February 2017


February 2017, Vol. 43, Issue 2


  • President’s message
  • JT’s Tree Tips
  • Editor’s Note
  • February Meeting Topics & Club Calendar
  • Bay Island Bonsai Show Pictures
  • Midori Club Nursery Tour
  • 2016 Meeting Schedule
  • Northern California Bonsai Events

Presidents Message

Thanks everyone that participated in the Tree Improvement Program to start off the year. Thanks Gerry for hosting it again this year. After that, we jumped right into repotting at our 3rd Thursday meeting. It’s always good to see everyone ready to work on their bonsai. We’ll be continuing our repotting effort at our General Meeting on February 2nd. The meeting hall will be set up for slingin’ dirt around. This time around, we’ll have some of our senior members available to help you out as needed. Then for our 3rd Thursday meeting, on the 16th, we’ll have a regular workshop meeting, where you can still do some repotting, along with our winter photo shoot. Feel free to bring in any trees you’d like to get photographed…and Thanks Danny for continuing program.

Last year, I didn’t have as much time available to do my repotting, so it has caught up with me this year. I had a few trees that were a bit overdue for a repot, but they’re getting the attention they need now. I hope to get all of them done within the repotting window. Some of the trees I repotted have been put into a different, better, pot. It’s nice to change the look for your trees, especially for the better. As they recover from repotting, I will bring them into the Show and Tell segment of our meeting.

We’ve got some good side events in the planning stages. The first being a Nursery Tour on March 25th, then we’ll be participating in the Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival on April 29th & 30th.

At one point, we moved our Show and Tell segemnet over to the 3rd Thursday meeting. I liked it better at the General Meeting. We talked about it at the last board meeting, and we decided, why not have it at both meetings. So we’re going to try that. If you have something you’d like to share with the group, please bring it on in! We’re still in need of a couple more people to sit on the Midori Board of Directors, and we still need a new Coffee Person to make coffee at our meetings. If you can help out, please let me know. One last thing…If you haven’t paid your 2017 dues, please get them in as soon as you can. -Larry

JT PictureJ T’s Tree Tips

Glug, glug, glug.  The rain has been just about perfect this year.  Once a week or so, then a clear soak in time.  But you can’t rely on it exclusively.  Remember to water your trees!!

Continue to transplant your trees.  Do it now!  Healthy deciduous trees can be bare rooted.  Weak deciduous trees can be partially bare rooted, removing the field soil on ½ or 1/3 of the rootball leaving the rest of the root ball intact. You can get the rest cleaned out when you transplant in a year or two.  Conifers should not be totally bare rooted but at least one section of old field soil should be cleaned out if any still remains like in the weak deciduous trees above.

Grafting time is here for pines junipers and other species. This and fall are perfect times to graft.  Keep some shoots toward the side of the tree to use as scions.  But don’t use the very tip of a vigorously growing shoot as this can be too strong a scion for the graft to take.  Plan out where you will be putting these grafts.  If you will be grafting deciduous trees, cut some scions and put them in damp paper towels and in the crisper of your refrigerator.  When the tree buds start moving, bring them out and use them for your grafts.  Remember that you will have better success if the under-stock’s sap is moving before the scions does.

Remember the project we talked about several years ago when we were to work on trees at different stages of refinement?  Start on a couple trees now, develop last years starters and refine a couple of last years developed trees as well as the six you refined a couple of years ago.  When you get multiples of nicely refined trees, keep the best and trade the extras for better and better trees.  The key is to keep only the best of these for your own collection and really concentrate on them.  Lose the rest.  Don’t start working on another one until you have completed as much work as you can on one for this year.

Develop your techniques. Learn from what you did last year.   Practice whenever you can and you will succeed.  Practice on workshop nights.  Practice at home.  Practice in your sleep.

Remember to use dormant spray again around Valentine’s day.  It is best to do it on a day that the temperature will not get above 55º or you could burn the foliage.   Barry Coate has recommended using superior oil like Volk Oil® or Ultra-fine® oil which smothers wintering-over bugs like scale.  Try copper spray or lime-sulfur, except on Ume, spruce, azaleas and tropical trees, to protect deciduous and fruiting and flowering species.  This will head off big problems later on.

When you cut back on branches this month, leave just a tiny stub for die back.  If you cut an entire branch, do not cut into the branch collar which is that swollen area where the branch attaches to the trunk.   Remember that the tree is getting active and will soon generate new growth to heal over the cuts.

Now that the pine needles have matured and hardened, if you haven’t already removed them, it is time to take off the all the old needles and some of the newer needles on the plump and healthy shoots.  This opens up the interior of the tree to the sun and airflow that is necessary to generate back budding.  Remember to leave more needles on lower branches and interior buds; and if weak, don’t touch at all.  Watch out for those that have already started new tiny buds.  It would be a shame to accidentally pluck out those tiny buds you try so hard to generate.

