Friday, January 9, 2009

Welcome to Tree Project! Basic Procedure: New Seeds 2009

HIROSHI SUNAIRI at The Horticultural Society of New York


Welcome to the Tree Project!

Nature tells us with no ideological standpoint about war, atomic bombs, peace, nature, and the environment.” – Dr. Riki Horiguchi

Over sixty years ago, the city of Hiroshima was burnt to ashes by one nuclear bomb and people thought that nothing would grow for 75 years. However, sprouts sprung up from the remains of burnt trees and weeds came out of the ground. The trees that still live from the time of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima are called, Hibaku trees (A-bombed trees). This new life gave encouragement to the people who had lost hope.

Since 2006, Riki Horiguchi, a tree doctor in Hiroshima, has provided me with seedlings and seeds of Round Leaf Holly, Persimmon, Chinaberry, Chinese Parasol, Japanese Hackberry, and Jujube. These seeds are the second or third generation of Hibaku Trees. By sharing these seeds with people in the US and elsewhere around the world, I would like to share the pleasure of growing plants, especially the plants from Hibaku seeds. I welcome all participants to learn, nurture, and enjoy the process.

Process 1: Getting Seeds

If you live in or around New York City, please pick up seeds from The Horticultural Society of New York in midtown Manhattan (see the address below). If you need to receive seeds by mail, please email me at Once you have your seeds, keep them dry and refrigerated until the day of planting. Do not moisten or freeze your seeds!

Process 2: Planting the Seeds

Please use unglazed ceramic pots (regular terra cotta ones) so the soil can breathe and dry naturally. In plastic pots, the soil takes much longer to dry and there is a chance that the young roots can rot if watered too much. Set the pot near a window with plenty of sun. When they haven’t yet sprouted, it is important to keep the soil moist all the time. Once they sprout, water only when the soil dries out, otherwise the roots can get too wet and rot.

Process 3: Sprouted! Congratulations!

Please let me know that your seeds sprouted by emailing me at Then, please send me digital pictures of yourself with your sprouts for the Tree Project blog ( Please take the photo with highest resolution so they can be printed large later. The documentation should be updated whenever there is significant growth – it may be once a month or only every other month. Be creative with the photos!

Process 4: The Exhibition

Initially – about a year or two – they should be kept indoors in pots, as they are very delicate at this stage of their development. Another reason for keeping them in pots is that you will be participating in an exhibition of the Tree Project at The Horticultural Society of New York in December 2009. I ask that all participants show off your seedlings, so plan your December with this exhibition in mind. If you are in New York, I would like to ask you to join us by exhibiting your seedling in the HSNY Gallery for the duration of the show. If you cannot loan your plant(s), you will be represented through the photographic documentation of yourself with your seedlings.

I look forward to working with you on this project.
Hiroshi Sunairi / /

148 West 37th Street, 13th Floor | New York, NY 10018 | 212.757.0915 |

New Seeds 2009 No.1 - Round Leaf Holly, Kurogane Holly, Ilex rotunda (クロガネモチ)
71 pairs of seeds available 
Info about this tree 1,
2, 3
, 4, 5, 8
Hardiness Zones: 5 to 8

The Kurogane holly (Ilex rotunda) is generally described as a Perennial Tree, which means it will grow year after year. The Kurogane holly, Ilex crenata 'Rotundifolia', will attain a height of six to eight feet. It has attractive, glossy leaves and will grow well in partial shade. The branch is blackish and the leaf is alternate with elliptical shape. Environment: prefers partial shade or partial sun to full sun; soil should be moist.


New Seeds 2009 No.2 - Firmiana Simplex, Chinese Parasol Tree (アオギリ)
35 pairs of seeds available
Info about this tree 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
USDA hardiness zones: 7 through 9

Chinese parasol tree, Firmiana Simplex tree has a very unusual appearance for a deciduous tree, having green stems and bark and extremely large, three to five-lobed bright green leaves. It is grown as an ornamental in warm regions of North America. It grows to a height of 12 m (40 feet). Chinese Parasoltree should be grown a full-sun, wind-protected location. Trees will grow in shade with an upright, almost columnar form as they reach for the sunlight. tolerate clay soil but often develop root rot if the soil is not well-drained.

(青桐、Firmiana simplex)は、東南アジアから来ました。
アオギリは日本でも暖かい地に生える落葉高木ですが、各地で街路樹、庭木として植えられています。樹高は15~20mで樹皮は緑色。アオギリの葉は互生し、長柄です。 花は6~7月に咲きます。  庭木、街路樹に適し、材を建具・家具・楽器などとする。かつてはコーヒーの代用品にしました。沖縄、奄美大島、台湾、中国、インドシナまで広く分布しています。

New Seeds 2009 No.3 - Chinaberry (Melia azedarach) センダン
20 pairs of seeds available
Info about this tree 12345
USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 to 10

The Chinaberry (Melia azedarach) センダン was introduced into the United States in the middle 1800s from Asia. The tree was planted widely as a ornamental around home sites. This deciduous tree can reach a height of 50 feet and 2 feet wide. It is drought tolerant. This beautiful tree turns yellow in the fall and has yellow berries in the winter.

The Chinaberry tree’s wood is soft and white. The main stem is lime green. The leaves are glossy dark green and they turn golden yellow in fall. The flowers of the Chinaberry tree bloom from March to May. There are five pinkish lavender to whitish petals. These flowers are very fragrant. The fruit of a Chinaberry tree is a berrylike, round fleshy fruit. The Chinaberry tree’s extracts are useful for natural pesticides. It is also used for medicinal purposes because it has anti-viral and possibly anti-cancer properties. In Europe, the Chinaberry tree’s wood is used for flooring.

