PBS Newsletter

Archives

2010

JAN.
FEB.
MAR.
APR.
MAY
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SEPT.
OCT.
NOV.
DEC.

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January 2010

January Meeting/Workshop

Before we know it, the Philadelphia Flower Show will be opening. This month we're holding our Flower Show workshop, to prepare trees for the show and to informally review the criteria necessary for a good bonsai display. We'll be doing some trimming, wiring and grooming of trees as well as getting some advice on our trees.
Not all trees will be ready for exhibit, but if your tree falls into this category, bring it to the workshop anyhow for evaluation. You'll get some useful advice on development, styling, wiring, or preparation.
Please bring stands, scrolls, and accents that you plan to incorporate.
January's meeting should be lots of fun, informative, and productive. Please join us to work or to observe.

PBS Workshop
Date: Saturday, January 16
Location: Greater Plymouth Community Center
Time: 10 am -1pm


December Meeting

Lots of holiday goodies, good friendship, some lively raffles , and a short program on Bonsai display, highlighted our December Holiday Celebration. Jim Gillespie gets our thanks for furnishing (and wrapping) all the great raffle gifts. Our brief program demonstrated some do's and don't of bonsai display utilizing a PowerPoint presentation and some live setups.
While the turnout could have been better, nobody could have improved on the warmth and fellowship of the evening.
Congratulations to John McGowan, winner of the full registration to the 2010 MidAtlantic Spring Festival.

Future Meetings
February 19 - Lecture/Demo - Pines - Bernie Gastrich
February 28- March 7 - Philadelphia Flower Show - Exhibit Sitting
April 23 - Lecture/Demo - Charles Ceronio (tenative)

Workshop Hints

If the soil of your bonsai is frozen, bring it into an area that is slightly above freezing several days before the workshop to allow the soil and branches to thaw out. Return it to freezing temperatures gradually following the workshop.
Tropical trees should be protected when taken out to travel. Cover the foliage and avoid cold drafts. Warm the interior before loading the tropical into the car.
Be sure to bring what you'll need for the morning - tools, wire, cut paste, etc.
Unfortunately, PBS is not allowed to bring in a coffee pot, so be sure to stop along the way for some warm refreshment. There are vending machines available in the lobby area.

President's Notes

I hope that many of you come to the workshop on January 16th. Even if you are not entering a bonsai in the Flower Show or working on your own tree, watching others and listening to the suggestions that are given to them is a valuable learning experience. When I take workshops, I seldom get a lot of work done on my own tree because I like to listen to what the workshop leader has to suggest to others. I can always go home and work on my own tree later, but I can not hear valuable styling and growing information from experts at home.
With Flower Show time approaching I always start to think about the questions that are asked of us there. The most often asked question has been, "How old is that tree?" Since the age of the bonsai is rarely known, even by the owner, this has been a difficult one to answer. Several years ago Randy Naftal, Flower Show Chair, tried to provide information that would solve this. On the label for each tree, he added the category, "Time in Training". For some, this has only added to the confusion. First be aware that for most trees, the age is approximate. Few of us know the exact age of the tree. We may buy a "15 year old juniper" from a nursery, but is it exactly 15 years old? Trees are also collected or purchased from others, again age is approximate. We usually do know how long we have been working on a tree. If you buy a 15 year old juniper from a nursery as raw material and work on it as a bonsai for 5 years, then its age is approximately 20 years and its years in training would be 5 years. If you should purchase an existing bonsai try to find out how long the previous owner worked on it.
This brings up the matter of "owner" vs. "artist". If you have done all of the bonsai work on a tree, then you are the artist. If you buy a pre existing bonsai then you are only the "owner" for at least the first 3 years. This allows time for you to put your efforts into maintaining and restyling the tree; only then are you considered the artist. In Japan some owners never become artists. They purchase the trees but always have someone else work on them. Many bonsai "purists" say that you should never exhibit a tree unless you have owned it for at least 5 years.
I hope that more members of PBS will be willing to exhibit trees in the Flower Show. Displaying a tree is very rewarding after all the hard work and time that it takes to get a tree ready.
PBS has already raffled off one registration to MidAtlantic at the holiday meeting. In the upcoming meetings (January and February) there will be two more ongoing raffles for MidAtlantic registrations: one for PBS members who have never attended MidAtlantic and one for all PBS members. You will be able to buy tickets at the January and February meetings. The two drawings will be held at the February meeting. You do not have to be present to win, just make sure to put your name on the back of the tickets.

See you at the January workshop.
Linda

MidAtlantic Festival

The 2010 lineup for the MidAtlantic Spring Festival features an international cast of bonsai masters; Michele Andolfo from Italy, Charles Ceronio from South Africa, and Michel Phaneuf from Canada. These artists will be conducting lecture/demos, critiques, and workshops over the weekend.
Our focus this month will be on Charles Ceronio.
Charles Ceronio started growing bonsai in 1968. He is the President and was co-founder of the Pretoria Bonsai Kai. In 1981, Charles and a small group of South African bonsai growers attended the 25th Anniversary of the California Bonsai Society on the invitation of John Naka. Charles was Mr. Naka’s assistant in Pretoria during his numerous visits to South Africa. Charles has been a John Naka disciple ever since. Other great masters who had an influence on Charles are Ben Oki and Roy Nagatoshi. Charles gave a talk on "The Winds of Change to Indigenous Bonsai Styles for South Africa" at the first bonsai convention held in Cape Town in 1980. At that convention, he introduced South African bonsai enthusiasts to six new African styles that he had created. Charles' favorite bonsai style is, surprisingly, not the Pierneef or Baobab styles, but rather forest plantings. In 1999, he published his book Bonsai Styles of the World. Regarded as the bonsai bible on styles, a second edition was published in 2004. During 1999 and 2000, two of Charles's trees were selected as being among the 100 best trees in the world in the JAL World Bonsai Contest held under the auspices of the Nippon Bonsai Association. He was a headliner at the 2005 World Bonsai Convention in Washington, DC. At present, Charles is working on a book on indigenous plants suitable for bonsai in Southern Africa. He will present two lecture/demonstrations, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Also on Saturday, Mr. Ceronio will conduct a critique of the exhibit trees, and on Sunday he will conduct a bring- your- own tree workshop.
This year, the Festival will be hosting the Joshua Roth New Talent Contest. Wouldn't it be wonderful if one of the entrants was a PBS member? Information will be available at our monthly meetings.
Every year MABS features a great exhibit of trees from member clubs. PBS members have some great trees. If you'd like to exhibit yours at MABS, contact your MABS reps, Jim Gillespie, or Jim Brant for details.
Dates for the Festival are April 16-18, 2010 , at the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa.
Registration folders should have arrived. If you didn't receive yours, please contact Jim Brant. Again this year , first time registrants and non-bonsai spouses may register for half price. Don't forget to register early, especially if you want to sign up for a workshop or critique.. MABS is a very good experience and a real value.

Flower Show Notes

Linda is always looking for volunteers, new or experienced, to help act as docents for the exhibit. A brief three hour period is all that is needed. Tickets to the Show are provided for you and a guest (have you checked the cost of admission this year? $24-$28!!!). We have to cover the exhibit for the entire show, so lots of help is needed. Contact Linda by phone (610-948-6380) or email (lbrant@comcast.net) to volunteer.

Seasonal Notes

Let's hope that December's weather is not a harbinger of things to come. We've had record snows, some very low temperatures, and tremendous windstorms. Of the three, the wind is the thing that can be the most harmful to our trees in winter storage. The wind can cause a great deal of dessication, or drying, if adequate protection is not provided. Some form of windbreak is beneficial if your trees are exposed to winter winds.
Should you worry about snowfall? Probably not, as long as the snow doesn't become too heavy and cause branch breakage. Actually snow provides some insulation for roots. Melting snow is a good source of moisture for bonsai.
Trees in indoor storage need to be kept as cool is possible, so as not to break dormancy. They will need frequent checking to avoid drying out. If you can make snowballs, they are an excellent way to get moisture into the trees in indoor storage. Misting is also beneficial is temperatures are above freezing.
What can we do while waiting for Spring? Now is a great time to catch up on all those articles in bonsai magazines you haven't has time to read. Check your tools for rust and sharpness - be ready to start work when it's time rather than spending precious time getting things organized - the trees can't wait. Check through your records (you do keep records of your trees, don't you?) to see which trees need repotting in the Spring. Too often a tree's health declines because it was not repotted in a timely manner. My guidelines are to repot maples, azaleas, and other deciduous trees every two years and larch, pines and junipers after three or more years, observing each for signs that repotting is needed.

