Newsletter March 2023

Bonsai Notebook

Next SABS Meeting

March 11, 2023
LA Arboretum— Oak Room
(lower level of Peacock Café)

Tak Shimazu

Board Meeting at 6pm

Prior to general meeting
Everyone Welcome
We will be discussing options for our Annual Sale and more

Our March 11 meeting will be at the Arboretum at 7pm, but in the Oak Room instead of Ayres Hall. This is a one-time change to allow for use of the Ayres Hall kitchen by another organization. We have been promised hot coffee and fresh cookies in exchange. The Oak Room is located directly below the Peacock Café (directions later in the newsletter).

Tak Shimazu will be our guest demonstrator. He is a well-known local bonsai master, and will style a Japanese black pine at the meeting. Tak was born in Kumamoto, Japan and emigrated to the U.S. in 1968, residing in Orange County. He ran his own gardening service for 40 years before retiring.

Tak got started in bonsai as a hobby, being tutored by his brother. From there, he studied with John Naka and Harry Hirao. He specializes in Japanese black pine and juniper bonsai. Tak is an expert at grafting Itoigawa Shimpaku on San Jose and prostrata juniper. He has led many workshops at GSBF events and teaches at his home in Riverside.

Join us in March to watch Tak’s artistry.

President’s Corner

The Spring brings with it bonsai repotting time. I hope you had a chance to attend the Bonsai-A-Thon at the Huntington and pick up potting supplies if you didn’t already have them. The question of “what mix do you use?” always comes up at this time of year. Answers will vary, but presently inorganic mixes seem to predominate. I am referring to mixes that include some combination of pumice, perlite, lava rock and acadama. A popular mix is equal parts pumice, lava rock and acadama. Some people substitute perlite for pumice. Some use only one of the ingredients, or a different ratio. I have been told adding a little organic potting soil to this mix seems to work well with deciduous trees.

Whatever you use, the goal is soil that drains quickly so water doesn’t pool and lead to root rot.

Acadama is unique to bonsai and usually only found at bonsai supply companies such as Bonsai Unlimited in Chino or House of Bonsai in Lakewood. Bonsai-specific nurseries will also carry it. Pumice and lava rock can be found at landscape supply companies like Whittier Fertilizer Company, Orange County Farm Supply, and O.F. Wolfinbarger in Chino. For pumice, I like using Dry Stall, a product used for horse stalls and available at most farm animal feed stores. Dry Stall is pumice that has already been sifted and washed, so it is ready to mix. (addresses & info for resources are available in the links menu on our website at )

Now is the time to collect the soil elements of your choice and mix it up for potting. How often to repot is another topic, but your trees should be ok as long as your soil drains well and has not become rootbound.


February Meeting Highlights

We had a wonderful time at the February meeting, making up for our lost January meeting. There was an abundance of food for the potluck dinner, our Board members were officially installed, and we played Bonsai Bingo. The meeting was also the kickoff to our annual membership drive and most of our attendees either rejoined or joined for the first time.
We very much appreciate everyone’s support

Mike Kelly was the energetic m/c of bingo and kept the games going until the bountiful prize table was empty. We learned a lot of bonsai-related words we were unfamiliar with along with words we regularly use. Bingo is still bingo in whatever form you use, and there was lots of laughter and anticipation as each game progressed. We often had multiple winners in games, and every winner got a prize (thanks to all the nice items donated by members). “Rock-Paper- Scissors” made it easy to decide which winner could choose first. I think everyone enjoyed the games. Bonsai Bingo may become one of our annual events if the membership agrees.

