April 2016


April 2016, Vol. 42, Issue 4



  • President’s message
  • JT’s Tree Tips
  • Editor’s Note
  • Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Workshop at Machine
  • March Meeting Recap
  • April Meeting Topics & Club Calendar

Presidents MessageIMG_3634

April is a great month for our bonsai club, and this year is no different. First the weather is fantastic, second we have our annual bonsai show at the Cherry blossom festival in Cupertino April 23rd and 24th.  If you have never experienced the festival before make sure you sign up to show a tree or just be there to enjoy the crowds of people that appreciate the trees we have there on display. Here’s a chance to bring in a tree or two and work on it right there at the show and answer the many questions the public presents.  Its one of the funnest opportunities we have all year long to share our passion with outside people. For the first time we plan to have a shohin display on the center table with our clubs literature, so we’ll be looking for volunteers to bring in some smaller trees to support the display. There’s a sign-up sheet being passed around at our meetings for volunteers so take the opportunity, you won’t regret it!

I was really excited to see the response that our (show and tell) program at the begin of our workshop meeting a few weeks ago presented.  There’s so much to be learned and be motivated by when other members bring in trees to share what they’ve been working on or what new technique they’ve tried.  Remember, your trees don’t need to be in the final stages of development. If your excited about a certain tree and want to share that with other members please do so.

Mark your calendars members, here’s your chance to work on your bonsai trees together and wonder around a old western town on May 7th at Larry White’s place of work (Machine). Once a year Larry opens up his place for a all day workshop program sponsored by the club.  There’s lots of room to spread out on the various benches provided and make sure you bring all your tools, wire, and various trees you want to work on that day.  We ask that a few of you bring side dishes to support our luncheon along with everyone bring a meat type you want to BBQ.  Details regarding this workshop will be included in this news letter.

Our first meeting this month will be presented by Gerry Fields, a continuation program entitled “Tree Improvement “.  Each year our Club see the need for all of use to bring in trees that we have no direction for and would like to get member feed back and possible new ways to redirect our trees. This program each year has been well received and an opportunity for all to share in the process of giving ideas back to fellow members. So bring in those tree to be examined everyone, your about to see the light finally go on!

And finally a word of caution to everyone, if you weren’t aware of it before, now is the time to consider it, fungus issues on our trees is becoming a major issue lately.  Especially now after the local trees have taken a major hit because of the drought issues and the weakening effect it can have on them. Because of this, fungus is being spread primarily throwout the air everywhere.  To combat this a monthly spraying program is necessary.  I have done this over the past few months and now can see a real difference regarding the new growth that some plant are now putting off.  San Jose Junipers are a real victim to this fungus, as are other plants we use for bonsai.  Because of this issue I see the need to have a short program on our third Thursday meeting this month to help members understand what is needed equipment wise and chemicals necessary to get a handle on it.  I hope you’ll all attend!

Have a great April doing bonsai everyone

Jack Christiansen President

J T’s Tree TipsJT Picture

We just signed up for our annual show date of Saturday October 1st.at the Quinlan center in Cupertino where we also do the Cherry Blossom Festival in late April.  We will talk about this at our meeting on April 7th.  Its a great location across from De Anza college at the junction of Hwys. 280 and 85.

Most trees have been transplanted and are coming out nicely. Deciduous trees are flush with new growth except for beeches.  Pine candles are extending and evergreens have light green growth at the tips.  I always have some branches that just die but that’s par for the course.  They are starting to take more water each day as the foliage expands and increases.

With the warmer weather succulent growth and sucking insects will come out in droves. When it is dry for a day or so we need to be thinking of spraying for insects and diseases.  Spray with Superior oil, like Volk® oil or Ultra Fine® to rid ourselves of some of these insects like scale and their juvenile crawlers.  A couple of applications this month in the late evening or early morning (to avoid burning the foliage) should do the trick.  Leave on for about an hour then wash off with water so you don’t get any burn on your foliage.

Be prepared to spray for aphids and the like with Malathion® or Diazinon® or even Safer® soap.  Ants are a good tip-off for this condition.  They harvest the honeydew from these insects.  Barry Coate, an original founding member and consulting horticulturist who spoke with us last year, suggested using a systemic called Merit® but that you needed an applicators license to apply it.  I found that Bayer has a product called 12 Month Tree and Shrub Protect and Feed ™ that contains Merit® and will also take out grubs and larva that feed on our roots.  Also, Barry Coate alerted me that it will keep psynipid wasps from laying their gall producing eggs on the foliage of my coast live oak.

See a lot of slime trails around?  Slugs and snails are not only chewing the plants but they are laying eggs in the soil. I have used a product called Sluggo® whose active ingredient is iron phosphate and it is the most effective treatment I have ever used.  A little more expensive than some others but it really works.

