Newsletter....September 2018
PBS Newsletter Archives

September Meeting

Our first program of the new meeting year will feature Jim Doyle. Jim is well known to many of us, having appreared at PBS several times, last in 2014.
In 1973, with a B.S. degree in horticulture from Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture, Jim started Nature`s Way Nursery and developed an early interest in Asian culture and plants. By 1980, through the influence of Chase Rosade, bonsai passed from being a hobby to a business/life-style. Jim attends many symposia, teaches year-round to both adults and children at his studio and travels extensively, teaching and demonstrating in the US as well as Europe and Canada. 
After a brief visit to Japan, Jim started a quest for new information. He was involved in founding the Susquehanna Bonsai Club, boasting membership of over 100, and co-chaired the 1992 ABS Convention in Hershey. He has written articles for national publications and has consulted regionally in Japanese garden design.
Today, along with his teaching, Jim continues to import bonsai, pots, tools and related garden items. Jim`s favorite tree is, of course, the one he is working on.
As time goes by, Jim continues to enjoy the benefits of knowledge through bonsai. He has discovered a caring and understanding friendship with plants and with people.
Jim is an excellent artist and presenter, and the evening should be most entertaining and informational.

Guest Artist: Jim Doyle - Lecture/Demo
Date: Friday, September 28
Location: Greater Plymouth Community Center
Time: 7 pm

Demo material will be raffled - Bring a bonsai for exhibit, double your raffle chances!

Annual Picnic and Auction

The weather wasn't the greatest, but the rain held off for our annual picnic and auction. Our agenda for the day was: chat with friends, eat a picnic lunch, and have a great auction. Thanks to a great attendance, lots of shared goodies, and a wealth of donated material, everything was a great success!
Our business for the day, election of officers went as follows: Moving from President to Past President - Mike Wigginton, who served for two terms (many thanks, Mike!). Assuming the President's role will be Robert Mahler - (good luck ,Bob!). John Berna continues as Vice President. David Spirt continues on as Treasurer (he's looking for someone to assume the Treasurer's duties - any volunteers?). Linda Brant will act as Secretary.
Also, there is a need for members to step up to assist with some of the recurring events - Volunteers needed for Flower Show committee, Morris Arboretum meet & Greet,, Web site revision, etc. Some members have already stepped up to lend a hand - without your help the club can't thrive as it has.
Our hosts for the day, the Mahers, went above and beyond, making sure everyone was comfortable and needing nothing. Thank you Mark and Jeanne from all of us at PBS!!
Lots of material made for a long auction, but our auctioneer Jim Gillespie persevered until the sales tables were clear. Thanks Jim, for your usual outstanding job as auctioneer!! Thanks too, to our auction helpers, Brian, John, and Mike - they kept things moving along!

President's Notes

Hello all, 

As the new President of PBS I'm excited to get started on planning for the Philadelphia Flower Show.  I'll be providing forms to anyone interested in placing a tree in the 2019 show.  Please keep an ear and eye out for amazing trees to display! 
Jim Doyle will be presenting at our next meeting on September 28.  I look forward to seeing you there.  


Future Meetings

October 27 (Saturday) - Member's Flower Show Workshop
November 16 - Fall Auction
December 14 - Holiday Social & Raffle
January - No Meeting

The 6th National Bonsai Exhibit

The one word to describe September's National Bonsai Exhibit just doesn't exist. Over 200 exceptional quality trees were shown. One could (and did) spend hours studying each arrangement, accent plants, stands, and bonsai, individually and as a composition.
Two of our fellow PBS members were chosen to be exhibitors; Karen Harkaway and Jim Doyle. Both displays were outstanding, and Karen's accent was awarded "Best Bonsai & Accent Combination" (thanks Connie!)
Over 600 registrants viewed these exceptional exhibits, and critiques by noted bonsai artists were well received. A large vending area tempted one to buy "just one more tree" although some prices were well up there (a very large chojubai quince had a $14,000+ price tag!). Lecture/demonstrations on bonsai pots, suiseki, and bonsai filled time between exhibit viewing. The awards banquet Saturday evening was attended by over 450 attendees.
It was a busy weekend, but highly enjoyable. The venue was perfect, with plenty of room for everything. It is a real credit to Bill Valavanis and his crew that the 6th National Bonsai Exhibit was such a success.

