July 2008 Newsletter

President’s Message
Strong Turnout for Pre-Summer Tree Styling Session Creates a Good Buzz
By Ken Fuentes

There was a buzz of enthusiasm in June’s meeting that was fantas-tic. Most members brought in multiple trees and a lot of styling went on. The timing for styling these trees was excellent, and now members have a plan to follow through the summer’s growth. It’s great to see how much the appearance of a tree can be improved in one workshop almost as good as adding a new tree to your collection.

I would like to thank all members who did take the time to bring in their trees, and I’d like each of you to bring in these same trees to the July meeting so we can make sure that the work that you continued after the meeting is in line with the planned design. Please also bring in material that has not been to a meeting so we can get a better idea as to where you are in your bonsai experience. It is a great opportunity to get other opinions and suggestions for improvements.

During the summer, keep an eye on your collection for sun damage. Move trees that are showing stress to better protected areas so they can recover. You may need to remove damaged leaves.

Be sure to check that the soil has not dried out below the surface soil. When it gets hot, it is possible that the surface soil looks okay, but the soil below has dried out and is not absorbing water. If this condition exists, death can come quickly, so be alert if a tree is not looking the way it should.

It also is very important that if you are fertilizing at normal dilution ratios now that it is hot, that you water sufficiently, possibly two times a day.

I look forward to seeing all of you at the July meeting.

Barrett’s Bonsai Tips
Mad Dogs, Englishmen, and Dead Bonsai Go Out in the Noonday Sun
By Jim Barrett

Jim Barrett

This month we can expect a slowing down of both roots and top growth. Deciduous trees, especially Japanese maples, may need protection from direct sun and drying winds. Home Depot sells shade cloth in varying strengths, if you feel ambitious and want to build a shade frame over your more tender trees.

Make sure your watering program is not neglected. It may be that you will have to water more than once a day. Shohin bonsai will need an extra amount of care in terms of water, shade, and maintaining a cool humid atmosphere.

It is becoming more and more common to see shohin collections imbedded in a tray of damp sand. This not only provides humidity and moisture but also keeps the pot cool.

If your trees are placed against a wall or fence, be sure to rotate them every week or so. This evens out the tree’s form by exposing all sides to the elements. Trees left against a fence or wall tend to develop flat areas, stunted branches and even dead branches on the wall side.

Except for emergency potting, one should wait until early fall for this chore.

Crab apples and ume should be left to grow wild until late Septemberth – e same with wisteria. Try stripping the first three to four sets (closest to the trunk), leaving only a few leaves at branch terminals. Try this on crabapple and ume. Do this also on the com-pound leaves on wisteria, but just strip the first few sets of leaflets on each leaf. This procedure should cause the tree to set more buds for next year’s flowers.

Fertilizers high in phosphorous and potash, low in nitrogen, should be used this summer. Do not over fertilize. In fact, if you are using liquid or chemical fertilizers, cut the recommended dose in half. Over fertilizing during this semi-dormant period could cause root rot and other undesirable conditions.

If you are planning to add new plants to your collection or are just starting out, now is a good time to look for potentially good bonsai stock – especially deciduous material.

Who’s Got the Next Menu?

Cold Drinks Cookies / Bars
July Mike Crain David Whiteside
August Voluenteer Needed Nina & Darin Higashi

We have refreshments volunteers for meetings through July, but for our August meeting only the cookies are covered. We need a volunteer to provide cold drinks that month, plus we need members to cover the rest of the year. In addition to those shown below, our president, Ken Fuentes, is providing the coffee for every meeting.

We need more volunteers for later in the year (see schedule), so please see Marj Branson at the next meeting or contact her by phone or e-mail and sign up!

Program Notes
Roy Nagatoshi To Address CVBS July Meeting
By Deborah Ervin

Roy Nagatoshi

We are looking forward to our invited guest, Roy Nagatoshi, at our July meeting. Roy is a nationally recognized bonsai instructor and owns and operates Fuji Bonsai Nursery in Sylmar.

Roy began working with bonsai in 1959 with his father, Shigeru. In 1965, with the encouragement of Mr. Iura, his father’s bonsai master, his parents opened the Fuji Nursery and began conducting bonsai classes. Roy’s mentors include his father and John Naka.

Roy has a Bachelor of Science degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Cal-Poly University in Pomona, California, and a lifetime Cali-fornia community college teaching credential.

Roy has been a guest bonsai artist at numerous bonsai organiza-tions and bonsai conferences throughout the United States and the world since 1976. He is a past president of the California Bonsai Society and also chaired two anniversary conventions.

GSBF Convention
Golden State Bonsai Federation Convention XXXI
By David E. Whiteside – Visit


DoubleTree Hotel and Modesto Centre Plaza

Accommodations at the Doubletree Hotel and the Modesto Centre Plaza are located in the newly revitalized downtown, just walking distance to theaters, restaurants, art galleries, antique shops, live music, and many other attractions.

Hotel Reservations
Doubletree Hotel
1150 Ninth Street
Modesto, CA 95354
Phone (209) 526-6000
Toll Free: (800) 222-8733
GSBF Room Rates
$105/night single or double occupancy
(Executive Floor: $125/night)
All rooms subject to 9.08% local taxes, fees and assessments.
Please tell them you are with the GSBF Convention
Reserve your room early!

