All posts by paulvan9653

Current President of Gold Country Bonsai Club.

Peter Tea January 2015 Write-Up

                                  PeterTeaBonsai.com                                                                                                January 2015                                                                                                    Happy New Year!

I hope all of you have made it through the holiday seasons and looking forward to this new year. I know I am so lets get right too it. The following write up is what I’ve sent the group last January and February. Nothing in the repotting world has changed to much since so it’s time to review and prep ourselves for this repotting season.

Re-potting

For most of us in the Bay Area, we can start repotting in January. The reason why is because of our mild Winters. Though we can get some freezing nights, it isn’t consistent and our trees, even freshly repotted can handle it. Of course, if we do get random periods of hard freezing, we would have to protect the trees. If you’re in an area where it freezes every night, then I would push the repotting into February or March.

Repotting is very important to our trees. We use this technique as a way to control it’s growth. Sometimes we repot the tree to slow them down, and other times, we use repotting to reinvigorate the tree. Just like cutting and wiring, how you repot the tree will affect how the tree grows.

During the workshop, I will discuss and demonstrate the repotting process for Conifers/Evergreens and Deciduous trees. Then you can take that knowledge and apply it to your other trees.

What Can We Repot?

We can repot just about any tree at this time. I recommend starting with the deciduous trees first, then move on to evergreen trees. Hold off repotting tropical trees till the early Summer.

Soil Components

Soil mixtures are important in Bonsai. It’s all about understanding how much water the soil mix holds. A general rule is that if the soil holds more water, it will cause the tree to grow slower whereas if the soil holds less water, the tree will grow faster. This is true for most trees in varying degrees. If you would like to get a good amount of nformation about soils (if not too much information), please read this blog post I wrote on the subject during my time in Japan:

http://peterteabonsai.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/repotting-a-beast/

To keep things simple at this point, here is my soil mix recommendations:

Conifers/Evergreens – 50% Akadama, 25% Lava, 25% Pumice
Deciduous/Tropicals – 75% Akadama, 12.5% Lava, 12.5% Pumice

For conifers, a drainage layer is important so bring a separate bag of medium size pumice or lava. Be sure to sift your soil and remove as much of the dust as you can. This is especially important when working with conifers. You should also sift your soil to size so that you have a consistent small and medium size mix.

Sphagnum Moss:

Sphagnum moss is good to have for repotting. After repotting, the trees will be sensitive to dry conditions so the moss will help in holding more water while the tree recovers. Once we move into Spring and the tree is growing, the moss can be removed. If you don’t have moss, I will bring some to share with everyone. Once familiar with it, you can then purchase your own.

Why Re-pot?

Seems like a easy question right? I hear lots of different answers from people. It sounds like an easy question, but many don’t fully understand the reasons other than, “that’s what we’re suppose to do now… right?”

So lets talk about the reasons for repotting. The big main reason we repot is to manipulate how the tree grows. Simple right? But what does that mean? Here are some reasons as to why I would repot a tree.
1. The tree is in a mix that is too wet
2. The tree is in a mix that is too dry
3. The tree is so root bound that the health of the tree starts to decline
4. To slow the growth of a tree (trees that are too strong)
5. To accelerate the growth of a tree (trees that are weak)
6. To develop the root spread and root system
7. To get the tree into a mix that is manageable by the owner
8. To change the planting angle of the tree.

Soil mixes can be very complex and there are different variables that will cause us to repot or not repot this year. During this month at the study group, we will continue to discuss these variables to help us better understand the importance of soil and how it affects the tree’s growth.

“So why so complex? I’ve repotted before and the trees seem to do fine.”

Many people I have taught will say this to me. That or I can see it in their gaze when I talk about soils. If you’re asking yourself that, here’s the answer. Keeping a tree alive after repotting should be a give in. Especially if we don’t cut many of the roots. Sometimes we can cut almost all of the roots off and the tree will still stay alive and grow.

The key is figuring out if the repotting actually helped make our trees better.

Did we continue the development of roots?
Did we get the tree in the ideal position?
Is the tree firmly tied to the pot?
Is the soil mix we’re using going to cause the tree to grow too fast or too slow?
Is there enough or too much room for the roots to grow?
Is this an appropriate pot for the tree?

These are some of the questions we should be asking ourselves when repotting. Once we start asking, then the answer becomes much more complex.

Tools and Materials Needed for Repotting

Container for the tree
Aluminum wire
Plastic screen
Soil
Soil scoop
Soil sifter
Root rake
Root cutters
Root scissors
Root hook
Bent tip tweezers
Pliers
Soil Tamper
Chopsticks
Container to catch excess soil.

**Be sure to bring a strong bag or container to take your old soil home with you. This way, the host of the workshop doesn’t have to deal with disposing of so much soil.**

Styling Conifers and Broad Leaf Evergreens

Styling conifers and broad leaf evergreens is something else we can do this month if you’re already finished repotting your trees. Be sure that the tree you’re planning on styling wasn’t recently repotted. The tree should be firmly held in the pot and not move.
When learning to style a tree, there are a couple of prerequisites to have.

1. Healthy tree
2. Ability to properly apply aluminum and copper wire onto the tree

Once we understand these two concepts, we can then focus on how to cut, how to bend and style a tree. Not having these two prerequisite will make it difficult to successfully develop a nice looking Bonsai.

