PBS Newsletter

Archives

2001

JAN.
FEB.
MAR.
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MAY
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SEPT.
OCT.
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January 2001

January Meeting

No formal meeting will be held for January, however we are scheduling a very important Exhibit Tree Workshop for all persons interested in exhibiting trees in the Philadelphia Flower Show, as well as anyone who want to learn more about preparing your bonsai for exhibit. Bring your trees for critique and hints. We need trees for the exhibit, and this is the time to begin preparations for the March show. Styling and repotting suggestions will be offered. Please use the form at the end of the newsletter. Again, exhibit trees are needed!

Exhibit Tree Workshop

Date: Saturday, January 20

Time 10:00 am

Location: Old Mill Bonsai Studio, Honeybrook, PA

 

Future Meetings

February - 2/16 - Michael Hagadorn

March - 3/4-11 - Flower Show

March - 3/23 - Horst Krekeler

April - 4/27 - Salvatore Liporace

May - TBA - Lecture/Demo

June/July - Picnic & Auction

 

December Meeting

 

The Holiday season got an early start with the annual PBS holiday celebration. Tons of goodies, lots of raffle gifts, and warm fellowship - all before the evening's program, a kusamono demonstration by Martha Meehan. Tools, books, magazines, spray bottles, mudmen, and pots all appeared from under bright beautiful holiday wrappings. Just like Christmas morning, wrapping paper was ripped off to discover what was concealed in the packages. Part of the fun was guessing in which package the "big" item, the complimentary registration for the MidAtlantic Symposium, was hidden. Solita Rosade guessed correctly, and was the winner of the free registration. The US Postal service will be happy to learn that John Weiseman is now a lot stronger after carrying his haul down to the parking lot. Talk about hot tickets!! - John should have headed straight to Atlantic City after the meeting.

Here's an account of Martha's program from Ray Koehler.

Many bonsaists, either unconcerned or unknowingly, shrug aside accent plants as "undergrowth" ... and pay them only passing respect.

However, there are dedicated gardeners to whom the arrangement of tiny accent plants in an artistic setting is the height of horticultural taste.

One of these is Martha Meehan, a grower from Maryland, who visited the PBS in December to tout the attractions of tropical and outdoor accent plants as accessories for bonsai and for creative accent plant displays (kusamono).

"Planting an accent garden," she feels, "is a personal choice experience. Pick material that will look well together and will grow well together ... that will be physically in sync with each other." In other words, even as a good marriage, accent plants must compliment each other ... work well together. In order to do this, you've got to weed out aggressive tendencies which could affect the union.

One reason Meehan is attracted to accent plant settings is their "loose" and "open" organization, which differs from the rigidity of the Japanese bonsai.

"You can have an extremely formal accent garden, or, if you want, the garden can be given a lot of freedom."

Unlike bonsai, she observed, you don't need a "front."

"But," she noted, laughing, "I wind up always having a front to my plantings."

As she placed tiny accent plants in a shallow container, Meehan spoke randomly about some of the techniques which have given her prominence in this rather closed field:

1. A container must compliment the plant material. "I like shallow containers," she said. "The height is established by the plant material." (Alternate the height to visually take the viewer around the pot.)

2. The soil consists of bonsai mix, extra peat moss, extra pine bark. "Most accent plants need a lot of moisture ... and these accent plants are too fine for a rough soil."

3. Watering depends on the plant material. "Many plants like extremely moist conditions, some are bone dry, some are soaking wet. So, thought must be given to what plants are put together."

4. Maintenance. While plants must be maintained, divided, and removed, there is not as much maintenance as with bonsai.

"I try not to use plants that are invasive, Meehan said. "Even so, the material must be divided every four to five years. You need to find plants that are not too aggressive."

When working with tropical plants, she observed, plants must not be permitted to go unattended when the temperature goes below 40 to 45 degrees.

In an aside to the assembled bonsaists, Meehan said, "If you are working on a plant, such as a bonsai, this time of year (December), bring the plant into the house the night before. Then work on it. You can take it outside after working on it." (Ed. note - be careful here- our December weather can be very rough on a bonsai that's just been worked on.)

Moss, she said, can be encouraged. But in accent planting, the material would grow right over the moss.

"You can transplant and prune in winter and the stuff will stay dormant," she added. When warm weather returns, the plant will take off."

By the way, Meehan stops feeding her plants in December and resumes feeding at the end of January or start of February.

"We figure - give it a month's rest. Outdoors material should not be fed at all in winter."

As the visitor poked around the trove of accent material she had brought to the demonstration for planting, she pulled out a sprig of germander (a non-edible, scented plant which, according to the dictionary, is used as a powder in a sachet).

"I'm putting some germander into this display," she said. ''It is classified a herb. I wouldn't eat it. It has a weird smell.

''Actually, I have no idea what one does with germander."

To laughter from the PBS audience came a voice: "Give it to a friend!"

Here's Martha Meehan's soil ratio:

Two parts 80-20 mix (80 percent bark fines and 20 percent peat moss); one part Turface; one part sharp builders sand; one part turkey grit.

-rck-

Winners of the demo raffles were Lynn Porter and Howard Dunetz - congratulations to you both!

Martha and her husband are regular vendors at the Philadelphia Flower Show. Stop by and say hello while you're visiting the vendors after sitting the PBS exhibit.

....Falling Leaves

We at PBS were saddened to learn of the passing of long-time member Ed Watzik in mid-November. Our condolences are extended to his family. Sympathy cards may be sent to Ed's sister at the following address:

Lillian Van Horn

Pine Run - B11

Ferry & Iron Hill Rds.

Doylestown, PA 18901

Flower Show Notes

We're less than two month's time away from the 2001 Philadelphia Flower Show held from March 4 to March 11. This year's theme is "Great Gardeners of the World".

We need two things for a successful exhibit - bonsai to show, and sitters to man the exhibit during show hours.

Our January workshop will give you the opportunity to evaluate, improve, and prepare your tree(s) for the show. Be sure you participate. Use the form at the end of the newsletter to indicate you interest in showing your tree(s).

As usual, Linda Brant is looking for assistance from all of our members to help man the exhibit. Exhibit sitting is easy, fun, and has the added benefit of providing you with free admission(s) to the Show. If you're new to PBS or have never been a "tree sitter" give Linda a call or email to learn the details. Covering the entire 100 hours span of the show is a major task, so please contact Linda (610-948-6380 - FAX 610-948-5605 - email - lbrant@macol.net) to reserve your spot.

The Flower Show remains as our primary exhibit for the public - showgoers return year after year to enjoy our bonsai, in fact the PBS exhibit is one of the main reasons many attend.

MidAtlantic Symposium

The 18th Annual MidAtlantic Spring Festival will be held on April 20-22, 2001. The festival will again be located at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center in East Hanover, New Jersey. Slated to appear during the weekend symposium are:

Salvatore Liporace - Italy

Qingquan Zhao - China

Sze-Ern ("Ernie") Kuo - California

Rodney Clemons - Georgia

Jim Doyle - Pennsylvania

A total of seven lecture demonstrations, four workshops, and five critiques will be presented by these outstanding bonsai artists.

Approximately eighteen vendors will be on hand for all your bonsai needs, and a masterpiece exhibit of twenty to thirty bonsai will be presented. Additionally, a bonsai banquet follewed by an exceptional auction will be held on Saturday evening.

Special room rates have been provided by the hotel.

Pictures from last year's demonstrations and exhibit are on the web site at:

http://midatlanticbonsai.freeservers.com

Remember, your participation in the symposium directly benefits PBS. MidAtlantic's sole purpose is to provide educational opportunities for its member clubs by means of the symposium. Register early; workshops and critiques fill up quickly.

 

President's Notes

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a nice holiday, I am looking forward to seeing you at our next meeting. Our holiday meeting was a lot of fun. The plantings that Martha did were beautiful and added another dimension to our love of bonsai. How about those raffles! John Weisman won six times, his holiday shopping was done at the meeting. Well, that's what you get when you bring in a tree and buy a lot of raffle tickets, it pays off.

Thank you Chase for providing the gifts, and thank you all who brought in goodies to eat.

Our next meeting will be at Howard's on Jan 20th, we will be styling the trees for the flower show. The meeting is at 10am. If you have any questions please call me.

The next scheduled meeting for Ambler will be in February, our guest will be Michael Hagedorn, he is an excellent artist and pot maker.

See you at our next meeting!

Randy

 

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February 2001

February Meeting

With the end of winter (hopefully) nearing, it's time to start thinking about all of those trees that need repotting. How many times have you repotted a tree and discovered when you were finished that the pot you selected wasn't quite right? Our February meeting my help you to do a better job of pot selection.

February's meeting will feature bonsai potter, Michael Hagedorn, proprietor of Crataegus Bonsai Containers. Michael's first exposure to bonsai was from a Sunset book in high school. Carefully following the guidelines of this book, his first 'bonsai' was a mountain laurel potted in a trash can lid---a visually challenged work. As a sophomore in college he began making ceramic containers for his trees, and in 1994 completed a Masters in Fine Arts in Ceramics. Following his studies he started a business making bonsai pots, Crataegus Bonsai Containers. Michael is an enthusiastic student of bonsai, and spends much of his time outside the ceramic studio training trees, teaching bonsai, renting bonsai and scouting collecting areas. Favorites include boxwood and native pines and junipers. He has been pursuing the study of bonsai with a periodic apprenticeship under Boon Manakitivipart. He is identified at bonsai gatherings by his hyena laugh---those who prefer to remain out of earshot can reach him at crataegus@theriver.com Michael lives in the mountains near Tucson, Arizona.

Michael program will explore the construction of various styles of bonsai pots, horticultural needs versus the aesthetic needs of a bonsai pot, as well as tips and techniques for selecting the proper pot for a specific tree. Michael has requested that members bring in mature styled bonsai material in pots or plants that need pots to discuss choosing a pot for your tree.

We will have some of Michael's beautiful pots for our raffle.

Speaker: Michael Hagedorn

Date: February 16

Location: Room 208, Dixon Hall, Ambler Campus, Temple University

Time: 7:30

Future Meetings

March - 3/4-11 - Flower Show

March - 3/23 - Horst Krekeler

April - 4/27 - Salvatore Liporace

May - TBA - Lecture/Demo

June/July - Picnic & Auction

January Meeting

We had a good, but not great turnout for our Exhibit Tree Workshop last month. Each of the trees were discussed with styling and exhibit suggestions offered. Here are a few snapshots of our exhibitors at work.

....Falling Leaves

Bob Braxmeyer, a long time member of PBS, passed away in early January. Bob had exhibited many trees in the Flower Show for PBS and was well known as an avid grower and bonsai artist. We are saddened by his passing - he will be missed. Cards of condolence may be sent to his wife Maggie at:

Mrs. Marguerite Braxmeyer

1 Parkview Ct.

Bath, PA, 18014

MidAtlantic Symposium

The 18th Annual MidAtlantic Spring Festival will be held on April 20-22, 2001. The festival will again be located at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center in East Hanover, New Jersey. Slated to appear during the weekend symposium are:

Salvatore Liporace - Italy

Qingquan Zhao - China

Sze-Ern ("Ernie") Kuo - California

Rodney Clemons - Georgia

Jim Doyle - Pennsylvania

A total of seven lecture demonstrations, four workshops, and five critiques will be presented by these outstanding bonsai artists.

Approximately eighteen vendors will be on hand for all your bonsai needs, and a masterpiece exhibit of twenty to thirty bonsai will be presented. Additionally, a bonsai banquet follewed by an exceptional auction will be held on Saturday evening.

Special room rates have been provided by the hotel.

Pictures from last year's demonstrations and exhibit are on the web site at:

http://midatlanticbonsai.freeservers.com

Remember, your participation in the symposium directly benefits PBS. MidAtlantic's sole purpose is to provide educational opportunities for its member clubs by means of the symposium. Register early; workshops and critiques fill up quickly.

PBS Board Notes

The Board of PBS wishes to announce that PBS was given a very generous donation from a provision of the late Edward Watzik's will. PBS gratefully acknowledges this donation and dedicates this gift to providing the best possible programs for its members.

Additionally, this year's donation the the National Bonsai Foundation will be made in fond memory of Ed Watzik and Bob Braxmeyer.

Flower Show Notes

We're a little more than one month's time away from the 2001 Philadelphia Flower Show held from March 4 to March 11. This year's theme is "Great Gardeners of the World".

We need two things for a successful exhibit - bonsai to show, and sitters to man the exhibit during show hours.

Randy Naftal, Exhibit Chairman, has a need for exhibit trees. Be sure to call Randy if you wish to exhibit.

Linda Brant is still looking for help from all of our members to help man the exhibit. Exhibit sitting is easy, fun, and has the added benefit of providing you with free admission(s) to the Show. If you're new to PBS or have never been a "tree sitter" give Linda a call or email to learn the details. Covering the entire 100 hour span of the show is a major task, so please contact Linda (610-948-6380 - FAX 610-948-5605 - email - lbrant@macol.net) to reserve your spot.