Joshua Roth New Talent Bonsai Competition

The Joshua Roth New Talent Bonsai Competition, sponsored by The American Bonsai Society, will be held at MidAtlantic in 2010. This competition is open to any person who resides in North America and who has been involved in the art of bonsai for less than 10 years. Details of the competition are available on the ABS Website. The deadline is March 26 .
The Pennsylvania Bonsai Society will sponsor any PBS member who reaches Stage Two of this competition by paying for 2 nights lodging at the Hudson Valley Resort (Thursday, April 15, and Friday, April 16) and the cost of the banquet at which the winner will be announced. If the contestant should wish to attend the MidAtlantic Convention, he/she will have to pay for registration and for Saturday night lodging.

Weather Related Meeting Notification

Over the years, we have had very few cancellations due to the weather, but sometimes we get caught in a storm. If we are faced with a cancellation, the following procedures will take place.
A. If you are on the email list for newsletters - you will receive cancellation notice by email.
B. If you are not on the email list, then check the web site. Cancellation notice will be posted prominently on the home page.
C. If you do not have computer access, a board member will attempt to contact you by phone.
D. We will also try to place a notice on KYW radio.
If you are in doubt about a meeting taking place, be sure to check before leaving home.

Directions to the Greater Plymouth Community Center

From Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-276)-Take Exit 333 (Norristown - old exit 25). At the end of the ramp, turn left onto Plymouth Road. At the light, turn right onto Germantown Pike West. Continue approximately one (1) mile, through five (5) traffic lights. At the sixth light, turn right onto Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.
From Blue Route (I-476)-Take exit for Germantown Pike West (Exit 20). Continue on Germantown Pike west for approximately one (1) mile, through six (6) traffic lights. At the seventh light ti right onto Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.
From Route 202-Follow Route 202 to Germantown Pike. Travel EAST on Germantown Pike, through five (5) traffic lights. At the next traffic light, approximately half a mile, turn left on Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.

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February 2010

February Meeting

This month's program will feature a discussion on pine development presented by Berni Gastrich. Dr. Berni Gastrich created his first bonsai, a mugho pine, in 1971. It is alive and well and he will bring it to his lecture. He was a student of Yuji Yoshimura and has made several trips to Japan. Pine has always been a particular interest of his, and his lecture will focus on choosing, maintaining and developing pines of all kinds. He will particularly focus on how to create pines with short internodes and good density. This of course involves the development of short, dense needles, appropriate to the size of the individual tree. He will bring trees showing the progress of needle reduction over a period of years.
The development of pine bonsai is often a major stumbling block for the beginning or intermediate bonsai enthusiast, so Berni's program could go a long way toward helping leap over the block that many of us have or will encounter in deveoping our pine bonsai.
This month's drawings will complete our two special MABS raffles. You could be the lucky winner of a full registration to the MidAtlantic Festival in April!

No members' exhibit this month - no double raffle tickets.

Guest Artist: Berni Gastrich - Pine Program
Date: Friday, February 19
Time: 7:00
Location: Greater Plymouth Community Cente
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MidAtlantic Festival

The 2010 lineup for the MidAtlantic Spring Festival features an international cast of bonsai masters; Michele Andolfo from Italy, Charles Ceronio from South Africa, and Michel Phaneuf from Canada. These artists will be conducting lecture/demos, critiques, and workshops over the weekend.
Our focus this month will be on Michel Phaneuf.
Michel Phaneuf, born in the Montréal area, studied sculpture and painting at the Montréal Fine Arts School. He graduated from UQAM University with a degree in graphic concept and design. He has his own marketing company. Michel started bonsai in 1992. After a few years of training with David Easterbrook, he worked with many bonsai specialists from Europe, Japan and the USA. His involvement in the Société de Bonsaï et de Penjing de Montréal includes serving as a teacher, eight years on the board of directors, and four years as president. Michel has travelled to Europe to continue his training and give lectures with French and Italian masters, such as François Jeker, Michele Andolfo, Salvatore Liporace and others. Michel was one of the founding members of the Karamatsu Study Group in 1998 which meets in Montreal. He was a featured teacher at the American Bonsai Societies’ 2008 Learning Seminars in Texas. The titles of his lessons at this event were, “Shape and Movement (creating a bonsai),” “Initiation to Dead Wood for the First- Timer,” and “Dead Wood Tools and Techniques.” He has also given lectures and demonstrations to many United States bonsai organizations. In bonsai design what Michel loves most is creating bonsai with a lot of expression. He will present two lecture/demonstrations, one on Friday and one on Saturday. Also, on Saturday Mr. Phaneuf will conduct a critique of the exhibit trees; Sunday he will conduct a workshop utilizing Shimpaku junipers.This year, the Festival will be hosting the Joshua Roth New Talent Contest. Wouldn't it be wonderful if one of the entrants was a PBS member? Information will be available at our monthly meetings.
Every year MABS features a great exhibit of trees from member clubs. PBS members have some great trees. If you'd like to exhibit yours at MABS, contact your MABS reps, Jim Gillespie, or Jim Brant for details.
Dates for the Festival are April 16-18, 2010 , at the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa.
Registration folders should have arrived. If you didn't receive yours, please contact Jim Brant. Again this year , first time registrants and non-bonsai spouses may register for half price. Don't forget to register early, especially if you want to sign up for a workshop or critique.. MABS is a very good experience and a real value.

Future Meetings
February 28- March 7 - Philadelphia Flower Show - Exhibit Sitting
April 23 - Lecture/Demo - Charles Ceronio (tenative)
May 21 - Lecture/Demo - Sean Smith

President's Notes

As I write this, Jim and I are looking forward to a California trip to attend the Shohin Convention held there every other year. We have been to some outstanding conventions in California and have been hearing about this one for several years. It is held at an out of the way hotel to keep costs down, but is noted for its excellent educational value and also for being a good time. Since this winter is not even half over, it will be wonderful to go somewhere warmer (hopefully) where we can actually work on trees. We are both taking workshops so that we can get warmed up for working on our trees come Spring.
Soon after our return , it will be Flower Show time. I always look forward to that week, especially seeing bonsai trees. It is amazing to see deciduous material that arrives at set up with bare branches and then leaves 10 days later with leaves emerging. Of course, we then have to worry about keeping the tree protected until Spring actually arrives. Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate with us.
The January workshop was very productive. Several trees were prepared for the Flower Show. Some other bonsai were styled or refined with the help of PBS's more experiences members. Several members attended to watch and learn. If you were unable to attend, but think that you have a tree that is ready for display in the Flower Show, please contact Randy Naftal, Flower Show Chairman. His can be contacted by email at: randallnaftal@yahoo.com. He will need to see the tree or a photo of it. I also have some openings on the sitting schedule. If you want to help by manning the PBS Exhibit, please contact me. My thanks to all who helped at the workshop.
Don't forget that raffle tickers will be sold again at the February 19th meeting for the MidAtlantic drawings. One raffle is for first time attendees to MidAtlantic, the other raffle is for everyone. The drawings will be that evening, but you do not have to be present to win. We are encouraging as many members as possible to attend MidAtlantic. You will benefit from the bonsai knowledge that you will gain and our club benefits financially from our members' attendance. All PBS members should have received their registration material. If you did not get them or need replacements, contact Jim Brant.
See you at the February meeting, We will all learn more about developing pine bonsai!

