ISSUE #13. JANUARY 2014
ALOHA & HAPPY NEW YEAR! After an arduous 25-year battle for survival that began in 1989 when we sprayed defective Benlate contaminated with weed killers that caused over $30 million of losses, I am optimistic and convinced that 2014 will be our break-out year and the partnership of Fuku-Bonsai and Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation will enter a new era to create the basis for service and supply of True Indoor Bonsai for future generations on a national basis!
The net proceeds of our 1994 Benlate product liability and our 2007 DuPont fraud settlements after legal fees and taxes was less than 10% of our losses. We survived while many of the other 5,000 who filed lawsuits against DuPont closed. Life is not fair and now 25 years later we are in a stronger position with a record of achievements and accomplishments. TRUE INDOOR BONSAI™ is recognized as the most successful, highest potential gift bonsai for anyone, anywhere who can grow houseplants!
I cannot thank everyone enough for the great support that made our survival possible. We are privileged to have repeat customers that trace their histories to our sole proprietorship days of the 1970's and 1980's. More learned of us after we incorporated in 1985 and some joined us as stockholders, only to have to suffer with us during the difficult next 25 years!
We continue to invite new Fuku-Bonsai stockholders and pleased that the Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation will be the largest stockholder in the post-Fukumoto era. I request your continuing support in the form of a $12 annual foundation membership and any additional donations. We pledge to continue our True Indoor Bonsai efforts to become the most comprehensive informational resource, the best supplier of high-potential plants and specialty supplies, and personalized one-on-one assistance for those joining our study groups!
With this first issue of the second year of publication of the JOURNAL OF TROPICAL & TRUE INDOOR BONSAI, we are raising the bar to try to better assist our customers and those who've received our plants as gifts; as well as those who want to learn and teach. Old customers are wanting to now begin training and improving the health of their trees. New customers are joining the foundation and the study groups and contributing editors Jerry, Ryan, and Jay also invite you to write to them too to get help and recommendations to take some of the load off me! We are steadily building a team for the future! MAHALO!
For the first time in many years, we've overhauled our price sheets to finally address the great increases in our costs. Shipping has gone up a huge amount and it's now $15 from the former $12 to send the first plant. But the cost per plant for the 2nd and 3rd plant to the same address goes down and WHEN FOUR OR MORE PLANTS ARE SENT TO THE SAME U.S. ADDRESS --- SHIPPING IS FREE! FedEx provides rate discounts as parcels get heavier and Fuku-Bonsai passes these on to our customers as "QUANTITY DISCOUNTS!" MAHALO!
THE PRICE OF OUR MOST POPULAR HS8(M) STAYS THE SAME AT $24.95 PLUS SHIPPING! Our larger older plants have always been under-priced and larger price adjustments were made on them. They continue to be the best values in the marketplace!
Thank you for your emails and feedback! It's been very pleasant to hear from our older customers and to know plants are doing well. In the past year, we've tried to address ways to improve the health of your trees and we're continue to encourage this. We seemed to have gotten the point across that plants should not be over-watered and that black rotted roots or no roots outside the rock plantings are symptoms of over-watering. When a plant dies, the trunk gets soft and you can peel the bark off. Firm white roots tends to indicate all is well.
In this issue's Mailbag are two examples of under-watering. Leaves begin to droop, become a light green, and tiny vertical creases develop on leaf stems, branches, and even trunks as the tree dehydrates. Sometimes it is possible to bring them back by soaking for three or more days and the creases actually disappear as the plant rehydrates! Plants are also placed in a terrarium or a blown up polybag to take the load off roots. This is more successful when the newest leaf on each branch is still alive. Please email me if more information is needed.
I'm also hearing from some who have had our plants for many years, enjoyed them, but now need to start training them as they are just too tall! In that same Mailbag, one plant has been potted into a #17 Conversion Kit and will be pruned back and retraining started when the plant is growing vigorously and this may be in late spring or summer. I have received other such situations and will be planning a series of articles to assist. Please email and send photos if you need help.
It has been very satisfying to see the progress of those in our Beginner and Fast-Track Study Groups. As we begin our second year of publication, I invite you to email with your comments, suggestions, or requests. In the coming months, we will continue to move into more advanced subjects including the most difficult and challenging 360° complex landscapes. All best wishes for the New Year!
|BONSAI IN EVOLUTION! By David Fukumoto, editor. There are many forms of artistic pot plants and this article tries to explain why Tropical and True Indoor Bonsai are becoming a popular high-success American form of bonsai.|
|YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN THE 2014 BEGINNER STUDY GROUP! By David W. Fukumoto. A transformational concept and strategy for those who have the interest, resources, and energy to master the art and culture of True Indoor Bonsai! Visit this article for extensive information if you really want to learn bonsai!|
|AERIAL ROOTS! By Jerry Meislik, contributing editor. (Whitefish, Montana) Only a few species of tree have the unique ability to sprout roots from their trunk or branches. On some trees these roots can form secondary trunks that are as large or larger than the original trunk. This type of tree style is called a "banyan."|
|THIRD FUKU-BONSAI TRIP REPORT. By Ryan Chang, contributing editor (Waipahu, Hawaii). The December 14, 2013 visit was planned from a while back. Ryan was making exceptional progress and each time he visited, his knowledge base took a large leap as we cleared things that were not easy to communicate via email. On this trip there were several objectives.|
|WINTER HIBERNATION! By Jay Boryczko, contributing editor (Farmington Hills, Michigan). Tropical bonsai is an exciting addition to my need to continue learning about and growing bonsai. Fuku Bonsai offers the beginner through the experienced bonsai enthusiast an opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills.|
|GEORGE TAKES ON A LARGE CHALLENGE! By George McLean, fast-track study group (Kalispell, Montana). The Taihu work presented challenges. This lava has a hard, reddish, brittle outer layer enclosing a soft, black core with many air bubbles. Getting through the outer layers without any disasters was the major challenge.|
|MY FIRST IWP SUMO! By Scott Orr of Harvest, Alabama, the newest study group member. Scott is an engineer who travels a lot - including plans to take his bonsai with him on his motor home. He brings some interesting new abilities as we adapt growing True Indoor Bonsai to different situations nationally! Welcome Scott!|
|MAILBAG - JANUARY 2014 Three items from the mailbag: How to retrain an older Fuku-Bonsai Lava Planting into a larger gorgeous bonsai! (Report of step #1) Also, two plants that were underwatered --- the symptoms and actions recommended.|