June 2018 Newsletter

O ur annual bonsai exhibition has been confirmed by Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks for the first weekend of October. That may seem like a long way off, but it’s really not too early to start planning for the show now. This will be the Conejo Valley Bonsai Society’s 15th Annual Exhibition, so let’s make it our best ever.

As soon as you can, look through your collection and start preparing your trees for the show. Avoid doing a hard trim, but trim for keeping the shape of your tree. In past years we have had some late hot weather, so you might look at how you can protect your show trees from the intense heat. (For more on how to prepare trees for a show, review Jim Barrett’s column on page 3 of our May issue.)

Forecasts are that we are in for some hot weather, so keep an eye on your water-ing program. Neither too much nor too little.
I have to watch for spider mites in my junipers. If you find the color of your junipers’ foliage is graying, that is one of the signs of a spider mite infestation. (Again, see Jim Barrett in our May newsletter because he suggests treatments to use. And while you’re reading Jim’s excellent advice, be sure to check out his column about early summer bonsai tasks in this issue, page 3.)

We tried something new for our May meeting. Our members performed peer critiques on each other’s trees. This was an interesting evening as more than a dozen members in attendance reviewed the trees that eight of their peers bravely presented. We all tried to be diplomatic yet at the same time give constructive advice. This is not an easy task. Nor is it always easy for the tree owner to set ego aside and listen to criticism as well as praise. And as we learned at this meeting, each owner gets numerous, often conflicting suggestions—and still has to decide which ones to take. Although you hear comments such as “the tree is your tree and do what you like,” this is sometimes easier said than done!

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