Newsletter – November2019

Bonsai Notebook

Because of a scheduled night event at the Arboretum, our November 9 will be held at Longo Toyota in El Monte at 7:00pm. (See the directions below) Takashi “Tak” Shimazu will be our guest demonstrator in November. Tak is another of our well known local bonsai masters, so join us to see a future bonsai masterpiece take shape.

Tak was born in Kumamoto, Japan and emigrated to the U.S. in 1968, residing in Orange County. He ran Tak’s Gardening Service for 40 years before retiring. He got started in bonsai as a hobby being tutored by his brother. From there he has studied with John Naka and Harry Hirao. Today he is a well known bonsai artist specializing in Japanese black pine and juniper bonsai. Tak is an expert at grafting Itoigawa Shimpaku on San Jose and prostrata juniper.

Tak has led workshops at GSBF conventions for many years and has taught a number of students. He belongs to several bonsai clubs including Nampu Kai and California Bonsai Society. We look forward to seeing Tak do his magic in November.

Meeting Time and Place:
Nov 9, 2019 at 7pm
Longo Toyota Meeting Room, El Monte, CA

Directions to Longo Toyota: 3534 Peck Road, El Monte, CA 91731 take the Peck Road exit off the 10 fwy. just west of the 605 fwy., you will see the signage for Longo Toyota which is next to the 10 fwy. When you drive into the main lot facing the showroom, look for the round blue “AAA” sign on the building just left of the main showroom, enter the door below the sign and take the stairs down to the meeting room.

President’s Corner

We just received a generous donation of bonsai pots from long-time club member Joe Cervantes. Joe and his wife Martha are downsizing and will not have space for his pots. I picked up a total of 120 pots with the help of Marty Hagbery; thank you Marty. Most of the pots are Japanese made and will appear on our raffle table for many months ahead.

The holiday time of year is upon us. Fall colors are showing and leaves are beginning to cover the ground and our pots. It is time to clean up the leaves and debris on our benches and prepare for winter. Most of our trees will be fine with the winter cooling, but those of us with ficus trees and other tropicals need to watch the temperatures. Tropical trees will need to be sheltered when the temperatures drop below about 40 degrees or they may be burned by the cold. The design of our trees is more evident in the winter months when the leaves have fallen. You can refine your tree with pruning and wiring, but be careful of brittle branches during this season.

We can cut back on watering during the winter months, but watch out for warm Santa Ana winds that can dry out roots very quickly. Many people also cut back on fertilizing now or continue with fertilizer low in nitrogen. Enjoy watching your trees throughout this season.


October 2019 Meeting Highlights

Mel Ikeda joined us at the October meeting with a very healthy juniper for his demonstration. Mel is known for his juniper raft style bonsai, and his material was prewired for that purpose. He also brought a premade wooden planting box to tie the raft into. Raft style basically depicts a fallen tree with the upward facing branches growing into a group or forest style appearance. With the branches wired, Mel was able to lay the juniper on its side and position the branches up with similar movement.

Mike Kelly assisted Mel by holding the juniper in place while Mel drilled holes in the bottom of the box to facilitate tying the trunk and branches into its raft configuration. The root ball was kept intact to keep the tree alive. Mel scraped the bark from the underside of the trunk and branches where they would be covered by soil. He applied root hormone powder to the scraped areas to promote a new root mass.

Mel said the original root ball could be kept indefinitely if used as a moss-covered hill behind the tree. However, once the new root mass has developed under the raft, the original root ball can be removed, taking care to maintain enough roots to sustain the tree.

Mel finished off the planting with a muck mixture and rocks to contain the new soil. The finished raft style could now be kept as a slab planting or later planted into a shallow pot with more soil.

Members Corner

  • This November meeting will be our last meeting of 2019. We wish you all a wonderful holiday season and look forward to you joining us again in January 2020 at our Annual Potluck meeting back at the LAC arboretum
  • The newsletter is always available on our website
  • Visitors are always welcome at our meetings….come check out SABS anytime
  • 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 Lorraine prior to the 20th of any month at [email protected]

Thank You to our Oct Meeting Raffle Donors

Ray Banuelos, Ray Blasingame, Y.S. Farn, Edgar Fukutaki, Marty Hagbery, Dave Miles, Victor Shelton, Frank Yee

Welcome New Member

Susan Cook

Upcoming Events

Oct. 24-27
GSBF Convention 42
Riverside Convention Center
see website for details,

Nov. 16
Demo at Kofu Kai meeting by visiting bonsai artist Todd Schlafer who will style a California juniper at the Anaheim United Methodist Church
1000 S. State College Blvd., Anaheim, CA

Come Join Us

Next Meeting

Date: Nov 9, 2019
Time: 7pm
Longo Toyota
Downstairs Meeting Room
3534 Peck Road, El Monte, CA 91731

2019-20 Monthly Meeting Dates & Demonstrators

Nov 9 — Tak Shimazu, meeting at Longo Toyota in El Monte

Dec – No meeting – Happy Holidays

Jan 11, 2020 – Save the date Annual Potluck & Demo by: Ed Clark

Refreshment Schedule

Nov – Bob Alderette, Linda & Gabriel Gonzalez, Victor Shelton, Eunice Jee

Dec – No meeting– Happy Holidays

Jan 2020 – Potluck: Club will provide main dish and drinks. Please bring your favorite side dish, salad or dessert to share.