January 2008 Newsletter

Big Plans for a Happy New Year in Bonsai

By Nat Stein

A Happy New Year to all. As we start the New Year, we as a club have a lot to look forward to. We are planning to have some new
demonstrators, and new locations to visit on field trips.

This month is also election of new officers (see next story), and, yes, dues are also due (full story, p. 2).After a short business meeting January 17, remember we will have a workshop, so make sure you bring something to work on. If you need soil please call in advance. Either Ken Fuentes or Marj Branson can take your order, which will be delivered at the meeting.

** Also remember we have tools and wire for sale.
** I hope to see you all at the meeting.

New Officers
Elections Committee Announces Slate

By David E. Whiteside
The elections committee reports that the following slate of nominees for the Conejo Valley Bonsai Society’s 2008 officers all have agreed to serve, if elected. Additional nominations can be made from the floor at the January 2008 business meeting (but those nominated must confirm they are willing to serve either in person or via a delegated spokesperson).

The committee nominees are:

• President: Ken Fuentes
• Vice President: Paul Centeno
• Corresponding Secretary/Treasurer: Marj Branson
• Recording Secretary: Evans Thomas

Election of 2008 officers will take place January 17, 2008, during the business meeting.

Time To Pay 2008 Dues

By Marj Branson

The dues structure this year remains the same as in the past:$20.00 for a single person, $25.00 for couples. Checks should be made payable to Conejo Valley Bonsai Society. Please bring your check to the January meeting, or mail it to me:1169 Triunfo Canyon Road
Westlake Village, CA 91361

Holiday Recap
What a Great Evening!

By Marj Branson

Although the number attending was fewer this year than last — the evening was greatly enjoyed by all. A special thanks to Deb and Guy Ervin for the personal touches they added. Debbie created the holiday appearance and decoration and Guy provided the atmosphere. We had been advised by the Westlake Council on several occasions that the piano was “hands off.” Guy, however, was able to convince them otherwise and then proceeded to provide us with an array of music for the evening. Along with the fire in the fireplace, soft comfy sofas, and the gourmet potluck provided by the members, put it all together and “Voila,” a fun evening!The raffle sale and the auction were a success, — thanks to all attending for participating and digging deep to support the club. And, most especially, thank you fellow members for helping to make the evening happen.

Workshops, Guest Demos, And Field Trips

By Deborah Ervin
M eetings for 2008 will be on the third Thursday of each month. These dates have been confirmed by the City of Westlake, so we are set for the year. As you already know, January is a workshop meeting, so be sure to bring material to work on. February will be another workshop. In March, Ted Matson will be our guest demonstrator. Ted is a very popular teacher and is in high demand on the demonstration and bonsai guest speaker circuit. He is also the current president of the Golden State Bonsai Federation.April will be another workshop, and Dien Liang is slated for May — details in next month’s newsletter.A discussion of future programs will be part of the January business meeting. We are working on other activities, including a tentative trip to visit George Muranaka’s Bonsai Nursery in Nipomo. Members are encouraged to come forward with your own suggestions — so please come prepared with ideas for 2008.

Here’s How To Welcome the New Year

By Jim Barrett
Most hardy evergreen bonsai such as Japanese black pine and junipers may be repotted at this time. Wait until next month to pot for the first time (nursery can to bonsai pot).

Now is the time to clean and groom most bonsai. Black pine needles that are discolored because of age or disease may be removed. Leave more needles on weak and low branch terminals, fewer on middle branches, and fewer yet on upper growth. How many you leave depends on the age and health of the tree. All terminal buds should be fat, healthy, and beginning to grow this month. Slow release fertilizers such as one of the Osmocote formulas, bone meal, blood meal, cottonseed meal, or any of the rapeseed pellets may be applied now. It takes a while for the organic fertilizers to break down and become available to the plant. Wait another month or so before you use liquid chemical fertilizers.

Blooming bonsai such as ume, apple, plum, and wisteria can be moved to show pots at this time, providing they are already in bonsai pots. Prune all deciduous trees, removing heavy over-grown branches and twigs — especially in the upper areas of the tree. Upper story branches tend to grow unnoticed during the year, and now is a good time to trim or remove them. If you are into making cuttings, these older branches that are removed may take root. I use a rooting medium of 80% perlite (sponge rock) and 20% peat moss. Drench the rooting medium with a good fungicide such as benomyl.

Deciduous tree branches are fairly flexible now and can be wired. If you are using copper wire, make sure it has been annealed. Think about paper wrapping heavier wires before applying them to Japanese maple and other tender bark trees. When you are finished cleaning and pruning your trees, spray them with a good dormant oil spray such as Ortho’s volck oil. You may want to combine it with Ortho’s lime sulphur dormant spray. One is for bugs; the other is basically a fungicide. Follow directions on the labels and cover your soil and pot with plastic or a towel. Lime sulphur will stain the pot if not washed off.

Don’t forget to choose your show trees [if you plan to enter them in any shows] this year …. Detail wiring is a tedious and boring chore, but is a must if you want your trees ready to exhibit.

We are coming into prime potting and re-potting time. From now until April, try to get all of your trees that need it repotted. If you need pots ask around — supply seems good for both used and new ones. If you haven’t done so, get your soil mix prepared and stored. I use a trash can with a tight lid.

Coming Events
GSBF Bonsai-A-Thon XII

By David E. Whiteside
Volunteers are needed for Bonsai-A-Thon XII, the Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) annual fundraiser at the Botanical Center of the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens (see ad, below). Nat Stein is helping with the organization of volunteers, so please contact Nat either at the January Conejo Valley Bonsai Society (CVBS) meeting. The Bonsai-A-Thon runs from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM both days, and volunteers are needed in all shifts. The Bonsai-A-Thon is free however there is a fee for visiting the Huntington Library. GSBF raises funds with raffles; for any questions regarding member or club donations, please call Marge Blasingame at (626) 579-2420 or e-mail her at blasmrjr@aol.com.

Other Events

January 19 – 20 / Arcadia, California
Baikoen Bonsai Kenkyukai: 44th Annual Bonsai Exhibition “Winter Silhouettes” at Ayers Hall at the Los Angeles County Arboretum,
301 North Baldwin Avenue. Show hours are 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM both days. Demonstrations at 1:00 PM both days. Plants, pots, and tools for sale. Reception Saturday evening 6:30 PM. Food, Entertainment, Raffle, and Live Auction.

January 26 – 27 / Oakland, California
Bay Area Bonsai Associates: 27th Annual Bonsai Exhibit at Lakeside Garden Center (Lake Merritt), 666 Bellevue Ave. Show hours are Saturday 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM and Sunday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. John Thompson will critique Oak trees, many from his personal
collection, at 7:00 PM Saturday. No admission charge.

February 1 – 3 / Santa Nella, California

California Shohin Society Seminar 2008, Ramada Inn Mission De Oro Conference Center. Seminar registration $90 per person.
Exhibits and Vendors. Follow this link for more information. For Hotel Reservation, call the Ramada Inn (209) 826-4444 and
reference “Shohin.”

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