Newsletter – February 2019

Bonsai Notebook

Frank Goya will be with us at the February 9 meeting to demonstrate the development of a three-tree saikei. Franks says he is cutting back on doing demos, so this will probably be the last time we will have him showing us his talent with saikei plantings. That makes it a “must see” event. His saikeis are prized by all who are fortunate enough to own one.

Frank has been involved in bonsai for over 50 years. He has a large collection of 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. After the war, he worked as a professional gardener. During this time he was introduced to the art of bonsai, which later led him to saikei.

Come to the February meeting and marvel at how Frank’s design comes to life. A lucky club member will take home the new saikei.

Meeting Time And Place:
Feb 9, 2019 at 7pm
LAC Arboretum/ Palm Room

President’s Corner

At the January meeting, we renewed the service of our existing club Executive Board for another term. They include President Dave Miles, Program Chairman Gabriel Gonzalez, Treasurers Steve and Judy Anthony, Secretary Marge Blasingame, Webmaster Robert Sencer, Newsletter Editor Lorraine Miles, and Raffle Chairman Jim Pelling. Additionally, the following members will serve as Members at Large; Ray Blasingame, Peter Macasieb, Dick Ryerson, and Mike Kelly. Thanks to all of them for their Volunteerism.

I wish to thank Frank Yee for his many years of assistance on our Board, and I know he will continue being active as a club member.

In January we announced, coincidentally, a saikei workshop to be presented by Al Nelson at our May 11 meeting. With Frank Goya’s demo in February you will be teased by the idea of having a saikei and then be able to make your own in May. Al will supply all the necessary materials to make a complete saikei using Kingsville boxwood trees. It will be an opportunity to create your own saikei with the assistance of Al and his helpers.

The workshop will begin at 5:00pm, and non-participating members can come then as observers, or come closer to regular meeting hours and see the progress. We will still have our raffle table and refreshments. The workshop will accommodate up to 10 people and will cost $85.00 each (the cost of materials alone). We already have four participants, Jim Pelling, Mike Kelly, Daniel Deephouse, and Shai Amiel. We need to collect a $40.00 deposit at the Feb. meeting from those wishing to reserve a spot in the workshop. Don’t miss this chance to add a beautiful saikei to your collection.

We took a vote at the Jan. meeting to select our annual show theme. After a few attempts, the members settled on the theme of deciduous trees. The theme is broad enough that, hopefully, most members will have a tree to show this year.


Jan 2019 Meeting Highlights

Louis Camerota was our guest presenter in January. Lou is an expert at raising and training Satsuki azalea bonsai. He has broken down the preparation of azaleas into several stages, and he demonstrated one at the meeting with others to follow over the next few years.

Lou brought a Satsuki azalea, Kogetsu variety, for his demonstration and donated it to the raffle. This stage of preparation involved pulling leaves off the inside of branches while keeping at least three leaves on the branch ends to draw energy. Pulling leaves allows for sunlight and air to circulate into the middle of the tree, and also serves to rid the tree of insects that hide on the leaves. Lou said the best time for leaf removal is November to December, but this January operation was acceptable from a timing standpoint. New shoots will pop where branches have been opened up.

Lou starts feeding his azaleas in October and stops when the weather hears up. He uses a 5-5-5 organic fertilizer and also uses water treated through a reverse osmosis system. He prefers using Kanuma soil. Lou keeps his azaleas in direct sun, but moves them into shade when temperatures hit 85 degrees.

He wires branches for styling and recommended doing branch bending in the winter before sap starts to flow. Lou said it was best to have the soil dry when bending so branches are more flexible. Branch bending, with or without wire, creates small fissures in the bark where new shoots will emerge.

When Lou cuts a branch on azaleas, he uses a plastic squeeze bottle with a small nozzle (ketchup bottle) to squeeze a wound sealant on the cut to protect it. He recommended no cutting after July 15 in order to insure flower growth. Lou said cold temperatures will cause leaves to exhibit coloring that mimics the color of the flowers the plant will produce.

Lou participated in our raffle and was lucky enough to win back his azalea. He really loved the tree.

Members Corner

This is just a gentle reminder that it’s now time to renew your 2019 membership for SABS. Our membership dues are vital to SABS remaining financially viable. The dues for each year are due in January. Past members who have not yet renewed are encouraged to do so at this time. If you joined SABS during Oct-Dec 2018 then your membership is current until Dec 2019. It has been exciting to see how SABS’s membership has grown during the past year. Thanks for your participation and support.

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 2019 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

Thank You to everyone who donated to the awesome raffle table for our Jan Potluck Meeting.

New Member

Shai Amiel

Upcoming Events

February 23-24
7:30am – 5pm, vendors, demonstrations, exhibit, raffle, auction
Huntington Library Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino

March 23-34
California Bonsai Society’s 62nd Bonsai Exhibition
9a-5pm daily
Huntington Library Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino

Come Join Us

Next Meeting
Date: February 9, 2019
Time: 7pm
LAC Arboretum, Palm Room
301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007

2019 Monthly Meeting Dates

Feb 9 – Frank Goya

Mar 9 – Lindsay Shiba

April 13 – TBA

May 11 – Al Nelson Workshop

Refreshment Schedule

Feb 9 – SABS Board Members

2019 Refreshment Sign ups will be available at the Feb meeting for future refreshment volunteers