The Flower Show remains as our primary exhibit for the public - showgoers return year after year to enjoy our bonsai, in fact the PBS exhibit is one of the main reasons many attend.

President's Notes

Hello members,

We had some very nice trees at the Flower Show workshop held at Howard McNeal's studio. We are still short 5 trees and I know there are some nice looking specimens out there so don't be bashful. I don't want to publicly say who the people are who have these trees unless I'm forced to, (just kidding).

We are also looking for sitters, so speak to Jim and Linda Brant it you want to volunteer.

Are you enjoying the snow? Everything looks so nice when the trees have a coating on them. We should have a beautiful spring with the ground staying so moist.

I am looking forward to our next meeting. Michael Hagedorn will be demonstrating the art of making fine pots. Don't forget to bring in a mature tree if you have pot questions. They can already be potted the way you like them, it will be for discussion purposes.

Safe travels, see you at the next meeting.

Randy

--Directions to Ambler Campus--

From PA Turnpike-Exit 26 to rt. 309 N.--Use Susquehanna Rd. exit--Turn Left onto Susquehanna Rd., proceed to Butler Pike. -- Turn right onto Butler Pike go 1/2 mi. to Meetinghouse Rd. --Turn right on Meetinghouse Rd. Go 1/2 mi. to Ambler Campus.

From 309 south - Use Butler Pike exit--Proceed left onto Butler Pike, go 1/4 mi. to Meetinghouse Rd.-- Turn right onto Meetinghouse Rd. -Proceed 1/2 mi. to Ambler Campus.

Important Reminder ---park only in the lot on Meetinghouse Road!, or behind Bright Hall(student lot). You may drop off passengers or meeting items in front of Bright Hall, but parking is not allowed on the campus proper.

******We have been using what had been the exit road to get to Dixon Hall for drop off as the old Entrance road is blocked.******

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March 2001

February Meeting

 

With absolutely rotten winter weather keeping us from working on our own trees, we took a bit of a break from tree styling and discussions, and looked at the "foundation" of our bonsai, that of bonsai pots. Our guest speaker for February, Michael Hagedorn, of Crataegus Pottery, spent the majority of the meeting discussing and demonstrating the making of bonsai pots. We, as bonsaists, tend to generalize when it comes to bonsai pots - a pot is round, oval, rectangular, and so on, but we learned from Michael that many, many decisions must be made when making a pot and selecting a pot for our trees. We also learned that pottery is quite a science. The type of clay used, the method of forming the pot, the type of kiln used, the position of the pot within the kiln, and the type of glaze used, are all variables of which the potter must have extensive knowledge and control over, if any predictable result is to occur.

For the last portion of the meeting, Michael reviewed the trees brought in for display. Pot selection was his main focus, although he did spend some time giving styling suggestions. Surface texture, glaze, shape, depth, and width of pots are all factors determining which pot should be used with specific trees. The style of the tree will often determine the style of pot, with strong emphasis placed on "masculine" or "feminine" trees matching up with a pot of the same style. Vertical sides determine a masculine pot, while outwardly curving sides determine a feminine pot style.

For all of us present, Michael presented an interesting and informative program. Many thanks Michael!

March Meeting

 

This month, a most talented and popular bonsai artist returns to us from Heidelberg, Germany ... Horst Krekeler. Mr. Krekeler was the curator of the world famous Bonsai Centrum. He has written several books on bonsai and is a regular contributor to European bonsai publications. He maintains a very busy schedule of classes, workshops, and lecture/demonstration appearances throughout Europe throughout the year. He has appeared at MidAtlantic Symposia, as well as several local clubs. His last appearance with PBS was in March of 1997, so it's certain that he will present us, as always, some new ideas and techniques for bonsai styling. This will be a great meeting to stimulate those styling ideas, and to get the "bonsai juices" flowing. See you there!

Demonstration material will be raffled. Double your chances of winning by bringing a tree for display!

Speaker: Horst Krekeler : Lecture/ Demo

Date: Friday , March 23, 2001

Location: Room 208, Dixon Hall, Ambler Campus, Temple University

Time: 7:30

Winter Storage of Bonsai

by Ray Koehler

 

"There's no secret to growing bonsai. Early on, I tried growing bonsai and had a tremendous graveyard of trees. Eventually, I began to understand a little more about growing plants in pots. The more success in the early stages, the more enthusiasm there is to want to grow plants in pots." --Howard McNeal.

 

It is a privilege as well as exciting for a student of the art to commune with a traditionalist who exemplifies and reveres the centuries-old practices of the pure bonsai.

So it was on a snowy Saturday morning in late January that this fortuitous meeting took place -- and paved the way for a teacher-pupil forum on outdoor bonsai culture with Howard McNeal, life member and a director of the Pennsylvania Bonsai Society.

This informal series in the PBS newsletter will open a curtain on the Howard's insightful views of such topics as repotting, wiring, soils, pruning and trimming, pot selection, and fertilizers. We will begin with winter storage, tapping McNeal's half-century of exploration to find how it's done and why it's done. (Mercifully, the pupil will not have to sit on wooden planking to absorb such teachings.)

The main reason for storage is to put a plant into an atmosphere that is conducive to its health, i.e., so it doesn't dry out from the wind. It is a fact of bonsai life that the more moisture allowed into the pot, into the soil mass, when it freezes and thaws, the more likely to break the pot.

Stirring his beloved Starbucks coffee, McNeal allowed, "I learned the hard way that (unprotected) freezing and thawing will damage your pots. Use that (knowledge) as a precaution to protect not only the plant but your pots."

Plastic, he noted, will take some heaving and thawing without breaking --"but I would try to govern the amount of moisture going into your (clay) pots.

Bonsai need to go into winter storage (whether heeled-in or sheltered indoors), and the time of year WHEN it needs to go into winter storage has to do with the environment ... where you live, McNeal declared, observing that where he lives, close by a creek near the Lancaster County line, there can be an eight-degree difference from his neighbors on higher ground ... cooler in the summer; colder in winter.

So in deciding how and ~here to shelter, you must take into account if the plants are close to a large structure. The way the wind blows around that structure causes a wind tunnel for your plants. This is not good.

"Never, never, never," he stressed, "store your plants on the south side in winter. Warmth does not mean health in bonsai. That, I can't stress enough!"

He went on. "In winter, especially in January, we'll have a week or two when it will get up to 65 or 70 degrees. Where there is a concentrated area of plants sitting on the ground with the sun shining on them -- maybe against the garage where reflected light means heat -- it (the temperature inversion) actually will cause the plants to thaw to where it is not good for the root or vascular system of the tree.

"What happens, within a few hours of thaw, the sun goes down and things freeze solid at night again. And the next day it happens -- thaw and freeze.

"Eventually, you may have a plant that looks OK in its dormancy, but come spring it will never leaf out."

The student wondered about the biological sequence, or consequence, of this thaw and freeze.

McNeal explained. "Within the plant system there are sugars, which are considered alcohol of a type. The sugars keep the plant from freezing. What happens is the roots swell from the freeze and after they have thawed out their fiber system breaks down. And then they will never recover."

"The ideal condition is constant cold or freeze. If a plant can tolerate a freeze, then it should be kept frozen. Don't be happy if there are three or four days of warm weather. That's the worst time."

Furthermore, by covering a group of plants, you create a little greenhouse, which is even warmer. You don't need to keep your plants warm, he reiterated. That's not the idea of winter storage, to keep your plants warm. If there are plants that need warmth, they should be kept in a house conditioned with added artificial heat in a greenhouse-type environment.

The point being: When you leave plants out for winter, they should be kept as cold as possible -- and put on the north side of a structure with as much shade as possible.

What about light, the student wondered?

Contrary to general belief, McNeal said, evergreens do not need light in winter.

"The better-stored plants are those that have no light at all," he remarked. "I've seen plants put in root cellars - wine cellars - and they survived nicely. If you have light, you are adding hazards to the plant."

What is the best time of the year for plants to be moved to shelter? , the student asked.

McNeal said in his Chester County area, he has put plants away as late as Dec. 15. He stores them on the lower floor of an old grist mill with a wooden floor which is four feet above a clay ground. A nearby moat provides moisture.

"The building is ideal for storage," the master bonsaist said. "Hardly any light enters it. Light is bad. Light wakes up the plant. In a greenhouse, you add all sorts of intensity of light to induce growth. You don't want your bonsai to grow in winter.

"So by Dec. 15, I have stored my plants for the winter. That's my deadline." (Because of the early arrival of winter this year, McNeal, helped by a half-dozen friends, moved 300 to 400 plants into cold storage several days after Thanksgiving).

McNeal emphasized the need to be conscious of the season and local weather conditions in the weeks before the move to cold storage. If it is colder than in previous years, the plants should be moved into shelter somewhat earlier. "Not that it is always directly harmful," he said. "But the longer the plants stay out in bitter weather, the more desiccated they will look - and the longer it will take for them to recover in spring."

As a recorder taping the conversation whirred in the background, the teacher commented on a winter spraying procedure used by Japanese bonsaists, one he wholeheartedly endorses.

"I spray all my plants with a mild application of lime sulfur about two weeks before they are put away, he said. I also spray the area (benches, flooring, etc.) in which they are to be housed with lime sulfur. The Japanese, as is their centuries-old custom, spray all their plants with lime sulfur before putting them away for the winter. They are heavy users of lime sulfur, McNeal concluded, using it on evergreens as well as deciduous, but in different strengths according to the plant and its sensitivity. Before the plants enter their winter quarters, I will also use some malathion. The malathion sprayed on surfaces takes care of any harmful conditions that may exist in the building." Mice don't like malathion and the chemical tends to keep them from chewing on the plants.

How, the student asked, are the trees stored when there are hundreds of them to be placed in the indoor refrigerator?

McNeal said he stores what are called "free-setting plants" on four-foot-high tables. The trees are gently placed to provide plenty of head space around them. Care is taken to place the plants in a position that lessens distortion of branching.

As the lesson drew to a close, Howard McNeal delivered a final tip he did not learn from the Japanese: For later access, those plants which are to be repotted can be stored at the front of the line.

 

-- ~ -rak

Future Meetings

April - 4/27 - Salvatore Liporace

May - 5/18- Howard McNeal

June -6/10 - Picnic & Auction

MidAtlantic Symposium

 

The 18th Annual MidAtlantic Spring Festival will be held on April 20-22, 2001. The festival will again be located at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center in East Hanover, New Jersey. Featured artists for the weekend symposium are:

Salvatore Liporace - Italy

Qingquan Zhao - China

Sze-Ern ("Ernie") Kuo - California

Rodney Clemons - Georgia

Jim Doyle - Pennsylvania

A total of seven lecture demonstrations, four workshops, and five critiques will be presented by these outstanding bonsai artists.

Approximately eighteen vendors will be on hand for all your bonsai needs, and a masterpiece exhibit of twenty to thirty bonsai will be presented. Additionally, a bonsai banquet followed by an exceptional auction will be held on Saturday evening. Members attending the convention are requested to bring an item or two to donate to the auction - also check with Jim Brant or Mike Marinelli if you're available to spend a short while (15-20 minutes) sitting for the exhibit.

Flower Show 2001

 

Next month's newsletter will include a photo feature the PBS exhibit in the 2001 Philadelphia Flower Show. This year's exhibit was one of the best ever, in terms of quality of trees, overall theme, and ease of setup. With many members donating time, trees, ideas, and helping hands, it no surprise that this was an exceptional year. Many, many thanks are extended to our fearless leader, Randy Naftal, who served as Flower Show chairman for an exceptional display.

Linda Brant would like to give a special thank you to all of our members who volunteered for sitting at the exhibit. Some very generous members were kind enough to put in an extra shift or change their shifts to accommodate some cancellations due to weather or illness. With the threat of a huge storm, which thankfully never materialized, it was most heartening to know that there were members willing to jump in and lend a hand if things got tough.

....Falling Leaves

We were greatly saddened to learn of the passing of Dorothy Young in early March. A charter member and founder of PBS, Dorothy and her husband Luther operated a wholesale nursery, Keith Valley Nursery, which was also one of the first bonsai nurseries on the east coast, for many years. Dorothy was also one of the founders of The American Bonsai Society, and served as the first editor for the ABS Journal. She was also the first editor of the PBS newsletter. A true pioneering spirit in American bonsai, she authored an excellent text on bonsai; Bonsai, The Art and Technique. Dorothy and her husband, along with the Rosades conducted a bonsai tour of Japan in 1970. While in Japan, she was able to study another of her interests, that of Japanese brush painting. She is survived by her husband, four children, and three grandchildren. The family has suggested contributions to the American Friends Service Committee, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102.

Cards of condolence may be sent to:

R. Luther Young c/o Robert Young

PO Box 480

Lederach, PA, 19450

President's Notes

 

Hello members,

Well, the weather reporters are really earning their pay this year. Two storms with 24 inch forecasts and only a total of 4 inches from both. They were off by 44 inches. So much for the computer models. The threats unfortunately have hurt the attendance at the flower show the first part of the week. The crowds were thin and the vendors lost a great deal of money, all because of a chance of snow. I guess the only one that actually received any amount of snow would be the mountain man, Jim Gillespie. It snows until June at his house.