Seasonal Notes

In checking back over previous newsletters, I came across a Seasonal Notes section where I related my New Year's Bonsai Resolutions. We often times make New Year's resolutions. Some we even keep. Here are a few that Linda and I made along with the results four years later.
2006 - We will cut down the size of the collection. Too many trees, too much to do. Fewer trees mean less variety, but the trees will be better maintained. Pruning and wiring won't be so overwhelming that the jobs may even get done on time. 2010 - The collection has been cut down from over 100 trees to about 75. Most trees were donated to auctions. It was difficult to see some trees go that we had worked on for many years, but it was necessary.
2006 - We will repot trees more often. I had been letting most of my maples go for three years before repotting. Those that have been repotted at two years (or even every year) look much healthier and far more vigorous. 2010 - I'm pleased that the deciduous trees have improved by a significant amount with the more frequent repotting. An additional benefit of more frequent repotting, is that the trees are looked at more critically as to pruning and styling during these repotting sessions.
2006 - We will keep better records of my trees. Every Spring during repotting, we make mental notes on a tree's root condition, pot selected, degree of pruning, and so on.. Actually writing down those thoughts on a permanent record often didn't get done in a timely manner. 2010 - Our bonsai notebook is now much more complete. We can review notes from previous years before beginning our repotting season and work far more efficiently. What has worked well is using Post-It notes during the actual repotting, then placing them in the appropriate page of the notebook, transferring the information to the permanent record when time permits.
2006 - Also, I need to take more pictures of the trees - 2010 - It's amazing how much development can take place in three or four years. Photos provide proof that the tree is improving. Most trees in the collection now have an "after" shot taken immediately after repotting. The shots are not anywhere near studio quality, but give us a good handle on our progress with each tree.
With a little persistence and some mutual encouragement, we've done a fairly good job of keeping to these resolutions. The effort has paid off, at least in our minds.
We all resolve to do a better job of maintaining our trees - the execution sometimes isn't quite as good as intended. The trees we have deserve to be kept in the peak of health - after all, we want them to be here for the next generation of bonsai lovers.

Joshua Roth New Talent Bonsai Competition

The Joshua Roth New Talent Bonsai Competition, sponsored by The American Bonsai Society, will be held at MidAtlantic in 2010. This competition is open to any person who resides in North America and who has been involved in the art of bonsai for less than 10 years. Details of the competition are available on the ABS Website. The deadline is March 26 .
The Pennsylvania Bonsai Society will sponsor any PBS member who reaches Stage Two of this competition by paying for 2 nights lodging at the Hudson Valley Resort (Thursday, April 15, and Friday, April 16) and the cost of the banquet at which the winner will be announced. If the contestant should wish to attend the MidAtlantic Convention, he/she will have to pay for registration and for Saturday night lodging.
ADDITIONAL PRIZES FOR THE ABS SUPPORTED JOSHUA ROTH NEW TALENT CONTEST
ABS just announced that the family of Ron Martin will again provide scholarships to honor their deceased Father and ABS board member. In 2010 the two scholarships will be given to the two top scoring New Talent Contest winners at the MABS festival. Each Scholarship will cover the registration fee and banquet for the weekend. This will be in addition to the normal prizes for the contest.
The Grand Prize for the Joshua Roth New Talent Bonsai Competition is an exclusive course of study with an approved bonsai teacher and hotel accommodations if the teacher is not in the winner’s home town. The winning artist will also be profiled in the Journal of the American Bonsai Society under the title of “Best New Bonsai Talent of 2010.”

Directions to the Greater Plymouth Community Center

From Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-276)-Take Exit 333 (Norristown - old exit 25). At the end of the ramp, turn left onto Plymouth Road. At the light, turn right onto Germantown Pike West. Continue approximately one (1) mile, through five (5) traffic lights. At the sixth light, turn right onto Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.
From Blue Route (I-476)-Take exit for Germantown Pike West (Exit 20). Continue on Germantown Pike west for approximately one (1) mile, through six (6) traffic lights. At the seventh light ti right onto Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.
From Route 202-Follow Route 202 to Germantown Pike. Travel EAST on Germantown Pike, through five (5) traffic lights. At the next traffic light, approximately half a mile, turn left on Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.

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March 2010

see April

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April 2010

April Meeting


This month's meeting features one of the headliners of the MidAtlantic Spring Festival, Charles Ceronio. Charles is from South Africa, but has studied under American masters John Naka, Ben Oki, and Roy Nagatoshi. Several of his trees have been selected among the 100 Best in the World Bonsai Contest sponsored by JAL and the Nippon Bonsai Association. He was a headliner at Washington, D.C.'s World Bonsai Convention in 2005. He has authored Bonsai Styles of the World, which is regarded as the bonsai bible on styles, first published in 1999, with a second edition published in 2004. He has created six styles unique to South African material, but his favorite style is forest plantings.
Charles' material for this month's lecture/demonstration will be a Hinoki cypress, which will be raffled at the end of his program.
The evening's events promise to be entertaining as well as informational, an evening worth attending!

Bring a tree to exhibit -earn double raffle tickets!!

Guest Artist: Charles Ceronio - Lecture/Demo
Date: Friday, April 23
Time: 7:00
Location: Greater Plymouth Community Cente
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February Meeting

Our February speaker, Bernie Gastrich, provided us with a tremendous amount of knowledge relating to pines. Bernie's long experience with the development of fine pine bonsai was willingly shared throughout the evenings discussion. Lots of questions and great group participation made for an informative and delightful program. Many thanks to Bernie!
No plant material was raffled, but the two special raffles for a full MABS registration were won by Andy Klein and Myron "Kaz" Kazimer. Congratulations to both winners!

Tidbits from Bernie Gastrich's Lecture on Pines

Developing pines is all about controlling energy:
Nutrients from the soil
Within the tree to control the length of candles and needles
Advantages of Black Pine
•Fast growing
•Rough bark with great texture
•Drought resistant
•Dark green needles
Developing young pines:
• With the exception of literati we need to develop massive trunks and good taper.
• Consider what good taper is by standing under an old tree and look up-see apparent taper
developed by the RR track illusion of taper.
• Develop the illusion of apparent age
• Look for the signs of age and develop them in the tree
• Georgia O'Keefe said “ Do not duplicate the tree, duplicate the emotion of the tree.”
• To develop the young pine bonsai:
1. Put the young tree in a large container with gritty, well drained soil
• Large particles allow good absorption of water and nutrients and their release as needed.
• Turface or akadama is good, granite is not, bark uses up nutrients as it decomposes
• Root must grow to promote and support top growth.
2. Fertilize very well. Liquid Fertilizer works well.
3. Grow in full sun - 8-10 hours of full sun is ideal.
4. Grow full candles in spring.
5. Just as needles begin to show, cut the full candles off.
6. Continue to fertilize into fall. The tree will develop more quickly and form excellent vascular
tissue.
7. Develop the low branches as bonsai but grow out the leader and then cut it back to 2 lower branches. Develop one at the new leader and one as the branch. Tilt the
tree to develop curves.
8. Use sacrifice branches in the back to develop girth.
9. Avoid spoke branches.
10. Do not be concerned with needle length during the development of the tree. The tree needs all the food produced in the needles for development.
Black Pine Miscellany
•Always grow in full sun.
•Heavy fertilizing means it needs more winter protection.
•Black pine is hardy to 10 degrees F if it does not get wind or sun during storage. Frozen soil means the tree can not replace moisture lost by wind and sun, so do not water frozen soil.
•To collect pine or other trees:
•Since roots are likely spread far out, you will lose feeder roots when you collect
trees.
• If possible, partly root prune each spring with a sharp spade for a couple of years to
develop new feeder roots before you collect it.
• Plant the collected tree in coarse soil in a wooden case.
• Never bare root pines- you risk a 90% chance of failure. Leave some of the old soil.
• Use wedge soil removal when transplanting. Clean the wedge all the way to the trunk and then replace the soil.
• When the buds on the ends of the branches first begin to swell and the roots start showing little white nodules, it is an ideal time to repot. Once the tree is repotted, it should be kept in an area above 40°F., out of the sun and wind for the first 2 - 3 weeks to allow development of the fine feeder roots.
• Mycorrhizae is vital to pines. It is needed so the pine can get the best use of nutrients.
• A good soil mix for pines is the standard 3 part soil (turface, granite and pine bark) mixed with up to 1/3 akadama. Do NOT use peat moss in the mix as it will keep the soil too moist and may encourage root rot. The akadama in the mix tends to retain the nutrients and actually acts as a time-release agent.

