Club News – November 2021

Meeting – November 19 @ 7PM In-Person and Zoom

Jonas Dupuich – Building Branch Structure in Pines, Workshop

Jonas Dupuich
Jonas Dupuich

Jonas Dupuich has become a favorite speaker at our club – and seller of akadama, pumice and other materials. He will be back again to talk about one of his favorite topics – pine trees. The focus of this meeting will be on how to improve the design of our branches. Jonas will begin with a short presentation showing badly designed branches and how to improve them. Then this meeting will turn into a workshop where we will work on our trees. 

People will be invited to bring their tree to the front for a short discussion on a particular branch that needs to be fixed. You may bring one pine tree for advice. 

Before the meeting you must do the following –

  1. identify one or two branches to focus on – not the entire tree
  2. Make sure you’ve removed last year’s needles
  3. Bring your tools and wire so you can make the changes recommended

Only trees that have been prepared will be looked at. 

How to Attend the November 19 Meeting

This will be our first time to meet in-person since February 2020. Things will be a bit different from then. Because many of us are over 65 and more susceptible to severe illness if we catch Covid everyone that attends must be fully vaccinated and wear a mask while indoors. If you can’t meet these requirements or don’t feel comfortable being around others you may attend via Zoom. Contact us if you need the Zoom meeting info. 

We will have our usual break time with food and drinks, but we ask that everyone eat outside after collecting some refreshments. Just trying to keep everyone safe.

Note that this is our first attempt to host a meeting from this location, so bear with us if there are technical difficulties. Kudos to Christoph Dressel and Dave Curbow who will be handling the video and audio equipment that evening.

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


Beginner Bonsai Workshop Update

The next workshop will be on Saturday, November 13. Richard Phillips will be contacting members who are eligible to attend. Refer to the website for all the details regarding these workshops.

The October 23 workshop was attended by club members Marlon Diokno, Tom Grossi, Ethan Kim, David Knick, eleven year old Austin Knick, Jennifer Tan and Jiechang “JC” Zhang. We had a lovely sunny day between storms and it was great to see members in-person and work on some bonsai.


Recap of September Zoom Meeting with Bjorn Bjorholm

This meeting was focused on pines, and especially autumn tasks that can encourage them to produce Adventitious Buds – a type that forms on the surface of the branch away from the tip. Bjorn discussed why removing two year old needles in late summer / early autumn will induce these buds to form. He also discussed hw to apply / remove fertilizer to get strong new buds for next year, and how to get strong growth on candles you intend to cut and keep others compact. It’s a lot of material so we decided to create a new article – Pine Autumn Care.


2021 GSBF Bonsai Rendezvous Experience

By Marlon Diokno

I began my bonsai journey in September and October of 2019 when I purchased my first juniper and eight different trees at John and Sandy Plantings’ tree sale. I managed to maintain and keep seven of my nine trees alive during the Shelter in Place order. And with the support of several Kusamura members, I was able to continue my growth into the hobby.

I was excited to go into the Bonsai Rendezvous weekend to gain the mindset and perspective on how people approach the hobby. My goal was to attend as many demos and workshops as I could and to see the different vendor booths. My wife commented that I was like a kid in a candy store. I corrected her by saying that I was a kid inside an arcade room without quarters or tokens because I wanted to buy so much that I was overwhelmed. I enjoyed looking at so many different trees, materials and so many tools that I wanted to buy almost everything there. I was able to participate in the silent auction where I won and purchased a Japanese maple and a book on maples.  

I was able to attend demos on maples, olives, junipers and boxwoods. During the several workshops I attended, I was able to learn a handful of do’s and don’ts along with different techniques on how to approach each tree. I was able to get a little bit of one-on-one time with the different presenters and I pick their brains about their topics. It was great meeting and rubbing shoulders with people who are passionate and excited about bonsai. I was able to make new friends in the community and learn from their experiences.  

Ultimately, I left the weekend encouraged and empowered to take risks, to overcome my fears and learn how to enjoy and follow my passion for the lifestyle of bonsai. I want to thank Kusamura for giving me the tools and resources to learn how to grow my love and appreciation for bonsai.

Marlon Diokno

Sensei Sam Adina of Modesto Bonsai styles an olive at Bonsai Rendezvous

Sensei Sam Adina of Modesto Bonsai styles an olive at Bonsai Rendezvous (photo courtesy of Marlon Diokno)
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