I would like to thank the members who put trees in the show this year as well as the members that helped set up. Trees were supplied by (in order of display) by Randy Naftal, Howard McNeal (2 trees), Mark Maher, Solita Rosade, John Weisman, Dominick Haigh, Chase Rosade, Mike Marinelli (2 trees), George Gracey, Jim Riley, Frank Rechner, and Roger Lehman. The trees looked great.

Setup help: Ed Coburn, Howard McNeal, Jim Brant, Dominick Haigh, Mark Maher, Frank Rechner, and Mary Ann Naftal ( who supplied the Chinese dinner), if I left anyone out, please accept my apologies. Thank you Jim and Linda Brant for scheduling the sitters (not an easy task) and a big thank you to the members who took time out of their busy schedules to sit and watch the trees at the show. If I listed you all we would have to add three pages to the newsletter. I will have a copy of the list at the next meeting for members to see. Your attendance was greatly appreciated.

I received a letter from Ed Lindemann, Flower Show Designer and Director. He said the display always looks wonderful, but this year was exceptionally beautiful. We should all be proud, thank you.

Last meeting was different than other meetings, Michael Hagedorn taught us about making pots. It was a real treat to get specifics on clays and firing, different kilns. There is a lot to learn if anyone is considering making their own pots.

I am looking forward to the next meeting on March 23rd when we will be back to tree styling, a demo by Horst Krekeler.

See you all there,

Randy

--Directions to Ambler Campus--

From PA Turnpike-Exit 26 to rt. 309 N.--Use Susquehanna Rd. exit--Turn Left onto Susquehanna Rd., proceed to Butler Pike. -- Turn right onto Butler Pike go 1/2 mi. to Meetinghouse Rd. --Turn right on Meetinghouse Rd. Go 1/2 mi. to Ambler Campus.

From 309 south - Use Butler Pike exit--Proceed left onto Butler Pike, go 1/4 mi. to Meetinghouse Rd.-- Turn right onto Meetinghouse Rd. -Proceed 1/2 mi. to Ambler Campus.

Important Reminder ---park only in the lot on Meetinghouse Road!, or behind Bright Hall(student lot). You may drop off passengers or meeting items in front of Bright Hall, but parking is not allowed on the campus proper.

******We have been using what had been the exit road to get to Dixon Hall for drop off as the old Entrance road is blocked.******

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April 2001

April Meeting

 

This April's meeting, which will be a joint meeting with the Bonsai Society of the Lehigh Valley, brings to us a most talented bonsai artist from Italy. Mr. Salvatore Liporace, who resides in Milano, Italy, founded the "Studio Botanico"; the first European teaching facility entirely dedicated to Bonsai, in Milano in 1986. Following the teachings of Master Masahiko Kimura, the Studio Botanico has become a Bonsai center of excellence in Europe. Mr. Liporace has taught on radio and television, and performed lecture/demonstrations worldwide. He has also contributed numerous articles to European and American magazines. Mr. Liporace is portrayed in the recently published book, Bonsai Art Europe 1, as one of the top Bonsai artists in Europe. He has contributed to and was featured in the May/June 2000 issue of the BCI Bonsai Magazine.

Mr. Liporace's bonsai designs are truly spectacular, exhibiting an excellent eye for design as well as a thorough understanding of the horticultural demands of bonsai.

This will be a wonderful opportunity to observe and learn with Mr. Liporace in an intimate setting with a very old Rocky Mountain Juniper as the demonstration material. The resulting bonsai should be quite stunning.

As usual, the demo material will be raffled. Please note that due to space limitations, we are suspending the 'bring an exhibit tree, double your tickets' policy for this meeting so please, no display trees this month.

We will be starting our meeting this month at 7:00 in order to give Mr. Liporace sufficient time for his demonstration. Please make note of the change in location. Directions are located on the last page.

Speaker: Salvatore Liporace : Lecture/Demo

Date: Friday , April 27, 2001

Location: Meyers Family Restaurant, Route 309, Quakertown, PA

Time: 7:00

March Meeting

Our March meeting hosted Horst Krekeler, visiting bonsai artist from Germany. Horst is a most welcome return visitor to PBS and we looked forward to see what styling ideas he brought with him this year. With the help of "Charlie" his wooden posing doll, Horst was able to show in a concrete manner how branch and trunk positions convey "feelings" of the bonsai. Horst's demonstration material for the evening was a yew (taxus), which he likes for bonsai due to its strong tendency to break back on old wood. His finished tree was quite elegant with the potential to become a real exhibition piece in the future. Raffle winner Lew Farrell sure was smiling at the end of the meeting!

Here are some thoughts by Ray Koehler on Horst's presentation.

Horst Krekeler, who grew up in the family nursery business in Heidelberg, Germany, had been styling trees for awhile when a book on bonsai came into his hands. He opened the pages and looked at the trees and (if we dare paraphrase) exclaimed "Gott in himmel! That's what I've been doing for 10 years."

Herr Krekeler, guest lecturer at the March meeting, is unique on the bonsai demo circuit ... and not just because he whistles (under his breath) while he works. He doesn't believe you've got to learn to speak Japanese to carve out success in bonsai. He has never been to the Orient. A root is a root; not a nebari.

Indeed, Heidelberg man gives the impression that he feels the ancient bonsai adherence to identifying Branch i - Branch 2 - Branch 3 and up (tapping his head) to the apex is rather stiff and -uh- cold.

Krekeler prefers to endow his trees with balance, harmony, movement, and life.

"What," he asks rhetorically, "is the difference between a tree and a bush?" The answer -- the trunk -- is what Horst Krekeler is all about. The trunk is the important thing. The rest - the branches, twigging, wiring, etc. - are trappings.

It is in the trunk of the bonsai, he says, that one can see the humanity of the tree ... the grace ... the inner voice.

To dramatize his stress on balance, harmony, and flow, Krekeler uses a wooden chum named Charlie, a manikin, to demonstrate his belief that the human body and its countless shapes and a tree are mirror images. So when Charlie stands on his toes and stretches his arms in a joie de vivre pose, that's the way Krekeler sees his trees -- flowing and graceful and filled with the joy of living. If he must go against the traditional grain of bonsai to "humanize" his trees -so be it.

"They tell you (in bonsai) you can not cross the trunk with the branches," the speaker says with a condescending grin. "Of course you can." So to energize his harmonic creation, he will cross branches -- and the tree will look terrific.

Why shouldn't it? Horst Krekeler, like Old Blue Eyes, has risen to bonsai stardom by doing it his way.

"A tree, like a human being, should be in balance," he says. "When I style a tree, I don't do it from the head. I do it from the heart."

He also does it with a droll sense of humor (i.e. "It is very easy to style a bonsai. When there is a problem - cut away.)

Once, during a demonstration program, Krekeler tells how he had just completed the styling and wiring of a bonsai. As the crowd disbursed, he heard two little old ladies critique the session. Said one, "That was a nice tree - before."

When styling, Krekeler advises, try to come to a "top." "I must find the top of the tree," he says. "Also, when styling, try to come closer to the trunk by cutting around it."

And if, perchance, you're stuck and have no idea what next to do with the branches, wire them and shape the tree. Then, step back, look around. He guarantees the styling will become sharper before your eyes.

After nearly two hours, Horst Krekeler stands back. "That is as much as I can do with this tree," he says.

Beside him, its wired, branch-arms spread dramatically, the tree is frozen in balletic relief -- a joyous pose not unlike one old Charlie demonstrated at the outset.

--rck

Thanks, Ray (Ed.)

Future Meetings

May - 5/18- Howard McNeal

June -6/10 - Picnic & Auction

....Falling Leaves

Fred Ballard one of our founding members, passed away in Mid-March. Fred and his wife Ernesta were instrumental in the early success and growth of the Society. A very successful attorney, Fred also made time for his bonsai, as well as serving as PBS president during PBS's early years, and in later life serving as president of the National Bonsai Foundation. In addition to his wife, Mr. Ballard is survived by a son, Frederick L.; daughters Ernesta, Alice W., and Sophie; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Memorial contributions may be made to the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, or the National Bonsai Foundation Inc., care of Chris Yeatanis, treasurer, 4228 Berritt St., Fairfax, VA. 22030.

Cards of condolence may be sent to:

Mrs. Ernesta Ballard

600 E. Cathedral Rd. L106

Philadelphia, PA 19128

President's Notes

 

Hello members,

As I write this letter I am looking out the window and cannot believe it is sunny. It started to resemble Seattle with all the gray skies and damp weather. The tree buds are swelling and the Forsythias are starting to bloom. Welcome Spring!

For those of you who were at our last meeting, you got a chance to see Horst in action. He is not afraid to cut, and cut and cut. I thought the Yew was going to be shohin by the time he finished. It probably would have been, but we ran out of time (just in time). Seeing all the cutting does help with removing some of the fear of pruning. Less is more, especially in Bonsai.

We share our next meeting with the Lehigh group at Myers Restaurant in Quakertown. It is nice to have a joint meeting every so often and meet members from other clubs. We will welcome Salvatore Liporace to our next meeting, and the raffle material is absolutely superb. You will not want to miss this one!

So enjoy the weather and remember, when taking your trees out of their winter storage, we still will have a few days of frost so protect the tender new growth and move them to safety. See you on the 27th!

Randy

 

 

 

 

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May 2001

May Meeting

Now that the growing season is upon us, and we've really gotten the bonsai "itch", who better to welcome for a bonsai lecture/demo than Howard McNeal? Howard has been involved in bonsai since the early 'fifties. He taught himself the art from books and from exposure to bonsai while stationed in Japan. Howard is well known to all of us for both his dedication to bonsai and his active participation in bonsai organizations as well as his considerable bonsai skills. He is the proprietor of The Old Mill Bonsai Studio, where he offers courses in bonsai as well as a full line of bonsai and bonsai supplies. Howard has helped many of us learn the fine points of bonsai and bonsai display through his example. He was chairman of the Flower Show display for many years, and still offers a guiding hand for what is continually one of the most popular exhibits at the Flower Show.

Howard plans to focus his discussion and demonstration on one of the most common, yet least understood, bonsai procedures, that of developing a bonsai from nursery material. Howard feels that many of the trees or shrubs available in local nurseries can be developed into specimen bonsai , given the proper initial styling, pruning, training, and of course time. He will demonstrate that important initial pruning and wiring, as well as future considerations for potting and aftercare. His demonstration material for the evening will be spruce. Howard also plans to create a bit of driftwood on the tree.

Please join us for what is sure to be a great learning experience and a most enjoyable evening.

As usual, the demo material will be raffled off, and you can double your chances of winning by bringing in a tree for exhibit and discussion.

 

Speaker: Howard McNeal lecture/demo

Date: Friday, May 18

Time: 7:30

Location: Room 208, Dixon Hall, Ambler Campus, Temple University

April Meeting

 

Our April meeting featured a bonsai design demonstration by a bonsai master from Milan, Italy, Salvatore Liporace.

The material for the evening was a 400-500 year old Rocky Mountain Juniper, material which was new to Salvatore, but was similar to junipers native to his region that he works with regularly. The juniper certainly looked its age, with a convoluted trunk and numerous naturally occurring jin and shari.

(Normally, I write articles in the third person, but since I was very much involved in the work on this tree, I'd like to describe Salvatore's procedures and thoughts from my own perspective from this point on. - Ed.)

The tree was purchased from Golden Arrow Bonsai in Deadwood, South Dakota. Andy Smith, Golden Arrow's proprietor, brought the tree to MidAtlantic for Salvatore to inspect. Salvatore was delighted with the material, and said it had great potential.

I brought the tree home and misted the foliage four or five times a day for the five days I had it, since it had taken such a long trip. Early on Friday afternoon, Salvatore wanted to begin to prepare the tree for the demonstration that evening. He stressed several times that he feels that the steps we were about to take are critical for a presentation, and that all of his students must learn these steps first, before moving on to pruning, styling , and wiring.

First, all of the heavy, flaky, bark was removed from the trunk and branches. Some of the bark on the trunk was over a quarter inch thick. When we were done what remained was a smooth trunk, which already appeared more refined.

Next, all of the trunk and branches received a thorough scrubbing with wire brushes (brass bristles). The result was an even smoother trunk, with the underlying reddish tone much more pronounced in the lifeline. We then hooked up the air compressor and blew away ass much debris and dirt as was possible.

Washing was the next step, so water from a hose was sprayed over the entire tree while scrubbing again with the wire brushes. When we finished, the tree was beginning to really look like something special.

Following the high pressure wash, all of the trunk and branches were sanded with medium sandpaper to remove the "fuzz" left over from scraping and brushing.

At this point, I was convinced that Salvatore was satisfied with our work, but he pointed out that we had a few more things to do, the first of which was to treat all of the deadwood with lime sulphur, so getting out the paint brushes, all of the jin and shari received several coats of the funky smelling stuff. The appearance of the deadwood was really heightened by this step.

One more step was left, that of enhancing the living portion of the tree with oil. Since all we had on hand was olive oil, Salvatore used what was available. The living bark took on tremendous character once this step was finished.