Once the Black Pine is Developed (mature)
• Water well and fertilize in the spring. Liquid fertilizer.
• When the needles appear and begin to separate, fertilize once more and :
• Remove all of the smallest candles
• Leave a stub equal to the thickness of the candle of the medium sized candles
• Leave a stub 2 or 3 times the thickness of the largest candles
• Do this all on the same day
• The removal of the candles will help insure the development of shorter candles in the second growth of candles.
• The stub has to dry back. As the smallest have no candle, they will develop first.
• From this point on use fertilizer without nitrogen.
• Three weeks later, candles will begin to appear...hold back carefully on water.
• Since Bernie uses automatic watering, he makes a partial cover out of Al pie plates to restrict some of the water from reaching the soil.
• In the fall, fertilize with a medium nitrogen fertilizer like organic cakes. This works well as the organic cakes will only work when the temperatures are warm enough. Start this when the color of the new needles changes from light to dark green. This will only strengthen the tree.
• In the fall, 3 and 4 year old needles will turn brown and fall off. In deciduous trees, energy is stored in the roots while in pine some energy is stored in the roots but much is stored in the needles. Thus in fall we work at balancing energy by:
• Removing all but 4 or 5 pairs of needles in energetic clumps.
• Remove less in medium strength clumps.
• Remove none in weak clumps.
• It takes 3 years to develop short needles in black pine.
Dormancy
• Hard to tell in pines so go by your deciduous trees
• Take care not to let temperatures go above 40 degrees F for extended periods. This will break dor mancy.
• Do not put into winter storage too early.
• Do work in winter. Listen to the branch when bending so you do not destroy the wood. It will not heal in winter. You can wire in winter, but leave the hard bends until spring.
Diseases and pests of black pine
• Needle Cast
• Spray with Daconil all spring every year. It can take 2 years for the infection to show up so treat preventively.
• Mealybugs and aphids
• Spray when seen
• Dormant oil is effective
• Saturate when you spray
• Red Spider Mites
• Use a strong blast of water to remove
• Saturate with Keltane or another miticide if needed
When Shopping for Black Pines:
• Look for trunk thickness, taper, and Curves
• Expect to pay for them
Five Needle Pines
Advantages
• Naturally short needles
• Can be more delicate in structure
Treatment
• Remove 1/2 to 2/3 of the candles when they fully extend as the needles begin to show
• If you want lessened growth, remove part of the candle.
• Do not use nitrogen in the spring. Use Nitrogen in the fall when the needle color change occurs... organic cakes are good.
• Do not water heavily in spring to hold back vigor.
• They will tolerate to 0 degree F.
• Wind and sun are winter enemies.

OTHER PINES can be treated as Black Pine or 5 Needle Pines
Black Pine 5 Needle Pines
Pitch Pine Scots Pine
Mugo Pine Limber Pine
Red Pine

MUGO PINES
• Very Hardy
• Natural short needles
• Can be kept outside all year round
• Treat like Black Pine
SCOTS PINE
Retains the needle length they start with
PITCH PINE
Have great bud back but lighter green color
LIMBER PINE
• Cold hardy
• Very bendable
• Not happy in pots...use over sized pots
RED PINE
• hard to develop taper
• lack low branches
• great for literati

Future Meetings
May 15-16 - PBS Exhibit at the Japanese House. Fairmount Park
May 21 - Lecture/Demo - Sean Smith
June 27 - Annual Picnic/Auction - Old Mill Bonsai Studio

President's Notes

The PBS display at the Philadelphia Flower Show was a very popular exhibit as usual. My thanks to all who helped: Chairman, Randy Naftal, the set up/tear down committee, the sitters and those who displayed. It takes the efforts of a lot of people to put on the exhibit, but we should feel proud that PBS is part of the largest indoor Flower Show in the US.
Shofuso, the Japanese House, has again invited us to display bonsai in its beautiful setting. In the past we have done this in the fall. This time they have invited us for the weekend of May 15th and 16th. We will be setting up from 9 to 11 on Saturday, May 15th and the exhibit will end at 5 on Sunday, May 16th. Trees, accent plants (if available) and stands will be needed. If you are willing to display a bonsai or to sit at the exhibit, please contact me.
My thanks for all of your concern when I was taken ill at the February meeting. I am feeling fine now and looking forward to our April Meeting.

MidAtlantic Festival

The 2010 Spring Festival will soon be here with an international cast of bonsai masters; Michele Andolfo from Italy, Charles Ceronio from South Africa, and Michel Phaneuf from Canada. These artists will be conducting lecture/demos, critiques, and workshops over the weekend.
Every year MABS features a great exhibit of trees from member clubs. PBS members have some great trees. If you'd like to exhibit yours at MABS, contact your MABS reps, Jim Gillespie, or Jim Brant for details.
Your attendance at MidAtlantic directly benefits PBS, as excess monies from the event are returned to the member clubs based upon attendance. These monies allow PBS and other member clubs to provide programs that are interesting and instructional for their members. As a member club, PBS has responsibilities for the Festival - the Silent and Live (banquet) auctions. Helpers are needed for the Live auction, so if you're attending , see Jim or Linda to volunteer.
Dates for the Festival are April 16-18, 2010 , at the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa.

Directions to the Greater Plymouth Community Center

From Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-276)-Take Exit 333 (Norristown - old exit 25). At the end of the ramp, turn left onto Plymouth Road. At the light, turn right onto Germantown Pike West. Continue approximately one (1) mile, through five (5) traffic lights. At the sixth light, turn right onto Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.
From Blue Route (I-476)-Take exit for Germantown Pike West (Exit 20). Continue on Germantown Pike west for approximately one (1) mile, through six (6) traffic lights. At the seventh light ti right onto Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.
From Route 202-Follow Route 202 to Germantown Pike. Travel EAST on Germantown Pike, through five (5) traffic lights. At the next traffic light, approximately half a mile, turn left on Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.

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May 2010

May Meeting

May's program will feature a lecture/demonstration by Sean Smith. Sean lives in Marysville PA, where he owns and operates Custom Oriental Wood-craft. With a passion for bonsai and suiseki for over 20 years, and an extensive background in carpentry, Sean took the two, put them together and started his own business in 1994. He makes bonsai display tables, and carves daiza for renowned bonsai and suiseki enthusiasts all over the world. He has lectured on suiseki as well as bonsai in the United States and Europe, And is internationally known for his bonsai and suiseki skills. Sean has won several suiseki and bonsai awards. Sean's interests are varied, and he has immersed himself deeply in Oriental culture, studying Japanese antiques, Zen, scroll making, and bonsai pot repair with various Japanese experts.
Sean's program for PBS will center upon creating bonsai from nursery stock. Sean will have some examples of bonsai created from nursery stock as well as demonstrate the ins and outs of creating a masterpiece from a rather mundane beginning.Bring a tree to exhibit -earn double raffle tickets!!

Guest Artist: Sean Smith - Lecture/Demo
Date: Friday, May 21
Time: 7:00
Location: Greater Plymouth Community Center

Falling Leaves

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Jerry Stowell in late April.
Jerry was a life member of PBS, and was very well known in the bonsai community. He was an organizer and first president of the American Bonsai Society, an author and lecturer on various bonsai subjects. Jerry was an advocate of formal bonsai display and was a source of bonsai knowledge for many of us. He will be missed.

April Meeting

Our April meeting, with guest Charles Ceronio, provided us with a strong program of bonsai styling, along with a glimpse into the bonsai and trees of Ceronio's native South Africa.
Charles' material for the evening was a hinoki cypress. He asked the audience to help determine front, and with that decided, proceeded to selectively remove unnecessary branches. With some help from Paul Landis, the tree was wired and branches placed, resulting in a natural looking bonsai with good trunk movement and taper.
The latter portion of the program was filled with slides of bonsai from South Africa, as well as some photos of some very impressive native trees.
Our raffle winner for the evening was Howard Dunetz.

PBS Logo Shirts

There has been great interest in the PBS logo shirts. Also, members have wanted to apply logo to shirts of their own. If you would like to have a PBS logo embroidered on an item of your appaerel, please bring that item to the May meeting. Joanne Dhody has made arrangements for logos to be embroidered at a cost of $12.95 per item. We must have a minimum total order of ten items. Finished items will be returned at the June picnic.

Future Meetings

May 15-16 - PBS Exhibit at the Japanese House. Fairmount Park
June 27 - Annual Picnic/Auction - Old Mill Bonsai Studio

President's Notes

This month, PBS is involved in two activities.
The first takes place on the weekend of May 15th and 16th. PBS will stage an exhibit of bonsai at Shofuso, the Japanese Tea House in Fairmount Park. This beautiful setting is ideal for a bonsai exhibit. In the past, there has not been good attendance to this exhibit. This year we are trying it in the spring rather than the fall. Howard McNeal will be conducting a workshop on Sunday from 1 - 4. Paul Krasner has arranged for publicity in the The Inquirer and the Shofuso staff is advertising it on their web site and on social networking sites. Jim Brant has it listed on the PBS web site, so hopefully we will see more people. Thanks in advance to all who are helping and those exhibiting bonsai.
Our regular meeting will be held on May 21st at the Plymouth Community Center. Our speaker will be Sean Smith, noted daiza carver, suiseki collector and bonsai artist. His topic," Creating Bonsai from Nursery Stock", is sure to be most informative and I hope that all of members will turn out to hear it.
Our annual picnic will be held on June 27th at Howard McNeal's. As you begin to work on our trees, please set aside any trees, pots or supplies that you no longer want for our annual auction. This activity helps raise funds for all of our programs.
I would like to recognize three PBS members who will have bonsai included in the 2nd National Exhibit to be held in Rochester, NY. They are Jim GIllespie, Karen Harkaway and Flex Houvig. If anyone else has had trees accepted, please let us know. This event will be held on June 12 and 13th. Check out Bill Valavanis's web site for further information (www.internationalbonsai.com).

