November 2013


November 2013, Vol. 39, Issue 11



  • President’s message
  • JT’s Tree Tips
  • October Meeting Recap
  • November Meeting Topics & Club Calendar

Presidents Message

JT Picture

This year’s show certainly was one of best I can recall.  Great weather, a lively demonstration by our own Peter Tea, a great display and a great club enjoying each others company.  Thanks all for making it work.
At the board meeting we discussed up coming programs and what areas we want to cover to step up our bonsai knowledge.  At the meeting we will be asking you specifically what you want and if you have particular people in mind to present it.  Suggested by a club member is a soil meeting.  other suggestions were approach grafting, windswept style, wiring, a boxwood demo by Larry, shohin with Juan, tree improvement with Gerry and a visit with Jim Gremel on cedars.  Think about it and if you have a specific request, don’t be shy.  Let us know.  Your club, your call!
Jim Wallace has suggested that we have a photo shoot of winter silhouettes and the third Thursday in January will be when you can bring in your trees for the shoot.
A number of us will be attending the GSBF Convention in Burbank and we will give a commentary of what we learned down there.

J T’S Tree Tips

You can work on practically everything now.  Style, wire, pluck needles.

The growth that has been coming on since summer should be hardening and will no longer snap like a bean if you bend it.  But try this – Exercise the branch before you bend it.  By this I mean pre-bend it, using the fleshy part of your fingers and palm supporting and twisting the branch in the direction you wish to ultimately bend it before actually putting the wire on. Trust your fingers to tell you if you have gone far enough.  They are actually more reliable than your eyes.   You can get much more acute bends this way.  If it still resists you may need to use raffia to support it.  Spray the bent branches with an anti-transpirant like Anti-Stress 2000® or Cloud Cover® or Wilt-Pruf®.  This is an ideal time to fashion those branches before they harden off totally over winter.

Deciduous trees should be wired when most of the foliage has fallen off but before they become brittle later into the winter dormancy period.  Remove the foliage when about 75% of the foliage has turned color.  If you wait until December, any cutting will cause the tree to bleed excessively.

You can still style and transplant those junipers (they really love fall transplanting) and early flowering trees but protect them from frosts if we get some cold weather.

For most trees, now is the time to clean off the top layer sphagnum moss we had on during the hot summer season and the top soil that has accumulated weed seeds and is growing seasonal moss now and make sure it doesn’t get up into the bark of your trees.   Silver moss that you used for the show can be taken off and put in your landscaping where it will get early morning sun and regular water.  You can grow a new crop for next year.  Clean off dead leaves and remove weeds. Add some super phosphate to the top soil and any transplanting that you do. Mid-November, discontinue the regular feedings of nitrogen fertilizer.

Be sure to clean out the foliage in the crotch areas and allow the sunlight into the interior to stimulate new buds and expose bugs

If the pine needles have hardened, clean out the old needles on your trees to let the sunlight in.  Leave on more needles on the bottom branches 10 to 15 pairs and 7 to 10 on top.  At this point we want to encourage as much sun as we can. Later we’ll thin out even more.  But watch that you don’t damage tender needles that haven’t hardened.  Use tweezers.  Days are getting really short and cooler.

Remember to make your first application of dormant spray at Thanksgiving.  Ultrafine® oil, Neem Oil, copper and lime sulfur sprays do well.  Do not mix them together!

Water your trees when they need it.  This means that you should wait until the upper soil has dried and is lighter in color before watering.  Then water thoroughly.  Don’t keep them too wet and remember that as they slow down their growth they use less water.  If too much water is accumulating in the pot, tip the pot up on one side with a board to help drainage.

Whatever shade cloth you had for your trees can be eliminated at this point. The hours of sunlight and angle of the sun are approaching their minimums so the trees need all they can get. Also, tropicals have to be protected as the temperatures get down below 45º.


October Meeting Recap

We had a great couple of meetings last month. Larry did an awesome job styling that shimpaku as a raft style tree. Here’s a few photos from the demo.

Some photos from the show and tell.

We also had a great turnout four our third Thursday meeting.

November Meeting Topics & Club Calendar

November 7th – Pot Selection with Valerie Monroe

The month we have Valerie Monroe from San Mateo coming to do a program on  POT SELECTION.  She has a very interesting interactive presentation that should be fun and informative.  She would like us to also bring in pots as well as trees that are in pots that fit the tree well, trees in pots we’re not sure of, and trees in nursery containers that we’d like advice on selecting a pot.  The more we all  bring, the more we will all learn.

Set-up/Refreshments Duties

November Debe Kahn and Sebastion Girard
December Holiday Party!

Northern California Bonsai Events

November 8- 9, 2013, Ross, California

Marin Bonsai Club: Annual Fall Show, Marin Art & Garden Center, 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Friday 5-10 PM; Demo by Japan trained Peter Tea at 7PM. Saturday 10AM-4PM; Show Critique by Bonsai Professionals at 11AM; Bonsai Style-A-Thon at 1PM. Raffle prizes, silent auction, vendors and bonsai sales. Dinner Friday 6-7PM, $10 per person, RSVP David Eichhorn 415-888-3756. For latest information:





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