Thanks to Becky V for her awesome photography

Members Corner

Welcome New Members

Clark & Emily Taylor
Gabriel Gonzalez
Amanda Tsurutani

And to all who renewed again

  • 2023 current members will be voting to approve the new SABS By-Laws at the March meeting.
    Copies are available upon request from Lorraine at [email protected] prior to March 11, 2023.
  • 2023 Membership to Santa Anita Bonsai Society for the calendar year Jan-Dec 2023 began at the Jan “storm lockout” Meeting. Thanks to those of you who have already joined/ renewed.
    Annual dues are $20 for Individuals and $25 for family memberships. Dues may be paid by cash or check. We are still working on electronic payment but not quite ready to launch. New members who joined in Oct-Dec 2022 will be carried over into 2023. If you are unable to attend a meeting but would like to join SABS please contact Lorraine at [email protected] to receive a mail–in membership form.
  • We would like to extend a special “thank you” to all of you who donated so generously to the raffle table for Bonsai Bingo

Jim & Helen Barrett, Sue Cook, Manuel Dizon, Ron Espiritu, YS Farn,
Gabriel Gonzalez, Mike Kelly, Peter Macasieb, David & Debra Mauzy Melitz,
Dave Miles, Rick Nabor, Bryan Nicholson, Jim Pelling, Steve Riley,
Richard Ryerson, Vic Shelton, Wendy Tsai, Becky Villasenor

and to all who purchased extra bingo cards—what a fun nite we had!!!!

Thanks to all
who donated food to our
Annual Potluck

Upcoming Events

2nd Saturday monthly
Kimura Bonsai sponsors monthly workshops at their new site, Kashi no ki-en in Castaic; contact them for details at 818-343-4090.

April 24
GSBF Golden Zoom Series with Andrew Robson on defoliation

2023 Monthly Meeting Dates

Mar 11
Location: LA Arboretum—Oak Room (lower level of Peacock Cafe)
Demo: Tak Shimazu

April 8
Location LA Arboretum — Ayres Hall
Demo: Peter Macasieb

May 13
Location: LA Arboretum—Ayres Hall

Meeting Refreshment Schedule
SABS Club to provide water

Mar 11
J. Anthony, S. Cook, B Villasenor
plus cookies & coffee compliments of the Peacock Cafe

April 8
J. Anthony, D. Deephouse, P. Macasieb

May 13
J. Anthony, F. Saya, V. Shelton, D&D Mauzy-Melitz

Come Join Us

Next Meeting
Date: March 11, 2023
Time: 7pm

LA Arboretum– Oak Room
lower level of Peacock Cafe
301 N. Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007

The main entrance is at Ayres Hall Gate in the East parking lot during construction

Directions to the Oak Room at the Arboretum

Enter through the Ayres Hall gate and follow the cement walking path west until it intersects the asphalt path.
Turn left and you will arrive at the Peacock Café.
Follow the path to the right of the café which will take you to the lower level and the Oak Room.

Newsletter February 2023

Bonsai Notebook

Next SABS Meeting:
February 11, 2023
LA Arboretum– Ayres Hall
Join us for
The SABS Annual Potluck
Membership Drive
Bonsai Bingo

Board Meeting at 6pm
prior to general meeting
Everyone Welcome
We will be discussing options for our May 2023 Annual Show and Sale

The temporary entrance to the Arboretum is through the Ayres Hall Gate while the front area is under construction. Ayres Hall is the building on the left as you enter the gate. The doors will be open on the far side of the building.

President’s Corner

I will start this newsletter by once again welcoming everyone to a new year of bonsai for the Santa Anita Bonsai Society. We had a wet and disappointing experience trying to start off our year in January. Arboretum Security failed to open the gate and Ayres Hall for our meeting. We stood in the rain with our potluck food and called several phone numbers trying to reach the security office with no success. In the end, I had to cancel the meeting, and we all went home wet and with extra food to eat.

I called the Arboretum on the Monday following, and they were very apologetic. Security had a schedule that included our meeting, but someone “dropped the ball”. I was given a new phone number for the security office since, apparently, the previous security company’s contract had expired, and a new company had taken over.

I appreciate the effort of all the members who braved the rain and showed up eager to eat and play bingo.

The February 11 meeting will be a repeat of the January plan. We will have the potluck dinner, a brief officer installation ceremony, and play Bonsai Bingo. The club will provide the main dish and water. Please bring your favorite side, salad or dessert for the potluck.

The meeting will also kickoff our annual membership drive/renewal. Come and help us continue to sustain our club by renewing your membership or joining for the first time. Memberships can be paid with cash or check.