The Golden State Bonsai Federation’s annual convention is the highlight of California’s bonsai calendar, bringing together bonsai enthusiasts, professional bonsai teachers/practitioners, and vendors of everything from trees to tweezers under one roof. In addition to the opportunity to make new friends and renew old relationships in the statewide bonsai community, it is a great opportunity to learn from the experts in many venues: workshops, seminars, demonstrations, critiques of trees in the exhibit, and many informal conversations with both professionals and advanced amateurs.

There are other significant gatherings throughout the state—perhaps most importantly the biannual California Bonsai Society convention—but this is the only annual event of this high caliber and breadth of content.

This year, the convention will be in Modesto, at the Doubletree Hotel Centre Plaza, from October 29 through November 2, 2008. Modesto is centrally located to a number of world-famous locations—just two hours from Yosemite National Park or the Mother Lode Gold Country and a little over an hour from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Many Conejo Valley Bonsai Society members are familiar with GSBF’s bonsai collection at the Huntington, but perhaps not as familiar with the GSBF Collection-North. It is only 90 minutes from the convention hotel, so a trip to Convention XXXI could easily be combined with a visit to that fabled collection, as well.

An interesting and welcome feature of this year’s GSBF Convention is substantial content aimed at the less-experienced enthusiast. There are several “Basics Classes” scattered throughout the schedule and Ted Matson’s shohin workshop is designed for beginner and intermediate skill levels.

GSBF Convention Headliners
Visit http://www.gsbfconvention31.com/ for more info:

Boon Manakitivipart

Boon Manakitivipart began bonsai in 1989. In 1993, the GSBF awarded Boon a Teacher Development Scholarship; two years later, he received the Ben Oki International Design Award. In 1995 Boon traveled to Japan to study for a year with Yasuo Mitsuya. Following his apprenticeship, Boon returned to Japan twice a year to continue his study with Kihachiro Kamiya, until his passing in 2004. In 1998 he founded Bay Island Bonsai and his business, Bonsai Boon.

Martin Schmalenberg

Martin Schmalenberg has been involved with bonsai (penjing) and stone appreciation for over 35 years. Recently, he has been stud-ying the ancient world of scholar-gentlemen in China and Japan and their sophisticated taste in objects for contemplation. Marty is an avid collector of native material from the U.S. for use in bonsai and specializes in pines. He has been a featured artist/lecturer at conventions through the U.S. and has won numerous awards for bonsai design.

Takashi Shimazu

Takashi Shimazu was born in Kumamoto, on the southernmost island of Japan. In 1968, Tak immigrated to Orange County, Cali-fornia, where he worked as a gardener. He later moved to Riverside and joined the Inland Empire Bonsai Society. In the 1980s he studied under John Naka and Harry Hirao. Tak loves to share techniques he has learned through classes and demonstrations. Tak is a member of Kofu Kai, Nampu Kai, and the California Bonsai Society.

GSBF Convention Workshops – Visit

8:00 TO 11:00 AM

Ted Matson
– Shohin
Ted’s class is geared for beginner to intermediate. His trees are Morris boxwoods. There will be light pruning and mostly finger pinching for shape. These are young small (shohin) trees.

Marty Schmalenberg – Olive

2:00 TO 5:00 PM

Steve Valentine
– Foemina Juniper

Basic Class
– Boxwood

8:00 TO 11:00 AM

Peter Adams
Pt.1 – Bring your own tree.
Students will bring in their own tree (1 only). All of the trees will be discussed in open session. Each tree will be photographed. A work-ing black & white sketch will be provided for the future design and the first part of the work program will be started.

Tak Shimuza – Shimpaku Juniper

8:00 TO 11:00 AM (CONT’D)

Basic Class – Juniper

2:00 TO 5:00 PM

John Thompson – Oak

Johnny Uchida – Black Pine

Basic Class – Boxwood

8:00 TO 11:00 AM

Peter Adams Pt.2 – Bring your own tree
Students will bring back the same tree and continue working the plan. During the session, Peter will discuss the current progress and outline suggestions for future development. NOTE: About 4 to 6 weeks after the class, Peter will mail a package to the student which includes a full color drawing of the future tree design, “how-to” diagrams, plus species specific care information.

Scott Chadd – Japanese Maple

Basic Class – Juniper

2:00 TO 5:00 PM

Cary Sullivan Vallentine – Suminagashi/Floating Ink

Sam Adina – Shimpaku Juniper

Boon Manakitivipart – Black Pine

Basic Class – Boxwood

8:00 TO 11:00 AM

Bob Shimon – Redwood

Basic Class – Juniper

GSBF Convention Registration

For details on other events, registration fees, workshop prices, meal choices, please visit the GSBF Web site at http://www.gsbf-bonsai.org and click on the link to “Golden State Bonsai Federation Convention 31.” To go directly to Convention registration, follow your choice of the links below;

Click here to read the Convention XXXI issue of GSBF’s Golden Statements magazine.


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