Club News – June 2019

Jesse Collins – Stones as Works of Art

June 21, 2019

Stone collected by Ted Kameda, past club president of Kashu Suiseki Kai
Stone collected by Ted Kameda, past club president of Kashu Suiseki Kai

Suiseki are stone objects shaped by water, wind, sand and other natural forces that turn them into miniature landscapes and shapes of beauty with strong powers of suggestion. There is a long tradition of bonsai and suiseki being shown and collected together. For over 500 years in Japan, they have been displayed together and share many of the same sensibilities between them of form, fluidity, beauty and nature’s inherent artistic expression

Jesse Collins, president of Palo Alto’s Kashu Suiseki Kai will discuss this art form, the stylistic classifications of suiseki, how stones can be cleaned, cared for and displayed to show off their essential beauty. Their club meets quarterly and organizes annual collecting trips to the mountains

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: June Tasks


Officers and Board Members Elected for the 2019-2020 Term

The following nominations for Officers and Board of Directors for the July, 2021 – June, 2022 fiscal year will be announced and voted on at our May meeting:

  • Richard Phillips — President
  • Idris Anderson— Vice President
  • Hal Jerman — Treasurer (continuing)
  • Idris Anderson — Recording Secretary (continuing)
  • Chris Weigen — Corresponding Secretary (continuing)
  • Andrew Lipson — Board of Director (continuing)
  • Barbara Phillips — Board of Director (continuing)
  • Tom Romer — Board of Director (continuing)
  • Thomas Chiu — Board of Director (new)
  • Rita Curbow — Board of Director (new)
  • Michael Greenstein — Board of Director (new)
  • Lynne O’Dell – Past-President

Again, thanks to everyone for their dedication to the club going forward.


Bring Your Wire for Recycling

For the third year, club member Ren You will collect your wire at our June club meeting for recycling. Please separate the aluminum from the copper wire otherwise a contaminated / mixed lot will result in a lower redemption rate. Thank you Ren and thank you to all that participate.


August Garden Tour – Saturday, August 17

On Saturday August 17 we’ll be heading north for our garden tour. This year we’ll be visiting the San Mateo Japanese Garden, the garden of Bill Daniels in San Bruno and then our BBQ potluck, garden tour and steam engine experience at the home of Richard Murray. Details forthcoming


Bjorn Bjorholm presenting at Sei Boku Bonsai Kai – July 25

SBBK welcomes members from other clubs to their 7PM meeting, Thursday July 25 at the San Mateo Garden Club, 605 Parkside Way, San Mateo


East Bay Bonsai Society’s Annual Auction

East Bay Bonsai Society is holding their Annual Auction on Wednesday, July 10th at Lakeside Garden Center in Oakland. Doors open for a preview at 7:00pm with the auction starting at 7:30pm. They always have an interesting mix of bonsai trees, pots, tools, and accessories.

Lakeside Garden Center is located at 666 Bellevue Ave, Oakland, CA. 94610


Presidents Annual Report

By Lynne O’Dell

I thank our entire Board for being responsive in helping shape the direction and implementation of club activities. Our focus has been on meeting the educational needs of members

  • Continued quarterly “Introduction to Bonsai” three-hour workshops
  • Organized Field Trips to broaden our sources of bonsai material
  • Offered ongoing beginning, intermediate and advanced workshops
  • Structured the Club meetings to be interactive and more intimate
  • Showcased exceptional trees at our Annual Bonsai Show that also provided the opportunity for club members to come together and work as a team under the direction of an outstanding Show Chair.
  • Informed our membership through our monthly club Newsletter
  • Provided a wealth of resource info through our award winning website to members and community.
  • Purchased stands for the club from long term members John and Sandy Planting for use at future shows along with easily enabling individual club members to purchase stands from the Plantings as they downsize. 

I look forward to continuing my involvement with the Board as Past President.


Beginner’s Class Off to a Great Start

By Richard Phillips

The first session of the Beginner’s bonsai class held on May 25th was an outstanding success. Seven participants worked with instructor Valerie Monroe to begin the transformation of nursery stock Prostrata junipers into what in time will become beautiful bonsai.

The students reduced the foliage mass to a manageable dimension, then began the process of determining a style based on the best features of the trees. Valerie helped each participant analyze the tree to find a front and the branches that would give the tree its profile. A highlight of the class was the creation of jins that instantly added interest to the design.

Most of the trees were not yet ready for extensive wiring, but basic wiring techniques were discussed and applied where appropriate. The final step was to apply fertilizer and advice on how to encourage maximum growth to ready the tree for the next stage in the process.

Session Two of the class will be held in late summer to check on progress and discuss soil and containers. Session Three will take place during repotting season when additional wire will be applied and the trees transferred from the nursery cans into bonsai training containers and soil.

Valerie Monroe at Beginner’s Class 2019
Valerie Monroe and Student
Valerie Monroe at Beginner’s Class 2019
Valerie Monroe at Beginner’s Class 2019
Beginner’s Class 2019
Beginner’s Class 2019
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