MidAtlantic Festival

This year's MidAtlantic Spring Festival hosted the Joshua Roth New Talent Competition, and one of our members, Andrew Klein, was accepted to the competition. The competition was held on the day before the main festival and involved styling and wiring a piece of nursery material over a period of a full day. While he did not win, Andrew can surely be proud of his efforts and results in the competition. His tree is pictured below.
PBS members, Howard McNeal, Andrew Klein, and Paul Krasner displayed their bonsai in the main exhibit, representing PBS very well. In that exhibit Jim Gillespie received the Exhibit Committee Award for his bonsai (shown for BSLV).
A special thanks goes to those members who helped make the MABS auction a great success - Jim Gillespie and Jim Doyle served as most capable auctioneers, Paul Landis and Andrew Klein acted as runners and spotters, and Pat Morris and Linda Brant kept excellent records of the transactions. A huge thanks to all!

Auction Alert!!

Each year, our members' 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 it five years ago, which still sits on the shelf, may be exactly what another enthusiast is looking for. Those seedlings that you planted, planning on a bonsai forest, still in nursery containers, could be a delight for another bonsaist. Please, please, donate to the auction! We do need your donations to help make the auction a success. Past auctions have been a huge success due in no small part to the generosity of our members.

Dues Reminder

It’s that time of the year again! Our membership year ends with the last day of May. If your address label has an 09/10 on it, please send your dues check to our treasurer, Dave Spirt, as soon as possible, or rejoin at the May or June meetings. Labels displaying an 10/11 indicate dues are paid for the 2010-11 year. Dues remain at $20.00. Please clip the attached form, fill out, and return. The mailing address is:

The Pennsylvania Bonsai Society
Box 801
Spring House, PA 19477

Directions to the Greater Plymouth Community Center

From Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-276)-Take Exit 333 (Norristown - old exit 25). At the end of the ramp, turn left onto Plymouth Road. At the light, turn right onto Germantown Pike West. Continue approximately one (1) mile, through five (5) traffic lights. At the sixth light, turn right onto Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.
From Blue Route (I-476)-Take exit for Germantown Pike West (Exit 20). Continue on Germantown Pike west for approximately one (1) mile, through six (6) traffic lights. At the seventh light ti right onto Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.
From Route 202-Follow Route 202 to Germantown Pike. Travel EAST on Germantown Pike, through five (5) traffic lights. At the next traffic light, approximately half a mile, turn left on Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.

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June 2010

Annual Picnic and Auction

This June brings us to the event many of our members look forward to for months - that of our annual picnic and auction. Let’s hope for some sunshine again this year!!
We'll start the day off with a picnic lunch. PBS will provide BBQ chicken, condiments, potato salad, and lemonade for the picnic. Members are requested to bring some snack foods (Chip, pretzels, etc.) or a dessert to share.
Once everyone has had their fill, our annual auction will be held. Member -donated items will be sold to the highest bidder. Finished bonsai, prebonsai, nursery stock, pots, tools, books, magazines, or any other bonsai related items are requested from members to help make our 2010-11 programs a success. Bidders are needed, too, so bring your checkbook or cash.
Please join us and share a great day. Rain or shine -we'll have a tent, just in case. Be sure to bring a lawn chair along with your items to donate for the auction!!

PBS Annual Picnic & Auction : Sunday, June 27
Host: Howard McNeal, Old Mill Bonsai Studio, Honeybrook, PA
Picnic: 1:00-2:00--Auction 2:00 (times approximate)Please bring a folding chair

May Meeting

Our speaker for May, Sean Smith, brought us a very interesting and informative program focusing on developing bonsai from nursery stock. Sean chose a piece of material which can be found in almost any garden center or nursery, San Jose juniper. Sean stressed that most nurseries do not keep the type of material that we bonsaists want out in the sales area, rather material with twisted trunks and branches are often found in the clearance sale area, or even the junk pile at the back of the nursery.
With the limited time available, Sean removed unnecessary branches, wired the main and a few of the secondary branches, leaving the detail wiring for a later date.
Sean stressed the need for careful and neat wiring, stating that this tree would likely require 5-6 more hours of work to be completely wired.
While the end result was in somewhat rough form, the viewer could tell that the tree has great potential for the future. All that is needed is for the tree to "acquire time" , machikumi, a philosophy of the Japanese explained by Sean.
Thanks to Sean for a great program - we're sure that there was a run on junipers at the local garden center on the following days.

The evening's raffle winner was Mike Wigginton. Congratulations, Mike!!

President's Notes

Jim and I just returned from the 2nd US National Bonsai Exhibition in Rochester, NY. This premier event, arranged by Bill Valavanis, featured two hundred and twenty-six outstanding bonsai. The amount of work in organizing an event of this size was staggering. PBS was well represented by members Solita & Chase Rosade, Jim Doyle, Flex Hovig, Karen Harkaway and Jim Gillespie. Although our members did not win any awards, their displays were impressive and innovative. Congratulations to them all.
Thanks again to all who helped with the PBS Exhibit at Shofuso, the Japanese Tea House, last month. We all noticed an increase in attendance over previous years thanks to the publicity arranged by Paul Krasner. Bonsai were displayed by Paul Krasner, Flex Hovig, Howard McNeal, Andrew Klein, Joanne Dohty, Mike WIgginton, Jim Brant, and me. Howard's workshop was filled with ten participants and two observers. Participants walked away with very nice juniper bonsai.
May's meeting provided a great demo and information on creating bonsai from nursery stock by Sean Smith. We also had a special guest, Ofer Grunwald, from Israel. He emailed on the following day thanking our members for their friendly welcome. Ofer has promised to keep in touch and promises to visit again.
Our June picnic will be held on the 27th at the home of Howard McNeal. You (family members are welcomed) can view Howard's beautiful bonsai, share in good food and fellowship and also get some great bonsai bargains. Please donate bonsai and related items for the annual auction. Bring your folding chairs, your appetites, and your $$. 2010/2010 dues are due if you have not paid them. Further information about the picnic and directions are included in this newsletter. See you there.

Dues Reminder

It’s that time of the year again! Our membership year ends with the last day of May. If your address label has an 09/10 on it, please send your dues check to our treasurer, Dave Spirt, as soon as possible, or rejoin at the May or June meetings. Labels displaying an 10/11 indicate dues are paid for the 2010-11 year. Dues remain at $20.00. Please clip the attached form, fill out, and return. The mailing address is:

The Pennsylvania Bonsai Society
Box 801
Spring House, PA 19477

Directions to Old Mill Bonsai Studio
PBS June Picnic & Auction

Take the 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. Lost?- phone Howard 610-942-2082.
The street address for those using Google Maps, Mapquest or a GPS system is:
420 Lewis Mills Road
Honeybrook, PA 19344

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September 2010

September Meeting

Our 48th meeting year will start out utilizing over 100 years of bonsai experience with Chase Rosade, Howard McNeal, and Jim Gillespie leading a members' critique.

Members are requested to bring in developed bonsai for comments from this esteemed panel. The focus of these comments will pertain to horticultural , artistic, design, refinement and display elements. Critiques such as these are a major component of conventions and are very well attended, due to the amount of valuable information which can be gleaned from such a critique.

All levels of experience are encouraged to participate. There's always something to learn or to look at from a different viewpoint.

Participating members will receive double raffle tickets.


Members' Critique: Chase Rosade, Howard McNeal, & Jim Gillespie
Date: Friday, September 17
Time: 7:00Location: Greater Plymouth Community Center

Annual Picnic and Auction

Our June event was not the roaring success that previous years have enjoyed. Attendance was low and we had acres of room under the big tent seemingly go to waste. Our host, Howard McNeal prepared a wonderful BBQ feast as well as a beautiful bonsai garden for all to enjoy. Thanks, Howard, and thanks to our auctioneer, Jim Gillespie, as well as the members who were so generous in donating materials for the auction.

