June Meeting - Workshop on Older Bonsai

June 24, 2016 @ 7pm

A couple of years ago long time member Bill Scott had a big sale of trees that he's worked on for 20+ years. Club members were able to aquire some really great trees and have been working to revitaliz and, restyle them. This workshop will be a chance to show what you've done and get advice from other members who have been working on similar trees.

We ask that you bring only one tree so we have time to help everyone that attends.

Note: This month we will be meeting on the 4th Friday of the month instead of our usual 3rd Friday. That's because the facility where we meet needs the room.


56th Annual Show A Success!

A great many people attended this weekend to see the show and demos. The trees were especially good this year.

Bob Shimon did our demo on Saturday. Bob has been doing bonsai since the early 1970s. He and his son Zack run Mendocino Coast Bonsai, specializing in collected redwoods and other California natives. Bob is also one of the founders of Redwood Empire Bonsai Club in Santa Rosa, CA. They always have a great show and our club often visits their show!

Bob's demo showed how to take a short, wide and twisted "stump" with a lot of character and do the initial styling. The image below shows the initial tree just before Bob started work. He talked about identifying the best"front" of the tree, which branches to remove and which to keep. He also talked a lot about care of redwoods. Take a look at our Redwood Basics article for more details.

Bob Shimon beginning work

On Sunday Jerry Carpenter styled a Juniper while Lynne O'Dell styled a Boxwood. Both trees were raffled off after the demos.

Boxwood guest winner(s), Sean Morris and Jerry Carpenter

Club News

2016 Show Recap

Thank you to all the members who helped make the 2016 annual show such a successful and beautiful event. Thank you to Mark O’Brien who spread the word of our show through contact with other clubs in the area and write-ups in the papers. It appears that many of our visitors heard about the show through family and friends as well. So good work on getting the word out!

We had twenty five of our members display their bonsai for a total of seventy displays including four shohin displays, four educational displays and a slide show of previous year’s events. Thank you Lynne O’Dell, for all the help in collecting the identification information for our trees. Jerry Carpenter and I changed the setup process slightly this year and were ready for show time fifteen minutes prior to noon on Saturday. Although we didn’t do a tally of visitors, the ballroom was packed with visitors at times, especially when the play at Lucie Stern had intermission!

A couple things different this year included the addition of the wonderful new happi coats and aprons for members who placed orders. If you want one and didn’t get one, you can let Rita Curbow know. Thank you Rita and your team for ensuring the new coats turned out so beautifully.

We also changed the color of three backdrops to a slate gray. This was to add a pop of a different color behind those trees that would look good against a darker color. Donna Farmer was the seamstress who made those new gray backdrops. Thank you, Donna for doing that in time for the show!

I appreciate everyone who helped with the box corner fold of the tablecloths this year. Chris Weigen and Alison Williams brought their steamer and irons to take care of those last minute wrinkles. It made our show room look more clean and tidy.

The lighting team, Mark O’Brien and Richard Phillips, had the lights up in record time as well as delivered all the materials from the shed. With help from John Mekisich, the lawn banner went up in record time as well. Thank you to John and Sei Boku Bonsai Kai for the long bonsai flags that were installed along the street. They really draw attention to our event.

On Sunday morning there was a photo shoot of our trees. With assistance from Jerry Carpenter, Bang Vo, Hal Jerman, Chris Weigen, Marsha Mekisich and John Mekisich, new member and professional photographer Sabrina Huang really captured the essence of our trees.

Thank you to Dave Curbow for handling the speaker system and John Mekisich and Linda Merrifield for helping with ticket sales for the benefit drawing.

The dining room was a comforting rest stop thanks to the hard work of Diane Churchill and Alison Williams as well as Jane Iki who provided such interesting succulent centerpieces and Marsha who provided the vases of colorful flowers. Did I say what good cooks everyone is? Thanks to all of you who brought in such delicious treats.

Bob Shimon did a wonderful demonstration on a Coastal Redwood. The room was full of lots of visitors from other clubs that day. Finally, thank you to Jerry and Marsha who did such a well-received demonstration on Sunday. Club member Sean Morris won the Lemon Hill juniper styled by Jerry. An enthusiastic guest couple won the Boxwood styled by Marsha. We hope to see them at a future club meeting.

The show was so much fun for me and could not have been so without the support and commitment of each one of you. I hope you felt as much pride as I did when I showed friends and family our artistry. As the 2016 Show Chairperson, I extend my utmost gratitude.

President's Message

I know everyone will agree that Charlene did another fabulous job as our Show Chair. This job is probably the most time-consuming job within our club and Charlene does it extremely well. The club thanks Charlene for all her efforts and all the members who provided their assistance in helping make this year’s show such a success. As a club we are all working on our trees more to make them showworthy. That was clear from how nice all the trees looked this year. This means that we are learning from our monthly programs and going home and applying those techniques to our trees.