Wiring

I understand that wiring isn’t something that everyone likes to do. It can be tricky, confusing and frustrating to learn. It was tough for me to learn how to do it when I first started in Bonsai (almost spontaneously combusted) but with practice and patience, it
came to me and now it’s much easier.

For those in the workshops that are not very good at wiring, I hope we can spend this year working together and getting better at it. You will be amazed at how much better your trees will look when the wiring applied works for you instead of against you.

Remembering these few tips will go a long way:

1. Apply the wire in a 40 degree spiral
2. If using copper, the copper size should be a third the size of the branch being bent
3. If using aluminum, the wire should be as thick as the branch being bent.
4. Always try to tie two branches together with one wire
5. The pain will be over soon

During the workshop, we will talk more in detailed about different wiring techniques.

The Study Group

A friendly reminder for new study group members and seasoned study group members.

The intended purpose of the study group is for us all to learn more about bonsai and take home skills that we can apply to our own trees. I am here to help guild you (not do it for you) in the process of learning bonsai and exploring the possibilities. You have a voice in the process too! I will let you know my thoughts but I’d like to hear your thoughts and plans as well. The only expectations I have of the participants is an open mind and an eagerness to learn. Give me that and I will teach you everything I know!

All in all, at the end of the day, we should all be having FUN doing Bonsai.

                                                     See you all soon!

If you are missing materials you think you may need (soil, wire, tools, etc, please email me and I’ll see what I can do to find it for you and bring it to the workshop. Of course, if you have any questions before the workshop, please email me as well.

December 2014 Gold Country Bonsai Club Newsletter.

The Twisted Wire

The Official Newsletter of the Gold Country Bonsai Club

photo 1

 From the Bench of the President

A special Thank You to Sue and David Holm for hosting the Annual Christmas Party at their home on Thursday December 18th.   It was a warm and festive evening with some very tasty food.  We all had a GREAT time together.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for allowing me to serve as your club president these past two years. Beginning in January Scott Chadd will be taking over as our new president and I look forward to the club growing under his leadership.

I am pleased to announce that we have a new meeting place for our January meeting as well as a new starting time.  On January 22nd we will meet at the:                                                                                                         Cameron Park Community Center                                                                   2502 Country Club Drive                                                                                     Cameron Park, CA. 95682                                                                                     Classroom B, from 7:00 to 9:00pm, on the 4th Thursday of each month.                                                                                                                                   We are responsible for clean up after our meetings so if you can bring a cloth to cover the table you will be working on and a broom and dustpan if you have one.

Trees to work on in December please check out Peter Tea’s “December Write-Up” on the left side of the webpage.

Thank you all again for a GREAT 2 years as your club President!  May you all have a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.           See you at the January meeting.

 

Tips & Techniques

Tips and Techniques by Scott Chadd

We are sorry but Scott was unable to provide an article due to a very busy workload at the nursery this month.

Gold Country Officers and Board Members

Officers

President – Paul Vandlik – paulvan9653@gmail.com                                    Vice President – Linda Gartner – lagartne@micron.com                    Secretary – Bolet Salvador – bolet@lotusbonsai.com                    Treasurer – Sue Holm – theholms2013@gmail.com

Board Members

Don Van Dyke – don.a.van.dyke@sbcglobal.net                                             Paul Holtzen – pbholtzen@sbcglobal.net                                                        Scott Chadd – scottchadd@lotusbonsai.com                                                  Pat Flynn – ptflynn@sbcglobal.net

Heard From The Bonsai Stand by Bolet Salvador

Hear ye, hear ye!!!

December 20, 2014 (Saturday), Trident Maple Forest Workshop at Lotus Bonsai Nursery. 10-20 trees that are 8-15 years old will be placed in a shallow tray. Dynamic with great fall colors. $175           Contact bolet@lotusbonsai.com to register or for more information.

December 21, 2014 (Sunday), Better Bonsai Workshop at Lotus Bonsai Nursery. Participant will bring 2-3 of their Bonsai to the workshop. The focus will be on styling, wiring, pruning, repotting, proper care and culture of each tree and season. Solutions to pest and disease problem will be covered. We will discuss each Bonsai; make decisions about its future and take decisive action to advance the design. Wire and sil are provided as needed. Limited to six (6) students. $65                                                                                                         Contact bolet@lotusbonsai.com to register or for more information

December 26, 2014 – January 2, 2015, California Aiseki Kai: 25th Anniversary Exhibition of Viewing Stones Show at the Botanical Center of the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA. Hours are 10:30am – 4:30pm each day (closed New Years Day). Free parking to the event.                               For more information go to http://www.aisekikai.com or contact hutch@aisekikai.com.

January 6, 2015 (Tuesday),  Better Bonsai Workshop at Lotus Bonsai Nursery. Participant will bring 2-3 of their Bonsai to the workshop. The focus will be on styling, wiring, pruning, repotting, proper care and culture of each tree and season. Solutions to pest and disease problem will be covered. We will discuss each Bonsai; make decisions about its future and take decisive action to advance the design. Wire and sil are provided as needed. Limited to six (6) students. $65                                                                                                         Contact bolet@lotusbonsai.com to register or for more information

January 11, 2015 (Sunday) Ginkgo Forest Planting at Lotus Bonsai Nursery.  10-20 ginkgos will be placed into a shallow tray. These 12 year old trees have 1/4″ to 1″ diameters. $175                                 Contact bolet@lotusbonsai.com to register or for more information.

