Newsletter – May 2018

Bonsai Notebook

Bob Pressler will join us in May to demonstrate his bonsai artistry. We can look forward to an informative presentation.  Bob grew up in New York and studied informally with Frank Okamura at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden in the early 1970’s. He moved to California in 1984 where he met John Naka and Ben Oki. Bob has studied with Kenji Miyata, and he owns the Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Los Angeles, where he also teaches classes.

He is the new president of the California Bosai Society and has many ideas in motion to enhance the study of bonsai in our area. One idea involves bringing in top bonsai artists from around the world and having them available for local clubs. We look forward to
hearing more details. Join us in May for Bob’s demonstration.

Meeting Time and Place:
May 12, 2018 at 7pm LAC Arboretum/ Palm Room
6:30pm: Board Meeting prior to general meeting

President’s Corner

May is a big month for our club. We will host our 54th annual show over the Memorial Day weekend. Remember, this is our show and an opportunity to share your bonsai with club members. The more trees we have entered, the better the show. It is a popular attraction at the Arboretum every year and attracts a lot of interest in our club. Believe me when I say the public enjoys seeing the trees and are not as critical of our trees as we are of our own material. They love the art form and are fascinated by what we do. There is an entry form included with the newsletter. Please consider entering a tree.

We also need your help for the show set-up on May 25 and take-down on May 28. We will have a sign-up sheet at the May meeting that will includes blocks of time to help as a docent throughout the weekend. Monitoring the trees is a great chance to witness the public interest and answer questions about bonsai. Come and see the show and enjoy the long tradition we have with the Arboretum during Memorial Day weekend.


SABS Announcements: A Special Thank You

This month the SABS Board would like to thank Ray Blasingame for his many years of volunteering as our club’s Raffle Chairman. The raffle is a primary source of income for SABS and under Ray’s guidance we have been able to have funds available for our many outstanding monthly demonstrators . Ray and his mom, Marge, began studying bonsai by taking a class at Arroyo High School/El Monte Adult Ed with Melba Tucker in 1988. Their participation in Melba’s classes continued for many years. Melba was one of the earliest members of Santa Anita Bonsai Society and encouraged her students to join. Ray and Marge have been active members of SABS ever since joining in 1989. Ray is also a member of several local Bonsai Clubs including SABS, Descanso and the California Bonsai Society (CBS). He has donated many hours to the bonsai community as he shares his time and expertise . Currently Ray is a Bonsai Horticultural Specialist for the Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) Collection South at the Huntington Library. Thank you Ray for your many contributions to SABS.

Members Corner

We have welcomed several new members to SABS as many old members renewed during the 1st quarter 2018. It has been exciting to see how SABS’s membership has grown during the past year. Thanks for your participation and support. Have you checked out our website recently? The newsletter and club updates are always available at

Newsletter Update

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 Lorraine & Dave prior to the 20th of any month at: [email protected]

Thank You to our April Meeting Raffle Donors:

Judy Anthony, Jerry Banuelos, Marge Blasingame, Y.S. Farn, Dave Miles, Jim Pelling, Wendy Tsai & Tom Vuong

April Meeting Highlights

We had a big turnout at the April meeting, no doubt attributable to our demonstrator, club member Tom Vuong. Tom is a very talented bonsai artist, and he brought a large prostrata juniper to work on. He chose the windswept style for the tree and explained his
process as he worked.

Tom said it is important to clean excess foliage from branches to make room for wire. He emphasized that every branch needed to get sunlight. He selected branches for the styling and eliminated the rest to allow for the sun exposure.

Tom explained that the first wire was most important because it establishes the flow of the tree. The remaining wires allow for branches to follow the flow. He said the windswept style necessitates the wiring of all branches in order to maintain the flow of the style.

Tom spent time talking about his wiring process, focusing on the intended direction of the branch. He said to wrap the wire over the top of the branch in the direction you want the branch to move. Going in the opposite direction of a bend will loosen the wire and
diminish the wire’s effectiveness.

Tom’s finished product was a beautifully flowing windswept tree that we all admired. Phil Lockhart was the lucky raffle winner of the tree.

Upcoming Events

May 26, 27, 28
Santa Anita Bonsai Society 54th Annual Memorial Day Show and Sale
L.A. County Arboretum, Ayres Hall, Arcadia, CA
Show hours are 9:00AM-4:30PM
Demos daily 1:00PM, Bonsai items on sale

June 16 – 17
Descanso Bonsai Society – 49th Annual Exhibition & Sale
Descanso Gardens 1418 Descanso Dr. La Canada, CA 91011
Show hours are 9am – 5pm with Banquet on Saturday Night. Free Entry to the show after $9 general paid admission to Descanso Gardens.
There will be demonstrations daily and sales of bonsai trees, pots, and other bonsai-related items by the club. For more information
contact Jonathan Jee at [email protected], or see show website

Come Join Us

Next Meeting

May 12, 2018
Time: 7:00PM
LAC Arboretum, Palm Room
301 N. Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, Ca 91007

Board Meeting 6:30 pm Prior to general meeting

2018 Monthly Meeting Dates

May 12 — Bob Pressler
June 9 — Al Rivera
July 14 — Peter Macasieb

2018 Refreshment Schedule

May — J. Gibbs, E. Janza, D Miles, A. Sigimura
June — J. Anthony, L&G Gonzalez, M. Kelly, D. Ryerson