September 2013


September 2013, Vol. 39, Issue 9


Pomegranate at 2013 REBS show. Picture courtesy of Jack Christiansen.


  • President’s message
  • JT’s Tree Tips
  • Highlights from REBS 2013 Annual Show
  • August Meeting Recap
  • September Meeting Topics & Club Calendar

Presidents Message

JT PictureWell, it’s Show-time.  Our Fall show will be held at the Northside Community Center at 488 North 6th Street on Saturday September 28th from 10 am to 5 pm.  Table Set-up is the night before (Friday) at 8 pm and all trees, accents etc need to be at the center Saturday morning by 8 am so we can place them on the tables.  We need everyone’s help in the club so please pitch in.

At our General meeting, Peter Tea will be Doing a program on display.  We will have the large and medium backdrops to use.  We ask that you bring in your show trees and accents and tables,  even if they haven’t had their final prepping, so that we can have as much variety as possible for Peter to work with.  We’ll all learn more if you bring these things in.  Peter has learned a great deal about display in Japan, so lets give him the tools to ‘strut his stuff’.

Mehrdad will be bringing in his small tokonoma and we want to have a competition for whose tree is used in it, so bring in your shohin or small trees and lets see whose is going to be in the tokonoma. Don’t be shy, give it a try.

J T’S Tree Tips

Our show is coming up (Saturday September 28th) and as usual we are fine tuning our trees.

Once you have decided on the tree(s) you wish to put in the show, examine them as if they weren’t your trees.  If you were just walking past this tree what would you think of it? Really look at your tree.  Sometimes, looking at the reflected image of your tree in a mirror can change your memorized picture of it so you can really make a needed change.  There are usually easy things you can do to improve your tree immediately. Keep it simple.

If you are showing a tree in the “in training” section of our show, it can have wire on it almost anywhere.  After all, it is in training.  But it still needs to be as neat as it can be.  And, please stretch yourself and your tree just a little bit farther.  First, clean up the pot and weed it.  Then take all hanging foliage and pinch it off.  Leaving a little space between the branches defines them better and allows the “birds to fly through.”  Prune or pinch off those shoots that have outgrown the silhouette you see as the tree.

You may do some light wiring to bring back and clean up the line of the branches.  Don’t take off excessive foliage.  Leave it a little fuller than if you were styling it.  It will look better this way than if you plucked it down to nothing.
Prune off any sickly or off-color foliage and those bits of foliage underneath the pads. Cleaning that line makes a big difference.  Clean the remaining foliage if it has excessive water spots or honeydew.  Check for critters.  Snail, slugs, scale, mites or ants are sure to take a bow during the show if you let them.

Decide if you want to use moss or other ground cover and whether you need smaller scaled soil.  Scrape off some of the older soil; add your moss then work in the fine soil bringing it up to the level of the pot.  Sweep with a soft brush, and then tamp down to just below the rim of the pot.  Water in gently. .  If you have a source of fine show soil or moss, please bring that in to the 1st and 3rd Thursday meetings to share with your fellow exhibitors.
Coming up with moss in the fall is always difficult.  I have a great way to keep moss alive and healthy over the summer months.  I use shallow trays on which I place carpet padding.  I put moss on to the padding and water it in.  I water every day I water my trees.  The excess water evaporates but the padding acts like a sponge and gives the moss a perfect amount of moisture.  I have the trays in a sunny area all morning until about 2pm when a tree shades it.  I have revitalized what looked like dead moss and it is just as good as it ever was.  Look for sun moss if you can, even taking it off your bonsai after a show and place it on the pad.  You will be surprised just how nice it looks.  It takes a few weeks for the moss to really look 100% but you will be pleased by the result.  If you are interested let me know and you can drop by and I’ll cut you a piece of padding to fit your tray!

Highlights from REBS 2013 Annual Show

For any of you that missed the REBS show last weekend, Jack took a bunch of really great pictures of both trees and accents. Click on the photos to enlarge.

Here’s some of the trees:

Here’s some of the accent plants:

August Meeting Recap

We really had a special treat last month with special guest Masashi Hirao. Thanks again to Juan for getting him to come in for our meeting.


September Meeting Topics & Club Calendar

September 5th  – Display with Peter Tea

Hello Everyone!
My name is Peter Tea and at the general meeting on September 5th, I will be doing a
presentation on show display and show preparations. Since the Midori Show is set for
September 28th, this would be a great time to get some last minute tips on how to set
up your tree display.

There will be two backdrops setup during the meeting and I will bring in examples of
ceramics and tables to be used for display. I will need your help though in brining trees
you’re planning on showing plus extra tables and accents to go in the display.

During the meeting, I will first focus on preparing our trees for show and then move on
to some basic techniques in displaying Bonsai. Displays can be as simple or as
complex as we’d like them to be and I’m looking forward to hearing new ideas by the
club members in Bonsai display. Since we are not in Japan and we don’t have the
same taste as the Japanese, our Bonsai displays can be quite different but yet very
pleasing to the viewer.

Showing our trees is the pinnacle of our art form because it’s the time where the most
viewership of our trees will occur and for us to communicate with those viewers through
our Bonsai.

So that’s just a little taste of some of the things we’ll be talking about and I’m looking
forward to your participation at the meeting and seeing some of the tree you all are
planning to show this year. I hope you all can make it and I look forward to seeing old
friends and well as make new friends. Take care and see you all on the 5th!

Set-up/Refreshments Duties

September Larry White and Juan Cruz
October Jeff Quast and Adam Butterfield
November Debe Kahn and Sebastion Girard
December Holiday Party!

 Northern California Events

September 15, 2013, San Mateo, California
San Mateo Bonsai Club: 50th Annual Show at San Mateo Gardener’s Association Hall, 503 E 5th Avenue. Hours: 10 AM – 4 PM. Bonsai material for sale. Free admission. For more information, contact Sam Tachibana at 650-548-9470.

September 28, 2013, San Jose, California
Midori Bonsai Club: 52nd Annual Bonsai Show, at Northside Community Center, 488 6th Street [at E. Empire St]. Hours 10 AM – 5 PM. Bonsai demonstration by Peter Tea of a Black Pine raffled off at end of Demo. Beginners workshop: 10 AM – 1 PM. Bring your own tree for advise with Dr. Bonsai. Bonsai vendors and large plant sale. For more information contact John Thompson at




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