Future Meetings

October 15 - Ron Lang, potter, Lecture/Demo
November 19 - Members' Auction
December 10 - Holiday Social & Raffle - Internet program

President's Notes

It seems impossible that summer is nearly over. It was a rough one for bonsai. Our trees looks pretty good thanks to lot of watering and careful fertilization. I hope your trees are healthy.

The Executive Board met in July to put together a great program of meetings for the 2010-2010 year. In the past, members have requested that there be more time to discuss the trees that are brought to each meeting, so in September we will begin the year with an in-house critique. Our own Chase Rosade, Howard McNeal and Jim Gillespie will look at your bonsai and point out strengths and weaknesses. They will offer advice on how to take your bonsai to the next step. Please bring a bonsai to the meeting for this informative program. October's meeting will bring back pot maker, Ron Lang, who visited us two years ago. He has a new program and will also offer advice on pot selection for member trees. It was decided to have a Members' Auction in November since it was well received last year. This meeting will allow you to buy some nice material and supplies and also to move some trees or supplies that you no longer use. In December we will have our annual Holiday Meeting with a short program and the famous holiday raffle and social.

Two members have been added to the PBS Executive Board. Paul Landis and Paul Krasner, who have worked very hard for PBS in the past now officially join the Board - welcome!

Congratulations to PBS VIce-President, Karen Harkaway, who began a term as Vice-President of the American Bonsai Society. She has already written an article for the latest ABS Journal.

Joanne Dhoty worked up an order for PBS polo shirts in new fall colors. They will be on sale at the meeting for $25.

For the first time in many years, the Pennsylvania Bonsai Society is raising its dues ( from $20 to $30). Increased costs in mailing, programs and room rental are causing a decline in our treasury. If you have already paid your dues, or if you pay by the end of September, you will be grandfathered in at $20. The new rate is for all new members and current members who pay after October 1, 2010.

In order to address some of the current problems and to meet the needs of our members, Jim Brant has created a survey to help with future decisions. Please take time to fill out the survey, return it by email, snail mail or bring it to the meeting.

I look forward to seeing you all at September's meeting.

Seasonal Notes

Trees are emerging from their mid-summer slow-down, and are beginning to prepare themselves for the coming winter. Food manufactured in the leaves is beginning to be stored in the roots rather than facilitating vegetative growth. We can help the process by switching to a low nitrogen fertilizer for our last few feedings. Monitor your trees carefully regarding their watering needs. Invariably, we get huge temperature swings between summer-type heat and fall coolness.

Check your trees for any hidden wire - wire that you forgot to remove after spring wiring. Don't try to unwrap embedded wire - you'll cause some real damage that way. Carefully cut each coil, then gently remove the embedded wire by lifting one end with a tweezer or pliers. Sometimes pushing the short length of wire back along the spiral will cause it to drop out or become easier to remove. If some of the cambium is exposed, cover the wound with cut paste. Wire that is too far embedded to remove safely should be left in place - severe scarring, however, could result.

Take a few moments with each tree to inspect for insect eggs. Often in the rush to get our trees into winter storage, we over look this inspection, then pay the price in the spring. On hot days with very low humidity, be especially alert for spider mite infestations. If your junipers are looking weak, check carefully for these little monsters - they can really weaken a tree quickly. Get after the trees with a miticide - insecticides won't touch spider mites. Usually, the best time to spray is in the early morning.

Member Survey

Enclosed with this month's newsletter is a PBS survey. Please take a few moments to complete it, and either mail it or bring it to the October meeting. If you are receiving your newsletter by email, you can complete it and return it online.

Your input is important in planning for future PBS events.
Return to:
Linda Brant
104 Henry Drive
Royersford, PA 164668

Dues Reminder

Our membership year ended with the last day of May. If your address label has an 09/10 on it, please send your dues check to our treasurer, Dave Spirt, as soon as possible. This will be the last newsletter unless dues are current. Labels displaying an 10/11 indicate dues are paid for the current year. Dues remain at $20.00 until September 30, 2010, at which time dues will increase to $30.00. Please clip the attached form, fill out, and return. The mailing address is:

The Pennsylvania Bonsai Society
Box 801
Spring House, PA 19477

Directions to the Greater Plymouth Community Center

From Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-276)-Take Exit 333 (Norristown - old exit 25). At the end of the ramp, turn left onto Plymouth Road. At the light, turn right onto Germantown Pike West. Continue approximately one (1) mile, through five (5) traffic lights. At the sixth light, turn right onto Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.

From Blue Route (I-476)-Take exit for Germantown Pike West (Exit 20). Continue on Germantown Pike west for approximately one (1) mile, through six (6) traffic lights. At the seventh light ti right onto Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.

From Route 202-Follow Route 202 to Germantown Pike. Travel EAST on Germantown Pike, through five (5) traffic lights. At the next traffic light, approximately half a mile, turn left on Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.

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October 2010

October Meeting

Our October meeting will feature a returning speaker, Ron Lang, who will present a program on how to best match a bonsai and a pot. Ron is very well known in the bonsai community for his exceptional bonsai pots. We are requesting that members bring in a bonsai so that Ron can discuss the appropriateness of the tree-pot combination, and perhaps make suggestions for a different pot if needed, as well as comment on artistic considerations when selecting a pot.

We will raffle off a Lang pot at the end of the evening. Bring a bonsai for display or discussion and double your ticket count.

Program Speaker: Ron Lang - Bonsai Pot Discussion
Date: Friday, October 15
Location: Greater Plymouth Community Center
Time: 7:00 pm

September Meeting

Our new meeting year started out with a excellent program thanks to Chase Rosade, Howard McNeal, and Jim Gillespie, who made the evening a true learning experience in the process of critiquing member's trees. There was a large number of trees brought in for discussion, representing a wide range of experience. Our three experts spoke to both the strong and the weak points of each tree, often providing a plan for future refinement.
It was gratifying to see the degree of participation and interest generated by this program, thanks in no small part to the knowledge and experience of Jim, Howard, and Chase. Many thanks for sharing!!

President's Notes

OK - where did September go? Am I the only one who lost this past month? Jim and I finally moved our tropicals into the house on September 26th, the latest that I can remember. It is nice that we have not had to turn on the heat, however the air conditioner ran several times in September. It has been a very strange summer.

Thanks to all who completed the survey. We had an exceptional return. Jim will be giving a report in an upcoming newsletter, but it is plain to see that the membership does not want any radical changes made. The information on the picnic location was 50/50. Half of our membership likes going to Rosade Bonsai Studio or to Old Mill Bonsai Studio for the event and half said that they would prefer a more central location. Since picnic attendance has been down we will explore a more central location. If any one has any suggestions, please contact a board member.

One of our long time members has contacted me several times for help in locating a ride to the meetings. Milton and Eleanor Laden live in Center City Philadelphia. If anyone lives in or comes through the city and would be able to provide transportation for the Ladens, who no longer drive, please contact me. I will put you in touch with them.

At the most recent International Bonsai Convention, Bill Valavanis announced that it would be the last. He is going to concentrate on the National Exhibits and on smaller weekend seminars. It is getting too expensive to put on conventions with the decreasing attendance. With this in mind, please start to plan for MidAtlantic (April 15-17, 2010). This outstanding event will be held in nearby Grantville, just one and a half hours from us. This is an especially important convention, as it is not just educational, but also provides money for its member clubs. The profits, after seed money is taken out, are split among the participating clubs depending on their attendance. Even is you go for just a day, it will help your local club.

Something to think about - Ryan Neil, a bonsai artist who recently appeared in Rochester at the International Bonsai Symposium , commented during his critique, that he thinks that most American bonsai artists, take their wire off too soon. We are so concerned about wire scars that we are constantly wiring and rewiring our trees and doing damage to them. As we all know, I do not constantly wire and rewire my trees (How I love wiring!), but I have noticed several times as I have removed wire, that the set had not taken completely. As I prepare my trees for winter storage, I will be looking more closely to see if the wire does indeed need removing.