Our meeting entertainment will consist of several Bonsai Bingo games, played one after another. Each member in attendance will receive a game card and additional game cards will be available for purchase. The cards will be reused for each new game. Game winners will get a prize from the prize/raffle table, so please bring a prize item you would like to win. I guarantee you will all enjoy the games.

Thanks to Mike Kelly &

For 2023 we have several programs planned to provide a worthwhile learning experience as we celebrate the art of bonsai.


Members Corner

  • 2023 Officers Installation and Board members introductions will happen at the Feb 2023 meeting.
    It is time to refill many of our board positions. Post covid, there are multiple vacancies and we could truly use your help and ideas. We are an entirely volunteer board and try to divide up responsibilities and keep the new ideas flowing. If you are interested in helping please contact Dave & Lorraine at [email protected] or call Dave at 909 519 5391 before the Feb 11 meeting to find out more about the following positions:
    Vice President: Program Chair: arranging for demonstrators and workshops for the monthly meetings
    Social Media Director/ Liaison: all things media related
    Secretary: record minutes at board mtgs
    Hospitality Chair and committee of 2-3: manage the monthly meeting refreshment table
    Members at large: varying assignments including badges, raffle table assistant, photographer, historian, and more
  • 2023 Membership to Santa Anita Bonsai Society for the calendar year Jan-Dec 2023 began at the Jan Meeting. Thanks to those of you who joined and renewed in the pouring rain.
    Annual Dues are $20 for Individuals and $25 for family memberships. Dues may be paid by cash or check.
    We are still working on electronic payment but not quite ready to launch.
    New members who joined in Oct-Dec 2022 will be carried over into 2023.
  • We are trying something new– As discussed at the Nov meeting, we are trying to save on printing & mailing expenses.
    Beginning Jan 2023 the newsletter will be available primarily online at the website and via email.
    Those of you who previously received it by US mail will now be able to access more photos and current club & area updates.
    An email will be sent monthly to let you know that the newsletter has been posted.
    Your email changes and corrections should be sent to Lorraine at [email protected].
    For members without computer access the US mailing can continue, just let Lorraine know your status.

Members Corner- Highlights

The Baikoen Bonsai Kenkyukai Winter Silhouette Show on Jan 21-22 was spectacular.
It is truly a unique, one of its kind show.
It was extra special for SABS this year, as our President, Dave, was the recipient of the Nagata-Komai Award. As he explained to us all, it was a humbling honor to receive this award. He began his bonsai journey in 1973 (50 yrs ago) by taking classes at the Komai Nursery with his sensei, Jim Barrett.
An added highlight for the evening was the opportunity to meet with Karen Komai Margolis, Khan and Kay’s daughter, just prior to Dave receiving this award.

Many thanks to Lindsay, Debbie, Big Joe and all the Baikoen Club members from the Miles Family & SABS.

Welcome New 2023 Members

Christian Lebano
Cedric Navarro

2023 SABS Monthly Meeting Dates

Feb 11
Location: LA Arboretum– Ayres Hall
Annual Meeting
Potluck, Membership Drive, Bonsai Bingo

Club will provide main dish & water
Bring your favorite side, salad or dessert

and play
Bonsai Bingo
It will be an evening of fun & learning & prizes.
Bring something for the prize/raffle table that you would like to win– plants, pots, tools, books, accessories, a bag of dirt…
Multiple games will be played.

Mar 11
Location: LA Arboretum—Ayres Hall
Demo: Tak Shimazu

April 8
Location LA Arboretum — Ayres Hall
Demo: TBA

2023 Refreshment Schedule

Please bring food to share for our Feb 11 Potluck.
the main dishes will include:
Pork inihaw (grilled pork), pancit bihon (Philippine noodles) & El Pollo Loco Chicken

Sign ups for 2023 will be available at the Feb 11 meeting

Upcoming Events

Feb 3-5, 2023
California Shohin Society 18th Biennial Shohin Seminar 2023.
Hotel Mission de Oro Conference Center, Santa Nella, CA.

Feb 25-26,2023
GSBF Bonsai-A-Thon,
The Huntington Botanical Gardens, 1151Oxford Rd. San Marino
the link on the reservation portal is:
If link does not open then cut & paste into your browser

Come Join Us Feb 11