Seasonal Notes

Many trees are emerging from their mid-summer slow-down, and are beginning to prepare themselves for the coming winter. When to Fertilize? This is the subject of some controversy. The conventional wisdom is to fertilize when the plants are in active growth. This generally is after bud break in the spring until late summer. The contention is that feeding well into the fall and early winter with nitrogen will force new growth that will be killed by frost. It now appears that this is a myth.
Plants begin setting buds in mid to late summer. Nitrogen does fuel new growth, but plays no role in initiating bud break. This is related to day length only. Cold hardiness acquisition is related to lowered temperatures and can actually be enhanced by regular fertilization with balanced levels of nitrogen. Based on these findings there is no reason not to continue balanced fertilizer feeding well into the fall and early winter. As long as the soil temperature is above about 55ºF plants will continue to absorb and store nitrogen as well as phosphorus and potassium. This storage of fertilizer by the plant plays a very important role in fueling new growth in the early spring when soil temperatures are cold and nitrogen is hard to acquire.
The conventional wisdom also says fertilizing with high levels of phosphorus in the fall will prepare the plant for winter by increasing its cold hardiness acquisition. There is no credible evidence to support this contention.
Nitrogen is the first number given on the label, (ex. 5-10-10). The second number refers to Phosphorus, which enhances root and cell tissue development and regulates flowering and fruiting. A fertilizer with a high Phosphorus number is desirable at this time of year. The third number refers to Potassium, which promotes circulation and production of sap, and promotes flowering and fruiting.
Three large numbers will usually be prominent on the front of the package. This is the NPK analysis. . Numbers such as 15-15-15, 20-20-20, or 18-6-12 are common. These numbers are the percentage by weight of the N-P-K , nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium contained in the fertilizer. The more common fertilizers are 20-20-20, which should be diluted by 50% to avoid leaf burn. Harder to find are the 0-10-10 or 0-20-20 fertilizers best for this time of year. We've been able to locate gallon containers of 0-10-10 at our local garden store, Alaska brand.

Editorial Notes

A few quick items to bring to your attention.
First, if you'll check the sidebar on the first page, You'll find the new lineup of PBS officers. Also, we welcome the addition of Walter Scott to our Board of Directors.
Second, please take part in our ongoing Silent Auctions. At each meeting items may be put up for sale in a silent auction. The seller can determine the minimum starting (or reserve) price, and proceeds are divided between the seller and PBS (80% to the seller). The split is the same as the November auction, the difference being that November auction items are sold at no reserve. One Silent auction item that I'll list here is a set of Bonsai Today magazines from #1 - #106. This set as well as a number of pots and bonsai were donated by a former PBS member. The set is too heavy to lug to a meeting, so if you're interested, place a bid - the set is baing sold as one lot.
Third, our web site is showing it's age. I created it in 1997, so it's now eligible to by liquor! I was up with current trends when I created the site, but technology moves very quickly, faster than I did, so a revision is long overdue to present a more modern look. Interested in taking on the task?
Lastly, thanks to all of you for your ongoing support of PBS. You have welcomed and encouraged new members, been willing to share your knowledge and offer a helping hand. Let's keep doing great things!

Bug Alert!

This could impact our bonsai!
Nymph and adult spotted lanternflies cause extensive damage when they feed, sucking sap from stems and leaves and causing the plant to ooze and weep. Not only does the plant die but the "fermented odor" caused by the feeding, along with the fluid excreted by the insects themselves, promotes mold growth and draws even more insects, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
There is a serious threat of the lanternfly spreading due to the fact that it lays its egg masses on any flat surface, including vehicles and trailers.
Check the Penn State extension site for more information

Dues Reminder

Our membership year ended with the last day of May. If your address label has an 17/18 on it, please send your dues check to our treasurer, David Spirt, as soon as possible, or rejoin at the September meeting. Labels displaying an 18/19 indicate dues are paid for the 2018-19 year. If you receive your newsletter via email, a reminder notice will be sent.
Dues are $40. 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.

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