Newsletter – May 2014

2014-05-Img01Bonsai Notebook

Our May program will provide an opportunity to get expert help working on one of your own trees.  Roy Nagatoshi will be here again to work individually with members on their tree while we watch and learn.  Roy is known worldwide for his bonsai mastery.  He learned the bonsai art from his father, Shigeru.  Roy grew up working at his family’s nursery, Fuji Bonsai Nursery in Sylmar, where he still works and teaches classes.  We have benefitted from his workshops in the past, and look forward to another adventure.


We pay a lot of money on convention workshops to get this kind of help.  At the May meeting it is available for free to any member bringing a tree to work on.  So, don’t miss this chance to bring out the best in one of your bonsai.  We will all learn by watching and listening to Roy.

Meeting Time and Place:
May 10, 2014 at 7pm
LAC Arboretum, Palm Room

President’s Corner…..

May is a big month for the club.  Our annual show will be Memorial Day weekend, May 24, 25, and 26.We will do set-up on Friday at 1:00pm at Ayres Hall.  The more people we have for set-up, the faster it goes.  Bring your show tree and display with you, and you will be able to pick your spot after set-up.

The Exhibitor and Volunteer form is included with this newsletter and will be available at the May meeting. It is also posted on our website and can be found by clicking here.

2014 Santa Anita Bonsai Society Annual Show Form
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Marge Blasingame needs members to sign up for docent time slots throughout the weekend to watch the trees (no experience necessary).  We’ll have a list for sign-ups at the meeting, and you can also submit your show entry at that time if you haven’t already.

If you need help preparing your tree for the show, bring it to the meeting.  Between Roy and our experienced members, there will be plenty of help.  As I said last month, I  encourage everyone to enter, especially those doing so for the first time. You will get nothing but support for your efforts.

~Dave Miles

April Raffle Donors

Thank you to Jerry Banuelos, Joyce Gibbs, Bill & Lois Hutchinson, Y.S.Farns, Peter Macasieb, Dave Miles, John Nielson, Dick Ryerson, Marilyn Tyler and Frank Yee

April Meeting Highlights

We enjoyed an information-packed presentation by John Nielson in April.  John came all the way from Redlands to be with us, and we thank him for that effort alone. He brought 7 yr. old olives started from cuttings to plant a grove, not a forest since olives don’t grow in forests!  John made a thin bamboo matrix that he tied into the bottom of his pot.  After the soil and trees were placed, he set bamboo strips on top of the soil and tied them down to the base matrix.  This provided sturdy support for the grove until it would be secure on its own.

John described olives as labor intensive, saying the more you cut back, the more they ramify.  Having alternating horizontal and vertical leaf pairs, olives allow you to control the direction of growth without wire.  John warned to avoid clumping (poodling) by thinning out the growth to show branch formation.

He started the planting with the largest tree and built the grove from it.  He viewed the grove progress at eye level to control the tree placements, avoiding even spacing and straight lines.

During the demonstration, John talked to us about tree development and care.  Being an arborist, his explanations were very informative and worthwhile.  He said the best teacher of tree design was nature.  He promoted going out to look at trees to see how they form in nature and then duplicating the growth habits in the same species to develop our bonsai.  For instance, he said don’t make a deciduous tree into a pine tree shape.

John shared general plant care advice as a result of the many questions our astute members asked.  He covered insecticides, watering , misting techniques and included his planting mix of choice; 70% acadama, 10% granite, 10% volcanic rock, 5% charcoal, and 5% firbark.


Peter Macasieb held the winning raffle ticket and took home John’s beautiful grove. 

What’s New

A gentle reminder: if you haven’t paid your dues for 2014, now is the time. Only paid members can exhibit a tree in the show this month and we want everyone to enter.

Dues are $20 for an individual or $25 for a family membership. You can pay at the monthly meeting or mail your dues to:

Judy Anthony
565 Jalapa Dr.
Covina, CA  91724

If you would like to receive the monthly newsletter electronically please send your email contact information to Dave Miles at:  [email protected]  or register on our website by clicking on the “Mailing List” link. (Your email information will be kept confidential for newsletter purposes only and will not be shared.)

The Bonsai Notebook Newsletter is posted on the new SABS website. Check out the new SABS website at:

Upcoming Events

May 3 & 4, 2014
Dai Ichi Bonsai Kai 28th Annual Bonsai Exhibit: Serenity Through Bonsai
Ken Nakaoka Community Center
1670 W. 162nd St.
Gardena, California
10:00am to 4:00pm each day
Demo by Frank Goya Sunday at 1:00pm

Next Meeting

Date: May 10, 2014
Time: 7pm
LAC Arboretum, Palm Room
301 N. Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, Ca  91007

2014 Monthly Program

May: Roy Nagatoshi  (bring your own show tree workshop)         
June: Ted Matson
July: Frank Goya

2014 Refreshment Schedule

May: M. Jonas, E. Janza, M. Atkison, K. Teh

Meeting Dates

May  10, 2014
June 14, 2014
July  12, 2014

New Members

Greg Vines

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