Don’t forget the tropical and semi tropical trees that do best when transplanted in the warmer weather of later spring.  And, how about repotting some of the broadleaf evergreens.  I find that evergreen oaks and boxwoods do well when transplanted in the summer.  And here you thought you had escaped the transplanting season.

Now, as the trees push leaves and shoots they start to really drink up the water so be sure you are there to provide it.  Don’t let the tree go the point of letting the foliage dry and droop as this weakens the cells and can retard the growth of the tree.

You should be fertilizing your trees now and continue through November with constant organic fertilizer and monthly liquid fertilizer except for trees being readied for a show or  in the last stages of refinement and some other exceptions.  On finished stage trees, wait until the initial growth has hardened before you cut back and fertilize.  Usually about May.  If you have just transplanted a tree, wait until it throws out leaves by itself before stimulating it with fertilizer.  I believe that a weak application of fertilizer given constantly is more effective and better for the health of the tree than periodic heavy doses.  The tree can take what it needs and you don’t run the risk of turning your soil into a toxic chemical dump.

We will be wiring longer shoots in May and June as well as other chores so stay tuned.

John Thompson

Editor’s Note

Hi Folks,

The most recent video from Bjorn Brjornholm is really impressive.  Shows some of the really great material that’s in Spain now.



Cherry Blossom Festival

Date: April 23rd and 24th

Time:  Set-up of display Saturday 8:00AM /  Sunday breakdown

5:00PM / All trees needed for display by 8:30AM both day.

Location: Quinlan Community Center

10185 N. Stelling Rd.

Cupertino, Ca.

Whats needed tree wise?Saturday and Sunday 8 larger size trees plus stands and accent plants.  Plus trees to fit our shohein size display. A sign-up sheet is being pasted around at meetings.

What else will you need?   Trees to work on throwout the day so the general public can see us working and ask questions.  So bring your bonsai tools, wire and whatever else may be needed. The community center there does provide snacks and drinks that are complementary to people involved.

Even if your not showing a tree either days or wanting to work on trees throwout the day please stop by and have a visit and get a chance to see this fun event!

Workshop at Machine

On Saturday, May 7th, Midori Bonsai Club will be having an all-day bonsai workshop at Larry White’s place of business, also known to many as, The Town of Machine. This workshop will be a “Bring your own trees, tools, and supplies” event. It will be from 9:00AM until 5:00PM, with a break for a BBQ lunch. The lunch will be a, bring your own item to grill, with the sundry fixin’s supplied by a chosen few. The invatation is open to all Midori members.
There won’t be any formal instructor at this event, but the old hands will be there to answer a question or two, or to give a little advice. We will be taking a head count of how many participants will be attending at the May 5th General Meeting. If you want to attend, but won’t be at the meeting, please RSVP to Larry via email (whitel@iname.com). There will be workstation space set up for everyone. It looks to be fun day.

April Meeting Topics & Club Calendar

March 7th – Tree Improvement Program w/Gerry Fields

In the April 7th meeting, I will be facilitating Midori’s “Tree Improvement Program” (TIP).  Members are encouraged to bring in 1 or 2 trees.  We will all give you advice on taking your tree to the next level  The emphasis for this session will be on getting your tree ready for show. This can be a longer range project…Tree to be show ready within the next five years.  But the preferred emphasis is on tree(s) almost ready for show.  The aim is to continue to improve the trees we have in our show.

So bring your tree(s) to the April 7th meeting and let your fellow members help you take them on their journey. I’m sure you will get some good input.


March 21st – Open Workshop

Our third Thursday workshop meeting will be a standard workshop.  Bring any trees that need some work and get busy.

2016 Meeting Schedule

Month 1st Thursday 3rd Thursday
April Tree Improvement Program w/Gerry Fields Open workshop
May Redwood Demo w/Larry White Redwood workshop
June Annual Silent Auction Open workshop
July Working with collected material w/Mike Pistello Photo Shoot with Danny and Jim
August Progressive Pine Development w/Jonas Dupuich Show prep workshop
September How to apply moss properly w/Juan Cruz Show organization program and show prep workshop
October Final show prep workshop Show review and workshop
November TBD Open workshop
December Annual Holiday Party, Election, and Auction Pork Chop Workshop

Set-up & Refreshments and Formal Tree Display

Month Formal Tree Display Set-up & Refreshments
April Larry White Carolyn Davis & Gerry Fields
May Jack Christiansen Bill Obrien & JT
June June Auction, no formal display Roger Geerts & Don Lintz
July Gerry Fields Alec Maclean & Danny Powell
August Mehrdad Charosh Lewis Comba & Kent Bell
September Jeff Escallier Carol Fairchild & Seiji Shiba
October Seiji Shiba George Shoptaw & Kathy Sloan
November Danny Powell Jim Wallace & Larry White
December Holiday Party, no formal display Everyone!