January 17, 2015 (Saturday) Japanese Maple Root Over Rock (Class 1) At Lotus Bonsai Nursery.  Yo will use 11 – 15 year old trees that have been specially trained for this purpose. They have long roots with lots of trunk development. $125                                                     Contact bolet@lotusbonsai.com to register or for more information.

January 18th, 2015 (Sunday) Root Over Rock Class 2+. Student who have completed previous classes are to bring their trees. This is the next step in the process. $75                                                                           Contact bolet@lotusbonsai.com to register or for more information.

February 7, 2015 (Saturday) Amur Maple Forest at Lotus Bonsai Nursery. These trees are very colorful in the fall. Their shoe of color range from purple, gold, pink, red and everything in-between. These are hardy trees, fast growing and easy to care for. $155               Contact bolet@lotusbonsai.com to register or for more information.

February 14 & 15, 2015 (Saturday and Sunday) Trip to Oroville Growing Grounds. Materials of exceptional quality at reasonable prices. These trees are now 11 – 14 years old.                                 Saturday is Crape Myrtle for $225.                                                           Sunday is Japanese Maple for $165                                                       Contact bolet@lotusbonsai.com to register or for more information.

February 21 – 22, 2015 (Saturday & Sunday) GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt: The annual Mammoth Fund Raiser will be held at 666 Bellevue Ave. (Garden Center Building). Saturday: Auction preview at noon with Auction starting at 1PM. Sunday: Vendor Sales start at 9AM. Also on sunday help us celebrate our 15th Anniversary! Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt will celebrate the many bonsai clubs who have created and supported the Garden by inviting Bonsai Clubs from all over Northern California to showcase their best trees. Bonsai Garden will be open 10 AM to $ PM on Saturday and Noon to 4 PM on Sunday.                                                                                         For more information or to sell trees, email bonsailakemerritt@gmail.com and visit http://www.gsbf-lakemerritt.org.

Note:  Addition events are listed under “Events” on the website header.  Click on it to open it up and take a look.

2014 Meeting Calendar and Agenda

January – Lotus Bonsai will provide trees, pots, soil, wire and instruction for a Deciduous tree for $35/person for Create Your Own Bonsai with Scott Chadd doing the workshop                           February – Lotus Bonsai will provide trees, pots, soil, wire and instruction for a Deciduous tree for $35/person for Create Your Own Bonsai with Scott Chadd doing the workshop                           March – Major repotting; soil will be provided by the club.                 April – Major repotting; soil will be provided by the club.                   May – Preparation for the Bonsai Show                                                         June – Bonsai Show

HELP WANTED
The staff of Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) publication Golden Statements Magazine is in need to fill the following positions:
  • Treasurer
  • Subscriptions Manager
  • Part Time Assistants
For more details on duties and special perks, contact George Haas, Past Editor of Golden Statements Magazine, 707-762-9154 or gwhaas@comcast.net

Peter Tea’s December Write-Up

Peter Tea Bonsai
December 2014

Winter Work

Winter is a great time for us here in Northern California. For the most part, we don’t have to deal too much with snow and extreme cold weather. While everyone in colder climates are moving their trees into Winter storage, we are busy working on many of our trees.

Conifers and Broad Leaf Evergreens

During the Winter, we can spend a good amount of time working on Conifers and Broad Leaf Evergreens. During this time we can cut and wire the tree if needed. The only exception is if you plan on repotting the tree. Normally I recommend not style the tree in the Winter and then repotting it in later Winter or early Spring. This could be too stressful for the tree and cause it to become weak for the rest of the year. Either style the tree and wait till next year or repot the tree and style it a year later.

The Cold

If you do live in an area where it freezes consistently every night, be sure to protect your recently worked trees. Keep them in an area that stays above freezing for several weeks before putting them back in the cold. Don’t worry about the lack of sunlight for the protected trees because they don’t need much of it during the Winter.

Wiring

Normally I use copper wire for conifers and aluminum wire for broad leaf evergreens. If you plan to wire a tree this month or throughout the Winter, be sure to have all the sizes needed for wiring.

Recommended Wire sizes we should all have:

Copper: 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 gauge
Aluminum: 1.0 or 1.2, 1.5, 1.8 or 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5 mm

Deciduous Trees

If your deciduous trees are still in the middle of turning color this month, then we can still work on them. We can fully defoliate the tree and do some light cut back. Other than that, there’s not much to do from this point on till after Spring unless you plan to repot them at the end of Winter.

Trees To Work On

During this month we can work on just about every tree except for tropicals.