After about two and one half hours work, Salvatore declared the tree ready for the evening. One curious thing was that when I asked him at the beginning of the afternoon what he planned to do with the tree as far as styling went, he replied that we had to do all the preliminary work first, then he would look at the tree and decide the front and the style. I was greatly impressed by his thoroughness and attention to detail during the entire time, and couldn't wait to see how the tree turned out that evening.

While we were transporting Salvatore and Alessandra, his translator, to the meeting, Salvatore asked if I would assist him that evening. I was honored, but also very nervous.

Once the meeting started and the tree was discussed, Salvatore began to style the tree and get the heavier wire applied , with his assistant (me) finishing some jin, and doing the detail wiring. A little later in the evening, Dave Tettemer, president of BSLV, took pity on me and helped with the wiring (thanks, Dave!). As Salvatore worked through the tree, clipping and wiring, he explained that he works one branch at a time, placing that branch according to his plan for the tree - he does not wire everything, then go back and place branches.. He really moved some heavy branches, surprisingly with no cracks or breaks - something that requires a very skillful touch.

The evening flew by, at least from my viewpoint, and all through the demonstration, I noticed that Salvatore's concentration was intense. This was a large tree, and time was short.

The final product was really impressive, although Salvatore stated that the tree had to develop a bit more foliage and refinement. He thought that two years would bring about a definite improvement. Many of us thought the tree was wonderful as it stood.

The things that really impressed me about Salvatore were his attention to even the smallest detail, his insistence upon proper preparation of the tree, his ability to move some rather large branches into the desired position without breaking or cracking them, and his tremendous artistry with bonsai. Consider if you will, that nearly as much time went into the preparation of the tree for the demo as the styling and wiring and positioning in the demo. An up-close experience like this is really humbling and exciting, and I'd suggest it for anyone.

The raffle ticket buying was similar to a shark feeding frenzy, as so many of us really, really wanted to win that tree. There could only be one winner however, and Alan Groff walked off with the prize. Congrats, Alan!

Thanks to Jim Gillespie for arranging the meeting site, and to the members of the Bonsai Society of Lehigh Valley, for joining with us to share a special evening. Of course, special thanks to Salvatore Liporace and Alessandra Capaletti for visiting with us and sharing Salvatore's bonsai talents with us.

Bonsai Tips

With Spring here again, it's time to start fertilizing our trees. For the last several years I have been using home made fertilizer pellets from a recipe Chase Rosade got from Mikio Oshima. They are easy to make, inexpensive and work quite well. Since I can look at each tree and see the pellets on the soil, I find that I don't forget to fertilize my trees. You can get the ingredients at most nurseries.

 

Oshima's Organic Fertilizer Pellets

 

Dry Ingredients

10 parts Cottonseed meal (6-1-1)

3 parts Bone meal (4-12-0)

1 part Dolomitic lime (like you put on the lawn)

0.5 parts Muriate of Potash (0-0-25)

~0.2 parts Sevin dust (keeps the bugs out)

 

Liquid Ingredients

Superthrive- small bottle (optional, I don't put this in)

Peters 20-20-20 (dissolve according to directions)

 

If you make 1 part = 1 cup, you can mix the ingredients in a standard 5 gallon pail/bucket. That should make enough for a year for those with medium size collections of trees. The pellets should be good for a couple of years, so don't worry about making too many.

Mix the dry ingredients together and use the solution of liquid 20-20-20 to make the dry ingredients into a paste. Don't make the mixture too wet, but the mix should hold together if you grab a handful and squeeze. Leave the mixture in the container for two days, mixing thoroughly each day. If at the end it's dry, add some water to moisten it.

Form the pellets by hand, but do not make them spherical (they'll roll off the pot!). I make them into a marshmallow or gumdrop shape the following way. Grab a teaspoon-tablespoon of the mixture and squeeze it into a circle with your thumb and index finger. Then use the thumb and fingers from your other hand to flatten the top and bottom. With a little practice you can make them conically shaped (like a rubber stopper). Make small and large sized pellets for different sized pots. Put the formed pellets on a board and allow them to dry several days in a dry, sunny location.

Put 2-3 symmetrically placed pellets near the edge of the pot of each tree (more if its a really big one) once a month from March-October. Allow pellets to remain for two months, replacing the older ones with new ones. Remove pellets for the winter.

Contributed by Chuck Omer

Future Meetings

June -6/10 - Picnic & Auction - Old Mill Bonsai Studio

Please remember that we need donation items to make the auction a success. Pots, trees, tools, books, other bonsai related items are are welcomed. Times and directions will be given in the next newsletter.

President's Notes

Hello members,

Sorry I was unable to join you for the April meeting, I understand Salvatore was excellent. Well, for time being summer has taken over for spring. Careful with the tender plants, give them adequate protection from the sun until the leaves harden off.

This month we are having Howard McNeal as our speaker, I am looking forward to the program.

I know it's early, but this is the time to start thinking about trees you will want to show during the upcoming year (THE FLOWER SHOW, perhaps). Thinking is the key word, no pressure from me. You will also be prepared just in case the Hort Society asks us to be in the Harvest Show in September.

Happy repotting, enjoy the fine weather we are having and I will see you on the 18th.

Regards,

Randy

Don't forget----Your dues are coming due!!

Please check your newsletter label. If you see a 00 in the lower right corner, your 2000-2001 dues will expire as of June 1. Send your dues to our treasurer, Dave Spirt, or pay at the next meeting, or the picnic. By the way, we desperately need your area code for our phone records. Please be sure to include it with your membership payment. Help us to save money by not having to send you a reminder letter in September. A dues payment form was included with the last newsletter.

 

--Directions to Ambler Campus--

From PA Turnpike-Exit 26 to rt. 309 N.--Use Susquehanna Rd. exit--Turn Left onto Susquehanna Rd., proceed to Butler Pike. -- Turn right onto Butler Pike go 1/2 mi. to Meetinghouse Rd. --Turn right on Meetinghouse Rd. Go 1/2 mi. to Ambler Campus.

From 309 south - Use Butler Pike exit--Proceed left onto Butler Pike, go 1/4 mi. to Meetinghouse Rd.-- Turn right onto Meetinghouse Rd. -Proceed 1/2 mi. to Ambler Campus.

Important Reminder ---park only in the lot on Meetinghouse Road!, or behind Bright Hall(student lot). You may drop off passengers or meeting items in front of Bright Hall, but parking is not allowed on the campus proper.

******We have been using what had been the exit road to get to Dixon Hall for drop off as the old Entrance road is blocked.******

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June 2001

PBS Picnic & Auction

This year's picnic and auction will be hosted by Howard McNeal, at the Old Mill Bonsai Studio in Honeybrook. We're asking that those members whose last names begin with A-F bring a covered dish to share, G-M bring a salad dish. Those members whose last names begin with N-T please bring desserts to share, and T-Z bring an appetizer. Plates, napkins, and utensils will be furnished, as will refreshments.

Each year, our auction serves two main purposes. One, it serves as a fund-raiser for the society, as auction material is donated by our members, and two, some great bonsai materials, pots, tools, magazines, etc. are purchased by our members, enlarging their plant collections, and providing new inspiration for bonsai styling and training. Sometimes that tree you've given up on or grown out of becomes someone else's treasure. The pot you were sure you'd use when you bought three years ago, which still sits one the shelf, may be exactly what another enthusiast is looking for. Those seedlings that you planted, planning on a bonsai forest, but are still in nursery containers, could be a delight for another bonsaist. Please, please, donate to the auction! Past auctions have been a huge success due in no small part to the generosity of our members.

Be sure to bring folding chairs.

 

PBS Annual Picnic & Auction : June 10

Host: Howard McNeal, Old Mill Bonsai Studio, Honeybrook, PA

Picnic: 12:30-1:30--Auction 1:30

 

Oh, incidentally, bring your checkbook. You're supposed to buy something , too!!

May Meeting

 

Our May meeting featured Howard McNeal giving a double presentation. First off, Howard created a rock planting, the main plant material being Chamaecyparis thioides andlensis 'Little Jamie', an attractive conifer. Howard explained that rock plantings are relatively easy to do if a few basic guidelines are followed:

Select a rock with pockets or indentations to place the plants - in this case tufa rock.

Select the ideal viewing point for the planting (the front). Wet the rock thoroughly.

Build up wall to retain the bonsai soil - he refers to the material as "do-do balls" (also known as 'muck balls'). These balls are composed of composted cow manure, long grained spaghnum moss, clay soil, and potting soil. This material is used not only for building a rim wall, but for anchoring the trees in place. Howard said he could have also glued wires onto the rock to serve as tree anchors as an alternative. Plastic screen can be used to form a rim, too - it is then covered with muck.

Remove unnecessary foliage and branches from the trees - this step is necessary to simulate some age as well as to allow light into the planting. Some jin or shari can also show age.

Try to use trees of varying height (or alter the trees' heights) to create a third dimension. Smaller trees can be placed either in front or (usually) in the back of the planting.

After planting the trees and filling the empty spaces with bonsai soil, apply moss to all of the soil and muck surfaces. The moss serves several purposes; one of esthetics, giving an aged appearance, and one of retaining the soil and muck, preventing it from being washed out by rainfall or by watering.

Winter care requires a little extra caution. Care must be taken to prevent the rock from freezing, which could cause it to crack or split. Storage in an unheated garage, or outdoor storage with the rock buried in mulch would be satisfactory.

For the second part of his discussion, Howard spent some time working on what he referred to as a "junk tree", that is one which was probably neglected in a nursery, and not really saleable for landscaping. The spruce did in fact appear to need a lot of attention, but Howard stated that the tree with a little care and time could become a presentable bonsai. He began the process by removing unnecessary material and doing rough wiring on some of the main branches. As the tree was very leggy, he stopped at this point in his wiring, and demonstrated how to pull the foliage back by pinching and pruning.

"This tree won't be a silk purse" Howard stated, "But with a little work and a few years' development, you could have a nice tree"

We agree, Howard - thanks for a great evening!

Raffle winners, Mark Maher and John Constantine had their hands full leaving the meeting, but both were smiling.

....Falling Leaves

Longtime member Marian B. Kochey passed away in mid-May at the age of ninety-two, following a brief illness. Mrs. Kochey was a retired educator who had been named Philadelphia teacher of the year at one point in her career. She additionally taught pottery at the Cheltenham Center for the Arts until last year. She annually hosted home and garden tours of her Cheltenham home gardens. The family suggest contributions to the Cheltenham Center for the Arts, 439 Ashbourne Rd. Cheltenham, PA -19012

Fertilizing - Liquid

Howard McNeal with Ray Koehler

"The best formula for fertilizing I have found is: half-strength every 10 days. In 40-some years in bonsai, I've come to realize you can't overdose (your trees) in order to cut down the time you need to spend on your plants."

In the second installment of his personal views of the ancient art, Howard McNeal considers the holy trinity of bonsai: fertilizer ... soil... water.

If you pay close attention to the plant, McNeal avers, the tree will tell you when it is well and when it isn't. Your eyes will tell you how healthy the tree is.

There is , unfortunately, a popular misconception among some growers of bonsai. Many believe the material in which they plant the tree is a nutritional composition that is going to feed the tree.

That's not so. YOU need to control the amount of food and the type of food your tree is getting.

If you plant in a composition that adds too many amendments to the bonsai soil, you are not in control of what the plant is ingesting because it will be leaching from the soil.

Take a maple tree, for example, the long-time bonsai grower explained. When you pot a maple tree in bonsai soil, you should add an amendment to it. I prefer peat moss. It is sterile and has a tendency to start breaking down quickly. Peat moss itself has some nutrient in it and as it breaks down it will create a condition that is conducive to growth. It also will absorb nutrients that we add to our soils and feed the plant.

McNeal paused. "When I say 'soils', I am talking about bonsai soil, a non-soil composition. Bonsai soil is not a soil at all. The only organic matter that should be in bonsai soil is a small amount of pine bark. To this one adds amendments. The amendment could be sphagnum moss, peat moss, or garden loam. Garden loam is garden soil but you don't have control of what is in it and what diseases it carries.

"So, if I'm going to pot up a willow tree, which needs a water-retentive-type soil, I'll add an amendment such as peat moss in preference to garden soil. You can use potting soil, but you must be very careful with potting soil in conjunction with bonsai. I stay away from a lot of that because you can overdo it and clog the ability of the soil to drain properly."

Here, McNeal mentioned three other plants. Besides the amendment for the willow, McNeal observed he will place it in a pot of water during the summer months. In fall, he removes the plant from the water bowl and allows it to partially dry so that the root system is not so succulent that freezing will damage it. If the plant is a Japanese maple, peat moss is added. If it's an azalea, add some sphagnum moss to the soil. Bonsai soil, he reiterated, is not a nutrient-sharing material. It (the soil) will not allow the plant to absorb nutrients from it unless you add the nutrients.

Q. What is the difference between an amendment and a fertilizer?

"The amendment," McNeal said, "is a material that is added to the bonsai soil to allow the plant to take up (the nutrient) and for the soil to hold nutrients when the plant needs it. Fertilizing is a food. The amendment is not a food. It is an additive that conditions the soil to do the necessary things that are needed for the plant."