Notice about Set-up & Refreshment Duty

Hello Everyone, it’s Ray Stagner, in charge of facilities. For our club meetings to be successful, it is important our members participate and share in some of the responsibilities. We ask our members to help in the monthly duties of setting up and tearing down for both first and third Thursday meetings. Members who attend meetings regularly, are asked to help. Please arrive 1/2 hour before the meeting starts. I will be there to direct you. It’s very important, if you are unable to help on the days you are assigned to please contact me (408-209-5654). As well as helping with set up, we would like you to bring snacks of your choice to both meetings. If everyone participates, our meetings will start on time so we all can enjoy the activities planned for that evening.

Northern California Bonsai Events

Apr. 2 – 3, 2016Santa Cruz, California
Santa Cruz Bonsai Kai: 28th Annual Show at the Museum of Art & History, 705 Front Street, 10 AM – 5 PM both days with demonstrations at 2 PM. Saturday’s demonstrator is Mike Pistello and Sunday’s will be Katsumi Kinoshita. Raffle drawing for demonstration tree and trees especially prepared by club members are part of the raffle each day. Sales area will include quality vendor and member trees, pots, and other related bonsai items both days. Fresh items will be in the vendor area on Sunday. Admission price of $5.00 to the Museum includes entry to bonsai show/demo and complementary coffee, tea and cookies. For more information contact Ed Lambing at edinbonnydoon@comcast.net.

April 2 – 3, 2016Sacramento, California
Bonsai Sekiyu Kai: Annual show will be held at the Sacramento Buddhist Church, 2401 Riverside Blvd. Hours are: Saturday 11 AM – 5 PM and Sunday 10 AM – 4 PM with demonstration at 1 PM both days by Yuzo Maruyama. Amenities include refreshments, light snacks, door prizes, raffles and a silent auction. Member and vendor sales of plants and bonsai-related items will also be available. For more information contact Bonsai Sekiyu Kai at bonsaisekiyukai@gmail.com


April 9 – 10, 2016, Sacramento, California
American Bonsai Association, Sacramento: 57th Annual Bonsai Show at the Shepard Garden and Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd. Show hours are Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM and Sunday 10 AM – 4 PM, with demonstration each day at 1:30 PM by American bonsai artist, Peter Tea. Beginner’s workshop Sunday, 10 AM; daily raffle includes the demonstration tree; large vendor and member sales area. For more information, contact Renee Seely (916) 929-2106, breadcrust@comcast.net or visit our website http://abasbonsai.org.

April 16 – 17, 2016, Fresno, California
Kōen-nai no Bonsai (Bonsai in the Park) a fundraiser to benefit the GSBF Clark Bonsai Collection at the Shinzen Friendship Garden in Woodward Park. Hours are Saturday 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM and Sunday 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM with demonstrations by Kenji Miyata, Nippon Bonsai Association certified Bonsai Masters (Saturday), and David Nguy (Sunday) with auction of the tree following each demonstration. Huge bonsai auction on both the 16th and 17th of over 60 trees including the Ray Theime’s Bonsai Collection along with Bonsai and pre-Bonsai from local and state wide artists. Sale of plants and Bonsai materials each day. Toko-Kazaru Bonsai Display Competition held during event with prize money awarded. For more information visit clarkbonsaicollection.com or contact Bob Hilvers at bonsaigui@comcast.net or (559) 909-1051.

April 24, 2016, Watsonville, California
Watsonville Bonsai Club: 43rd Annual Bonsai Exhibit held at the Watsonville Buddhist Temple, 423 Bridge St., Watsonville, California.  Over 50 outstanding bonsai, large and small, young and old, will be on display from 10 AM – 4 PM, with a demonstration by award winning Bonsai Master Katsumi Kinoshita at 1:30 PM. A raffle of bonsai items, plants and the demo tree will follow. Tea & cookies will be served. Plenty of parking for vehicles of all sizes; even for group outings. A vendor will be available to sate your plant appetite for bonsai or otherwise. For more information contact Don White at (831) 724-9283 or whiteslib@aol.com

April 30 – May 1, 2016Palo Alto, California

Kusamura Bonsai Club: 56th Annual Show, Lucie Stern Community Center, 1305 Middlefield Road. Show hours are Saturday, Noon – 5 PM, and Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM with demonstrations at 1:30 PM each day. Free admission. Bonsai pots and trees for sale, as well as other bonsai-related items. For more information visit www.kusamurabonsai.org.


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