Newsletter – April 2017

2017-04-Img01Bonsai Notebook

We welcome back Frank Goya this month at the April 8 meeting.  Frank has been involved in bonsai for over 50 years, so having him share his talents with us is a special opportunity for all of us. He has a large collection of masterpiece bonsai trees, but has become known as the “dean” of saikei.  One of his saikeis is on display at the National Arboretum in Washington D.C.


Frank was born  in California, but during World War II he was sent to an internment camp after which he served in the U.S. Army.  He went on from there and worked as a professional gardner.  During this time he was introduced to the art of bonsai which later led him to saikei.

Frank has a different approach to designing saikei than our recent demonstrator, Al Nelson.  A beautiful result can come from different techniques.  Come to the April meeting and watch how Frank’s design comes to life.  A lucky club member will take the new saikei home.

Meeting Time And Place:
April 8 at 7pm
LAC Arboretum/ Palm Room

President’s Corner

Strong growth is occurring on all our trees by now.  In order to encourage ramification on tree branches, it is important to pinch or nip terminal buds on each branch.  This will force side branches to grow and create a more dense foliage mass while also shortening the internodes.  As branches grow, watch the underside for downward growth and the topside for unwanted upward growth.  Keep an eye on excessive growth in the upper portion of the trees that will draw energy away from lower branches. We love seeing our trees thrive during the spring, but the fast growth requires our attention to maintain even growth from top to bottom.  Enjoy the season, but be observant and diligent.

~Dave Miles

Members Corner

If you attended the California Bonsai Society annual show reception at the Huntington in March, you saw a room full of long-time bonsai artists along with their trees.  The best part was they are all local to southern California.  Seeing Jim Barrett, Marybel Balendonck, and Frank Goya, to name a few, I  couldn’t help but marvel at how lucky we are to have so many great artists close by. These are artists known throughout the bonsai world, nationally and internationally. I try to learn from them as often as possible, and I hope you do also.  They are an amazing treasure and resource.

March Meeting Highlights

Black pine was the focus of our demonstrator, Tak Shimazu at the March meeting.  Pines are  probably the biggest challenge for bonsai artists, so Tak came prepared to make pine care less confusing.  He talked about branch and trunk cutting and candle pruning.

2017-04-Img03Tak worked on a shohin size pine with a long sacrificial branch.  He explained the importance of cutting the branch or trunk above the intended apex to avoid die-back of the apex growth.  He wired the branches and did the initial styling of the demo pine.

Tak recommended that shohin tree candles be pruned in July, and said the cut should be about ¼” from the candle base.  He believes it is best to prune all the candles on a tree at the same time to avoid confusion over timing the cuts when you have multiple trees to prune.  Tak prefers controlling the growth of a pine by leaving 4 needle pairs around candles in the top section of the tree and increasing the number of pairs as you work downward; 5 pairs in the middle section and 6 pair in the bottom section.

2017-04-Img02When transplanting the pine, Tak said to carefully remove all the old soil from the roots.  Then cut off cross-over roots to get even spacing between roots all around the tree base.

In addition to the demo pine, Tak brought a Shimpaku juniper he had grown as a future bonsai.  It had good branching and trunk movement.  Both the juniper and the pine were put in the raffle.  New member Phil Lockhart won the juniper and Robert Sencer took home the black pine.  Thanks to Tak for his wonderful presentation.


Thank You to March Meeting Raffle Donors:

Jerry Banuelos, Joyce Gibbs, Dave Miles & Jim Pelling

New Members

Phil Lockhart

Newsletter Update

If you haven’t been receiving the newsletter by email and would like to,  please contact  Dave & Lorraine with your most current  address.

  • 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 Dave & Lorraine prior to the 20th of any month  at :  [email protected]
  • HOPEFULLY THIS ISN’T YOUR LAST NEWSLETTER: 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 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

Upcoming Events

April 22 – May 14
Multi Club Bonsai Exhibit at Fullerton Arboretum,
1900 Associated Rd., Fullerton
west of the 57 Frwy at Yorba Linda Blvd.

April 29-30
San Diego Bonsai Club spring bonsai exhibit
at Casa Del Prado, Rm 101, Balboa Park, San Diego,
10a-5p both days, hours 10a – 5p,
demos 11a – 1p, bonsai supplies for sale

Come Join Us

Next Meeting

Date: April 8, 2017
Time: 7pm
LAC Arboretum, Palm Room
301 N. Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, Ca  91007

Prior to general meeting

2017 Monthly Meeting Dates

Apr 8—  Frank Goya
May 13 — Gary Ishii
June 10 —  no SABS meeting, please attend Descanso Bonsai Society Reception

2017 Refreshment Schedule

April — Frank Yee, Dick Ryerson, Dave Miles
May— Joyce Gibbs, Emma Janza, Mike Kelly, Octavia & Walt Chin