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Club News – July 2019

Kathy Shaner Returns to Kusamura

July 19 @ 7PM

Bonsai Master Kathy Shaner
Bonsai Master Kathy Shaner working at the Bonsai Garden in Lakeside Park in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)

Kathy Shaner will be our guest demonstrator this evening. We’re not certain yet what Kathy will be working on but she always conveys a lot of information and passion about bonsai. Come join us.

She’s back from four months in the eastern US where she’s been working with clients, giving workshops and doing demonstrations. For those who don’t know, Kathy has been involved in bonsai for over thirty years. She trained in Japan as an apprentice of Bonsai Master Yasuo Mitsuya and became the first woman and non-Japanese citizen to certify as a professional bonsai artist and instructor by the Nippon Bonsai Association.

Kathy’s approach to bonsai is to avoid making “cookie cutter” trees that follow a formula. Instead, she seeks out the unique characteristics of the material she has in front of her and works to bring out its natural grace. For the demonstration at our meeting, she will work with a Prostrata juniper or she may surprise us with something else. Either way, you won’t want to miss out on her lively wit, her wide-ranging knowledge of the technical aspects of bonsai, and her ability to create a living work of art.

The tree will be raffled off at the end of the demonstration, so raid your piggy bank to buy tickets for a chance to win a tree styled by one of our most dedicated bonsai artists.

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: July Tasks

If you have black pines and you haven’t yet cut back this year’s candles you should do it soon. Once the tips of the needles “harden” and become sharp you’ve missed your chance for this year. Only cut candles on pines that have completed their Development Phase and are in the Refinement Phase.

For more details see Black Pine Basics for details.


Officers and Board of Directors Elected for the 2019-2020 Term

The following officers and board of directors, who were nominated and elected at our May meeting, will be sworn in at our June meeting with terms effective July 1:

  • 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.

Club Officers 2019-2020 Term
Club Officers 2019-2020 Term

Sei Boku Kai Sponsored “Style Off”


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.


Club Garden Tour and Potluck: Saturday, August 17

By Lynne O’Dell

In August of each year the club takes a break and hosts a bonsai garden tour instead of a regular meeting. This is a great opportunity to see the collections and display format of members’ gardens.

This year we’ll be visiting the San Mateo Japanese Garden, the garden of club member Bill Daniels in San Bruno and then our BBQ potluck, garden tour and steam engine experience at the home of club member Richard Murray. Carpooling is advised. In order to see all three gardens, you must attend at the times scheduled.

First stop: 12:00pm – 1:00pm (the garden opens at 11:00am on Sat) San Mateo Japanese Garden at 50 East 5th Avenue
Note that the Japanese Garden is within San Mateo Central Park.

The Garden was designed by landscape architect Nagao Sakurai of the Imperial Palace of Tokyo and features a granite teahouse, a koi pond and a bamboo grove. Admission is free. Can use metered street parking or pay for parking at the nearby Tennis Court Garage. Tour the garden “on-your-own”
or meet up with other club members.

Second stop: Open 1:30Ppm- 2:30pm
Bill and Annette Daniels home. Bill has enjoyed the art of Bonsai for several years, but committed to a more studied focus over the last 3-4 years. A Japanese Black Pine drew his initial interest, and now his collection yields over 40 trees. His current favorite is an elegant Dawn Redwood with it’s graceful foliage.

Final stop: Open 3:00pm – 6:15pm
Richard and Melinda Murray house. Although he is a newer member to Kusamura, Richard has over two hundred and fifty varieties of miniature trees and nearly every conifer species available in the landscape of his one-of-a-kind Steam Engine village garden. Richard started his railroad in 2000 and since then has created scaled replicas of a sawmill, a slate quarry and numerous historical bridges. He’ll give us a live demo of his train chugging through his garden.

For the potluck at the Murrays, please bring a shared dish such as an appetizer, salad, dessert or other side dish. Melinda will provide her “killer” spaghetti sauce with meatballs. The club will provide chicken and beverages of wine, beer and water.

This is always a fun event and a great way to get to know your fellow club members better.


Sei Boku Kai Sponsored “Style Off”

Once again members from Kusamura participated in the annual competition organized by Sei Boku Bonsai Kai in San Mateo.

Richard Phillips and Jiecheng Zhang (JC) work on a tree during Sei Boku’s “Style Off” in June as David Moreno looks on
Richard Phillips and Jiecheng Zhang (JC) work on a tree during Sei Boku’s “Style Off” in June as David Moreno looks on

GSBF Golden Statements Magazine News

As of June 17, 2019 the GSBF Golden Statements Magazine is digital and free online. The digital magazine is brought to you by Joomag, a digital publishing company with 500,000 digital publishers from around the world. The Golden Statements Magazine has more than 80 hyperlinks, one for subscribing to the quarterly magazine and one for providing feedback.

A direct link to the GSBF Golden Statements Magazine:
https://view.joomag.com/golden-statements-magazine-summer-2019-issue- summer-issue-2019/0983104001560773055

This summer issue contains information about the GSBF Convention 42, October 24-27, 2019, Riverside Convention Center, Riverside, California.

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