March 2014


March 2014, Vol. 40, Issue 3

Western Juniper - John Thompson

Western Juniper – John Thompson


  • President’s message
  • JT’s Tree Tips
  • March Meeting Topics & Club Calendar

Presidents Message

The weather has been great from the standpoint of working on trees outside, but not so good about d

JT Picture

elivering rain.  Lets hope it gives us some before the end of the “rainy” season.
Mehrdad and Jim are putting together a system whereby we can project u-tube and dvd bonsai videos for members at the workshop meetings.  Hopefully we will have it up and running soon.
We have purchased three new bonsai dvd’s for the library.  We ask that any member who checks them out would leave a $20. refundable deposit.  Because we only meet twice a month, we ask that you bring the video back at the next meeting, i.e. check out 1st Thursday and return 3rd Thursday.  This way more members can use them without a long wait.  We appreciate your cooperation.  We will be adding more videos as the program continues.
Joel Miller has been kind enough to donate 18-20 trees to the club.  We will be auctioning them at the June auction.  They are substantial trees with great root systems and should develop into wonderful trees.  Also, he has donated a large roll of bonsai screening which we will offer to club members for $3. a roll.  1’x3′.  Thank you Joel for your generosity.

J T’S Tree Tips

March 2014I installed a rain diverter and storage barrels last November, hoping to catch some runoff from my roof.  Maybe by the time we meet in March, I’ll be able to re-port back to you how well it works (or not!).  Hope you’ve kept your trees watered with all this heat and dry weather.   With the non organic aggregate soils we now use there is very little chance of root rot so make sure that you keep them moist at all times. Like a broken record: Transplant!!  Keep transplanting until you run out of trees or the new growth forces you to stop.  All other operations rely on your having an active, healthy tree and transplanting is the best way to accomplish this.  Most deciduous trees have started to bud or extend shoots but you may still be ableto do trident maples or beeches or hornbeams. This month Boon Will be demonstrating grafting techniques. This a great way to re start a tree that you can’t get to back bud.    Its time to start on your conifers.  But don’t bare-root conifers.    You could lose them.  If there is any field soil it must be removed but if it is solid throughout, do half of it this year and the other half next year.  The half you do this year will be able to support the tree when you do the other half next year.  Be sure to secure all trees in the pot with tie-down wires.  If the tree is wobbly it will not develop lateral roots but will try to put down one or more tap roots again.  Not what we want. Broadleaf evergreens such as boxwoods and azaleas as well as junipers, and pines are repotted in February and March.  Needle juniper is an exception that can wait tillMay.  At this point, return your transplanted trees to a sunny location.  It will warm and stimulate the roots and get them going faster.  Do watch out for late frosts.  You can be styling and wiring your conifers.  Big bends are O K until about mid March.  Then you run the risk of detaching the cambium from the sapwood.Don’t fertilize yet except for trees you want to fatten and young material in a pre-bonsaii state.  Not on mature trees you are refining.


March Meeting Topics & Club Calendar

This months program will be a demonstration of the techniques of grafting.  Boon Manakativipart is an internationally known bonsai teacher who has his nursery and school in Hayward, CA.  His students are some of the most gifted bonsai people in the country.  He will be showing us techniques that will help us rejuvenate sparse and leggy trees that will not back bud and also show us how a different foliage can be used to improve a tree.  Lots to learn so please join us on March 6th.

2014 Meeting Schedule

Month 1st Thursday 3rd Thursday
March Grafting Techniques with Boon (Currently Open)
April Tree Improvement with Gerry Cascade Junipers with Jack
May Soil, Fertilizer, and Water with JT Soil Mixing Workshop
June Annual Silent Auction Photo Shoot with Danny and Jim
July Choosing Nursery Material with Jim (Currently Open)
August Wind Swept Bonsai with Mehrdad (Currently Open)
September Shohin with Juan Cruz Annual Midori Bonsai Show Tree Prep
October Boxwood to Oak with Larry (Currently Open)
November Extreme Bending with Peter Tea (Currently Open)
December Annual Holiday Party and Auction Pork chop workshop

Set-up & Refreshments and Formal Tree Display

Month Formal Tree Display Set-up & Refreshments
March JT Jennifer Beck & Jack Callon
April Ray Stagner Ed Frigon & Tung Dao
May Gerry Fields Roger Geerts & Sebastian Girard
June June Auction, no formal display Mark Garrett & Don Lintz
July Carol Fairchild Gerry Fields & Debe Kahn
August Tim Rostege Alex Loughry & Danny Powell
September George Shoptaw Jeff Quast & Tim Rostege
October Larry White Seiji Shiba & Kathy Sloan
November Seiji Shiba 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 Adam or myself (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.

Lets make this a great year of good Bonsai.

Northern California Bonsai Events

March 8 – 9, 2014 Oakland, California
Bay Area Bonsai Associates:  33rd Annual Bonsai Exhibition at the Lakeside Park Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Avenue.  Show hours are Saturday 5 – 9 PM and Sunday 10 AM – 4 PM.  Demonstration by satsuki bonsai master Shuisho Nakayama from Japan (co-sponsor by North American Satsuki Bonsai Center) starts at 6:30 PM Saturday, followed by a raffle of the demonstration tree.  Continuous plant sale including bonsai related items (pots, tools, soils, wires, books, etc.) both days.  Admission is free.  Parking fee to the Lakeside Park entrance is required during the park hours.  For more information, please contact Bob Gould at (925) 935-1914.

March 15, 2014, Sacramento, California
American Bonsai Association, Sacramento:  Annual Bus Trip departs The Sacramento Garden & Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd., at 7:30AM and returns at 6:30PM. Five stops are planned in the Santa Rosa and Sebastapol areas: the private collection of Frank and Barbara Bardella, Lone Pine Gardens Nursery, Momiji Maple Nursery, California Carnivores, and West Country Oasis Bamboo Garden. The $35 fee includes donuts, coffee and water enroute to the area, with a raffle, complimentary drinks (water, sodas, beer, wine) and chips on the return trip. Bring a lunch. This trip is open to the general public. For reservations make checks payable to ABAS c/o Renee Seely, 1636 Vallarta Circle Sacramento, CA 95864.  For information phone: (916) 929-2106, e-mail or visit our website at

March 19 – 23, 2014 San Mateo, California
Bonsai Society of San Francisco: Annual Bonsai Exhibit at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show, San Mateo County Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive. Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 10 AM – 7 PM, Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM. There will be demonstrations and trees for sale. For more information about the club, visit our website:  For group and early bird ticket information to the Flower and Garden Show, visit

March 22 – 23, 2014 Santa Cruz, California
Santa Cruz Bonsai Kai: 26th Annual Show at the Museum of Art & History, 705 Front Street. 10 AM – 5 PM with a demonstration at 2 PM by John Thompson both days. Raffle drawing for demonstration tree after demo each day. Trees especially prepared, trimmed and wired by club members will be part of the raffle each day. Sales area will include both vendor and member trees, pots and other related bonsai items. Admission price includes entry to bonsai show, the Museum of Art & History and complimentary coffee, tea and cookies. For more information contact Ed Lambing at


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