MAIL-BAG #8:    August 2013
              The Mail-Bag is a catch-all feature to include news,  tips, notices, and odds and ends.

                 We are sad to learn of that many bonsai were stolen from Walter and Ann Liew's Hawaii Bonsai Cultural Center in Waimanalo.  They have printed and distributed posters that read:
REWARD $2000
         12 elite bonsai trees were stolen on July 23, 2013 from Hawaii Bonsai Cultural
         Center in Waimanalo.  Any information leading to the recovery of these bonsai   
         trees will be rewarded.  Please call (808) 259-6886
                 The Liews most want the return of their trees that include some that have been in their family for 55 years.  The theft of these bonsai with value in excess of $100,000 has been publicized in Honolulu and Big Island newspapers and KHON 2 News and KITV 4 News.  The Liews are good friends and have been featured in articles on our website beginning at   In addition to the $2,000 Liew reward,  Fuku-Bonsai adds to the reward a $1,000 Custom Collection to the person that is most helpful in providing information leading to the return of the bonsai as designated by the Liews.  We request all possible assistance in getting these exceptional plants back!



          We regret MagAmp is no longer available. We knew the day would come and it is now here.  Fuku-Bonsai was the strongest supporter of MagAmp which was a rare ultra slow release low nitrogen / high phosphorous fertilizer that was not water soluble with citrate-solubility that made it unique.  It did not leach and supplied nutrients "on demand."  This is an important trait in Kurtistown where we may get 175" of annual rainfall and when using a very fast draining aggregate type non-soil media.  MagAmp was first pattened in the 1960's by the fertilizer company W. R. Grace, and while expensive,  it became the fertilizer of choice by specialty high-value floricultural and horticultural producers in Hawaii.

            We received permission from Sumitomo Corporation, who bought the patent and trademark from W.R. Grace, to repackage it to make it available to our customers.  We made up small packets to include on a complimentary basis with each plant that we sold and this was a large reason that Fuku-Bonsai's True Indoor Bonsai became the most successful gift bonsai for anyone, anywhere who can grow houseplants.  In fact, if you Google the keyword: "MAGAMP,"  Fuku-Bonsai came up before Sumitomo!

           But it was expensive to produce.  W.R. Grace and Sumitomo only offered it in either container or full pallet quantities in 50# sacks and it was not available to individuals or in regions where the fertilizer distributors could not order the large minimum quantities.  Because it was especially favored by orchid growers because orchids are very susceptible to rapid nutrient release,  and because of Hilo's large orchid industry,  MagAmp was available to us. It proved superior to all other fertilizers.  Our customers appreciated it and as inventory was depleted in other parts of the country,  we filled requests as long as possible.  But we cannot obtain any more and all remaining supplies will be used for production and sent out with our plants until we run out.

           We began the research for a replacement over ten years ago and have been in contact with a supplier of a new but similar product.  Like MagAmp,  it won't be cheap.  But we believe that this MagAmp replacement will have similar traits and be made available in the future under our "NUTRIENT GRANULES™" label. We will be developing a trial group of individuals and companies who are familiar with MagAmp to participate in pre-release trials.  If you are interested and have the ability to document and participate, please write for details.


    An update on:   A REPORT ON REMOVING A PLANT FROM A ROCK PLANTING AND POTTING IT  By Jon Putt (Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania)    In December 2012,  somehow a gift of a small size Dwarf Schefflera Lava Planting arrived with leaves that had fallen off.  This was in a rare shipment that somehow took longer than the normal 48-hour FedEx delivery to any part of the United States.  It was cold, so a shipping heat pack had been used.  Although the leaves had fallen off,  the plant was already recovering and new growth was reappearing. 
               Fuku-Bonsai's satisfaction and safe arrival warranty covers this and I offered to replace it.  But Jon really liked the plant and asked me for assistance so he could remove it from the rock and pot it into a pot that he had.  This resulted in an article in the first January 2013 issue of the Journal of Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai and the blue title is linked to the original article in which Jon photographed and reported in a step-by-step article what he did.  The first photo was from those he submitted then.    Now seven months later,  Jon wrote to send updated photos and reports:
               "Hi, I just wanted to send you some pictures of my tree. It grew its leaves back very quickly. Now I am keeping the tree outside for the summer. My tree is even putting out aerial roots as seen in the pictures I attached.  ~Jon  "
               Sometimes customers want stronger growth and they purchase a #8 Conversion Kit to pot a small or desk size lava planting (or a #17 Conversion Kit) for a medium or large size lava planting.  These grow nicely to appear as a tree growing on a rocky ledge with strong growth because of the larger root system.  By removing the rock, the tree has stronger growth.  Thanks for sending the update Jon!
               In this issue also,  note that Ryan Chang also removed the rock.  Trees that are grown in lava rock develop extra character and for premium plants,  we first rock plant them, then pot and age them.  After removing from the rock,  additional training produces exceptional trees! 

                 TROPICAL STORM FLOSSIE REPORT.  We had some high winds but no damage with the exception of a 75' tall Norfolk Island Pine falling across our newly paved access road.  The road was carpeted with needles and with a chain saw the 12" diameter trunk was chopped up and cleared off.  Thanks to those who emailed with concerns.  ~~~David

*** Return to the August issue of Journal of Tropical & True Indoor Bonsai
*** Go to Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation website
*** Go to Fuku-Bonsai website
© Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation and Fuku-Bonsai, 2013