished.

Marx's most expensive house appeared inrepparttar 116375 1962 Sears catalog. It featured dormer windows, an inside staircase, a ringing doorbell, lighting, a 'Florida' room complete with jalousie window, awnings, shutters and painted-on flower filled window boxes beneathrepparttar 116376 front windows, plus complete furnishings --all for $15.88. Boy, weren't thoserepparttar 116377 days? Present value is $100 plus.

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