May 2024 Update

Next Meeting: May 11, 2024

LA Arboretum- Palm Room


May’s meeting will be a BYOT (bring your own tree), or whatever you want advice, help, or just need to finish prepping for the show. FYI – this would be a good time to moss your display items, so the moss has a little time to settle in. This is also an opportunity to bring things you are thinking about using, and getting suggestions or opinions before making final decisions on your display(s).

For questions and information please contact Bryan Nicholson at [email protected]

Newsletter April 2024

Santa Anita Bonsai Society

Bonsai Notebook

In preparation for our upcoming show, local bonsai master Lindsey Shiba will be joining us, to discuss and workshop display options.
Plan to bring the tree(s), accent(s), stand(s), and other items you are considering showing at our May show, and play with us to find the best option(s).
This will be an interactive meeting—come prepared!

President’s Message

Greetings Santa Anita Bonsai Society!

As the new president, I wanted to take this opportunity to offer our sincere thank you to both Dave and Lorraine for their years of tireless service and work to keep our club functioning.
While they are not leaving, they are in the process of taking a well-deserved opportunity to enjoy just being members.
Join me in saying thank you!

I want to say thank you to all those club members who stepped forward and volunteered to be part of the leadership of our club, taking on the work of making our meeting and activities succeed.
Join me in welcoming:
Vice President (& Program Chair): Anthony Aguirre
Secretary & Badges: David Melitz
Membership Chair: Sue Cook (w/ Lorraine Miles)
Hospitality Chair: Manuel Dizon
Raffle Chair: Becky Villasenor (w/ Mike Kelly)

We have a few positions that are still needing people. I invite you to think about being part of your club.
It is only when we all step up and help out that our club thrives.
Website Manager
Newsletter Editor

If you have any interested in being more involved in your club, let me know, and we can chat about how you can be more involved.

As your new president of Santa Anita Bonsai Society, I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself to those who do not know me, and remind those that do who I am.
My name is Thomas Bryan William Nicholson – most bonsai people call me Bryan, though at this point in my life, I tend to answer to just about any of them.
I began my official bonsai journey back in 1994 as a wee high school student.
Prior to that, I was a gardener who was trying out all sorts of things (I was a kid, I was learning – and still am).

I have been on boards since I was 18, starting as VP for Shohin (now defunct club) where I planned programing.
I chaired the Bonsai-A-Thon following Ted in 2000, as well as serving on a few other local club boards.

A native Texan, I have spent most of my life living between there and here, so the occasional y’all is to be expected.

I look forward to meeting all our members in the coming months, and please feel free to reach out and say howdy.

In other club business, now is the time to be looking at your trees and start planning what you want to show at our annual show this coming May 24~27, 2024 (over Memorial Day Weekend).
Anthony is planning various programs over the next few months that will help us all be better prepared to show our trees, and have a really great show.

Thank you to everyone that has been involved in keeping our club going, and I look forward to working with you all to continue that legacy.

You are welcome to reach out and contact me either via email or phone/text:
[email protected] or


“Thank You” to our Raffle Donors

  • Ted Matson
  • Becky Villasenor
  • Dave Miles
  • Jim & Helen Barrett
  • YS Farn
  • Jerry Banuelos
  • Anthony Aquirre
  • Mike Kelly

57th Annual Show Information and Sign UP

Now is the time to decide what you want to show at our upcoming exhibit.
You can follow this QR code (see attached newsletter or use link below) to sign-up and let us know what you want to show,
and when you want to volunteer to staff our show.
Paper copies will be available at our
next meeting. (URL:

Last Month’s Meeting Highlights- Feb 2024

Last month SABS hosted Ted Matson as our program leader.
Ted reviewed the trees members brought, and provided both immediate critique in preparation for our upcoming show, as well as offering insights for the longterm health and development of trees.

One key takeaway I learned—when applying moss to your tree, paint it with a slurry of worm castings; this will provide the moss with nutrients in the transition, as well as providing a moisture reservoir without affecting the underlying soil.

Upcoming Events

Friendship Through Bonsai at Shisei-En — April 20, 2024 (Chino)

San Diego Bonsai Club, Spring Show—April 27th & 28th, 2024 (Balboa Park, San Diego)

Chino Bonsai Club, Fourth Annual Show – May 4th & 5th 2024 (San Gabriel)

Dai Ichi Bonsai Kai, Annual Show—May 11th & 12th, 2024 (Gardena)

Santa Anita Bonsai Society, Annual Show—May 25th ~27th, 2024 (Arcadia)

You can find all the Northern California shows on GSBF’s website.

2024 Monthly Meeting Dates

April 13—Display & show preparation

May 11— Club Meeting (Program TBA)

May 24—Show Set Up

May 25-27—SABS Annual Show

June 8— Club Meeting (Program TBA)


Our snack table is only as good as our members—and the delicious snacks we all bring to share!