See you at the October 15th meeting. Linda

A Unique Training Method
by Joanne Dhody

When my parents moved to a retirement home, my father gave me his house plants. Among them was a small Crown of Thorns (E. Splendens). I added it to my plant collection and after a few years I noticed it was developing a beautiful trunk. Thinking it might make an interesting Bonsai, I transferred it to a bonsai pot and started cutting it back. After a year or so it needed shaping. I tried wiring but that was an exercise in self abuse, and my Crown of Thorns being a fragile succulent didn’t like the wire any better.

So, now to prove “necessity is the mother of invention". I knew I had to tie the branches to something that would give me the flexibility of a variety of directions. The black plastic basket tray that marketpak plants come it seemed like a good solution. Turning this tray upsidedown. I placed my bonsai in the center. I didn’t want to use wire to tie down the branches as it would cut them so I tried fishing line. The fishing line also cut into the branches and it was very difficult to tie it at just the right length. Then I remembered I had a roll of 1/2” Velcro© tape I bought to tie up my tomatoes. I cut this tape into 1/4” strips for more accuracy.

The bonsai was heavy enough that I didn’t need to wire it to the tray. I then cut the Velcro© tape to the length I needed, wrap it around a branch and pull it to a space on the tray that would give me the shape and position I wanted for that branch, then tied the tape to the tray. This Velcro© tape is easy and fast to remove for pruning or repositioning. I have also used this tape on the delicate branches of my other trees.

Velcro© tape is advertised as a strong, reusable, cut- to- length plant tie, that wraps into itself . It has a soft poly lining that is gentle, durable, water and weather resistant. I bought my Velcro© tape from the Picket Fence catalogue but you could probably get it from a hardware store or garden center.

(Ed. note: Thanks, Joanne, for your contribution. We're always soliciting articles from our members for the newsletter, so if any of you have something you'd like included, please submit it.)

Future Meetings

November 19 - Members' Auction
December 10 - Holiday Social & Raffle - Internet program
January 22 - Flower Show Workshop

Auction Reminder

Don't forget, the Members' Auction is coming up this November! While you're getting things ready for winter storage, look over your plant material. Perhaps your collection is getting out of hand and it's time to part with some trees. Perhaps you're "downsizing" - either reducing the number of trees or moving into shohin bonsai. How about those prebonsai you've been meaning to do something with? Maybe you have a super pot collection, but can never find a pot and tree match (sound familiar?). Whatever you're doing, think about putting those items in the November Auction. You'll receive 80% of the selling price, with 20% going to the club.

MidAtlantic Festival

Some great news for PBS members! This year's MidAtlantic Spring Festival will be held at the Harrisburg/Hershey (Grantville) Holiday Inn. This means a much shorter drive to attend one of the best regional conventions in the country.
Headliners for the event are:
Yauso Mitsuya from Japan
Steve Tolley from the United Kingdom
Kathy Shaner from the United States
Mr. Mitsuya and Ms. Shaner are making returning appearances, while Mr. Tolley is making his MABS debut. All three bonsai artists are skilled stylists, horticulturists, and teachers, ready and willing to impart their vast bonsai knowledge in demonstrations, workshops, and critiques.
If you'd like to exhibit at MidAtlantic, please contact Jim Brant, Jim Gillespie, or Paul Landis to make arrangements. We would like to have three trees from PBS included in the MABS exhibit.
This should be a banner year for MidAtlantic. Be sure to make plans to attend.
Dates for the Festival are April 15-17, 2010.

Member Survey

Thanks to all of the PBS members who responded to the Member's Survey. Your opinions are valuable in formulating future programs for PBS. If you haven't responded yet, there's still time to have your thoughts counted. Later on this year, a summary report will appear in the newsletter.

Directions to the Greater Plymouth Community Center

From Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-276)-Take Exit 333 (Norristown - old exit 25). At the end of the ramp, turn left onto Plymouth Road. At the light, turn right onto Germantown Pike West. Continue approximately one (1) mile, through five (5) traffic lights. At the sixth light, turn right onto Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.

From Blue Route (I-476)-Take exit for Germantown Pike West (Exit 20). Continue on Germantown Pike west for approximately one (1) mile, through six (6) traffic lights. At the seventh light ti right onto Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.

From Route 202-Follow Route 202 to Germantown Pike. Travel EAST on Germantown Pike, through five (5) traffic lights. At the next traffic light, approximately half a mile, turn left on Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.

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November 2010 

November Meeting

It's that time of the year again! Time for the Members' Auction. Our survey showed an overwhelmingly positive response to the auction, so...here we go again!
This auction provides our members with an opportunity to buy and sell materials at an auction with 80% of the selling price going to the seller. Terms are; Absolute auction, no reserve. Previous auctions have been most successful, with a tremendous number of items changing hands. This is an opportunity to thin your collection, or to add some material to it for winter and early spring work. Bonsai, pots, prebonsai stock, tools, magazines, or any bonsai-related item may be offered for auction.
We look forward to a good turnout, both of sellers and buyers. Be sure not to miss this tremendous bonsai opportunity. Bring some things to sell and take home something you’ve bought - checks or cash are acceptable for payment. We’re also going to continue the Silent Auction this year with selected items being offered. Place your written bids on a list, and check the lists as the evening goes on to make sure that yours is the winning bid when the close of that auction is announced. Items designated for silent auction (only) may have a reserve (minimum) price. All items sold at regular auction will be sold without minimums.
PBS reserves the right to limit items based upon available time - we must be out of the building by 10 pm. In order to conduct this auction in the fairest possible manner, you’ll be asked to label each item both for accounting purposes as well as selling priority . For example, if you have five items, you would label each with a number and a letter (which will give your priority). When the auction starts, your item with an A letter will be auctioned first, then that labeled B, and so on. This way, each seller will have an equal exposure.
This is a great evening and loads of fun, so add to the enjoyment with your participation.

Members' Auction
Date: Friday, November 19
Location: Greater Plymouth Community Center
Time: 7:00 pm (registration) 7:30 Auction


Future Meetings
December 10 - Holiday Social & Raffle - Internet program
January 22 - Flower Show Workshop
February 18 - Lecture/Demo - Howard McNeal

October Meeting


October's meeting with our guest speaker, Ron Lang, presented the group with a very comprehensive PowerPoint program entitled "Bonsai Styles and Their Relationship to Ceramic Containers". Ron's main emphasis focused on how subtle changes in elements of the pot alters the dynamic between the tree and pot. Ron spent a brief time reviewing and explaining how the rules regarding pot size apply.
Further into the discussion, various slides illustrated the finer points of the relationships of bonsai styles and container details. Many of the questions from the group sought to clarify previously held concepts and apply new information to the current discussions. Much discussion centered around matching the masculine or feminine feeling exhibited by a tree-pot combination, and what was appropriate for a given style tree.
As the evening drew to a close, we were left with the feeling of having been immersed in a thorough examination of pot style details and their relation to bonsai styles.
Thanks , Ron, for a most informative evening. Two Lang pot were won by lucky raffle winners.

President's Notes

Real fall weather has finally arrived. We had great color on hornbeams and on my ginkgo (finally!), but most of the maples just faded out. The tropicals are happy in the dining room on their new storage unit and the rest of the trees are being cleaned up for winter storage.
The November meeting is the PBS Members' Auction. Please bring in pots, tools, books, etc , that you no longer need or want. They will find a new home with another bonsai enthusiast. We have several more trees from Joan Simon. These are lovingly cared for, and have been bonsai for a long time. There are several azaleas, a quince, a shimpaku, a hornbeam, a Shishigashira maple, an Ezo spruce, a boxwood and Joan's first tree, a native red cedar. All of these exhibit age and are ready for your refinement.
Jim and I recently took a workshop with Peter Warren. He is from England and trained in Japan with Kunio Kobayashi. It is always an eye opener when your bonsai is evaluated by another bonsai person. Peter gave me several options for a white pine that I have long looked at, cared for, but had not really designed. His experience really opened my eyes to possibilities - I sat there and thought "Why can't I see that by myself?' But that is why we study with others. It is also one of the greatest things about bonsai - you are constantly learning new things. Check out Peter's website at http://www.saruyama.co.uk/ See you at November's meeting.

