Monday, April 22, 2024

Forests, Climate, and Bonsai with Dr. Gordan Bonan, Ep29-30

I. Episode Summary & Links

            For this special 2-part Earth Day series, Kevin and Ryan interviewed Dr. Gordon Bonan, a Colorado-based bonsai artist and climate scientist. We asked Gordon in this wide-ranging interview to distill his scientific findings from climate modeling, how it may impact us as humans, bonsai artists, and our trees, and how he approaches sharing information on the subject with the public. In part 2 coming next week, we also have some listener questions he addresses.

The video version for part 1 / Episode 29 is available here:

The podcast version of episode 29 is available here.

The video version for part 2 / Episode 30 is will be available here.

The podcast version of Episode 30 is available here.

Guest Info:

            Dr. Gordon Bonan is a climate scientist and published author from the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Many of Gordon's research publications can be found here for further reading: Also, Gordon's authored books are available here.

Sponsor Info: 

            This episode is also sponsored by the Columbus Bonsai Society. Learn more about bonsai through a locally supporting community and connect with us at future events such as our upcoming 52nd annual show which will be 7/20-7/21/24. Learn more at the website below.

(INSERT YOUR AD HERE). Email us at if you would like to discuss sponsoring an episode! Sponsor information will be tailored to your needs but generally is read on air and included in the show notes.

Support the Pod:

            Anytime you listen, subscribe, rate us, or share us with friends you help keep us motivated to keep making episodes for you all! If you want to take it to the next level, you can also help keep the podcast going by donating to us through Spotify or by sponsoring an episode (contact us directly for that). All donations go back into the podcast such as for our web hosting, recording gear expenses, etc. Even $1/month would be a great help!


See the relevant images and links from this episode below.

II. Show Notes / Pictures

A. Books Authored by Dr. Gordon Bonan

Gordon's book vary in their topics. Some are expert-level information in climate modeling possibly for use in academic courses. Other books from him attempt to break down what he has learned through his climate modeling research for average folk and how this field can impact our lives. Then Gordon also has one seemingly random book focused on history! In our interview, Gordan confirmed it was indeed the same Gordan Bonan who authored that book once he became interested in preserving the story of one of his distant relatives. See the full list of Gordon's published books below.

B. Gordon's American Chestnut Bonsai!

            As we discussed in the interview, among Gordon's bonsai collection are two rare (nearly extinct) American Chestnut which used to be a dominant tree and food crop from the forests of the American East as recently as under 100 years ago. We discussed the fungal blight that was introduced and nearly wiped the species out as well as some of the conservation efforts by groups such as the American Chestnut Society and Southern University of New York. Luckily in Colorado the blight is not as abundant but also it tends to affect older trees, so Gordon's chestnut seedlings may be able to endure! Time will tell.

American Chestnuts of 5 feet in diameter were common and even up to 10 foot in diameter was recorded! Hence they were known as the "redwood of the east". Learn more about this species' history and ongoing conservation/research efforts at The American Chestnut Foundation.

III. Episode Credits

Podcast Info:

The Bonsai Time Podcast is hosted, edited, & produced by Kevin Faris, Ryan Huston, & Kelly Lui. Learn more about the podcast at the links below. We expect to post new interviews and reflections monthly!

Submit questions or pictures for future Bonsai Brainstorm episodes to our email, social media DMs, or at the link below.

Your hosts can be found below:

Music by MIDICANCER. Find more music by them at the links below.

More Bonsai Projects by Ryan:

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