Q. In determining the importance of fertilizing ... is it what you use as a fertilizer, or when you use it -- or a combination of both?

"It is both," McNeal said. "A combination. Fertilizing is a feeding of the plant. Fertilizer should be present when the plant needs it in the soil mix."

Q. What about the timing of fertilizer application?

"When the plant is in healthy growth, it should be fed about every ten days, with a half-strength fertilizer. If for some reason the plant is not growing healthy, cut down on the fertilizer. If the plant shows any sign of slow growth, there is something wrong with the plant condition, either in the potting mix, the handling of the plant, or the environment of the plant.

Q. How is fertilizing bonsai different than fertilizing any other plant?

McNeal answered. "A bonsai, a plant in a pot, is confined to a small amount of aggregate-type material. It depends completely on what the grower gives it. Most potted plants are grown garden soil ... and they grow healthy if the conditions are right. So there is that difference.

"You wonder ...'Hey, why not plant a bonsai in the same potting soil?' Bonsai are treated a little different. Bonsai should depend completely on you. Using garden soil as a shortcut means you are copping out on your bonsai duties."

Q. Do you favor immersion or watering from the top?

"When you immerse the container, you allow the bubbles -- the old gases-- to escape as they release from the soil", McNeal began. "Immerse until the bubbles stop. There is no time limit for immersion. You watch the bubbles. When they stop, total saturation has taken place. As you lift the pot out of the water, do it very slowly. As you lift it, it will release water through the drain holes. And, it will take up new gases from the atmosphere through the top of the soil to replenish the gas spaces in the soil."

McNeal then moved to the process of watering from the top of the plant.

"You don't have to immerse a bonsai every time it needs water," he said. "Occasionally, immersion is fine. But the watering process can take place just by watering profusely over the top of the plant. And, I would say water plants profusely when they are watered. If the plants are tropical and are growing in the house, take them to the sink. You can submerge them - you will find house plants need less water because they will be fully saturated. Outside bonsai should all be watered heavily with an overhead sprinkling can or other watering device with a fine grain effect. The water should run out the drain holes."

Q. What specific fertilizers on the market have you found to be most successful?

"You can use B-1. That's a vitamin not a fertilizer that we know as Superthrive. It is a stress reliever. Repotting is a stressful condition for a plant. So we'll use B-1.

"There are other fertilizers on the market. Ortho puts one out. It is called Upstart - a B-1 complex vitamin. It is inexpensive in comparison to Superthrive, which is so highly concentrated that one drop will go into a gallon of water. Ortho puts out fine, well-researched products.

"Use B-1 in repotting. When I repot, I try to submerge the whole plant in a Superthrive mix. That's a shock-absorber. Submerge slowly and release it slowly. At that point in the repotting process, the plant doesn't need food. What it needs is B-1 to help it recover from shock. "

McNeal uses Superthrive in summer only if for some reason he must alter the plant, such as defoliating a tree in the middle of a growing season in order to renew leaves, or to put the plant through a second cycle of growth to get finer leaves or finer twigs.

Q. What other fertilizer preferences do you have?

"I lean toward organic fertilizers which come from nature in a natural manner. Seaweed is one. It comes in a concentrated form and you dilute it. Besides being absorbed through the foliar, leaf material (the needle part of the plant), is also is absorbed readily through the plant's root system. Most foliar feeders are mild enough so you won't damage the plant."

McNeal's list of liquid fertilizers also includes Miracle-Gro ("I don't know if the Japanese use it, but I'm sure there are products they use in Japan that are comparable to Miracle-Gro") and fish emulsion, used profusely at half-strength.

"Never complicate feeding with watering," the instructor cautioned. "When you water your plants, that is to give them water. When you feed your plants, that is to give them both water and food. You can eliminate your (regular) watering when you are feeding.

"Watering," he stressed, "is very important. It should be done when the plant needs it There is no formula that anyone can give you that is correct for how to water your plants.

"People ask me 'How often should I water my plants?' I tell them 'I can not tell you that.' And they look at me strange and say 'I do not understand. You have been in bonsai a long time and you can't tell me how to water?'

"The thing is that I can't tell you how to water without knowing your plant's condition. The best method to water is to feel the soil in the pot. If it feels moist then most likely the plant has enough water. You will not overwater if your soil condition is proper."

Throughout the early April interview in the kitchen of McNeal's 200-year-old farmhouse, the discussion centered on liquid fertilizers -- those mixed with water, such as seaweed and fish emulsion, Miracle-Gro and Miracid ... fertilizers used for acid-loving plants.

McNeal observed there are other fertilizers that can be explored by doing some research. One, he mentioned, is the organic material in the form of rape seed cakes, which are made by a combination of bone meal, cotton seed, and dried blood - then dried in the sun or in an oven.

These and other dry fertilizers will be discussed in an upcoming issue of the Pennsylvania Bonsai Society's newsletter.

--rck-

President's Notes

Hello members,

Sorry I could not make the last two meetings. I will be at the June 10th picnic/ auction, and I am looking forward to seeing all of you. As you know, the picnic is our annual fund raiser. The money we raise from the donated items, helps us bring those great bonsai artists to our club and provide terrific raffle material.

Another excellent feature at our picnic, is the entertainment of Jim Gillespie and his side kicks for the auction. Who knows, maybe one day we will be taking the act on the road ( we won't quit our day jobs).

Don't forget to renew your annual memberships, we will have membership cards at the picnic for your convenience.

Have a safe ride out to Howard's, see you at the picnic.

Regards,

Randy

MidAtlantic Symposium

 

The 18th Annual MidAtlantic Spring Festival held on April 20-22, was a huge success. Featured artists Salvatore Liporace, Qingquan Zhao, Sze-Ern ("Ernie") Kuo, Rodney Clemons , and Jim Doyle put on a spectacular display of bonsai artistry. The finished bonsai were simply magnificent, and an eager audience bought huge numbers of raffle tickets with the anticipation of taking one of the wonderful bonsai home with them, unfortunately, none came to PBS.

The masterpiece exhibit lived up to its name, with over thirty trees on display. Many thanks to Mike Marinelli and Mark Maher for representing PBS with their bonsai.

Next year's Festival is scheduled for April 19-21, 2002 at the Ramada Inn in East Hanover, NJ. Speakers will be announced as soon as confirmations can be obtained.

 

Don't forget----

Your dues are due!!

 

Please check your newsletter label. If you see a 00 in the lower right corner, your 2000-2001 dues have expired as of June 1. Send your dues to our treasurer, Dave Spirt, or pay at the picnic. By the way, we desperately need your area code for our phone records. Please be sure to include it with your membership payment. Help us to save money by not having to send you a reminder letter in September. A dues payment form was included with the April newsletter.

 

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July 2001

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September 2001

September Meeting

We begin our 2001-2002 meeting schedule with a lecture demonstration by a second-generation professional bonsai artist, Corin Tomlinson, who hails from Nottingham, England. Corin is sales manager of Greenwood Gardens in Nottigham and curator of the English National Bonsai Collection in Birmingham. Corin studied bonsai with his father, Harry, and also served an apprenticeship here in the States with Bill Valavanis several years ago.

Corin's program will show a fresh English approach to training bonsai, especially with his favorite tree, the Scots pine which is native to England.

The demo material will be raffled. Don't forget - exhibit a tree and double your raffle tickets.

 

Speaker: Corin Tomlinson

Date: Friday, September 14

Time: 7:30

Location: Room 208, Dixon Hall, Ambler Campus, Temple University

Remember to bring any tree that you want to discuss prior to the start of the meeting. Advice on styling, care, horticultural problems, pot selection, etc. can be obtained from other members before the start of the program.

National Bonsai Foundation

Just a reminder that there are several ongoing projects worth your attention at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum at the National Arboretum. Currently three funds are seeking donations; The Yugi Yoshimura Fund, The H. William Merritt Fund, and The Melba Tucker Fund. Each of these funds have been created to complete or redo some section of the Museum. More information on each of the funds may be found at the NBF website at:

http://www.bonsai-nbf.org

Please do your best to support the National Bonsai Foundation through a tax-deductible contribution. If you wish to specify a particular fund, please do so. Make your check payable to The National Bonsai Foundation, and mail to:

Chris Yeapanis, NBF Treasurer

4228 Berritt St.

Fairfax, VA 22030

Also, The U.S. National Arboretum with the National Bonsai Foundation will be sponsoring an International Scholarly Symposium in Washington, D.C. from October 26 through October 28, 2001. The purpose of this international symposium is to provide more in-depth information about the history and development of the art and science of bonsai and viewing stones. The combination of demonstrations and lectures will provide a unique forum for participants to learn from and interact with some of the leading scholars and specialists in this field.

 

Speakers and Demonstrators

Dr. Thomas S. Elias is Director of the U.S. National Arboretum. He is the author of several articles on various aspects of the history of bonsai, most recently, a two part series on Mansei-en and The Kato Family. He serves as the historian for Bonsai Magazine, the official journal of Bonsai Clubs International. He has studied the plants of Asia and North America for many years and is the author of seven books and numerous papers.

Dr. Peter Del Tredici is Research Horticulturist at the Arnold Arboretum and has supervised the management of the Larz Anderson Collection of Bonsai, one of the earliest collections of bonsai in the United States. Dr. Del Tredici is the author of many scientific and popular articles relating to trees as well as the important work Early American Bonsai.

Mr. Warren Hill is Curator of the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum at the U.S. National Arboretum and is recognized as an outstanding bonsai artist and teacher. He has been practicing bonsai for over 40 years and is the featured demonstrator at many national and international bonsai conventions including the Bonsai Clubs International Convention in Hawaii in 2000.

Mr. Hideo Marushima is Japan's leading authority on the history of both bonsai and suiseki. He is the author of many books on this subject, including, Studies on the Historical Influences of Chinese Penjing on Japanese Bonsai, History of Japanese Stones, and more recently the three volume The World of Chinese Penjing co-authored with Hu Yun Hua published in 2000. Mr. Marushima is an attorney in Tokyo.

Mr. Arishige Matsuura is Chairman of the Nippon Suiseki Association and is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on suiseki. He is the Editor of the recently published book Important Suiseki and Tools Photobook and is widely respected for his knowledge of viewing stones. He provides important international leadership in helping others develop an appreciation of suiseki.

Mr. Robert D. Mowry is Curator of the Asian Arts Department at the John G. Fogg Art Museum of Harvard University. He is a recognized authority on Chinese Scholars' Rocks and is the author of the widely respected book "Worlds Within Worlds: The Richard Rosenblum Collection of Chinese Scholars' Rocks."

Mr. Larry Ragle is a leading bonsai and suiseki authority in California and has served as President of the Golden State Bonsai Federation and co-founder of the California Aiseki-Kai Club. He serves on the board of the National Bonsai Foundation.

Mr. Gerald Stowell is a well known bonsai artist, teacher, and writer. He was a founding member and first President of both the Greater New York City Bonsai Society and the American Bonsai Society.

Mr. William Valavanis is founder of The International Bonsai Arboretum in Rochester, New York, as well as publisher and editor of International Bonsai Magazine. He studied bonsai in Japan with Toshio Kawamoto, Kakutaro Komuo, and Kyuzo Murata and is an internationally known bonsai artist and teacher.

International Scholarly Symposium on Bonsai and Viewing Stones

The purpose of this International Scholarly Symposium is to provide more in-depth information about the history and development of the art and science of bonsai, suiseki, and related art forms. The combination of bonsai demonstrations and lectures linked to the presentations will provide an unusual forum for participants to learn from and interact with some of the leading scholars and specialists in this field. This will be a rare opportunity to advance one's understanding of these ancient art forms. Participation is limited to 140 participants. Register early to ensure a place.

 

Friday, October 26

12:00-5:00 p.m. Registration

1:30 p.m. Demonstration: Re-creation of Pre-bonsai Tray Landscape "Kasuga Gongen Kenkie" from 1309 A.D. in the Kamakura Period

Mr. Gerald Stowell

3:30 p.m. Dedication of the Kato Stroll Garden

4:00-5:30 p.m. Reception

Saturday, October 27

8:00-4:30 p.m. Registration

9:00 a.m. History of Bonsai in Japan Mr. Hideo Marushima

10:00 a.m. Discovery & Introduction of Bonsai to the West

Dr. Thomas S. Elias

10:45 a.m. Break

11:00 a.m. Larz Anderson & His Bonsai

Dr. Peter Del Tredici

12:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m. Introduction to Tray Landscapes

Mr. William Valavanis

1:30 p.m. Demonstration: Modern Tray Landscape or Forest Planting

Mr. Warren Hill & others

4:30 p.m. Optional Dinner Program*

Sunday, October 28

8:00-10:00 a.m. Registration

9:00 a.m. Introduction to History of Viewing Stones

Mr. Hideo Marushima

10:30 a.m. Chinese Scholars' Rocks

Mr. Robert D. Mowry

11:00 a.m. Break

11:15 a.m. Development of Viewing Stone Appreciation in California

Mr. Larry Ragle

12:15 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m. Japanese Suiseki&emdash;Lecture & Demonstration

Mr. Arishige Matsuura

3:00 p.m. Break

3:15-4:30 p.m. Critique of Individual Stones

Mr. Arishige Matsuura

*additional fee charged - see registration form

 

Registration Form - call (202) 245-5989

Hotel Accommodations

The Arboretum has reserved a room block at the Holiday Inn Capitol, 550 C Street, SW, Washington DC 20024. To reserve a room call the hotel directly at (202) 479-4000. You must identify yourself as a participant of the "Viewing Stones October 25th Program." Special symposium rates apply to the evenings of October 25-28 only. Reservations MUST BE MADE by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 28, 2001 to guarantee the special rate of $129 per night plus tax.