November 2014 Tips & Techinques by Scott Chadd

This is one of the busiest times of the year for those of us who grow and care for bonsai. The sun is lowering in the southern sky, the days are very short, the temperature is getting colder and things are generally wet. When this is combined with the wind and the conditions affecting your bonsai the care regime becomes increasingly complex. Here are a couple of hints:
Deciduous Bonsai
Begin by looking closely at each bonsai and removing all of the spent leaves. See if you have scale insects living on your bonsai; they may seem dry and pop off pretty easily but they are overwintering and need to be removed. Check for biting wires if you have placed wire to style in the time frame from August till now. Check to see how fast your pot is draining. If it is slow mark the tree to be repotted this winter or early spring. Because we have so many trees we have begun our repotting already and will continue to do this until early April of next year.
Move your material into full sun, such as it is. Place a small object under one side of the pot so that it is tilted slightly; this will let the rainwater run off more quickly. Prepare all of your repotting materials (soil, wire, screen, work area, place to put old soil, ground pruners and branch pruners) and make sure all your tools are sharp and clean.
Conifer Bonsai:
Black Pines can be cleaned up and styled from now on but should not be repotted until next spring when it begins to warm up. If you have White Pines they can be repotted from late December well into next spring. Junipers can be repotted once the days begin to warm up, usually March/April. Although it is not uncommon for us to experience a nice and warm week or two in December. Look closely at your Junipers if they seem to be getting a grey or washed out looking. This can often be a result of mites. Treat with oil and a systemic pesticide. Pines and Junipers can be lightly pruned (cutting of small branches and shoots) and wired from now on. Do not make large cuts until Spring because major open wounds invite bad things to crawl into your bonsai. Make sure that if you need to make larger cuts (1/4″-3/8″ branch) that they are very clean and sealed up good with cut paste or latex paint.

November 2014 Gold Country Bonsai Club Newsletter.

The Twisted Wire

The Official Newsletter of the Gold Country Bonsai Club

photo 1

 From the Bench of the President

I hope you all had a chance to attend the Golden State Bonsai Federation’s convention held October 30th to November 2nd. The trees on display were amazing! The seminars by the 3 headlines were very educational and the trees participants took home from the various workshops were outstanding. Our Scott Chadd was co-chairman of the convention, Greg McDonald was co-chair for the main tree display and Paul Holtzen was chair of the stone exhibit. They all did a great job, kudos to all three.                                                             Note: In the “Gallery” section I have added pictures (thanks Don VanDyke) of some of the trees displayed at the GSBF convention, please take a look.

Fall has finally come to our area.  Deciduous trees are showing us there beautiful colors.  A great time of the year to enjoy our trees.

Trees we can work on this time of year are black and red pines. If you cut candles in the June/July time frame than we can begin the bud selection process.

This is the last month you can work on deciduous trees. You can begin to remove dead leaves and do some light pruning.

For more information on what can be done this month, see Tips and Techniques by Scott Chadd further down in the newsletter and Peter Tea’s November Write-Up located under “categories” on the club’s webpage.

I am in the process of finding the club a new meeting place.  Our current meeting room at Burke Junction is very small and does not allow enough space to work comfortably on our bonsai.  I will keep you all informed on my progress. I intention is to have a new meeting place for our January meeting.

One last final note, the GCBC Annual Christmas Party will be held on Thursday December 18th at Sue Holm’s house from 6:00 to 9:00pm.  This will be a potluck with the club supplying the meat and attendees bring a dish to pass.                                                                                     RSVP me at; paulvan9653@gmail.com

A Very Happy Thanksgiving to All!

 

 

Tips & Techniques

Tips and Techniques by Scott Chadd

 

This is one of the busiest times of the year for those of us who grow and care for bonsai. The sun is lowering in the southern sky, the days are very short, the temperature is getting colder and things are generally wet. When this is combined with the wind and the conditions affecting your bonsai the care regime becomes increasingly complex. Here are a couple of hints:
Deciduous Bonsai
Begin by looking closely at each bonsai and removing all of the spent leaves. See if you have scale insects living on your bonsai; they may seem dry and pop off pretty easily but they are overwintering and need to be removed. Check for biting wires if you have placed wire to style in the time frame from August till now. Check to see how fast your pot is draining. If it is slow mark the tree to be repotted this winter or early spring. Because we have so many trees we have begun our repotting already and will continue to do this until early April of next year.
Move your material into full sun, such as it is. Place a small object under one side of the pot so that it is tilted slightly; this will let the rainwater run off more quickly. Prepare all of your repotting materials (soil, wire, screen, work area, place to put old soil, ground pruners and branch pruners) and make sure all your tools are sharp and clean.
Conifer Bonsai:
Black Pines can be cleaned up and styled from now on but should not be repotted until next spring when it begins to warm up. If you have White Pines they can be repotted from late December well into next spring. Junipers can be repotted once the days begin to warm up, usually March/April. Although it is not uncommon for us to experience a nice and warm week or two in December. Look closely at your Junipers if they seem to be getting a grey or washed out looking. This can often be a result of mites. Treat with oil and a systemic pesticide. Pines and Junipers can be lightly pruned (cutting of small branches and shoots) and wired from now on. Do not make large cuts until Spring because major open wounds invite bad things to crawl into your bonsai. Make sure that if you need to make larger cuts (1/4″-3/8″ branch) that they are very clean and sealed up good with cut paste or latex paint.

 

Gold Country Officers and Board Members

Officers

President – Paul Vandlik – paulvan9653@gmail.com                                    Vice President – Linda Gartner – lagartne@micron.com                    Secretary – Bolet Salvador – bolet@lotusbonsai.com                    Treasurer – Sue Holm – theholms2013@gmail.com

Board Members

Don Van Dyke – don.a.van.dyke@sbcglobal.net                                             Paul Holtzen – pbholtzen@sbcglobal.net                                                        Scott Chadd – scottchadd@lotusbonsai.com                                                  Pat Flynn – ptflynn@sbcglobal.net

Heard From The Bonsai Stand by Bolet Salvador

Hear ye, hear ye!!!

