Newsletter – September 2015

2015-09-Img01Bonsai Notebook

The September meeting will be held at the home of Steve and Judy Anthony in Covina.  Those who attended the meeting held there last year will remember the great valley views from the backyard deck and the comfortable setting of Steve and Judy’s yard and pool.

We have a mini-program planned thanks to the generosity of Dick Ryerson.  Most of you know Dick is a ceramist in addition to his bonsai talents.  He makes and sells beautiful bonsai pots.  Dick has offered to bring his potter’s wheel to the meeting and demonstrate the basics of making a bonsai pot. There may be extra clay available for members to try their hand at working clay on the spinning wheel.

This will be a fun opportunity to see another side of our bonsai world.  Join us for a relaxing evening under the stars and a chance to see something new.

There isn’t a formal refreshment list for this meeting.  If you want to contribute, bring a favorite dish, but come regardless.  Also, it will be helpful if you bring your own folding chair in case we don’t have enough.  See you there.


Meeting Time And Place:
September 12, 2015
7pm at the home of Steve & Judy Anthony
UPDATED: 6pm at the home of Steve & Judy Anthony
We are moving this month’s meeting to 6:00PM due to concerns about daylight availability for this meeting.  Also, please remember to bring a chair is it is convenient.  See you all there.

For Steve & Judy’s address and directions please contact Dave Miles at 909-519-5391.

President’s Corner 

I hope all of your trees are handling the summer heat well.  Typical for our area, I’m sure it will be hot through the month of September.

Watering is a critical aspect to bonsai care, and the issue of how much water is enough is always with us.  The time of year, type of soil, and sun exposure all play a role in establishing good watering practices.  Right now, watering twice-a-day is almost universal; in the morning and late afternoon.

So, when is water necessary?  We know we can’t let the roots dry out, especially in this heat.  A dry soil surface is a good indicator for watering, but checking with a finger tip one inch deep will help verify soil dryness and a need for water.  A water meter is a valuable tool for verifying moisture levels, and they’re available at most nurseries. Fast draining soil helps prevent too  much water retention, and lets us get away with sometimes over watering.  Sun exposure is another factor in our watering decisions.  Full sun, partial sun, and shade all make a difference in when and how much to water.  Watering comes down to knowing the variables affecting our own trees and being consistent.  Pay attention to your trees and they’ll be fine.


August Highlights

Tom Vuong, assisted by Toan Nguyen, styled a nice prostrata juniper at the August meeting.  He started by emphasizing the importance of choosing a front and planting position for the tree before beginning work.  Based on the chosen front and position of the tree, the first branch can be picked.  Then the remaining foliage can be trimmed and cleaned up to help select the other branches needed for the design.  Tom turned unnecessary branches into jin that could be kept or removed later.

Tom is an advocate of grafting, especially with junipers.  A branch can be grafted onto your material to fill any gap in branch placement.

Tom made a few large bends in the prostrata as he progressed.  He used black electrical tape in place of raffia to protect the tree bark from the heavy wire needed for the bends.  He also taped on a straight heavy wire over the wound wire, which allowed him to move the branch easily in any direction without the risk of breaking the branch.

The final product was a beautifully styled prostrata.  Patty Allen was the lucky raffle winner of the demo tree.  Thank you to Tom and Toan for an informative and well done demonstration.

2015-09-Img02Prostrata juniper demo by Tom Vuong with assistance by Toan Nguyen





Lucky Raffle winner and new member Patty Allen




What’s New

  • The SABS redesigned website and email newsletter  is now 1 year old. For those of you who have not yet checked out the website please take a look at:
  • If you are not yet on the newsletter email list  contact Dave now with your current email  address or on the website and start receiving it  before the October meeting.
  • If you have a favorite demonstrator we haven’t seen for awhile or have an idea for a meeting presentation, share it with Peter.  It is always helpful to have new ideas.

Upcoming Events

September 22-27
Kofu Bonsai Kai Annual Exhibit
at the Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA

October 3-4
Conejo Valley Bonsai Society Annual Bonsai Exhibition
at the Gardens of the World Resource Center
2001 Thousand Oaks Blvd, Thousand Oaks, CA
9am-4pm both days, demo 11am Sat. and 2pm Sun

October 29 – November 1
GSBF Annual Convention
Riverside Convention Center
additional information at

Thank you to August Raffle Donors

Jerry Banuelos, Mike Bullington, Y.S. Farn, Joyce Gibbs, Emma Janza, Dave Miles

New Members

Julio Martinez
Toan Nguyen
Tom Voung

Come Join Us

Next Meeting
Date: September 12,  2015
Time: 7pm
Location: at the Home of Steve & Judy Anthony

No Board Meeting in September

2015 Monthly Meeting Dates

Sept  12 — at the home of Steve & Judy Anthony
Demo : Dick Ryerson

Oct  10  —  at the LAC Arboretum
Demo: Frank Yee

2015 Refreshment Schedule

Sept— bring a favorite dish or dessert
Oct  —  M. Bullington, T&A Freeman, P. Macasieb, A. Sugimura
Nov —  M. Atkinson, J. Cervantes, G. Gonzalez, R. Sencer