Fertilizing - Solid Food

by Ray Kohler with Howard McNeal

 

In his previous assessment of bonsai food, Howard McNeal focused on liquid fertilizer -- a water-diluted shot in the arboreal arm served half-strength every 10 days.

In this installment, the Chester County bonsai master considers an equally important step in bulking up your bonsai ... solid fertilizer.

Solid fertilizer, one form of which are tiny, homemade rapeseed cakes known to the cognoscenti as "do-do balls" should be applied on the soil throughout the growing season.

"You don't rely on them as the ONLY fertilizer," McNeal instructed. "Use liquid fertilizer every 10 days at half-strength, such as seaweed, fish emulsion, Miracid, and Miracle-Gro.

"But the organic matter, the solid matter, should be on the surface of the pot."

Why the need for a solid fertilizer when you are also feeding your plants a liquid vitamin diet?

"The idea," McNeal explained, patiently, "is that the breaking down of the solid fertilizer is somewhat of a different compound (then the liquid fertilizer). Actually, it (the solid organic material) is more natural for the tree AND it will feed the tree constantly. That's why it is important to keep the solid fertilizer on the soil surface."

The interviewer wondered: "At what time of the year do you begin to apply liquid fertilizer -- and when do you start to place the do-do balls around the pot?"

"You start applying the solid fertilizer and the liquid fertilizer in early spring when the tree first shows signs of growth," McNeal said. "Do not fertilize when the plant is not growing..

"But if it has growth on it, such as the evergreen when it starts showing new growth, start feeding them."

"The trick", McNeal said, "is to watch closely in spring as plants start to wake up. They don't have to elongate. But they should show some sign of growth. That's when you start feeding them ... that's when they're hungry."

"Sick plants must not be fertilized ... neither liquid nor solid fertilizer. You should remove the organic matter from the surface of plants which show signs of illness."

The interviewer persisted: "What signs of 'illness' are we talking about?"

"About 80 percent of the time if the plant shows severe signs of stress it has something to do with the root system," McNeal observed. "Something isn't right -either the way the tree was planted, or the medium it was planted in.

"Maybe you over-fed the fertilizer. Too strong. That's why I always recommend half-strength."

Then Howard returned to the subject of liquid fertilizer, again citing seaweed, fish emulsion, Miracid, and Miracle-Gro, the latter for plants that are not acid-loving.

"Name some plants which prefer Miracid", the visitor asked.

"Maples, for example, are acid-loving plants", the teacher said. "Any plants which will tolerate shade beneath trees are inclined to be acid-loving plants. All evergreens. Anything that holds its green throughout the winter months, including azaleas."

"I'm not saying feed in winter months," McNeal said. "I'm saying anything that holds its green during the winter months will enjoy acid in its root system."

"Will Miracle-Gro cover the broad spectrum of plants?"

"Miracle-Gro is for non-acid plants," McNeal reiterated. "If you're in doubt, use Miracid on everything. But keep in mind that anything that is an understory plant, such as azaleas and rhododendrons, things of that type, even if they lose their leaves, are acid-loving plants because they grow in the mulch from the litter of the tree above."

McNeal telescoped his views on fertilizer: "Use a liquid fertilizer every 10 days, applying it profusely over the whole plant ... foliar as well as soil feed. Apply it until it runs off the surface."

"If you are using a small batch, put it in a sprinkling can and use it by sprinkling over the whole plant. But the plant also should have a solid fertilizer on the surface at all times."

"If the plant shows signs of receding", the interviewer asked, "do you remove the plant from the pot and examine the roots?"

"Yes", McNeal said. "You will find there are rotting roots - black-roots. If you have no light-colored roots in your potting system, something is wrong with your planting mix or the way you water. Something is wrong. The plant should always show signs of strength."

"If these symptoms are present, you repot. Regardless of the time of the year. I would rather lose the plant if it is sick and at least have made the attempt to repot than not to repot and put the plant back in the same condition."

The visitor commented: "You (McNeal) have 300 to 400 plants. In the course of a year, how many do you lose?"

McNeal: "Maybe, oh, five or six ... eight or 10. Individual plants."

Visitor -- "And what do you find went wrong with those - plants in the majority of cases?"

McNeal: "Most of the time it was due to the plant not being repotted when it should have been."

Visitor -- "Not being repotted early enough in the season?"

McNeal: "No, not being repotted. Maybe the plant has gone three to four years without repotting. And I'm talking about a nursery plant that is in a plastic container. I might neglect to repot it for three or four years. Maybe I got it in as a new plant to sell and then I find I haven't repotted it and it might have been in the pot for two or three years before I bought it. With another two to three years on the bench, it either dies of being pot-bound or there's something in the root system that needed correcting."

"One way would be to date everything - put a label on it or in the pot when you buy it - and count that as needing repotting the following year, whether it does or not."

Visitor -- "If you buy from a bonsai nursery, rather than from a regular nursery, can you be pretty sure those plants have been potted up to date?"

McNeal: "No. You will find more likely the bonsai nursery has neglected to repot a container plant. Why? Because the commercial grower realizes that if he keeps the plant in the same container, and the top part is growing and he doesn't repot it, he gets less money for that larger plant because it is still in a one-gallon pot."

"Whereas, if he puts it in a two-gallon pot he ups his price by about $5. It is important that the commercial grower constantly build his stock to a higher value. So he is more likely to repot than a bonsai guy who is palming off a plant that is in a plastic container he wants to get rid of."

Visitor -- "What's next?"

McNeal: "Our next session, let's talk about defoliating. The reason behind it. There are two or three reasons for defoliation. Let's look at the styling of the plant during defoliation ... whether one should repot at the time of the defoliation....

"We'll talk about styling, repotting, and defoliation."

--rck-

President's Notes

 

Hello Members,

Hope you have enjoyed the summer! As usual, it I blinked and it was Labor Day. They sure do fly. Good summer for growing, we had plenty of sun to get the trees healthy for the changes in fall. As the days become shorter, the sun will not be as strong. Don't forget to use a fungicide spray to prevent mold, this will also prepare the trees for when you put them away for the winter. I usally spray now and just before winter storage.

We will be starting off the year with a demo by Corin Tomlinson, I am told his specialty is Scots Pine. The meeting is earlier in the month than usual, we have to book according to travel plans, so it is not always in our control. The same will be for October when we will have Walter Pall as our demo artist, although the date has not been firmed up as of yet.

I am looking forward to seeing you at the September meeting.

Talk to you soon,

Randy

MidAtlantic Symposium

Just a reminder to mark your calendar for the upcoming MidAtlantic Spring Festival to be held in New Jersey on April 19-21, 2002.

http://midatlanticbonsai.freeservers.com

--Directions to Ambler Campus--

From PA Turnpike-Exit 26 to rt. 309 N.--Use Susquehanna Rd. exit--Turn Left onto Susquehanna Rd., proceed to Butler Pike. -- Turn right onto Butler Pike go 1/2 mi. to Meetinghouse Rd. --Turn right on Meetinghouse Rd. Go 1/2 mi. to Ambler Campus.

From 309 south - Use Butler Pike exit--Proceed left onto Butler Pike, go 1/4 mi. to Meetinghouse Rd.-- Turn right onto Meetinghouse Rd. -Proceed 1/2 mi. to Ambler Campus.

Important Reminder ---park only in the lot on Meetinghouse Road!, or behind Bright Hall(student lot). You may drop off passengers or meeting items in front of Bright Hall, but parking is not allowed on the campus proper.

******We have been using what had been the exit road to get to Dixon Hall for drop off as the old Entrance road is blocked.

 

 

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October 2001

September Meeting

 

 

The 2001-2002 meeting year began with a wonderful styling demonstration by Corin Tomlinson. Given the week's events and sadness, Corin brought a breath of fresh air with his combination of wit and talent. Corin has studied bonsai formally for twelve years, but owing to his exposure to bonsai at an early age at his father Harry's side, his talent and knowledge demonstrate a far broader experience. Studying under Bill Valavanis and Chase Rosade, Corin has become an excellent wirer with sure, quick hands.

Corin's demonstration material was a Scots pine. His first step was to dig down into the soil to determine where the actual base of the tree began and evaluate the surface roots. He explained that the front of the tree is determined mainly by this step.

Corin then removed unnecessary low branches as well as conflicting bar branches, maintaining that leaving branches on at this step which will clearly not help the design of the finished tree only causes the stylist problems later on. Sometimes, however, one may wish to leave a branch as insurance, should the preferred branch decline.

A long straight section of the tree that had been the apex was removed and a side branch was brought up to serve as the new apex. Long, lanky branches were wired and sinuous bends created to help make the branches look more compact and dense. Coring explained that as the tree formed new buds and filled in that these branches could be chased (trimmed) back.

Corin's philosophy of styling is to look at the tree carefully, get a design in mind, wire the tree, then place the branches according to that design. If the finished tree was any indication, Corin has developed to process to a high degree. The finished tree was very pleasing to the eye.. Raffle winner Howard Dunetz certainly had a gleam in his eye as he came forward to claim his new tree.

October Meeting

 

This October, Walter Pall, along with his sidekick Jim Doyle, will be our featured artists for a special Monday night meeting. Walter is a return visitor to PBS, (his last visit being in 1999) and we look forward to his stylistic endeavors.

Walter acquired his first bonsai on 1978, becoming one of the first serious bonsai designers in Germany during the early eighties. He has since then received more than thirty-five national and international awards. Walter admits to owning more than one thousand bonsai, many of them collected European trees.

He has been featured and many national and international conventions and has functioned as a Director of Bonsai Club Deutschland, Bonsai Clubs International, and as Vice President of the European Bonsai Association.

The demonstration material for the evening will be a Rocky Mountain juniper in excess of two hundred and fifty years of age. Walter has promised to work his bonsai magic on the tree and come up with a wonderful example of what can be done with collected material.

This will be a joint meeting with the Bonsai Society of Lehigh Valley. The demonstration material will be raffled. Please note that due to space limitations, we are suspending the 'bring an exhibit tree, double your tickets' policy for this meeting so please, no display trees this month.

We will be starting our meeting this month at 7:00 in order to give Mr. Pall sufficient time for his demonstration. Please make note of the changes in location and day. Directions are located on the last page.

Speaker: Walter Pall: Lecture/Demo

Date: Monday, October 22, 2001

Location: Meyers Family Restaurant, Route 309, Quakertown, PA

Time: 7:00

National Bonsai Foundation

 

Just a reminder that there are several ongoing projects worth your attention at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum at the National Arboretum. More information on each of the funds may be found at the NBF website at: http://www.bonsai-nbf.org

Please do your best to support the National Bonsai Foundation through a tax-deductible contribution. If you wish to specify a particular fund, please do so. Many of our members are paying tribute to the late Fred Ballard by dedicating their donations in his name. Make your check payable to The National Bonsai Foundation, and mail to:

Chris Yeapanis, NBF Treasurer

4228 Berritt St.

Fairfax, VA 22030

Repotting

 

By Howard McNeal with Ray Koehler

"A bonsai should be young in root, young in top, and old in trunk."

--An Overview-

 

In the fourth-of a series of revisited truths and refined insights into the how-to's and why-do's of bonsai, master Howard McNeal looks at the crucial repotting procedure.

McNeal observes that repotting is done essentially to rejuvenate the plant. A pot-bound bonsai will begin to lose vigor and breakdown and fail to develop a good needles, healthy leaves, and thicker branching.

In the performance of this critical step, McNeal issues a strong note of caution: After repotting, do not disturb! Repotting should be done AFTER the tree has been wired and styled -- after which it should be allowed to settle into the pot for a month without disturbance.

So, why the emphasis on repotting? Simply that quite often trees are neglected because people are afraid to repot ... not knowing the right way to go about it. This article should lessen that fear.

Seated at the kitchen table of his centuries-old Chester County farmhouse, Howard McNeal outlined the scope of his remarks on the repotting process.

He would discuss such items as soil amendments, assembling materials, first-time potting of old plants vs. yearly repotting of young plants, getting the facts from reliable sources the right steps to repotting, and proper timing.

"Bonsai soil", McNeal began, "should not be garden loam. Bonsai soil is designed to allow for proper drainage and aeration of roots. To perk up the tree, amendments should be added to the bonsai soil according to what plant you intend to repot. For example, if the plant to be repotted is an azalea, add a smidgen of long fibered sphagnum moss, preferably beneath the root system, to the bonsai soil".