November 22, 2014 (Saturday),  Black Pine Workshop at Lotus Bonsai Nursery. $65/person.                                                                       Contact bolet@lotusbonsai.com to register or for more information.

November 23, 2014 (Sunday),  San Jose Juniper Workshop at Lotus Bonsai Nursery. $150/person. Includes tree and pot.                 Contact bolet@lotusbonsai.com to register or for more information.

November 27, 2014 (Thursday), NO CLUB MEETING!                     HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!!!

December 6, 2014 (Saturday),  Fresno Bonsai Society 7th Annual Bonsai Yard Sale, 736 West Browning. Everyone is welcome to buy, sell or trade. Sales include pre-Bonsai, finished trees, pots, supplies, stands, books, suiseki and accent plants. Lunch will be available. Contact Ralph Schroeder at ralsch@sbcglobal.net or Peter Schaffert at peterschaffert@gmail.com

December 13, 2014 (Saturday), Create Your Own Bonsai Workshop at Lotus Bonsai Nursery. Bring your own pot and tree or buy from our nursery. Bonsai design will be based on tree and pot selection. Soil and wire are provided. $65 plus cost of material.                   Contact bolet@lotusbonsai.com to register or for more information.

December 14, 2014 (Sunday), Better Bonsai Workshop at Lotus Bonsai Nursery. Participant will bring 2-3 of their Bonsai to the workshop. The focus will be on styling, wiring, pruning, repotting, proper care and culture of each tree and season. Solutions to pest and disease problem will be covered. We will discuss each Bonsai; make decisions about its future and take decisive action to advance the design. Wire and sil are provided as needed. Limited to six (6) students. $65                                                                                                         Contact bolet@lotusbonsai.com to register or for more information.

December 20, 2014 (Saturday), Trident Maple Forest Workshop at Lotus Bonsai Nursery. 10-20 trees that are 8-15 years old will be placed in a shallow tray. Dynamic with great fall colors. $175           Contact bolet@lotusbonsai.com to register or for more information.

December 21, 2014 (Sunday), Better Bonsai Workshop at Lotus Bonsai Nursery. Participant will bring 2-3 of their Bonsai to the workshop. The focus will be on styling, wiring, pruning, repotting, proper care and culture of each tree and season. Solutions to pest and disease problem will be covered. We will discuss each Bonsai; make decisions about its future and take decisive action to advance the design. Wire and sil are provided as needed. Limited to six (6) students. $65                                                                                                         Contact bolet@lotusbonsai.com to register or for more information.

December 26, 2014 – January 2, 2015, California Aiseki Kai: 25th Anniversary Exhibition of Viewing Stones Show at the Botanical Center of the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA. Hours are 10:30am – 4:30pm each day (closed New Years Day). Free parking to the event.                               For more information go to http://www.aisekikai.com or contact hutch@aisekikai.com.

Note:  Addition events are listed under “Events” on the website header.  Click on it to open it up and take a look.

2014 Meeting Calendar and Agenda

November: No Meeting in Celebration of Thanksgiving.             December: Annual Christmas Party at Sue Holm’s House

HELP WANTED
The staff of Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) publication Golden Statements Magazine is in need to fill the following positions:
  • Treasurer
  • Subscriptions Manager
  • Part Time Assistants
For more details on duties and special perks, contact George Haas, Past Editor of Golden Statements Magazine, 707-762-9154 or gwhaas@comcast.net

Peter Tea’s November Write-Up

Peter Tea Bonsai

November 2014

Japanese Black/Red Pines
Now that November is here, many of us can work on our Japanese Black or Red Pines. The reason why we held off till November is because the needles have now just started to harden off. This is especially the case if the tree was, “De-candled,” in the Summer.
For those that didn’t de-candle their Black/Red Pines, you may have noticed that the needles hardened off during September or October.

From November to the end of February, we can cut, wire and remove needles on Japanese Black/Red Pines.

Cutting:

Cutting is the most important and best way to balance any tree. It’s especially important on Japanese Black/Red Pines. By cutting back, eliminating branches or untouching areas can cause a shift in strength from limb to limb.

The key to developing bonsai is to balance the tree from top to bottom. Through observation, we all know that the tree doesn’t grow evenly by itself. The tree is always trying to get bigger and strong areas get stronger whereas weaker areas tend to die off.
This is a natural process in the tree as it’s searching for more sunlight. As the tree gets larger and older, this process slows down and the tree naturally balances itself out. Since we are trying to keep our trees small but still have that old mature feel, we have to take steps in directing how the tree grows.

***Caution***

As we cut the tree, we have to have a good understanding of how the tree grows and how it will respond to losses in branches. Depending on the loss, the tree may become very weak or cause other areas to grow more vigorously. Be aware of what you want
the tree to do at this point in time and cut accordingly.

Not everything needs to be cut off at once. The tree may need to be cut back in stages to prevent an unwanted sudden reaction in the tree.

