July Meeting Update

Santa Anita Bonsai Society July 2020 meeting is cancelled

Santa Anita Bonsai Society Members,

Hello to all of you. I continue to miss seeing you all in person and sharing the art of bonsai. I had hoped that a July club meeting might be possible, but the decision to cancel has been made.

The July meeting was scheduled to be held at the home of Peter and Marissa Macasieb. I spoke with Peter, and we agreed it was still too soon to be able to guarantee a safe space for our members to meet. We always enjoy getting together at Peter’s, but the backyard space would not allow for safe distancing and food would be an issue.

Meeting at the Arboretum was a possibility with the cancellation of concerts, however, they have not decided yet to allow it. So, unfortunately, a decision to cancel our meeting was necessary. I hope you have had a chance to view our May Virtual Show. It is still available for viewing on our website. For those of you who did not get the email link to part 1 of Peter’s twisted Itoigawa demonstration, you can see it by going to our website, www.sabonsai.org. Part 2 of Peter’s demo will be posted for viewing within days. Thanks again to everyone who entered trees for our Virtual Show, and thanks to Peter for the demonstration.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Lorraine & I at LMiles6455@gmail.com or via our website at www.sabonsai.org.

I look forward to the day we can meet again as a club. Until then, stay safe and healthy.


Twisted Itoigawa Juniper Video

In light of our current social distancing environment we asked Peter Macasieb to record some demonstrations to share with everyone while our bonsai meetings have still been on hold. Please enjoy part one of Peter’s demo as he show us how he prepares pre-bonsai stock to create twisted Itoigawa Junipers.

June Meeting Update

Santa Anita Bonsai Society June 2020 meeting is cancelled

Santa Anita Bonsai Society Members,

Greetings to all of you once again. It has been hard to communicate with the Santa Anita Bonsai Society members in writing only. I miss our opportunities to meet in person and hope we can get back to regular meetings soon. Unfortunately, our June 13 meeting has been cancelled. I have asked the Arboretum to remember our club if the facility becomes available in July, and I will keep you posted.

We will obviously have to make adjustments for future meetings, but we will do whatever is necessary to keep our members safe and well.

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Virtual Show. I appreciate the time you spent to set up for your photos and then send them to Robert. Thanks also to Robert Sencer for arranging all the photos and producing the show on the website. We had a beautiful variety of trees, so I hope everyone has been able to view the show. It will remain available for viewing for the immediate future at www.sabonsai.com.

Recently we arranged for a recording of Peter Macasieb doing a tree demonstration at his home. The recording was done by member Matt Mahaffey. Matt edited the demo tape into specific segments for easy viewing. I will notify everyone when the demo is posted and available to see. Thanks to Peter, Matt, Sung, Robert and Gabriel for the work done to provide this demonstration for our members.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Lorraine & I at LMiles6455@gmail.com or via our website at www.sabonsai.org

Best wishes to all,

Santa Anita Bonsai Society May Show Update

Santa Anita Bonsai Society Members,

Hello, and best wishes to all of you as we continue to wait out this virus situation. I truly hope you are all safe and well.

As expected, our Memorial Day weekend show has been cancelled by the Arboretum, based on L.A. County orders. Given that, we will move forward with a “virtual” show as I outlined in my previous letter. It is important that we work together and continue to share our love of the art of bonsai.

The plan is to have our Virtual Show posted on the club website at www.sabonsai.org on May 30. All members are invited to take a digital picture of their tree or trees with a smart phone or digital camera and email them to our webmaster Robert Sencer at rsencer@sabonsai.org. Robert will put the pictures together in a format viewable on our website for all of us to enjoy.

The show will not be judged. I hope we will use the opportunity to share our favorite trees with each other without some of the stresses that go along with a judged, live show. Our theme this year is “conifer trees”, so show them if you have them. However, as always, share any variety of trees you wish.

Here are some guidelines:

  1. Try and set up a neutral colored background behind your tree.
  2. Use a display stand if possible, but not required.
  3. No accent plant necessary; we want to see the tree.
  4. Avoid photographing in direct sunlight; the sun can wash out the photo.
  5. Just take a picture on your phone or camera and send it to Robert and he will work his magic.
  6. Email your picture(s) along with your name and tree variety to rsencer@sabonsai.org.
  7. Send pictures of as many trees as you wish.
  8. Deadline for email submissions is Thursday, May 28.

