National Bonsai & Penjing Museum
Photo by PoPville flickr user Andrei Sinioukov

From a press release:

“The centennial of the birth of John Naka, one of the fathers of American bonsai, will be celebrated with a tribute and birthday cake at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the U.S. National Arboretum on Aug. 16, at 2 p.m. Naka (1914-2004) would have turned 100 on this date. The event is free and open to the public.

“American horticulturist, teacher and author John Naka was a bonsai master who made significant contributions to the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum collection and to the art of bonsai,” said Museum curator Jack Sustic. His forest planting, “Goshin,” is one of the most recognizable bonsai in the world; it features 11 juniper trees representing his grandchildren. “The Museum honors Naka every day by displaying a diverse collection of bonsai by North American artists in its John Y. Naka North American Pavilion,” added Sustic.

The event will feature videos and photos of Naka at work, remarks by the Museum’s assistant curator Aarin Packard, a display of Naka’s bonsai from the Museum’s permanent collection, and birthday cake.

During this centennial month of Naka’s birth, the Museum invites visitors to celebrate on social media, using the hashtag “#JohnNaka100” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to document their visits to the Museum’s John Naka North American Pavilion. A virtual birthday card for Naka is available to subscribers of the Museum’s email newsletters until August 16. Sign up here.

Arboretum is located at 3501 New York Avenue NE”


“Dear PoPville,

I haven’t seen or heard anything about the annual Gingko tree spraying to reduce fruit on female trees. Looks now like it’s too late as the trees have already pollinated. Do you know why the city did not spray this year?”

Ed. Note: Last year at the end of April DDOT issues a press release saying they would spray the trees “to prevent the notoriously unpleasant odor of female ginkgo fruit”. No such press release was issued this year. However on the DDOT Gingko tree page they say “Today, Urban Forestry Administration sprays these trees with a mild pesticide each spring to halt fruit development.”

A call to DDOT reveals that they don’t actually spray until the trees start to bud before the fruit is produced – and when budding starts they will again spray this year.

Sadly, despite spraying you can always count on a certain amount of stink every year…so you can also learn how to request a tree be removed here.