November 2015


November 2015, Vol. 41, Issue 11



  • President’s message
  • JT’s Tree Tips
  • Editor’s Note
  • November Meeting Topics & Club Calendar
  • 2015 Meeting Schedule
  • Northern California Bonsai Events

Presidents MessageIMG_3634

 Our bonsai show for 2015 is now history, and as I reflect upon that day it brings fond memories for how it all came together with such cooperation and efficiency.  I want to thank everyone who took part in making this years show a complete success with a display of bonsai we all could be proud of.  The highlight of the show for me this years was our trees in training display spread over two areas of the room.  It truly shows that we have up and coming members that are working to produce trees that will make for great shows for years to come.  Next year, as in previous years we will have the facility that will allow us to extend our attendance and provide vendors.  I’m already excited about next years show!

Our first Thursdays meeting this month is rather special, our own Juan Cruz will be sharing his talents with helping us develop a forrest planting on rock. Juan posted the type of rock he will be using and how he shaped it for his demonstration, you can follow it on his Facebook page.

At the completion of his demonstration of his forrest planting it will be raffled off to a lucky winner to take home.  So don’t miss this meeting and be sure to purchase your tickets for this one time opportunity.

As I’m writing this article my wife and I just returned from a European bus vacation that took us throw nine countries over a period 16 days that I’m still dreaming about.  What a incredible trip we had, beautiful country, great people, wine that we truly enjoyed, and I was able to take over 2000 pictures all together that I’ll be sorting through. It’s 3:00am Sunday morning and I’m up and awake, this jet lag business is no fun to get over after a ten hour difference from Europe.

The good news for our area is that I’m hearing rain drops coming down at present, and from what I heard it was pretty much threw out the night.  So it looks like our bonsai trees will have a chance to survive another year if it continues to rain.  Lets all cross our finger!

We’re nearing the end of another year with our bonsai clubs meetings, our Christmas party is just one month away. As I reflect over this passed years meeting programs I hope everyone was entertained and enlightened with its contents and variety of topics we provided. After all, everyone in our club has a say as to what takes place at our meetings. So if you have suggestions and additional ideas please come forward and share your ideas with me.  Our board of directors will be in hot pursuit in developing new topic and demonstrators for next year’s meetings so nows the time to start considering this.

Have a great bonsai November everyone!

Jack Christiansen

JT’s Tree Tips

Back to Bonsai after the show.  Remember to take your moss off and save it for sometime down the road.  We may get some rain this year and we don’t want moss growing up the trunks of our trees.  Its time to style, wire, pluck needles, make big bends – You can work on practically everything now.JT Picture

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 spent fertilizer and 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.

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

December is best but 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.


Editor’s Note

Hey Folks,

Glad to be back home and getting all my trees setup at my new place.  I’ll have to share some pictures soon.  Recently there was a large bonsai show in France and Bonsai Empire has a lot of great videos that you should check out.


Midori 2015 Show Recap

Congratulations everyone on another fine show.  Great trees, well presented and the opportunity to show our best stuff.  Thanks to all who put it together, manned it and took it down.  We’re like a well oiled machine.  It was much easier using the back parking lot this year.  And Thanks to the Wesley United Methodist Church for the use of their facility.

(Editor’s note: There were tons of pictures from the show from both Jack and Mark Greene, thanks for sending them in!)

November Meeting Topics & Club Calendar

November 5th – Literati Group Plantings with Juan Cruz

For those of you who attended the October third Thursday meeting, Juan was cleaning up and wiring a number of Shimpaku junipers for his group planning.  These were super healthy trees and will make for a great demo.  If you have group plantings of your own, please bring them in and share with us.  Also bring in a donation for the raffle as the demo trees will be raffled this month.

November 19th – Display (Out of the Ordinary) with Mehrdad Chavosh

2015 Meeting Schedule

November Forest Plantings with Juan Cruz Display (Out of the Ordinary) with Mehrdad Chavosh
December Annual Holiday Party, Election, and Auction Pork chop workshop

Set-up & Refreshments and Formal Tree Display

Month Formal Tree Display Set-up & Refreshments
November Jeff Excallier 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

December 5, 2015,  Fresno, California
Fresno Bonsai Society: Eighth Annual Bonsai Yard Sale, from 8 AM till 3P M, at 736 West Browning Avenue. The sale will offer pre-bonsai, finished trees, new and used pots, accent plants, books, stands, and stones. All are welcome to buy, trade, or sell. This event gets bigger every year and we welcome sellers of all items related to bonsai. Join us for great bargains and old friends.For more information, contact Peter Schaffert at



Posted in Uncategorized