However, the clusters of yellow flowers in spring yielding persistent, poisonous berries. The berry and seeds are poisonous if eaten by livestock or human. The Chinaberry tree is blocking out native trees because of its berries. It spreads at a rapid rate because of the birds. 

センダンは落葉性の高木であり、四国・九州・南西諸島に自生しているとされる。本州でも暖地では河原や雑木林などに 自然に生育する。成長は早く、比較的短期間で大きくなるので、学校や公園などに植栽されている。東アジア、東南アジアの熱帯から亜熱帯 にまで広く分布している。
 春、新葉の展開とともに枝先に花序を出すが、開花は展葉した後の5月である。秋には房状に果実を付け、長く枝先に下がっている。種子は鳥によって散布さ れるのであろう。

New Seeds 2009 No.4 - Japanese Hackberry, Celtis sinensis (エノキ)
No more seeds available
Info about this tree 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
USDA hardiness zones: 5 through 9
Japanese Hackberry reaches a height of 40 to 60 feet, is a rapid-grower, and transplants easily. It can be 20 to 25 feet tall and wide 10 years after planting. The mature bark is light grey, rough and corky, and the small, dark orange-colored fruits are relished by birds. The seeds are hard and people could slip and fall on them if they drop on a hard surface.

エノキは本州・四国・九州、朝鮮・中国に分布する落葉高木。谷沿いなどの水分条件の良好な場所に良く生育するが、痩せ地にも良く耐えて生育し、花崗岩地の 禿げ山山頂などにも生育していることがある。公園や社寺の境内などでは直径1mほどの巨木に生長していることもある。葉はやや堅く、乾燥地に生育すると小 さくなる。花は4月から5月に咲き、果実は直径6~8mmで、赤 から赤褐色に熟し、甘くて鳥に好まれる。味は甘い。

New Seeds 2009 No.5 - Jujube, Red Date, Chinese Date (ナツメ)
No more seeds available
Info about this tree
1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Jujube, Zizyphus jujuba. Also known as the Chinese date, Jujubes are elegant small trees to 20’ tall by 12’ wide, with gray bark and shiny, dainty foliage that gives a great autumn display of butter yellow. Jujube trees will thrive under the harshest conditions. Jujube trees are self-fertile and the abundant fruits are sweet and crunchy. Truly delicious fresh. Jujubes can dry on the tree for future use. Both fresh and dried fruit are packed with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. They’re used in traditional Chinese medicine to kill internal parasites, promote liver function and improve the pulmonary system. Full sun, drought tolerant. Best fruit set and flavor in hot summer areas. If grown in containers, you'll need at least a 15 gal pot.

ナツメ、学名:Ziziphus jujuba)は高さ10mになる落葉高木で、初夏に芽を出すので夏芽(なつめ)の名がついたといわれています。中国では、果実を食用や薬用にするために古くから栽培されています。日本へは中国から渡来したと考えられています。花はは淡緑色で小さく目立たない。花果実は長さ2cmほどの卵型で、熟すと赤黒くなり次第に乾燥してしわができる。核には2個の種子を含む。日本へは中国から渡来したと考えられています。「万葉集」には、「棗」が出てくる歌が2首あるそうです。

New Seeds 2009 No.6 - Persimmon (カキノキ)
No more seeds available
Info about this tree 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
USDA Zones. 5-9

Persimmon, kaki (柿) is a deciduous tree growing to 25 ft high. This species, native to China. It has ovate leaves, 3 in. to 7 in. long that are shiny on top and pubescent beneath. Its flowers are yellowish white and 0.75 in. (1.9 cm) long. Its fruit is classified as a a juicy berry. These are sweet, slightly tangy fruits with a soft to occasionally fibrous texture. It is edible in its crisp firm state, but has its best flavor when allowed to rest and soften slightly after harvest. Cultivation of the fruit extended first to other parts of east Asia, and was later introduced to California and southern Europe in the 1800s.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Jan 8: Winter Session Artist Talk



Born in Hiroshima, Japan, 1972, Hiroshi Sunairi lives and works in New York where he teaches at NYU's Department of Art and Art Professions. His most recent installation work entitled "White Elephant" was shown in the Japan Society of New York in 2007. "White Elephant" is a deconstructed life-size ceramic elephant, a 9.11 memorial not only for Americans but also for Iraqis and the people of Afghanistan. The installation "A Night of Elephants" was shown at Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan in 2005 (Sunairi's hometown). For this installation, Sunairi collaborated with the city of Hiroshima to gather pruned trees that survived the atomic bombing, all of which he inserted into a metal framework in the shape of an elephant lying down. Departing from the Western saying that "Elephants Never Forget," this work debuted on the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Sunairi has exhibited with Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, and LA Galerie Lothar Albrecht, Frankfurt, and Galleri Wang, Oslo.


NYU Steinhardt Art Events and Exhibitions
Barney Building
34 Stuyvesant Street, Einstein Auditorium Rm 105
(At 9th Street between 3rd and 2nd Avenues.)
Information: 212.998.5700



Spain: Blanca de la Torre’s Hibaku Sendan has bloomed

Hiroshi, one of your trees has bloomed!!!!! :) -Blanca de la Torre