Wiring:

Normally I use copper wire when styling Japanese Black/Red Pines. Since annealed copper hardens as you bend it, it gives us that extra holding power to move branches to the position we want them to be. Also, as the tree continues to grow the following year, the stiff wire will help hold the branches in place. If the wire is not strong enough or anodized aluminum is used, the following years growth can potentially over power the wire and move.

I know that wiring with copper is not the easiest or most exciting task for many of us. Just remember that it is something we need to do well so that we can create the tree that we want. Keep at it and the wiring will become easier and easier. If we don’t have control of our wiring, the wire will control how the tree looks, not us.

Pulling Needles:

Pulling Needles on Pines is something we hear about all the time. But what does it mean and why do we do it?

First off, we need to figure out if we even need to pull any needles. The concept of pulling needles is based on trees that are in somewhat of a developed stage. If we’re growing the tree or thickening branches, we don’t need to pull any needles. The
needles are producing food for the tree so why remove it and slow the tree down?

Say for example that the tree is further along in development and we’re trying to grow more branches. Remember that each needle pair has one bud. If we pull the needles off, we will loose those needles buds and can only rely on adventitious buds. Why limit
our budding ability?

At some point, when the tree is more defined, pulling needles will be a necessity. At this point, we have many branches on the tree and the tree is growing more evenly. During the month of November, we can go through the tree and remove the previous years needles. In certain cases, we will also go ahead and remove some of the new needles that were produced this year as well. We use this technique to allow more light into the tree and create small shifts in the balance of the tree. Removing needles generally means we’re weakening the area. If you’re tree is at this stage of development, then pulling needles should be done to the tree at this time.

Deciduous Trees

November is the last time that we should work on our deciduous trees. During this month, the leaves will start to turn color and fall. When your tree is about 50 percent turned, you can go through the tree and cut off the remaining leaves. Since the temps are low, the tree will continue to move into dormancy and will not produce any new leaves till the following Spring. After removing the leaves, we can do some light cut back or branch removal to direct how the tree will grow the following Spring. I do not recommend heavy branch removal at this time of year.

It is important that we cut the tree as it’s transitioning into dormancy as opposed to cutting them during dormancy. When the tree is dormant, cuts will cause the tree to bleed out sap which will then cause the tree to weaken. Other than periodic watering,
we don’t do very much with deciduous trees during the Winter. When cutting, if you find that the tree is already bleeding out sap, stop cutting and hold off till early Spring of next year.
Deciduous Trees That Don’t Go Deciduous:

Depending on your area, some of your deciduous trees don’t really go dormant. This does happen because for the most part, our Winters are not very cold. Many of use will see this happening on our Chinese Elms. So what should we do? If you want, you can go through the tree and remove the leaves though this is very time consuming. Normally I leave the leaves in place and by next year when the new leaves come out, the leaves that stayed on during the Winter will start to turn and fall off. At that time, we can go through the tree and carefully clean out the old leaves.

Trees To Work On

During this month we can work on just about every tree except for tropicals.

Grafting

November is a little late for grafting so hold off till February of next year.

Check out the Website: PeterTeaBonsai.Com

If you’re interested in more information about Deciduous trees or Japanese Black Pines, please visit my website and click on the Post Index Tab. There you will find lots of information. See you all at the workshop!

Peter Tea’s October Write-Up

Peter Tea Bonsai!

October 2014!

Fall in Full Effect

Now that we’re into October and the weather is cooling down, we should all see a growth spurt with many of our trees. The temps are just warm enough that the trees go through a short push before they slow down for Winter.

There are many things we can do with our trees at this time of year. Most of the work will be with Conifers such as Junipers and High Mountain Pines, Cedars, Spruce and Cypress. During this month, we can continue to wire, cut and style these trees. For those that have fairly mild Winters, you can repot your Junipers at this time as well.

Other types of trees we can work on this month are Broad Leaf Evergreens. We can wire and style them at this time of year though I would be less aggressive with the cuts so that they can stay strong through the Winter.

Japanese Black Pines

Hold off on working on Japanese Black/Red Pines during the month of October. November or December is a better time. I will discuss more about what we can do with them in next months newsletter.

Deciduous Trees

October is not the best time to work on deciduous trees in general. They too will be addressed in the month of November. The reason why we don’t want to work on Deciduous trees now is because they are still active and will respond to cutting. If new shoots start to grow this month and next, the foliage may not have enough time to harden off before Winter. If it gets too cold, the fragile leave will burn and die off. This will stress the tree significantly.

It’s also on the late side to work on tropicals so hold off any major work till the temperature warms up again in the Spring of 2015.

High Mountain Pines

September is the first month we can start working on High Mountain Pines. September thru February is the time we can wiring, cutting and removable of old needles. Towards February we can repot the tree as well though I don’t recommend wiring and repotting the tree at the same time.

September is also the time to start feeding High Mountain Pines. This is especially important because the food you give it will determine how well the tree grows the following Spring.

Grafting

Fall is a great time to perform side grafting on conifers, such as Junipers and Pines. This is where you cut new growth off the tree and graft it into the interior of the tree. As long as your Winters aren’t too severe, grating is very safe and sometimes preferable to Spring grafting. Just be sure that your tree is healthy before you start to graft. If your Winters are especially cold, then hold off till February. If the night time temps drops below freezing consistently, then your Winter is too harsh for grafting. If you plan too or like to learn how to perform a side graft at the next workshop, be sure to have the following tools and materials for the process. Fall grafting can be done in September and October.