Nominations for the 2016-2017 Year

Nominations for the upcoming fiscal year will be announced at our May meeting. Any nominations from the membership at large will be done at this time also as all nominations will be voted upon at this meeting. The Nominating Committee is Stephanie North and Mark O’Brien.

Harry Hirao Annual Scholarship

This scholarship is offered for use toward your education and development in the art of bonsai. As the recipient you would have 12 months in which to spend the scholarship to pay for work you do with a recognized California bonsai artist. Funds cannot be used to purchase bonsai or materials.

The deadline for applying for this $1,500 annual scholarship is July 15. For additional info, go to www.gsbf-bonsai.org and click on Education;

Photo Shoot

Over the years we've been putting more and more effort into producing great photos and then videos of trees displayed at our shows. This year we enlisted more members in this fun, but demanding task. The crew included a professional phtographer, several talented amateurs who helped with the lighting and many people to ferry and stage the trees to be photographed. We will have photos of all the trees online soon.

Setting up lighting (Click image for larger view)

The video of trees shown at our 2015 Show is available on YouTube, along with videos from earlier years.

Timely Work Schedule

Each month there are a number of tasks you need to do to your bonsai - from repotting, to fertilizing to spraying for pests. We have put together a checklist, customized for the San Francisco Bay Area to help you. This checklist is adapted from earlier work by Mitsuo Umehara.

This month: May Tasks

April Meeting Recap

Lynne O’Dell started the program by demonstrating how to air-layer. Lynne used a “toothed” scraper to remove about an inch of bark on all sides of a branch of a juniper. She then painted the exposed area with a rooting hormone, put sphagnum moss around it and then wrapped it in a plastic freezer bag leaving a hole for the water to enter. Lynne said you must water the air-layered area every day but don’t let it get “too” wet. Thomas Chiu suggested tin foil be used to reflect the sun to prevent the area from over-heating.

Jim Thompson brought in ten scions of white pines and ten black pine seedlings. Seven or more members participated in grafting a scion onto a black pine. Jim collected the scions from a white pine while the tree was dormant in January. He stored the scions in the refrigerator until the sap was moving in the black pine and the scions could be grafted. Jim demonstrated how you must graft at the soil line or lower. After making the appropriate cut, a scion was inserted and secured with tape. You then use a plastic bag and cotton to create a “greenhouse” around the graft. Cotton absorbs water and provides humidity for the graft.

Jim said it would take at least a year before the grafted trees would be ready to be moved to full sun. Initially they must be kept in shade and protected from wind, a powerful water flow, heat, etc.

Commercial pots for use in air layering and grafting are also available. Lynne and Jim used Hormodin #3 Rooting Hormone Powder. This product can be purchased from A.M. Leonard at amleo.com or by calling 1-800-543-8955.

Lynne and Jim did a great job and everyone learned a lot.

Club Calendar

May: May 20 program – bring in trees purchased at our annual show.

June: Program on 4th Friday, June 24 – bring in your Bill Scott trees for a workshop.

July: Peter Tea demo on maple branch development on July 15.


Other Events

May 14 - 15, 2016, Palo Alto, California
Akebono Bonsai Club & Kashu Suiseki Kai: Annual Exhibition at Palo Alto Buddhist Temple, 2751 Louis Road. Show hours are Noon – 5 PM both days. Demonstration each day at 2:00 PM/ Raffle drawing for door prizes immediately following each demonstration. Must be present to win. Free admission. For more information, call (408) 857-5463.

May 21 – 22, 2016, Oakland, California
Bay Area Satsuki Aikokai (BASA): 21st Annual Satsuki Azalea Bonsai Show at the Lakeside Garden Center, Lake Merritt, 666 Bellevue Avenue. Show hours are 10 AM – 5 PM Saturday and 11 AM – 4 PM Sunday with demonstration by Bonsai Master Artist Johnny Uchilda Saturday between 1 and 3 PM. Demonstration tree will be raffled. Sales area will have beginner material plus imported plants from Japan. Benefit drawing. Free admission. Public parking is available. For more information, contact George Haas at gwhaas@comcast.net.

June 4 and 5, 2016, San Mateo, California
Sei Boku Bonsai Kai: 33rd Annual Show at the San Mateo Garden Center. 605 Parkside Way (next to Beresford Park). Show hours are 10 AM to 4 PM both days, with demonstration by Dennis Makishima from Noon – 3 PM on Saturday (tree will be raffled off at the conclusion of demo). Sunday Dennis will lead an open view workshop from Noon – 3 PM. Large club member plant sale, vendors, door prizes and our always-popular raffles. Admission is free. Dr. Bonsai will be available to offer styling and care tips. For more information, contact Marsha Mekisich at eclectic.gardener@yahoo.com.

See GSBF Calendar for additional items

Articles We Recommend

Intro to Bonsai
About Your New Tree
Redwood Basics
Pine Pests

Other Sites We Recommend

Peter Tea's blog
Michael Hagedorn's blog
Bonsai Tonight

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