It is raining outside as I am writing this. My three week vacation has seen rain almost every day. Next year I am taking August off.

Most people will simply hook up a hose to the municipal water supply to water their bonsai. I choose to use rainwater. Most municipal water supplies contain salts, minerals, chlorine, fluoride (trees don’t have teeth) and who knows what else they sneak in there. We have a one hundred gallon rain barrel that stays near full the whole summer here in Northern Virginia even when it is used almost daily.

My main objection to using municipal water is the unsightly mineral buildup it leaves over time on the tree bark. On smooth barked trees such as maples and azaleas this problem can be solved easily by using a soft toothbrush to scrub away any undesirable buildup. But, on rough bark trees like pines you would end up brushing off all of the old desirable bark. I want to keep my old pine bark.

If you can’t collect rainwater simply fill a bucket or cistern with tap water and let it sit in the sun to evaporate the chlorine before using.

Have fun!

Greg Logo

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