Tools and Materials needed for side grafting:

Japanese Grafting Knife

Garden Type tape (thinner is better than thicker versions)

Cotton Balls

Small plastic baggies

Liquid cut paste

Cups to hold water

Small flat wooden block

Roll of painters tape

Repotting Junipers

Juniper repotting can be done in the Fall as well. We can do it either in September or October. Again, if your Winter is too harsh, then wait till February to repot. If the night time temps drops below freezing consistently, then your Winter is too harsh for repotting. Here are a list of tools and materials you will need for repotting.

Tools and Materials needed for repotting:

Pliers

Root Scissors

Root Cutters

Root rake

Bent nose tweezers

Aluminum wire (1.5 mm to 2.5mm depending on the side of the tree)

Brush

Screen (for drain holes)

Suitable size pot

Soil

Soil scoop

Soil sifter!

Soil Tamper

For those that would like a review of repotting, please refer to the January and February write-ups for 2014.

Trees to Work on This Month

We can work on just about any tree this month except for Japanese Red/Black Pines and deciduous trees.

Sharpening Tools

At some point we all have to sharpen our tools. For the next few months, I will bring my sharpening tools and show study group members how I sharpen my tools. Having sharp tools is important because clean cuts always heals better than rough cuts. When tools are dull, they tend to crush more than cut. The crushing effect will cause the branch to die back more than normal and in some cases, cause the branch to die off completely. Also, using dull tools causes more hand fatigue than using sharp tools.

Since Bonsai is already hard enough, lets try not to make it harder for us and use nice sharp tools.

If you need any tools or supplies for repotting or grafting, please let me know and I’ll see what I can do to help you find them.

 See you all at the workshop

October 2014 Gold Country Bonsai Club Newsletter.

The Twisted Wire

The Official Newsletter of the Gold Country Bonsai Club

photo 1

 From the Bench of the President

We are now, according to the calendar, into the fall season. I think when we still have temperatures into the low 90″s.,  I am more careful on how much water I am giving my trees.  With shorter days but high temperatures I am daily checking the soil to how much water is being used by the trees to stay healthy. Some trees require more water than others so checking the soil moisture is critical at this time of year.

This is the time of the year we should be preparing our trees for next spring.  I have begun fertilizing them with a 0-10-10 fertilizer to help develop strong roots and nutrients to carry them through the winter months into spring. This is also the time of year we can work on our High Mountain Pines.  I have begun fertilizing them, but with a 7-5-7 fertilizer in preparation for next springs growth.  I will begin to cut, wire and remove old needles this month and plan on repotting them next February.

Juniper can be repotted this month if your area does not receive consistent freezing, if it does, wait until spring.

Our September meeting in our new space at Burke Junction will not work for our needs as a bonsai club, so we will be looking for a new space somewhere in the same area.  If anyone knows of a meeting place we can rent, please contact me at: paulvan9653@gmail.com with the location you know about. It was also our last formal meeting for this year, October will be dedicated to preparing for the Golden State Bonsai Federation Convention, held at the Double Tree Hotel in Sacramento. November’s meeting date falls on Thanksgiving and December meeting will be our annual Christmas Party.

The Golden State Bonsai Federation Convention Committee is looking for volunteers  to help out at the convention, if you are interested email me at paulvan9653@gmail.com.

 

Tips & Techniques

Tips and Techniques by Scott Chadd

This is the time of year when we travel to the mountains to gather trees. It is also a good time to think about plans to repot your bonsai, cut them back, place styling wire, feed with 0-10-10. Leaves should be turning into fall color. Some will be brown and crisp while many will be turning red or gold. Move your trees to spaces where they get more sun.

Make sure you mark your calendar to spray with dormant oil in December and then again in January. This will stop most fungus and a lot of the small bugs that will want to attack your bonsai in the Spring. See you at the GSBF Convention in Sacramento!

 

Gold Country Officers and Board Members

Officers

President – Paul Vandlik – paulvan9653@gmail.com                                    Vice President – Linda Gartner – lagartne@micron.com                    Secretary – Bolet Salvador – bolet@lotusbonsai.com                    Treasurer – Sue Holm – theholms2013@gmail.com

Board Members

Don Van Dyke – don.a.van.dyke@sbcglobal.net                                             Paul Holtzen – pbholtzen@sbcglobal.net                                                        Scott Chadd – scottchadd@lotusbonsai.com                                                  Pat Flynn – ptflynn@sbcglobal.net

Heard From The Bonsai Stand by Bolet Salvador

Hear ye, hear ye!!!

October 11 – 12, 2014, Oakland The East Bay Bonsai Society 53rd Annual Fall Show held at the Garden Center at Lake Merritt, 666 Bellevue Ave.  Hours are Saturday 10AM – 5PM and Sunday 11AM – 4PM.  Matt Reel will be conducting a demonstration on Sunday afternoon.  Trees, pots and accessories for sale.  All events free to general public.                                                                                                                         For more information, visit http://www.eastbaybonsai.org.

