Bonsai pine trees to line Baguio's major roads
BAGUIO, Philippines – Something to do soon when Baguio’s weekend traffic is getting on you: meditate by gazing at the street islands. Later in 2019, the street islands of the major thoroughfares of the city will soon be replanted with bonsai pine trees.
The City Environment Parks and Management Office (Cepmo) is planning to plant bonsai pine trees along Session Road, Harrison Road, and Magsaysay Avenue later this year as part of the city government’s continuing environmental and beautification program.
Floro Bastian, one of the city’s environment management specialists, said that he and 50 other Cepmo personnel had been cultivating ang nurturing bonsai pine tree saplings in the city’s nurseries at Busol watershed and Botanical Garden.
To formally prepare for this, 4 experts from the Japan Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (Clair-Singapore) trained them on bonsai last December at the Diplomat Hotel.
Hideki Morita, a specialist from Chiba Prefecture; Risa Tanaka, senior deputy director of Clair-Singapore; Makiha Kurata, deputy director, Clair-Singapore; and Gueh Yuyuan, Clair-Singapore researcher set up the intensive training for the Cepmo members as well as interested residents.
Bastian said that Cepmo already had 80 bonsai pine trees and would need to cultivate and raise 120 more for the street island project. It will be a gargantuan task to make these bonsai survive the pollution, not withstanding the delicate nature of Benguet pine.
Noted gardenist and bonsai expert Serapion Metilla knew this fully well. “Bonsai growers in Baguio also told me they themselves were not successful in growing pines as bonsai,” he said.
“I was, however, successful with one pine tree I repotted as bonsai, carefully breaking the pot and seeing to it that not a single root was damaged. I lined the large drainage holes of the second pot with pebbles and sand. I did not attempt to cut any branch, except to pinch off only any candle, or new shoot, that came out. It grew, but eventually, it died after 6 years,” Metilla added.
Those who want to see the Cepmo training the pine trees for bonsai can coordinate with them at the ground floor of City Hall or call 300-6500 loc. 6535 for an appointment. – Rappler.com