Plan to collect some trees this year.  Whether it is a neighbors pyracanthas hedge or an oak dig or a trip to the mountains or desert for junipers, don’t pass up this great way to find super material.  It also gives you a chance to observe the branching and twigging patterns of your favorite trees.  Collect interesting mosses and lichen in flats for use at show time.  The best accent plants for a bonsai are those that are growing up along side it in the wild.


Editor’s Note

Hi Folks,

Apologies for the delay this month, we had a few technical difficulties.  To make it you should check out Bjorns video blogs starting here.  There’s some bonsai, but a lot about life in Japan.

February Meeting Topics & Club Calendar

February 2nd – Transplanting Workshop

Open workshop focused on transplanting

February 16th – Semi-Annual Photo Shoot and General Workshop

Our third Thursday meeting will be our semi-annual photo shoot.  Please bring in 2-3 trees that you would like photographed so we can track their development over time.  Please do your best to clean your pots and if you have any stands we can use please bring those as well.  If you have any questions please email Danny.

Bay Island Bonsai Show Pictures

Thanks to Jack for the pictures!

Midori Club Nursery Tour

Saturday March 25th, Leave 9:30am

Here’s everyones chance to share a road trip together in search of some great bonsai material to pick up and have to develop for future workshops.  Everyone in the club is invited to share in this event!

Leave Church Parking Lot 9:00am for those that need a ride. 

First  Destination: Calaveras Nursery, 1000 Calaveras Rd., Sunol

This nursery has many acres of plants to investigate including many sized plant containers. They have a good selection of Junipers, Boxwoods, and other flowering type plants you’ll enjoy searching out and purchasing. And the owners son has a personal bonsai collection he will share with us along with plants he himself has set aside for his use in a restricted area there.

We’ll leave for lunch for downtown Hayward around 11:30am. 

Restaurant:  The Piñata (Great Mexican Food) 904 Rose St., Hayward (Corner of Mission Blvd and Rose St.) We’ll leave from lunch around 1:15pm. 

Second Destination:  The Enchanted Forrest, Dave Chimpky’s Nursery 27920 Quercus Ct., Hayward, Ca. (510) 581-0258.  Dave has collected an incredible amount of bonsai and pre-bonsai material over the years that includes many trees you won’t see anywhere else. He also has many conifers both dwarf and miniature in nature along with a good supply of Lace rock for rock plantings. Also his backyard garden has many wonderful plants to see in the ground that will give you a good idea how plants will look years later. Leaving Dave’s Nursery will be open ended based upon how long you desire to stay and explore his many plants to see.

Please, if we have a good group of Club Members that will need rides from the church that morning please offer your car for their assistance. 

2016 Meeting Schedule

Month 1st Thursday 3rd Thursday
February Transplanting w/Senior members Photo Shoot with Danny and Jim & open workshop
March Working w/Junipers w/Ron Anderson Round table questions from club members
April Developing Cascades w/Jack Christiansen Cascade workshop
May TBD w/Valerie Monroe Open workshop
June Annual Silent Auction Open workshop
July TBD Photo Shoot with Danny and Jim
August Oak Tree Development w/John Thompson Building a cascade stand w/Ray Stagner
September Procumbens Juniper Styling w/Larry White Show organization program and show prep workshop
October TBD Open workshop
November TBD Open workshop
December Annual Holiday Party, Election, and Auction Open workshop

Set-up & Refreshments and Formal Tree Display

Month Formal Tree Display Set-up & Refreshments
February Jorge Arcadia Amin Younes & Robert Young
March Seiji Shiba Aaron Braunstein & Kathy Sloan
April Ray Stagner Danny Powell & George Shoptaw
May Larry White Mehrdad Chavosh & Joe Tada
June None Roger Geerts & Carolyn Davis
July Gerry Fields Gerry Fields & Jack Christiansen
August Jack Christiansen Lewis & Marina & Carl Morimoto
September Jeff Escallier Pete Pelkey & Larry White
October Mehrdad Charosh Seiji Shiba & Juan Cruz
November George Shoptaw Corey Barnes & Kent Bell
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

2017 Mammoth Auction & Sale – February 18th & 19th

GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt: The annual Mammoth Auction and Sale Fund Raiser will be held at 666 Bellevue Ave. (Garden Center Building). Saturday: Auction preview at noon with Auction starting at 1 PM. Sunday: Vendor Sales start at 9 AM, Plant Sales start at 10 AM, and demonstrations at 1 PM. The date for this year’s event is a week earlier than in the past to let attendees and vendors participate in both the Mammoth and the Bonsai-a-Thon. You don’t want to be left out of the biggest and best annual bonsai auction in California. The Bonsai Garden will be open 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday and Noon to 4 PM on Sunday, so you can check out the many changes that have been made this year. For more information or to sell trees, email bonsailakemerritt@gmail.com and visit www.gsbf-lakemerritt.org.


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