If you want to enter a tree but need help with taking the photo and/or sending the email, contact me at 909-519-5391 (Dave’s mobile) and we will arrange help.

This will be a new and different way to present our show, but also a new opportunity for everyone to participate. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Lorraine & I via my mobile phone or email address at LMiles6455@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing your trees.


May Meeting Update

Santa Anita Bonsai Society May 2020 meeting is cancelled

Santa Anita Bonsai Society Members,

Greetings to all of you during this difficult time. I hope all of you are well and navigating safely through each day of the stay-at-home order. It has been a good time for spending quality time with our trees.

Our May 9 club meeting has been cancelled by the Arboretum in keeping with the L.A. County order to stay at home through May 15. I contacted the Arboretum and asked about our Memorial Day Weekend show dates May 23-25. They would not commit one way or the other until the County gives direction beyond May 15.

I have been in contact with Board members with an idea to have our annual show in one of two ways. If the Arboretum allows us to use Ayres Hall for our show, I will contact members to arrange for show set-up. I would anticipate some restrictions, for instance, maybe no demonstrations.

However, if the show is cancelled, I am proposing a “virtual show”. We would have members post pictures of their show trees to a site to be arranged. Our webmaster, Robert Sencer, has offered to create a “storybook” on-line where member can view all the show trees. Details are being worked out, but would include assisting members with posting pictures if needed.

I am hopeful our members will participate in either option, and that you will plan to prepare your trees for our show. It is important for our club to continue our interaction through our common love of bonsai. I will keep you all informed about the show as I get updates from the Arboretum.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Lorraine & I at LMiles6455@gmail.com or via our website at www.sabonsai.org.

Best wishes to all,

April Meeting Update

Santa Anita Bonsai Society April 2020 meeting is cancelled

Due to ongoing L.A. County Health Department Guidelines our April 2020 club meeting has been cancelled.  No decision has been made regarding the month of May and future meetings.

I hope everyone is well and managing as best you can with our current corona virus situation.    It is a great time to work on bonsai.

I am optimistic and looking forward to having our Annual Show over the Memorial Day Weekend, May 23-25. The theme for this year is conifers.  Plan to have your trees ready for the show and also all of your sale items.  I will keep you updated on the show status as I hear from the Arboretum.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Lorraine & I at LMiles6455@gmail.com or via our website at www.sabonsai.org

Best wishes to all,

March Meeting Cancellation

Well, we are sorry to report that the Los Angeles Arboretum has decided to close after all. Unfortunately, we will have to cancel our March 14th meeting at 7:00 PM in the Palm Room at the Arboretum. As of this posting, the Los Angeles Arboretum is closed until further notice. Please refer to the Arboretum web page at www.arboretum.org/visit/staying-safe-at-the-arboretum/ for updates. You may also contact Dave at (909) 519-5391 if you would like any additional information. Have a good weekend and take care of yourselves. We look forward to seeing everyone next month. Please check back for further updates on future schedules. Thank you.

March Meeting Update

We are still planning to have our March 14th meeting at 7:00 PM in the Palm Room at the Arboretum. As of this posting, the Los Angeles Arboretum is planning to remain open this weekend, only their tours have been suspended. Please refer to the Arboretum web page at www.arboretum.org/visit/staying-safe-at-the-arboretum/ for updates. You may also contact Dave at (909) 519-5391.

If you are feeling unwell please stay home and get better soon. Otherwise, please join us for a great demo by Jaime & Jason.

Newsletter – March 2020

Bonsai Notebook

We have a unique dual demonstration planned for the March 14 meeting at the Arboretum. Jason Saito and Jaime Chavarria will be talking about and demonstrating the differences and similarities between two distinct styles of landscape plantings; a rock planting (ishitsuki) , and a Chinese landscape (penjing). They will discuss the skills and techniques used to create naturalistic landscape plantings. Both pieces will be in the raffle for members.
Jason and Jaime are students of saikei and bonsai master Frank Goya. Jason has been studying bonsai for about 9 years and is primarily focused on landscape planting and ceramics. Besides master Goya, Jason has studied with Al Nelson, Mel Ikeda, and John Wang.

Jaime started studying bonsai in 1991. He worked in a gas station near the Yamaguchi Nursery and met many bonsai masters while picking up their cars for oil changes from the nursery. Sam Nakano gave him his first tree, which he still has, and a few lessons. Jaime joined an all Japanese bonsai club, Bay Cities, as the first non-Japanese member and learned a lot. Later he joined Marina Bonsai Club and met Frank Goya, who he still studies with.

