Bonsai Specialist February 28th

Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment

Dickinson College has recently constructed the new Stafford Green House attached to Kauffman Hall, in which there are now bonsai plants. On February 28th, the Stafford Greenhouse made its debut with a bonsai class. Jim Doyle, a local bonsai expert, taught Professor Tom Arnold’s plant physiology class and Professor Bates’ class on nature and the environment in Japanese literature and film about the noble bonsai. The students learned the basics of bonsai by working firsthand with young junipers. Jim also brought other more mature bonsai plants for educational purposes. He showed the students what can happen with long-term commitment to this beautiful and meditative art. The Luce Initiavtive on Asian Studies and the Environment grant provided the funding for Jim Doyle’s time, making it a joint effort between the Stafford Greenhouse and the Luce Initiative.

Jim Doyle, our local bonsai expert, runs Nature’s Way Nursery in Harrisburg and is a highly sought after bonsai teacher.

As the event has passed, here are some highlights and photos!

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Jim Doyle, a local horticulturist, came to Dickinson College to share his love of bonsai with a lucky group of plant physiology students. He brought 15 small juniper trees, each about 6 years old. He began the lesson by explaining that he originally wanted to be a veterinarian, but began work at a plant nursery while in college and fell in love with horticulture, and eventually bonsai. He describes bonsai as a continual adventure.

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What makes a good bonsai?

Jim says that rounded apexes, a short distance between the branches, and small foliage are the keys to a good bonsai.

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Looking for more information on bonsai? Visit our bonsai page!

Photo Credit: Aurora Wetherill and Tom Arnold.

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