Water provided

Santa Anita Bonsai Society

Feb 2024 Update

Next SABS Meeting: Feb 10, 2024

Annual Potluck & Bonsai Bingo LA Arboretum – Palm Room

President’s Corner

Our first meeting of the new year will be February 10 at 6pm in the Palm Room at the Arboretum. We are starting early to facilitate our annual potluck dinner followed by an exciting evening of Bonsai Bingo. For the potluck dinner the club will supply the main dish (El Pollo Loco Chicken) and water. We ask that everyone bring their favorite appetizer, salad or dessert to fill out our potluck table.

We have played Bonsai Bingo in the past, and it was entertaining an fun. Everyone in attendance will get a bingo card, and additional cards will be available for purchase. We ask that you bring a bonsai-related item for the table that you would like to win: trees, pots, tools, soil etc. More items mean more fun for all.

This meeting will also serve as our annual membership drive. We can take cash or checks for membership at our still low price of $20 for individuals and $25 for families. Please renew or join for the first time to support the club.

I hope everyone had an opportunity to attend the Baikoen Winter Silhouettes Show in January. I saw many of you at the Saturday reception; always a great event ~Dave

Members Corner

This meeting is when officers and board members are confirmed. We currently have many club officer and chairman positions that need to be filled for our club to keep operating successfully in 2024. Several volunteers have already come forward but more are needed. If you are interested in volunteering please let Dave know at the start of this meeting. Voting will take place after the Potluck. Positions needing to be filled include:

– President – – Program Chair/ Vice President – Treasurer – Secretary

– Membership Chair/ Badges – Website Manager – Newsletter Editor – Raffle Chair – Hospitality Chair – Annual Show Chair

Upcoming SABS Meeting Dates

Feb 10:

Annual Potluck dinner and Bonsai Bingo

Time: 6pm

Location: Arboretum- Palm Room

March 9 :

Time: 7p

Location: Arboretum

Program: TBA

April 13 :

Time: 7p

Location: Arboretum

Program: TBA

Upcoming Events

Feb 24-25 Bonsai-A-Thon Huntington Botanical Garden 1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino 10a-5p vendors & show, Demos both days 10a-2p

Also check out for local and regional events

Newsletter July 2023

Bonsai Notebook

Next SABS Meeting:
July 8, 2023

At the home of David & June Nguy
Shisei-En Bonsai Garden
Chino, CA

It is time for our summer road trips.
We begin with our July 8 meeting being held at the home of David and June Nguy.
They will be hosting our meeting at their home in Chino.
David and June are long-time, gracious supporters of our club, and it is a real pleasure and treat for our members to have the opportunity to view their wonderful bonsai collection.
We will start the meeting at 6:00pm rather than our normal start time, to take advantage of the sunlight hours.
Members are invited to come early to have the time to walk through the Shisei-En Bonsai Garden and also see their beautiful Tea House.
We are asking members to bring appetizers or a dessert for refreshments and water will be supplied.

David will be our demonstrator for the evening, and it will be very instructive. He will talk a lot about the basics of bonsai as he works and encourage questions during the styling process.
This will be an opportunity for us to have one of the best bonsai artists in the world share his talents exclusively for us.

David is well known throughout the bonsai world for his work with California junipers and Japanese black pine. He has studied with Harry Hirao, Ben Oki, and Ernie Kuo.
David has traveled to Japan and studied with Masahiko Kimura.

David has traveled throughout the United States doing demonstrations and participating as a headliner at bonsai conventions. He has been active with the Golden State Bonsai Federation for many years and currently leads the Chino Bonsai Club.

Come join us for an exciting night of bonsai.

President’s Corner

It looks like our regular morning overcast is giving way to a warm summer. If you haven’t done your black pine candle pruning and needle pulling, get to it. If you aren’t sure about this process with your black pine, ask at the next meeting.

We have plenty of members who understand the process and will be glad to explain.
Or there is probably a Utube video on-line that covers it.

In Marty Mann’s book, Bonsai Ideas, he has a chapter on seasonal care of bonsai trees.
For July, he mentions that the hot days and cool nights bring about tip growth and long internodes. My junipers have been pushing hard and need cutting back to keep from becoming bushes! Marty writes that cutting back the tip growth will encourage shorter internodes and help secondary branching.

Most repotting is stopped in summer months, but some trees can still be transplanted.
You can repot ficus material, pomegranates, cotoneaster, wisteria, and pyracantha.
Also, keep up a regular watering schedule, and don’t let tree roots completely dry out.
With the summer heat, keep an eye on shohin trees and any tree in a shallow container, because they are going to dry out faster. You might need more than one watering a day.

Looking ahead to next month, we will be meeting at the home of Peter and Marissa Macasieb to complete the second part of our pyracantha air-layering project.
We want everyone who participated in step one of the air-layering project to go home with a potted, shohin-size tree next month.
Those of you who missed our step 1 meeting are very welcome to come and observe this amazing technique.


