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Club News – November 2020

Fall Brings New Colors to Our Bonsai

Cooler night time temperatures cause our trees to begin the transition to dormancy. Our trees stop providing nutrients to the leaves so the green colors disappear and the yellow, orange and reds become dominant.

Fall color in the bonsai garden
Fall color in the bonsai garden

”Slab Planting” with Juan Cruz

November 20 @7pm via Zoom

Meeting Presenter Juan Cruz from Midori Bonsai Club
Meeting Presenter Juan Cruz from Midori Bonsai Club

Our Zoom meeting on Friday, November 20 will feature a demonstration by Sacramento native Juan Cruz. Juan will prepare a slate slab and plant a bonsai tree on it. In 1995, Juan moved to the Bay Area and joined the Midori Bonsai Club. At Midori, he took workshops from Kathy Shaner and became inspired to pursue the art. He further developed his skills in Japan at Mansei-En bonsai nursery in BonsaiCho, Omiya. Juan is currently active with the Golden State Bonsai Federation. 

The slab planting that Juan prepares will be auctioned to Kusamura members by sealed bids, details to follow.

A Zoom meeting invitation will be sent to club members as the date for this event approaches. Guests are welcome too. 

Note that this meeting will not be recorded.

Monthly Tasks

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: November Tasks


Kusamura Loses a Dear Friend

Dave Flynn (1942 - 2020)
Dave Flynn (1942 – 2020)

David Barton Flynn passed away at his home in Mountain View Ca on Saturday Oct 4, 2020 after an extended illness. Born on July 1, 1942 in Palo Alto to Roie and Wilma Flynn, Dave grew up in Payson, AZ and Mountain View, CA graduating from Mountain View HS in 1963.

After high school Dave joined the Navy where he served four years as a corpsman. In the Navy Dave developed an interest in medicine which led to him to Stanford University where he received a Biology degree. He put his degree to work supporting heart transplant research at the University of Michigan. He also worked as a carpenter, long haul trucker, with the latter part of Dave’s career spent as a master carpenter working in the construction of elegant homes. He was known for his exacting attention to detail, quality work and direct communication.

Dave enjoyed a life of variety and pursuit of knowledge. He was awarded a lifetime membership in the Kusamura Bonsai Club, he was a guitarist in a rock band, excellent mechanic, collector of fine original art and avid gardener. He spent many hours and resources in support of the Palestinian cause. An unapologetic atheist and a passionate debater of liberal causes, he was a man of science. Dave had the gifts of loyalty, generosity, and a wry wit. These qualities led lifelong friendships in all his endeavors.

Dave gave generously of his time to the bonsai community. As a carpenter he helped Tom Refvem and others build the permanent structures at the Bonsai Garden Lake Merritt in Oakland. For over twenty-five years Dave assembled a twelve-foot tall tokonoma structure for Kusamura’s annual show. Dave will be missed by all who knew him in the bonsai community.

He is survived by his brother Dan (sister-in-law Gail), his nephew Rob, niece Mimi, and cousin Veva (Ken) Edson.


Recap of Our October 16 Zoom Meeting

Keeping our tools sharp is important for a couple of reasons. First, sharp tools require less effort to make cuts. Also, making cuts with tools that are dull will leave jagged edges and those are harder for plants to heal. Gordon Deeg’s presentation was very helpful – so we’ve turned it into a separate article. See Tool Sharpening Basics.

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