Newsletter March 2023

Bonsai Notebook

Next SABS Meeting

March 11, 2023
LA Arboretum— Oak Room
(lower level of Peacock Café)

Tak Shimazu

Board Meeting at 6pm

Prior to general meeting
Everyone Welcome
We will be discussing options for our Annual Sale and more

Our March 11 meeting will be at the Arboretum at 7pm, but in the Oak Room instead of Ayres Hall. This is a one-time change to allow for use of the Ayres Hall kitchen by another organization. We have been promised hot coffee and fresh cookies in exchange. The Oak Room is located directly below the Peacock Café (directions later in the newsletter).

Tak Shimazu will be our guest demonstrator. He is a well-known local bonsai master, and will style a Japanese black pine at the meeting. Tak was born in Kumamoto, Japan and emigrated to the U.S. in 1968, residing in Orange County. He ran his own gardening service for 40 years before retiring.

Tak got started in bonsai as a hobby, being tutored by his brother. From there, he studied with John Naka and Harry Hirao. He specializes in Japanese black pine and juniper bonsai. Tak is an expert at grafting Itoigawa Shimpaku on San Jose and prostrata juniper. He has led many workshops at GSBF events and teaches at his home in Riverside.

Join us in March to watch Tak’s artistry.

President’s Corner

The Spring brings with it bonsai repotting time. I hope you had a chance to attend the Bonsai-A-Thon at the Huntington and pick up potting supplies if you didn’t already have them. The question of “what mix do you use?” always comes up at this time of year. Answers will vary, but presently inorganic mixes seem to predominate. I am referring to mixes that include some combination of pumice, perlite, lava rock and acadama. A popular mix is equal parts pumice, lava rock and acadama. Some people substitute perlite for pumice. Some use only one of the ingredients, or a different ratio. I have been told adding a little organic potting soil to this mix seems to work well with deciduous trees.

Whatever you use, the goal is soil that drains quickly so water doesn’t pool and lead to root rot.

Acadama is unique to bonsai and usually only found at bonsai supply companies such as Bonsai Unlimited in Chino or House of Bonsai in Lakewood. Bonsai-specific nurseries will also carry it. Pumice and lava rock can be found at landscape supply companies like Whittier Fertilizer Company, Orange County Farm Supply, and O.F. Wolfinbarger in Chino. For pumice, I like using Dry Stall, a product used for horse stalls and available at most farm animal feed stores. Dry Stall is pumice that has already been sifted and washed, so it is ready to mix. (addresses & info for resources are available in the links menu on our website at )

Now is the time to collect the soil elements of your choice and mix it up for potting. How often to repot is another topic, but your trees should be ok as long as your soil drains well and has not become rootbound.


February Meeting Highlights

We had a wonderful time at the February meeting, making up for our lost January meeting. There was an abundance of food for the potluck dinner, our Board members were officially installed, and we played Bonsai Bingo. The meeting was also the kickoff to our annual membership drive and most of our attendees either rejoined or joined for the first time.
We very much appreciate everyone’s support

Mike Kelly was the energetic m/c of bingo and kept the games going until the bountiful prize table was empty. We learned a lot of bonsai-related words we were unfamiliar with along with words we regularly use. Bingo is still bingo in whatever form you use, and there was lots of laughter and anticipation as each game progressed. We often had multiple winners in games, and every winner got a prize (thanks to all the nice items donated by members). “Rock-Paper- Scissors” made it easy to decide which winner could choose first. I think everyone enjoyed the games. Bonsai Bingo may become one of our annual events if the membership agrees.

Thanks to Becky V for her awesome photography

Members Corner

Welcome New Members

Clark & Emily Taylor
Gabriel Gonzalez
Amanda Tsurutani

And to all who renewed again

  • 2023 current members will be voting to approve the new SABS By-Laws at the March meeting.
    Copies are available upon request from Lorraine at [email protected] prior to March 11, 2023.
  • 2023 Membership to Santa Anita Bonsai Society for the calendar year Jan-Dec 2023 began at the Jan “storm lockout” Meeting. Thanks to those of you who have already joined/ renewed.
    Annual dues are $20 for Individuals and $25 for family memberships. Dues may be paid by cash or check. We are still working on electronic payment but not quite ready to launch. New members who joined in Oct-Dec 2022 will be carried over into 2023. If you are unable to attend a meeting but would like to join SABS please contact Lorraine at [email protected] to receive a mail–in membership form.
  • We would like to extend a special “thank you” to all of you who donated so generously to the raffle table for Bonsai Bingo

Jim & Helen Barrett, Sue Cook, Manuel Dizon, Ron Espiritu, YS Farn,
Gabriel Gonzalez, Mike Kelly, Peter Macasieb, David & Debra Mauzy Melitz,
Dave Miles, Rick Nabor, Bryan Nicholson, Jim Pelling, Steve Riley,
Richard Ryerson, Vic Shelton, Wendy Tsai, Becky Villasenor

and to all who purchased extra bingo cards—what a fun nite we had!!!!

Thanks to all
who donated food to our
Annual Potluck

Upcoming Events

2nd Saturday monthly
Kimura Bonsai sponsors monthly workshops at their new site, Kashi no ki-en in Castaic; contact them for details at 818-343-4090.

April 24
GSBF Golden Zoom Series with Andrew Robson on defoliation

2023 Monthly Meeting Dates

Mar 11
Location: LA Arboretum—Oak Room (lower level of Peacock Cafe)
Demo: Tak Shimazu

April 8
Location LA Arboretum — Ayres Hall
Demo: Peter Macasieb

May 13
Location: LA Arboretum—Ayres Hall

Meeting Refreshment Schedule
SABS Club to provide water

Mar 11
J. Anthony, S. Cook, B Villasenor
plus cookies & coffee compliments of the Peacock Cafe

April 8
J. Anthony, D. Deephouse, P. Macasieb

May 13
J. Anthony, F. Saya, V. Shelton, D&D Mauzy-Melitz

Come Join Us

Next Meeting
Date: March 11, 2023
Time: 7pm

LA Arboretum– Oak Room
lower level of Peacock Cafe
301 N. Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007

The main entrance is at Ayres Hall Gate in the East parking lot during construction

Directions to the Oak Room at the Arboretum

Enter through the Ayres Hall gate and follow the cement walking path west until it intersects the asphalt path.
Turn left and you will arrive at the Peacock Café.
Follow the path to the right of the café which will take you to the lower level and the Oak Room.