Don’t miss a chance to see this dual demonstration and maybe win a great landscape piece.

Meeting Time And Place:
March 14, 2020 at 7pm
LAC Arboretum/ Palm Room

President’s Corner

Members voted at the February meeting and selected “conifers” as our 2020 show theme. This choice provides us with many tree options including pine, juniper, cypress, and spruce, to name a few. Now is the time to pick a tree or two and prepare them for the May show. You can always enter multiple trees and also trees other than theme trees. The important part is sharing our work with the public who pass through Ayres Hall and always enjoy the show.

We are in the middle of repotting season. Most trees don’t need repotting every year, but the timing can vary. Some say every three or four years, but trees will often tell us when it is time. If water stands on top of the soil and doesn’t drain steadily, it is time for root pruning and new soil. If a tree isn’t quite as healthy looking as it has been over time, repotting may bring back its vitality. If the roots are pushing a tree out of its pot, it is definitely time for a repot. A healthy tree that drains readily should be fine for another season. Keep track of repotting dates, and let the trees tell you when it is time to repot.


February 2020 Meeting Highlights

Louis Camerota joined us in February to share his second lesson on the care of azalea bonsai. This year Lou talked about repotting. He said, as a general rule, to start repotting narrow-leaf azalea varieties in February and larger leaf varieties in March. Lou recommended repotting every three years, but to let the tree tell you when (sounds familiar!).

He said the tree branches are a mirror image of the root system, so if there is no new growth, it is time to repot. If growth is only on branch tips, repot. Finally, if water doesn’t drain or drains slowly, repot.

When repotting, Lou suggested removing about 50% of the roots from the bottom of the root ball and to cut flat across the bottom. He advised not to hollow out the bottom as we do with other tree types. Lou said using a metal root rake can easily damage azalea roots and to use a bamboo chopstick to gently comb out roots.

Lou uses Kanuma soil exclusively for his azaleas and recommends it above any other soil mixture. He said the acid level of Kanuma is just right for azaleas. He also talked about water ph levels and said 5.5 to 6.2 is ideal. He uses “ph down” to lower high ph levels. Lou said he uses a 5-5-5 organic fertilizer in tea bags placed on top of the soil.
Lou brought several young azaleas for our raffle, so members had a chance to win a well cared for azalea to develop as Lou continues sharing his azalea secrets in the future. Thanks Lou for another great lesson.

Thank You To our February Raffle Table Donors (And to all who so generously purchase tickets)

Jerry Banuelos, Joe Cervantes, Edgar Fukutaki Family, Y.S. Farn, Peter Macasieb

Welcome New Members

Matt Mahaffey
Andrew Nguyen

Members Corner

It is with much sadness that we share the passing of long time bonsai enthusiast and SABS member Joe Cervantes on Feb 11, 2020. Joe will be always remembered by many of us.

  • Jan – March is SABS membership renewal time. Thanks to all for your participation and support. It has been exciting to see how SABS’s membership is growing. Our membership dues are vital to SABS. Your dues enable us to maintain our relationship with the Arboretum, offer monthly meetings, and amazing demonstrators. Our Annual Show every May is filled with our member tree displays and a members sales table with a huge variety of stock, rocks, pots, ceramics, supplies and much more. Past members who have not yet renewed are encouraged to do so at this time. If you joined SABS during Oct-Dec 2019 then your membership is current until Dec 2020.
  • 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 2020 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 www.sabonsai.org
  • If you have a knack for writing or an event/ story to share please contact Lorraine at LMiles6455@gmail.com before the 20th of any month to be included in the newsletter.

Upcoming Events

March 21-22
California Bonsai Society annual show at the Huntington Botanical Center
1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino, three demonstrations each day at 1:00pm, reception Saturday at 6:00pm.

Come Join Us

Next Meeting
Date: March 14, 2020
Time: 7pm
LAC Arboretum, Palm Room
301 N. Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007

2020 Monthly Meeting Dates

Mar 14 — Jason Saito & Jaime Chavarria
April 11 — Al Rivera
May 9 — Tom Vuong

Refreshment Schedule

Mar — Marge (drinks) D. Melitz, J. Pelling. P. Macasieb, L. Miles
April — Marge (drinks), J. Pelling, E. Jee
May — J. Pelling, E. Jee

2020 Refreshment Sign ups will be available the March meeting