Saturday, August 1, 2015

Mid-America Bonsai Alliance Confererence Report

MABA Conference
July 10-12
Hosted by Indianapolis Bonsai Club

by Valerie Tasker & Anne Heun

Featured Artist: Suthin Sukosolvisit
Presenters: Jim Doyle, Mark Fields, Pauline Muth, Bill Valavanis, Scott Yelich, Ken Huth, Frank Mihalic, Brian Ciskowski, Mark Thiedeman, Paul Weishaar
14 Vendors

After months of anticipation, we were delighted to attend the MABA Conference in Indianapolis. Approximately 100 trees were exhibited, and each reflected a remarkable level of accomplishment and dedication to the principles of Bonsai.
We both signed up for a workshop with Bill Valavanis. Hanoki Cypress was the subject tree. Several hours were spent deciding on a possible style, then working the tree in that direction. Bill was very helpful and fun to work with. New we just need to keep our trees alive and healthy for years to come!
Each presenter shared insight on technique, style, and horticulture. Following are a few of the tips gleaned from the
presentations we attended.
~Wine corks can be used to separate the branches of trees rather than wiring them. These can be cut to any size needed.
~Pest control can be achieved by putting a dog flea collar on the soil around the trunk of your tree, then enclosing it in a plastic bag for 24 hours. Repeat this procedure 7-10 days later. (This will not eliminate borers, however.)
~Ant Lions can be introduced to devour pests, and then they neatly devour each other!
~Foliage should be washed thoroughly from time to time to help remove pests as opposed to misting which may encourage mold growth.

The atmosphere of the weekend was one of excitement and camaraderie. Everyone was friendly, welcoming, encouraging, and very happy to see old friends as well as to make new ones. Seeing the love of Bonsai reflected in the smiles and tone of this group made us feel so very inspired!
Looking forward to future conferences!

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