" The moss," McNeal said, "should be cut up and soaked. Squeeze out the excess water and add it to bonsai soil as you pot up - just before you place the plant. Only the sphagnum moss should be wet. You want to keep the bonsai soil as dry as possible while you are using it."

"If the tree to be repotted is a pine", he said, "the bonsai soil should be amended with "heavy material,' such as turkey grit or granite, because pines should have a well-aerated, well-draining soil".

Before planting a Japanese maple, add some moistened peat moss to the soil. Squeeze out the excess water, rub the peat moss in your hands vigorously, and mix it into the soil in the volume needed to fill the bonsai pot. The peat moss will help add moisture in the bonsai soil when the tree needs it during the hot days of July and August.

"All of these things - the amendments - are done for a reason," McNeal noted. " They are conditions you create within the pot so that the plant will survive better during its growing period."

"New plants", he explained, "should be repotted every year. If, however, you have a plant for six or seven years in a pot, and the plant has been repotted every year, then you can decide whether it would be healthy for the plant to perhaps skip a repotting each year. The root system for the older trees, McNeal explained, will begin to slow down and will not grow quite as profusely. A new plant, he said, also can be an old plant just starting out as a bonsai that needs to be repotted every year".

He explained. "If you bought a nursery plant, and usually a nursery plant needs severe root pruning, you want to rejuvenate this root system. Potting every year will do that for the plant".

"Think it out," McNeal persisted. "You have a new plant, or a young plant which you want to condition to live in a bonsai pot. Usually, a bonsai pot has much less volume of soil than the growing pot used at the nursery. So you must condition the root system. In other words, grow a root system that is vigorous but new so that it will be able to tolerate the space in the bonsai pot."

McNeal mused. "A good time to start getting things together is January and February. When you feel you are adequately supplied with tools you will need, make sure you have a good quality and quantity of bonsai soil".

"Then you add amendments -- and I can't stress this enough! Bonsai soil is designed for aeration and drainage. That is its main purpose. You will find same small quantities of organic matter in bonsai soil, usually in the form of pine bark. NOT peat moss. Pine bark usually consists of a small amount of very fine chips. The reason for the chips is they retain not only moisture, they are retainers of nutrients. As you water the plant daily, the chips will release the nutrients in this little nugget of pine bark and this will help furnish the tree with some of the nutrients it needs."

Following up on soil amendments, McNeal offered those instructions: When adding peat moss to bonsai soil, use only the volume you need to pot up that particular plant. Do not mix- ALL your bonsai soil with peat moss only to find you didn't need it for your pines. For pines, one must add coarser material to the soil, inorganic matter such as turkey grit or granite in larger pieces than your bonsai soil has at present. This will facilitate good drainage for pines.

Have sphagnum moss on hand. Strands can be purchased inexpensively in a dry condition, looking yellow-green. There is no need to use the entire a bag of sphagnum moss. That would be far too much.

What about volume? - If you must pot an azalea and the container will take about a quart of bonsai soil, add one cup of cut-up sphagnum moss. If it's two quarts of soil, add two cups. Not wet. Dry. There are two different volumes in a dry cup opposed to a wet cup. You cut up the sphagnum with scissors and when you have an eight-ounce cup of dry sphagnum, you wet it down and add it to your quart of soil. For pines, use the same ratio. For every quart of soil, add a cup of large granules of composition, preferably turkey grit or crushed stone of some sort. Add that to your quart of soil. That should provide a fair formula to put up your plant.

The instructor drew attention to the differences between the word "repotting" and potting for the first time. Each has its own conditions.

Potting for the first time. If you bought a plant from a nursery, you should not try to put it into a bonsai pot the first time it is potted. The plant should go into a much larger container than is needed.

"You are not potting up for aesthetics - for the looks of it," McNeal said. "You are potting the nursery plant for a condition. That condition is to create a new root system ... a root system that will sustain the plant in heat and freezing cold. So that if given adequate water, the plant will not stress out".

"Keep that in mind. If it is a plant you have just purchased, put it into a large volume of soil. Don't skimp on the type soil that should be used for that plant. Keep the soil open and airy and add the amendments according to the type plant it is."

If the plant is a deciduous tree -- a willow, elm, hornbeam, wisteria, crabapple, etc. -- which you have just purchased, pot it up using peat moss as you would a Japanese maple. Why? Because the tree needs to ret retain a as much moisture as it can. In fact, if the plant is a tree that loves water, such as a willow or wisteria, you can add an even larger volume of peat moss. A willow or wisteria will do much better in the hot summer months with a greater volume of water. It will be right at home in a small saucer of water where the lip is not very high and the plant is not floating two-thirds up the pot in water.

"When you pot up a plant that has been repotted in the past",McNeal said, "look at the condition of the roots. Maybe the tree was in too low a volume of soil or in too small a pot -- maybe the plant was potted up too soon".

Too soon? -"The beginner frequently pots up too soon into a small bonsai pot," the McNeal noted, "because he wants to see it look like a real bonsai much too soon. The words 'too soon' meaning maybe you need to give it another year or two before it goes into a bonsai pot".

"Keep in mind when repotting : Consider - was the pot too small? What will tell you is the state of health now compared to a year ago. We're talking repotting not newly potting. So, look at your plant - study your plant - size up its condition and then repot according to that condition."

"If you think the plant isn't as healthy or as vigorous as it should be, it could be the fault of a too-small volume of soil, or trying too quickly to get it into a bonsai pot for aesthetics instead of putting it into a large-enough pot."

McNeal reiterated his warning about the peril of potting prior to wiring.

"All your plants should have been wired before repotting," he said. "You don't wire AFTER you repot. Never do that. You shake the plant and the root system loose from the conditions in which you put it and then it will not be healthy. It will put stress

on the plant. Style it to the point where all the styling and wiring is done before repotting." McNeal says the art of potting is one of clean, precise, considered tactical movements".

"You don't just throw it into a pot and backfill with soil," he said. "Repotting is putting the screen over the drain hole by securing it with a hairpin-type method of wire".

"After securing the screen and placing the wire or wires that will support the tree, you proceed to fill the pot with bonsai soil. You will make a cone of soil and take the plant whose roots have just been trimmed and place the roots over this cone of soil, tie the plant into position and proceed to wire it in place. You most be careful in positioning the tree for front -- front of the pot and front of the tree.

Another crucial element in the promotion of plant health is "timing" -selecting the right time of the year to repot your plants. With deciduous plants, McNeal said, repotting should begin just as the tree shows the start of new growth. This indicates the plant is stimulated, that it is stronger at this point, and the entire system of the plant is beginning to move.

"This the time for you to take the tree out of the pot and comb out the roots with a root hook or chopstick, being careful not to break the fine roots," he instructed. "Keep the fine roots if they are not too matted and get rid of the heavier roots. You want fine roots in close to the trunk for a well-conditioned root system.

"If that condition does not exist, then the plant needs to be put into a larger container or a box to grow in for a year or two, then potted up."

He reiterated: "The timing to pot up a deciduous plant is just as the buds are beginning to show a slight swelling -- when the green is just starting to peek through."

Evergreens grow pretty much throughout the year, either having movement in the root system or in the top, or something happening to the plant.

McNeal said he has seen buds begin to form over the period of a month or two in cold storage. This is an indication the plant is beginning to move -- the buds starting to swell -- the tops beginning to move and swell ... a sure sign the root system is beginning to move and grow. In Chester County and the Philadelphia area he has found one can generally pot up pines as early as February into March, considering the existing conditions.

The next step - Styling during defoliation.

November Meeting Notice

Because of the excellent weekend workshop being presented by Brandywine Bonsai Society, we are encouraging all PBS members to attend the workshop in place of our November meeting - we will hold no formal meeting in November.

Dennis Makishima Workshop

Brandywine Bonsai Society presents a special bonsai workshop by Dennis Makishima Saturday and Sunday, November 10 and 11, 2001 at the Stone Barn Unionville, PA.

The Program

On Saturday, November 10, 2001

Ramification and Winter Silhouette

Basic Ramification

Deciduous

Flowering

Non-flowering

Evergreen

 

Saturday evening, you are invited to join Dennis and the BBS for dinner at a local restaurant.

On Sunday, November 11 2001

Japanese Black Pine - A to Z

Care

Styling

Design

Maintenance

 

For both lectures, Dennis would appreciate your bringing trees that could be discussed. These trees should be close to show-quality and suitably potted. While this is not an exhibition, we are sure that your fellow enthusiasts would enjoy the chance to share trees at a time when most trees are about to be put away for the winter. The discussion can remain anonymous.

About the Artist:

Dennis Makeshima was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area. He grew up the local Japanese-American commuity and was exposed to bonsai almost his entire life. However, he didn't take his first lesson until 20 years ago.

He was fortunate to have studied with many prominent bonsai instructors from the area. He currently continues his association with bonsai masters Mas Imazumi of Berkeley, CA and Hiroshi Suzuki of San Francisco. He had the privilege of studying for one and a half years with Bonsai Master Yasuo Mitsuya of Toyohashi, Japan.

His background in bonsai has helped tremendously with his occupation as an ornamental tree pruner. He specializes in the aesthetics of pruning small, focal point trees and old historically significant trees.

He enjoys lecturing on Maples, Japanese Black Pine, Shimpaku Juniper, Chamaecyparis, Flowering Trees, the Art of Winter Silhouette, and Finding the Line of a Tree.

He thinks of himself not as an expert, but as a serious student, wishing to exchange bonsai knowledge with others. The position he enjoyed most was being the Education Chairman for the Golden State Bonsai Federation. In his spare time, Dennis is the bonsai instructor at Merritt College Bonsai Club and first vice president of the Golden State Bonsai Federation, as well as an active member of Fuji, Golden Gate, Bay Area Shohin, and Bay Area Bonsai Associates Clubs.

Over the past ten years, he has conducted numerous lectures, workshops and demonstrations throughout the United States. He is severely curtailing his public bonsai activities in order to concentrate more on his ornamental tree pruning business, so we are very lucky to have him join us for this fine demonstration.

A registration form has been included (last newsletter page), and directions will be printed in next month's newsletter. Please try to attend - this is an excellent bonsai workshop!

MidAtlantic Symposium

Speakers for the upcoming Festival have been announced. Next Spring's line up features bonsai artists Yasuo Mitsuya (Japan), Dan Barton (Great Britian), Kathy Shaner (California), Ed Trout (Florida), and Dale Cachoy (Ohio). This is an outstanding group of bonsai artists. Remember to mark your calendar for the upcoming MidAtlantic Spring Festival to be held in New Jersey on April 19-21, 2002.

President's Notes

Hello Members,

 

It has been a difficult month. So many people have lost loved ones, children lost parents, parents lost children, brothers, sisters, friends and the list continues. Being a New Yorker it certainly hit home. My wife (Mary Ann) was in New York working and witnessed some of the devistation. We have friends and family working at ground zero. We all know of or know someone who has a story, it has touched us all.

I have sat and looked at my trees over and over again and I have learned to appreciate even more, that the art of bonsai is about life. We raise and nurture living art. Somehow the trees do not seem so small anymore.

It was nice to see you at our last meeting, Corin did a fine job. I am looking forward to seeing you at the October meeting in Quakertown. This meeting is shared with Lehigh and Walter Pall will be doing the demo/lecture.

So, until we see each other again, enjoy the fall foliage.

 

Randy

---Directions to Meyer's Family Restaurant --Quakertown, PA

From (E-W)PA Turnpike--Exit 26 to rt. 309 North. Follow 309 to Quakertown. Meyer's Restaurant is on rt. 309 approximately 1 mile north of the 309 - 663 -313 intersection (formerly Trainer's Corner) on the right.

Probably the easiest for most people.....

From Northeast Extension of PA Turnpike---North to Quakertown Exit. After toll, turn left onto 663 East. Go approximately 4 miles to rt. 309. Turn left onto 309N, go about 1 mile. Meyer's is on the right.

 

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November 2001

October Meeting

 

Walter Pall's demonstration and lecture covered a great deal of information for the club members. Starting with creating jin and shari that has the appearance of aged wood, Walter demonstrated the technique, first peeling away the fresh bark on the trunk and then using a gas torch to scorch the wood. After the wood cooled, Jim Doyle applied the mixture of lime sulphur and fabric paint to the wood. The same process was used on the already dead aged wood, this was done to match both the new jin and shari with the old wood. The process worked well, it was difficult to tell the difference.

Walter also showed his technique for carving with a bit he called the Samurai. It was used at an RPM speed of 19000 with his power tool. He also used a sanding disk and brush as attachments. All these tools were used to create the aged look we all strive for with our bonsai. While Jim Doyle wired the tree, Walter showed his slides on collecting. Walter's goal was to find the largest trunk and create a bonsai with minimal height. He said that one of his trees, the height was a 3 to 1 ratio of trunk size. The trunk was 12 inches across.