October 18 -19, 2014Union City Yamato Bonsai Kai 43rd Annual Bonsai Exhibition Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church, 32975 Alvarado-Niles Road. Hours: Noon to 6PM Saturday and 10AM – 5PM Sunday.  Demonstration each day at 2PM by Johnny Uchida, working with advanced Black Pine material to create bonsai.  Don’t miss this special event.  Benefit raffle drawing each day after the demo; raffle includes demo tree.  Large vendor and plant sales area; free admission and parking.  Doctor Bonsai support will be available.                                                                                                                             For more information call Tony Hayworth at 510-289-5731 or bonsaicho@comcast.net or visit our club website: http://www.yamatobonsai.org.

October 30 to November 2, 2014, Sacramento 37th Golden State Bonsai Federation Convention “Bonsai Visions of the West” Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, 2001 Point West Way Sacramento, CA 95815 Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Seminars and workshops all four days. Headliners are Peter Tea, Kathy Shaner and David de Groot. Special tribute to John Naka. Big vendor area.                                   More information at: http://www.gsbfconvention.org

November 9, 2014 (Saturday),  Better Bonsai Workshop at Lotus Bonsai Nursery. $65/person.                                                                       Contact bolet@lotusbonsai.com to register or for more information.

November 22, 2014 (Saturday),  Black Pine Workshop at Lotus Bonsai Nursery. $65/person.                                                                       Contact bolet@lotusbonsai.com to register or for more information.

November 23, 2014 (Sunday),  San Jose Juniper Workshop at Lotus Bonsai Nursery. $150/person. Includes tree and pot.                 Contact bolet@lotusbonsai.com to register or for more information.

November 27, 2014 (Thursday), NO CLUB MEETING!                     HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!!!

December 6, 2014 (Saturday),  Fresno Bonsai Society 7th Annual Bonsai Yard Sale, 736 West Browning. Everyone is welcome to buy, sell or trade. Sales include pre-Bonsai, finished trees, pots, supplies, stands, books, suiseki and accent plants. Lunch will be available. Contact Ralph Schroeder at ralsch@sbcglobal.net or Peter Schaffert at peterschaffert@gmail.com

Note:  Addition events are listed under “Events” on the website header.  Click on it to open it up and take a look.

2014 Meeting Calendar and Agenda

October – No meeting; GSBF Convention set up                                     November –No Meeting in celebration of Thanksgiving                 December – Annual Winter party

GSBF 2014 Convention Information

The Golden State Bonsai Federation’s Annual convention will take place at the Double Tree Hotel in Sacramento, CA from October 30 to November 2, 2014. The public is welcome to view (at no charge) the exquisite bonsai exhibits, and visit the large specialty vendor area, where tools, pots, trees, stands, and supplies will be available for purchase.

Golden State Bonsai Federation and American Bonsai Society sponsored workshops, seminars, and exhibit critiques are fee-based events and require registration. Register at the event, or on-line via our website http://www.gsbfconvention.org/

For no additional charge, those who register for the day may attend the special events seen on this schedule that are marked with an asterisk.  http://www.gsbfconvention.org/schedule.html

Help Wanted Request from the Editor of Golden Statements
HELP WANTED!
The staff of Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) publication Golden Statements Magazineis in need to fill the following positions:
  • Treasurer
  • Advertising Manager
  • Subscriptions Manager
  • Part Time Assistants
For more details on duties and special perks, contact George Haas, Past Editor of Golden Statements Magazine, 707-762-9154 or gwhaas@comcast.net

October 2014 Tip & Techniques by Scott Chadd

This is the time of year when we travel to the mountains to gather trees. It is also a good time to think about plans to repot your bonsai, cut them back, place styling wire, feed with 0-10-10. Leaves should be turning into fall color. Some will be brown and crisp while many will be turning red or gold. Move your trees to spaces where they get more sun.

Make sure you mark your calendar to spray with dormant oil in December and then again in January. This will stop most fungus and a lot of the small bugs that will want to attack your bonsai in the Spring. See you at the GSBF Convention in Sacramento!

Tips for Digging Yamadori Trees by Bolet Salvador

Before You Go Digging

1. Prepare your pots and location before you dig. This way, you are ready when you come home from the dig.

2. Use a plastic or tin tub, wooden box, plastic pot, etc., that is big enough for your tree.

3. Use only pumice; no organic material or soil. Make sure your pumice is clean and free of dust.

4. Find a place where your tree will be in a shaded area protected from sunburn and wind.

5. Make sure you bring Anti-Stress or Cloud Cover and spray bottles, and buckets of water. You will need to spray the trees after digging to prevent loss of moisture until they are potted.

Planting Your Collected Trees

1. Cut back the top foliage to about equal the amount of roots you cut when you dug up the tree.

2. Clip roots cleanly and use cut paste especially on big cuts. Seal the large branch cuts, as well.

3. After putting the tree in your container, make sure you wash the potting material (pumice) thoroughly making sure all the dust is washed off.

4. Tie down the tree to prevent it from moving. You can also use wooden stakes and screens.

5. Pour B-1 water on your newly planted trees. Treat them with SUPERthrive once or twice each week.

6. Water daily. Misting your trees at night also helps.

7. Do not feed until new foliage appears. This can occur between April and July.

Once your tree is growing strongly, you can feed with half strength Miracle-Gro every 2-3 weeks.