Newsletter – March 2017

2017-03-Img01Bonsai Notebook

Takashi “Tak” Shimazu wiil be our guest presenter at the March 11 meeting.  Tak was born in Kumamoto, Japan and immigrated to the U.S. in 1968, residing in Orange County.  He ran Tak’s Gardening Service for 40 years before retiring.  Tak got started in bonsai as a hobby being tutored by his brother.  Today, he is a well known bonsai artist specializing in Japanese black pine and juniper bonsai.  He is an expert in grafting Itoigawa Shimpaku on San Jose and Prostrata junipers.

Tak has led workshops at GSBF conventions for many years, and has taught a number of students.  He belongs to many bonsai clubs including Nampu Kai and California Bonsai Society.  Join us at the March meeting for a great learning experience with Tak.

Meeting Time And Place:
March 11 at 7pm
LAC Arboretum/ Palm Room

Photo Credit: The Press Enterprise- Kurt Miller

President’s Corner

Our members have selected yose-uye or forest style as the theme of our  annual show in May.  This style is very popular with first-time bonsai observers.  I think people look at a forest or group planting and easily imagine a forest in nature.  They appreciate the beauty of single bonsai trees, but they understand the relationship we are trying to portray with nature more immediately with forest plantings.

John Naka wrote “A forest style bonsai, especially, should have the quality of the invisible beauty of nature.”  He recommended the size of each tree be different with no limit to the number of trees.  He said a three-tree planting is not a forest style  because they lack the effect of a forest. John advised using odd numbers of trees, especially prime numbers like 7, 11, 13, 17.

I hope we will have a good representation of forest styles entered in the show.  They truly are stunning.

If you have not yet renewed your membership for 2017 it is easy to do– Join us at a meeting, check out our website or contact our club secretary , Judy Anthony for details. Thanks to all of you who have already joined. It looks to be another great year for SABS.

~Dave Miles

Members Corner

The annual Bonsai-A-Thon was held in February.  A big part of the event is the raffle and auction.  The money raised goes to support the Golden State Bonsai Federation bonsai collection at The Huntington.  One of our long-time club members was a major donor to the event.  Kathy Boehme made and donated 125 bonsai pots; an incredibly generous gift!  The pots literally covered all the raffle tables.  The amount of time and effort contributed by Kathy was well beyond the call of duty.  The Santa Anita Bonsai Society is both proud and humbled by Kathy’s graciousness.

February Meeting Highlights

Al Nelson and his “crew” provided a wonderful demonstration for us in February.  Al’s demos include tree work with his accompanying explanatory narrative, jokes, supply information, and jokes.  Al did not disappoint.  At Al’s direction, the crew worked on three projects including a saikei, a single-tree planting and an accent planting;  all on their own slabs.


The saikei included three Kingville boxwoods arranged around tufa rocks and held in place with Al’s “muck”, a combination of brown clay, sphagnum moss, akadama fines and worm castings.  A water feature ran through the scene and the moss covered soil included small accent material.

2017-03-Img02The single-tree planting also featured a Kingville boxwood  beautifully planted in moss covered muck.  The accent involved moss covered muck with small, random splashes of sand.

All three plantings were designed to harmonize  with the contours of their slabs.  Al graciously and generously  donated all three plantings to our raffle.

Thanks to Al and his crew for a great learning  experience.


The saikei was won by Marge Blasingame, the single-tree planting by Dick Ryerson, and the accent by Dave Miles.

Thank You to January Meeting Raffle Donors:

Marge Blasingame, Jerry Banuelos, Alex Figueroa, Dave Miles, Al Nelson, Wendy Tsai, Frank Yee

Newsletter Update

  • If you haven’t been receiving the newsletter by email and would like to,  please contact  Dave & Lorraine with your most current  address.
  • If you have a knack for writing, a story to tell, a photo or something you would like to share in our newsletter  please submit it to Dave & Lorraine prior to the 20th of any month at : [email protected]
  • The SABS Newsletter is one of the “perks of belonging to our club.  When your membership is not renewed annually by the end of  March the membership lapses and you are no longer eligible to receive this newsletter directly via email and/or  US Mail.  The newsletter will always be available on our website

Upcoming Events

March 25-26
California Bonsai Society Annual Exhibit
at the Brody Botanical Center, Huntington Library,  1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino.
Reception: Sat at 6pm

Come Join Us

Next Meeting
Date: March 11, 2017
Time: 7pm
LAC Arboretum, Palm Room
301 N. Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA  91007

2017 Monthly Meeting Dates
Mar 11 — Tak Simazu
Apr 8 —  Frank Goya
May 13 — Gary Ishii

2017 Refreshment Schedule
March —  Peter Macasieb, Joe Gutierrez, Marge Blasingame
April — Frank Yee, Dick Ryerson, Dave Miles