He described methods of styling collected trees and the type of trees he was most fond of. They included Mugo Pine, Larch, and Mountain Juniper. Walter does not style with the same old rules in mind, but a cross at times between contemporary and traditional.

Back to the demo, with the tree wired Walter shaped the top of the tree to form the crown to be easy flowing and graceful. The tree looked terrific, an aged mountain top literati. Thank you Walter and Jim for a job well done. - R.N.

December Meeting

Time for some holiday spirit and fellowship! This December, we will have our usual social and holiday raffles, and a guest appearance by Marty Schmalenburg. Please note the date on your calendar - December 7th - details in next month's newsletter.

November Meeting Notice

Because of the excellent weekend workshop being presented by Brandywine Bonsai Society, we are encouraging all PBS members to attend the workshop in place of our November meeting - we will hold no formal meeting in November. Below is a reprint of last's month's information.

Dennis Makishima Workshop

Brandywine Bonsai Society presents a special bonsai workshop by Dennis Makishima Saturday and Sunday, November 10 and 11, 2001 at the Stone Barn Unionville, PA.

The Program

On Saturday, November 10, 2001

Ramification and Winter Silhouette

Basic Ramification

Deciduous

Flowering

Non-flowering

Evergreen

 

Saturday evening, you are invited to join Dennis and the BBS for dinner at a local restaurant.

On Sunday, November 11 2001

Japanese Black Pine - A to Z

Care

Styling

Design

Maintenance

 

For both lectures, Dennis would appreciate your bringing trees that could be discussed. These trees should be close to show-quality and suitably potted. While this is not an exhibition, we are sure that your fellow enthusiasts would enjoy the chance to share trees at a time when most trees are about to be put away for the winter. The discussion can remain anonymous.

About the Artist:

Dennis Makishima was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area. He grew up the local Japanese-American community and was exposed to bonsai almost his entire life. However, he didn't take his first lesson until 20 years ago.

He was fortunate to have studied with many prominent bonsai instructors from the area. He currently continues his association with bonsai masters Mas Imazumi of Berkeley, CA and Hiroshi Suzuki of San Francisco. He had the privilege of studying for one and a half years with Bonsai Master Yasuo Mitsuya of Toyohashi, Japan.

His background in bonsai has helped tremendously with his occupation as an ornamental tree pruner. He specializes in the aesthetics of pruning small, focal point trees and old historically significant trees.

He enjoys lecturing on Maples, Japanese Black Pine, Shimpaku Juniper, Chamaecyparis, Flowering Trees, the Art of Winter Silhouette, and Finding the Line of a Tree.

He thinks of himself not as an expert, but as a serious student, wishing to exchange bonsai knowledge with others. The position he enjoyed most was being the Education Chairman for the Golden State Bonsai Federation. In his spare time, Dennis is the bonsai instructor at Merritt College Bonsai Club and first vice president of the Golden State Bonsai Federation, as well as an active member of Fuji, Golden Gate, Bay Area Shohin, and Bay Area Bonsai Associates Clubs.

Over the past ten years, he has conducted numerous lectures, workshops and demonstrations throughout the United States. He is severely curtailing his public bonsai activities in order to concentrate more on his ornamental tree pruning business, so we are very lucky to have him join us for this fine demonstration.

A registration form has been included (last newsletter page), and directions will be printed in next month's newsletter. Please try to attend - this is an excellent bonsai workshop!

Directions to the Stone Barn

 

The Stone Barn is two miles west of Unionville, PA and approximately 30 minutes from Newark, Wilmington, West Chester, Downingtown or Exton. It is approximately one hour from Lancaster or Philadelphia, PA.

 

From North Wilmington, Philadelphia or West Chester: Get to Route US-1 southbound. Two exits after taking the Route 1 bypass around Kennett Square, take the Toughkenamon exit. Take Newark Road north for three miles to a left onto Route 842. The Stone Barn is '/4 mile on the left.

 

From Newark, DE or south Wilmington: Take 48, 41 or 7 north until they join 41 north. About two miles into PA, turn right onto Newark Road and go about 7 miles. Turn left onto 842. The Stone Barn is 1/4 mile on the left.

 

From points south: From northbound 1-95, or the Delaware Memorial Bridge, take 141 north. Take the 41 northbound exit and follow the Newark instructions.

 

From Central or Northern New Jersey: Take the Commodore Barry Bridge or any other bridges north of that to 1-95 southbound. Take the 322 exit northwest to US 1 southbound and follow the Wilmington instructions above.

 

The Stone Barn Unionville, PA (610) 347-2414

 

President's Notes

 

Hello Members,

Hope you are all enjoying the nice summer weather we've been having. Our shared meeting with Lehigh this past week was a success. Walter Pall did an excellent job. Jim Doyle assisted Walter and between the both of them we learned a great deal about collecting in nature and creating jin and shari.

Our member Harvey Gordon, has been under the weather and has moved to live with his daugther. He is getting better and hopefully will be coming back soon. Get well Harvey, from all of us at PBS.

Our November meeting will be the Dennis Makishima weekend and we will return Friday, December 7th for our holiday meeting and raffle of gifts. Marty Schmalenburg whose program will be literati with a collected pitch pine. He is an excellent artist and teacher, don't miss it!

I'm looking forward to seeing you all, talk to you soon.

Randy

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December 2001

December Meeting

With the holidays fast approaching, what better way to celebrate than to join together in our Holiday Meeting? The evening will start out with a social hour, during which we'll snack on goodies, have our traditional holiday raffles, and share in the festivities.

Our guest artist for the evening will be Marty Schmalenburg, who will present a lecture/demonstration on literati pitch pine. The literati style of bonsai is one of the most difficult and demanding styles to create. One must convey the essence of a tree with a minimal number of branches. Marty is very experienced with pitch pines as well as the literati, or bunjin style. He has appeared at quite a number of bonsai symposia throughout the US, often lecturing on pitch pine. Marty's last visit to PBS was in October of 1998. We look forward to his presentation which promises to combine artistic styling with solid knowledge of the demonstration material.

*Please bring a goodie to share with others.

*Also, please note the earlier starting time.

Be sure to take part in this great activity,- who knows, you could win a free MidAtlantic registration, or some great bonsai "stuff" in our Holiday raffles or our regular demo raffle!

 

Date: Friday, December 10

Speaker: Marty Schmalenburg

Location: Room 208, Dixon Hall, Ambler Campus, Temple University

Time: 7 pm

January Meeting

No formal meeting will be held for January, however we are scheduling an Exhibit Tree Workshop for all persons interested in exhibiting trees in the Philadelphia Flower show, as well as anyone who want to learn more about preparing your bonsai for exhibit. Bring your trees for critique and hints. We need 13 trees for the exhibit, and this is the time to begin preparations for the March show.

Exhibit Tree Workshop

Date: Saturday, January 19

Time 10:00 am

Location: Old Mill Bonsai Studio, Honeybrook, PA

Directions to Exhibit Workshop at Howard McNeal's

Take to PA Turnpike to the Downingtown Exit. Then take Rt. 100 south to Exton Square and Rt. 30 west. You can also take the Schuylkill expressway to Rt. 202 south to Rt. 30 west.

Next, take Rt. 322 out of Downingtown, cross over Rt. 82, then make a right on the next road. Go about 2 miles and cross over an iron bridge. At the next crossroad, make a right and go 3/10 mile to a Y in the road. House in on the right. Parking in the studio lot. Please phone Howard 610-942-2082 or Randy 610-942-7546 if you need further directions .

MidAtlantic Symposium

Speakers for the upcoming Festival have been announced. Next Spring's line up features bonsai artists Yasuo Mitsuya (Japan), Dan Barton (Great Britain), Kathy Shaner (California), Ed Trout (Florida), and Dale Cochoy (Ohio). This is an outstanding group of bonsai artists. Remember to mark your calendar for the upcoming MidAtlantic Spring Festival to be held in New Jersey on April 19-21, 2002. Last year's great participation by PBS resulted in a return to the club of over $950, which is applied directly to speakers and demo material for PBS. These monies, along with our June auction, enable us to present quality programs throughout the year. Let's try to top last year's participation. Registration forms will be mailed out shortly.

Artist Biographies

Mr. Yasuo Mitsuya is an internationally acknowledged professional Bonsai Master and Teacher from Toyohashi, Japan. He personally owns some of the finest Bonsai in Japan. His formal training and experience have enabled him to become an exceptional contemporary styling artist and expert horticulturist. Mr. Mitsuya is particularly known for his work with conifer material in the "Gendai" (contemporary) design form. He has toured world wide advocating techniques for this styling form. Many will recall Mr. Mitsuya's excellent Bonsai creations from his last visit at our 1995 Festival. Mr. Mitsuya will perform one lecture/demonstration on Saturday and one on Sunday, a Critique of the Exhibit material on Saturday, and a Bring-Your-Own Bonsai material "Open Workshop" on Sunday.

Mr. Dan Barton resides in Bristol in the United Kingdom where in 1990 he founded an educational "Service in Bonsai", which spreads the art of Bonsai. For his efforts, he recently was made a Member of the British Bonsai Roll of Honour (by the FoBBS) for contributions to the furtherance of Bonsai in Great Britain. In 1989, he published The Bonsai Book, which has had multiple world printings. He also is currently working on his second book. Mr. Barton will perform one lecture/demonstration on Saturday and one on Sunday, a Critique of the Exhibit material on Saturday, and a Bring-Your-Own Bonsai material "Open Workshop" on Sunda

Ms. Katherine Shaner comes to us from San Jose, California where she discovered Bonsai in 1983. Ms. Shaner studied Bonsai in Japan for five years as an apprentice directly under the auspices of Mr. Yasuo Mitsuya. It was during one of her few visits back to the United States when she was a Lecturer-Demonstrator at MidAtlantic's 1999 Spring Festival, that she developed an outstanding Seiju Elm Bonsai. The 2002 MABS Festival highlights a reunion of the Master and his Student, which should present quite an interesting and challenging occasion. Ms. Shaner will perform a lecture/demonstration on Saturday using selected material imported from California. In addition, she will critique the Bonsai Exhibit material on Friday evening and hold a Chinese Elm Workshop on Sunday afternoon.

Mr. Ed Trout specializes in tropical material being a long time resident of Florida. Mr. Trout has been very active in Bonsai since 1970. Most recently, in the 1999 JAL World Bonsai contest in Japan, one of his Bonsai was declared as one of the top 100 Bonsai in the world. In the 1994, he was a finalist for the prestigious Ben Oki International Design Award. He has been a board member of Bonsai Clubs International and is a current board member of the National Bonsai Foundation. Mr. Trout will perform a Lecture/Demo on Saturday using a Ficus Nerifolia from Florida, a Critique of the Exhibit material on Saturday afternoon, and a material supplied Ficus Nerifolia Tropical Workshop on Sunday.

Mr. Dale Cochoy, who resides in Hartville, Ohio, is the co-proprietor of Wild Things Bonsai Nursery. Many will recognize him as a regular Vendor at MABS. In addition to Bonsai, Dale has been producing Bonsai pottery for almost 4 years. Recently his pottery won second place in the Modern Category at the National Bonsai's Foundation 25th Anniversary Festival. Mr. Cochoy is active in the American Bonsai Society in the role of director. He will open the 2002 Spring Festival on Friday evening with a Yew (Taxis) Lecture/Demonstration. He also will hold a Shohin workshop featuring supplied "Cranberry Cotoneaster Shohin" material on Sunday afternoon.

President's Notes

Hello members,

Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving Holiday.

Each week I say I'm going to put the trees away for the winter, but winter isn't coming. I usually put the trees into storage the weekend of Thanksgiving, but I like to get a week of freeze before. Some of the buds are swelling and I have a tree on the property that has bloomed. Hopefully it will chill off soon so the trees can rest.

While we are on the topic of storing trees, before you put them away, think about which tree you would like to put in the Flower Show this year. We are having the Flower Show workshop on Saturday, January 19th at 10:00am at Old Mill Bonsai, the usual spot. The workshop gives you the opportunity to get expert advice on preparing your trees for display including repotting. We need 13 trees to complete the display this year, so if you are interested, please fill out the form in the newsletter and return it to me in person or by mail. Please help the club continue our success at the show.

Thank you, see you at the December Holiday Meeting!

Randy

--Directions to Ambler Campus--

From PA Turnpike-Exit 26 to rt. 309 N.--Use Susquehanna Rd. exit--Turn Left onto Susquehanna Rd., proceed to Butler Pike. -- Turn right onto Butler Pike go 1/2 mi. to Meetinghouse Rd. --Turn right on Meetinghouse Rd. Go 1/2 mi. to Ambler Campus.

From 309 south - Use Butler Pike exit--Proceed left onto Butler Pike, go 1/4 mi. to Meetinghouse Rd.-- Turn right onto Meetinghouse Rd. -Proceed 1/2 mi. to Ambler Campus.

Important Reminder ---park only in the lot on Meetinghouse Road!, or behind Bright Hall(student lot). You may drop off passengers or meeting items in front of Bright Hall, but parking is not allowed on the campus proper.

******We have been using what had been the exit road to get to Dixon Hall for drop off as the old Entrance road is blocked.******

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