Linda

MidAtlantic Festival

One of the featured artists for the upcoming 2010 MidAtlantic Spring Festival is Mr. Yasuo Mitsuya, subject of this month's focus.
In 1965 Mr. Mitsuya entered an apprenticeship under Toshinori Suzuki of Daijyu-en as Ichiban-deshi (First Apprentice). He completed this apprenticeship in 1969.
In May of 1971 he opened Tokai-en in Toyohashii-city and was appointed by the Labor Union of Aichi prefecture in 1973 as a lecturer, a position that he held for 15 years.
When he took an American, Kathy Shaner, as an apprentice he became the first Bonsai Master in Japan to take a foreigner as a live-in student. Ms. Shaner was the first woman and the first foreign bonsai professional to complete a 5-year apprenticeship in Japan.
In addition to Ms. Shaner the following Americans have studied under him: Dennis Makishima, Cheryl Manning, Boon Manakitivipart, David DeGroot and Gordon Deeg. His first apprentice, Kenji Miyata now lives in the United States.
Mr. Mitsuya was a pioneer in venturing to the U.S. to do demonstrations and workshops, first appearing at the Golden States Bonsai Federation Convention in 1984. Since that time he has traveled to the U. S. almost every year to work for one to two months, mainly in California but also in other areas of North America.
In 1995 at the request of the Japanese Ministry of Culture he came to the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum to work on the Japanese bicentennial gift of trees.
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.

Please mark your calendars for this event, April 15-17, 2010 at the Holiday Inn, Grantville (Harrisburg/Hershey), PA. We hope that PBS is well represented at this event.

Directions to the Greater Plymouth Community Center

From Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-276)-Take Exit 333 (Norristown - old exit 25). At the end of the ramp, turn left onto Plymouth Road. At the light, turn right onto Germantown Pike West. Continue approximately one (1) mile, through five (5) traffic lights. At the sixth light, turn right onto Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.
From Blue Route (I-476)-Take exit for Germantown Pike West (Exit 20). Continue on Germantown Pike west for approximately one (1) mile, through six (6) traffic lights. At the seventh light ti right onto Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.
From Route 202-Follow Route 202 to Germantown Pike. Travel EAST on Germantown Pike, through five (5) traffic lights. At the next traffic light, approximately half a mile, turn left on Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.

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December 2010

December Meeting

This month's meeting focuses on our annual Holiday Celebration, and one of the features of this meeting is the Holiday raffle, in which surprise after surprise awaits the lucky ticket holders. Who knows what terrific bonsai book, tool, pot, or accessory is hidden within the cheerful wrappings? Who will be the lucky recipient of the 2010 MidAtlantic registration? Who can figure out what package it is hidden in?
Our program for the evening will be a short presentation of "Bonsai on the Internet", an exploration of the breadth and width of bonsai information available on the web.
Please bring a goodie to share with the group - cookies, crackers, cheeses, dips, veggies, cakes, pies, or whatever.
Our Holiday Celebration is a wonderful tradition for all of our PBS members. Please join us and enjoy the fellowship of fellow bonsai enthusiasts. We promise you'll have a good time!.

Annual Holiday Social and Raffle
Date: Friday, December 10
Location: Greater Plymouth Community Center
Time: 7:00 pm

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.
No exhibit trees this month, please. We need room for all the gifts!! (No double tickets this month.)

November Meeting

Our November meeting was set for the Members' Auction. We had an excellent turnout , both of buyers and of sellers. Some great material was put up for sale, and there were a few really good bargains. There was some very competitive bidding on quite a few items. Jim Gillespie, acting as auctioneer, did his usual excellent job of giving solid horticultural information, keeping the bidding lively, and dispensing corny jokes. Paul Landis and Dave Tettemer served as the manual labor to keep the material moving. Many thanks to Jim, Paul, and Dave for their part in making this year's auction a success. Thanks, too to all the buyers and sellers.

Flower Show Notes

Members, as you get ready to put your trees away for the winter, (although it seems like winter is a long way off), remember to leave access to the tree you may want to display this year at the Flower Show. This years theme is "Remember Paris"
It is a great time of year to look over the collection, do some cleaning and think about proudly displaying your hard work.
We will review trees at the workshop in January. This will also give you the opportunity to get some professional advise on styling, wiring and how to show off your masterpiece.
Thank you again for your consideration in participating in the show and we look forward to seeing your trees at the workshop.
Regards,
Randall Naftal, Flower Show Chairman

From Linda Brant;
Don't forget that you can sign up for Flower Show sitting at the December and January meetings. Check your schedules and set aside a day to sit at the exhibit and view the Flower Show. PBS will furnish exhibit sitters with two admission tickets for the Show. With ticket prices ranging from $26 to $30, this is a great deal.

Seasonal Notes

Now is the time when our bonsai are ready to go into winter storage. Linda and I usually spend the weekend after Thanksgiving getting the trees into the storage area. We split storage between an unheated garage and an outdoor bed. The outdoor bed is open to the sky, but sheltered on three sides. Trees stored outdoors are set on the ground and the pots covered with mulch.
Preparation for storage includes checking for embedded wire, removing weeds, brushing moss of roots and trunks, checking for insect damage or eggs, and a thorough watering.
There are a few things to keep in mind, no matter how you arrange your winter storage.
One, the wind is your worst enemy. Dessication occurs when the roots are frozen and water is evaporated from the branches by the wind - the tree is likely a goner, so protection from the wind is a must.
Two, protection from the sun (for most trees) is ideal. Thawed branches and frozen roots are a poor combination. Dormant trees don't need light.
Three, you may have to water on occasion. The trees we store in the garage are watered about every week, unless the soil is frozen. We have to keep a close eye on moisture levels. The trees stored outdoors may need watering (soaking the covering mulch) once or twice over the winter. Snow cover is actually good to have, as the melt water provides moisture and the snow cover acts as insulation. We often will make snowballs to put on the trees stored in the garage as a slow watering system.
Lastly, be sure that critters won't be munching on your trees. Mouse traps or bait for indoor storage work well - just keep checking. Outdoors, we don't really have the ability to protect the trees 100%. We've used moth balls mixed into the mulch with some success against voles and field mice, but we've had deer lean over the enclosure and eat azalea buds. Irish setters work with some degree of success against the deer.

MidAtlantic Festival

One of the featured artists for the upcoming 2010 MidAtlantic Spring Festival is Mr. Steve Tolley, subject of this month's focus. The following is from his web site.
"As an artist, bonsai is an all-consuming passion for me, a wonderful and unique art form that has close links with nature. I feel that when we are styling a tree, it is very important to work with the tree and not against it. For me, respect for the tree is the most important thing.
Through bonsai, I have been privileged to travel extensively and meet with some talented people and share with them my passion for bonsai and nature.
To date I have had articles published in British and international magazines and have given workshops and demonstrations both in the UK and Europe and in America. I teach bonsai at my nursery at my monthly bonsai school and am also busy on the UK bonsai scene giving demonstrations, workshops and talks to clubs and associations. I hold group and One to One workshops in my studio and I maintain some important bonsai collections for clients in the UK and Europe. Many of the trees that I have styled or worked on have been exhibited at a National level in the UK and in Europe at the prestigious Ginkgo Award and Noelanders Trophy with many trees now receiving awards at these events and catching the attention of bonsai lovers.
In 2005 I was a guest demonstrator and workshop leader at the World Bonsai Congress in Washington DC. This was a great honour for me. At this event I was also awarded the Bonsai Clubs International 2005 Artist, Writer and Photographer Award.
In January 2006 I was a guest demonstrator at the Noelanders Trophy in Belgium and in May 2006, I was a guest artist holding workshops and demonstrating at “Brussels Rendezvous 2006” in Memphis, USA."
Please mark your calendars for this event, April 15-17, 2010 at the Holiday Inn, Grantville (Harrisburg/Hershey), PA. We hope that PBS is well represented at this event.

Future Meetings
January 22 - Flower Show Workshop
February 18 - Lecture/Demo - Howard McNeal
March 6 - 13 - Philadelphia Flower Show
March 18 - Pauline Muth - Lecture/ Workshop

Directions to the Greater Plymouth Community Center

From Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-276)-Take Exit 333 (Norristown - old exit 25). At the end of the ramp, turn left onto Plymouth Road. At the light, turn right onto Germantown Pike West. Continue approximately one (1) mile, through five (5) traffic lights. At the sixth light, turn right onto Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.
From Blue Route (I-476)-Take exit for Germantown Pike West (Exit 20). Continue on Germantown Pike west for approximately one (1) mile, through six (6) traffic lights. At the seventh light ti right onto Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.
From Route 202-Follow Route 202 to Germantown Pike. Travel EAST on Germantown Pike, through five (5) traffic lights. At the next traffic light, approximately half a mile, turn left on Jolly Road. The Community Center is on the right at 2910 Jolly Road.

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