March 2016


March 2016, Vol. 42, Issue 3

Juan Cruz - Kishu Shimpaku


  • President’s message
  • JT’s Tree Tips
  • Editor’s Note
  • Midori Photo Shoot February 2016
  • February Meeting Recap
  • March Meeting Topics & Club Calendar

Presidents Message

March is a month all of us can appreciate, our bonsai trees that have overwintered are now showing good signs of new life with flowers and green leafs sprouting allover their branches.  Truly a exciting time for me when we see everything coming alive showing new opportunities to plan out and style the new growth we need to wire and shape.  But what about the trees we have and are working on at present, are they trees that have a promising future?  Or are they something we bought months ago that was priced right and now you can see the many problem areas we’re faced with?  A common problem many of us fall into espIMG_3634ecially when we began our first new bonsai purchases.

For our first meeting in March, Jordan Deeg’s will be entertaining us  with good ideas as to what to look for in trees we have and future tree we may be purchasing. Its true we can waist a lot of time, money, and energy into trees that have no future because of certain inherited imperfections that can never be overcome even with time.  All of us have acquired trees that we where  drawn to for whatever reason, and failed to really see the overall issues that plague certain trees.  Our speaker Thursday  evening has been in bonsai for decades, and has experienced these issues for many years, and has seen many club members succumb to these issues over and over again. Gordon plans to bring in trees that have these inherent problems so he can explain and help you understanding why certain trees are taboo, and others have a great future.

For the past few months now I’ve noticed that our club’s Show and Tell Program we look forward to each first Thursday meeting has tailored off to the point that it’s none existent.  So our board of directors have decided to move that portion to the second Thursday meeting along with our monthly workshop. I felt that this change will be a nice way to start our program off that evening with various members that bring trees in for discussion.  I hope that this change will be well received by all members and please bring in those trees you want to share!

Our club has just received in the form of a donation two beautiful tree show tables that the board decided to keep as Club tables.  Our former club member Pat Gee,now decided, had these tables in storage with her daughter who contacted me about these tables and wished to donate them to our club.  So when show time comes around and if various one’s need a table to use and they can’t afford one they will be there for club members  free of charge. I will bring the two tables to our next meeting so everyone can see what they look like and get a feel for their size and height.

Our club member Larry White has suggested that he would like to invited everyone in the club on Saturday May 7th to a all day bonsai workshop at his place  (Machine) in Hayward. Larry has put on these workshops over the past few years and it always turns out to be great fun working on our trees together So bring in your bonsai tools and accessories that day from 8:30am to 5:00pm, but remember this is not a workshop that has a overall instructor for the day. But instruction and help will be available by all
enior members when time permits.

Lunch will be a potluck format provided by club members who attend along with bring your own meat to BBQ.  More information regarding this workshop will be provided in next months news letter.   Have a great month everyone!

Jack Christiansen President

J T’s Tree Tips

Here we go again.  After a great January, El Nino just peters out.  Its so warm that everything is popping and we only have a short window open to transplant beeches or hornbeams and conifers.  Be careful with aftercare.  Keep watered.  With the non organic aggregateJT Picture soils we now use there is very little chance of root rot so make sure that you keep them moist at all times.

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.  Be careful as this has been a warm winter and everything is moving.  Needle juniper is an exception that can wait till May.

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-bonsai state.  Not on mature trees you are refining.

John Thompson

Editor’s Note

Hi Folks,

If you’re not reading Eric Schrader’s blog, you should be.  He lives up in the city and is a great photographer who documents the progression of his trees very well.



Midori Photo Shoot


February Meeting Recap

This past month we had our wiring workshop on the first Thursday.  We had a few stations set up and lots or practice happening.  The third Thursday was our bi-annual photo shoot of which you can see the pictures above.  Thanks everyone who brought in their trees for photos.  It will be great to photograph them again in a few years and see how they’ve developed.

March Meeting Topics & Club Calendar

March 3th – Selecting good bonsai material with Gordon Deegs

This meeting will be devoted to learning how to wire our trees with a round robin program with various senior members involved.  There will be a few trees and wire provided for those who would like to try their hand at wiring. Alternatively, if you have a tree you would like to wire and would like advice, bring it in.

March 17th – 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
March Selecting good bonsai material w/Gordon Deegs Open workshop
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
March Ray Stagner Juan Cruz & Tung Dao
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

March 12 – 13, 2016, Oakland, California
Bay Area Bonsai Associates (BABA): 35th Annual Bonsai Exhibition at the Lakeside Garden Center at Lake Merritt, 666 Bellevue Avenue. Show hours are Saturday 5:00 – 9:00 PM with light dinner, and Sunday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Demonstration by Mr. David De Groot, award winning bonsai artist and author, who has been involved in bonsai since 1972. Mr. De Groot served for 25 years as curator of the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection/Pacific Bonsai Museum in Federal Way, Washington. Demonstration starts at 6:30 PM, Saturday, followed by a raffle of the demonstration tree. Continuous plant sale including bonsai pots, tools, soil, wire, and more, both days. Admission is free. Public parking available. For more information, please contact Bob Gould at 925-935-1914.

March 16 – 20, 2016San 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. Show hours are Wednesday – Saturday 10 AM – 7 PM and Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM. There will be trees for sale and demonstrations. For more information about the club, visit, and for the Flower and Garden Show, including ticket information, visit


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