Members Corner

Welcome New Members:
Kelly Lui

  • Many thanks to all who have renewed for 2023.
  • Our membership drive for 2023 continues….Annual dues are $20 for Individuals and $25 for family memberships.
    Dues may be paid by cash or check.
    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.
  • For security reasons we are not posting address and directions for the July meeting.
    Most of us have been to David & June’s and know the way.
    If this is your 1st time visiting the Shisei-En Bonsai Gardens, please contact Lorraine at [email protected] or another SABS member for directions & information.

June 2023 Meeting Highlights

Bill Ward was our guest demonstrator for the first time at the June meeting.
He is becoming known for his knack and enthusiasm for searching out nurseries to find affordable material for use as bonsai.

Bill brought along a large display of his trees to showcase the results you can get from material that can be purchased at low cost; something we can all appreciate.

For his demo, Bill worked on a large, bushy foemina juniper he found through his search process. He started by cleaning up the branches; removing branches growing up or down and crotch growth. Then he picked the branches he wanted for his design and wired them.

Some of the leftover branches were used for jin. Bill chose to have a deadwood apex and stripped off the bark and carved a lightening-struck look for the top. He said he often uses a butane torch to burn the deadwood, followed by wire brushing for an aged look.

While working on the tree, Bill talked about fertilizer products he uses.
They included Osmocoat, another called Organic Plus, and a fish and kelp product containing molasses.

Bill finished with a tree that opened up the branches for sunlight and future filling out.
It was a great example of the possibilities available with low cost material.

Susan Dao was the lucky raffle winner of the demo tree.
Jerry Banuelos won the pot for the name-badge drawing.

We had a full raffle table and many happy winners to round out the evening.

Photos by Becky V– many thanks!

More photos available at
Check out the Gallery Section

A Special thank you to our June Raffle Donors

Bob Alderette, Jim and Helen Barrett, Jerry Banuelos
Marge Blasingame, Sue Cook, Y.S. Farn
Dave Miles, Steve Riley, Becky Villasenor

And to all who so generously purchased raffle tickets

Auction donation thank you’s continue:

To Mel Ikeda & Rick Naber– SABS appreciates your support !!!!

2023 Monthly Meeting Dates

July 08
Location: home of David & June Nguy
Shisei-En Bonsai Garden
Demo: David Nguy

Aug 12
Location: in West Covina
Demo: Peter Macasieb
Air Layering part 2

Sept 09
Location: TBA
Demo: Robert Hoogeveen

Meeting Refreshment Schedule

Snacks & Appetizers & Desserts SABS provides water

July 08
Please bring your favorite snack, appetizer or dessert to share

Aug 12
P Macasieb, V Shelton

Upcoming Events

July 1-2
The Vietnamese Bonsai Society hosts their annual Bonsai and Nonbo Exhibition
Vietnamese American Buddhist Assoc.
12292 Magnolia St., Garden Grove (Magnolia/Lampson)
9a-5p daily
Demos at 1p

Oct 20-22
GSBF Bonsai Rendezvous
Hotel Mission De Oro, Santa Nella
209-826-4444 for reservations (rooms going quickly, other motels in town),
go to for info.

Come Join Us

Next Meeting

Date: July 8, 2023

Time: 6 pm

Location: Home of David & June Nguy
Shisei-En Bonsai Garden
Chino, CA

If you need directions contact Lorraine at [email protected]

You are invited to come early and take a walk around the Garden
there is so much to see

SABS Annual Show Update

Well, we are sorry to report that due to continued complications restrictions at the Los Angeles Arboretum, we will have to cancel this year’s Annual Bonsai Show. We had hoped that moving the dates to the weekend of June 25th – 27th would allow time for new meetings and gathering rules to be in place for the show, but at this time it has become clear that this will not be possible. So in the meantime, keep refining and caring for your trees to make sure they are ready for next year. It will be here faster than any of us think.

In other new, the club will be having it’s regular club meeting on July 10th. This meeting will being at 6:00PM. Additional details about the location will be sent out later in the month. Standby and we look forward to seeing you all again in July!! Stay cool and make sure your trees are getting plenty of water. Summer is finally here. See you all soon.

May Meeting Update


Santa Anita Bonsai Society Members,

I have been notified by the Arboretum that their buildings will not be open during the month of May.  We will not have our monthly meeting on May 8, and no show in Ayres Hall over the Memorial Day weekend,  The notification was timely, and I expect the June status of the Arboretum will also be timely.

The Arboretum has reserved the weekend of June 25 for our show.  Of course there are no guarantees that Ayres Hall will be open for use at this time.  The Governor has said the state would be open by June 15, so I am optimistic we will have a show in June.  I appreciate your patience, and I hope you are excited by the potential for a show in 2021.

Please fill out the show entry form along with the volunteer portion that was sent out so we can plan for the show set-up.  You can mail the form or call me with the information, whichever works best for you. Thanks to all who have already responded.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Lorraine & I at [email protected] or via our website at  

Continue to stay safe and well.  It is time for things to move toward normalcy.  I will let everyone know as soon as I am notified regarding our club meeting for June and our show; I am optimistic!