Well it's back, we lost the freezing temperatures and got landed with heavy rain again. Our bottom orchard is flooded once again because the 'Gladder Brook' has burst it's banks, and the courtyard in front of the studio is swimming. I am beginning to know how Noah felt.
To add to my misery, I slipped on ice carrying a huge Taxus headed for Latvia and tweaked my back. Now I have pain at the base of my spine down through my thigh and into my knee. So I have obviously pinched a nerve. And on top of that I have picked up a vomiting bug. But on the positive side there are lots of people worse off than me who will have a very different Christmas this year. So I am not feeling sorry for myself.
I have been around checking all the trees this morning as I have not been able to get around them for two days. I like to keep my eye on everything on a regular basis so that I don't get any surprises. One of the problems of travelling as a bonsai professional, is that I worry about the trees while I am away for any length of time. Even though I treat the trees prophilactically you can still get problems and if so I like to nip things in the bud as they say. That saying is quite appropriate considering the subject.
So vigilance is the key.
I get quite frustrated when people bring me sick trees when they have waited until the tree is at deaths door before bringing it to me. Firstly, why not bring me the tree as soon as they see something is amiss. This gives me time to try to correct the situation. And of course the sicker the tree, the harder it is to bring about a reversal in the spiralling decline in the health of the tree.
Secondly if they bring me a tree on deaths door, what happens when the tree is too far gone is you hear, "took this tree to Steve, he killed it". Yes really!!
You never hear people talk of all the ones I have saved. But "Hey Ho", it goes with the job I guess.
But the worst scenario is when a guy whose collection you maintain has a tree off colour who instead of following your advise, after all you are the professional. Instead rings twenty different people and gets twenty different answers as to what is wrong with their tree. Because all of his friends are experts aren't they! And then proceeds to loose the tree.
Because then the emails and calls start coming in. "Joe Bloggs lost his tree. Don't you look after his trees?"
So anyone reading this, if you get a sick tree, take it to whoever you go to for help straight away. Don't waste time messing with it yourself or following a mates advise unless they have a proven track record. Because if you leave it until the last minute to get help, you have just made the job difficult or even impossible for who you have gone to for help.
Would you leave taking a sick pet to the vet? No I don't think so.
On a less serious note, there is a great article in December 2012 issue of National Geographic magazine by David Quammen with Photographs by Michael Nichols called "Forest Giant".
A tree climbing scientist and his team have learned surprising new facts about giant sequoias by measuring them inch by inch.
The article features "The President", a Sequoia or Giant Redwood Sequoiadendron giganteum. Sometimes called the Wellingtonia It is 27 feet in diameter at the base and rises to 247 feet tall. It is the second largest tree known on the planet Just behind the famous "General Sherman".
This is a fascinating and inspiring read and the images are unbelievable.