Newsletter....March 2017
PBS Newsletter Archives

April Meeting

Our April meeting will feature one of the headliners from this year's MidAtlantic Spring Festival, Will Baddeley, from the United Kingdom. Baddeley’s interest in bonsai started in 1997. His work has been exhibited in the European Ginko Awards, he won the UK New Talent contest in 2002, and two pieces of his work are on the register of important British Bonsai. He has been teaching bonsai, both novices and advanced students alike, for the last nine years.
From Bonsai Empire:
"As long as I remember, I have always had a huge appreciation of nature. My love affair with trees was there long before I came across Bonsai.
My first tree came from a Petrol station back in 1997. It didn't last long. But in the mean time I bought a book by Colin Lewis and was hooked by the idea of using native trees to make Bonsai. I then went about collecting as many different species of tree as possible, bought as many books as I could afford and joined a local club. In 2001 my club entered me in the New Talent Competition. I won the UK heats and represented my Country in Trevarez, France in 2002 and came third. I am self taught if there is such a thing. Observant and committed would be another way of putting it as I soak up information like a sponge. My main influences have come from the likes of Colin Lewis and his passion for natives and in particular Ulmus minor. Also Kevin Willson and his work with wild material and deadwood work with power tools."
Our meeting will be a joint meeting with BSLV to accommodate our speaker's schedule. Please bring a tree to exhibit, but there will be no double tickets for the demo raffle. Please note change of date.

Guest Speaker: Will Baddeley-Lecture-Demo
Date: Thursday, April 13
Location: Greater Plymouth Community Center
Time: 7:00

Flower Show 2017

This year's Flower Show was a big change for PBS. Gone were the moongates that had been a fixture of the exhibit for many, many years, to be replaced by an open pedestal-style display. Thirteen trees were shown on pedestals with a fourteenth tree shown in a tokanoma-style area. As the photos show, the pedestal tops were especially nice. We also were paired with Rosade Bonsai Studio, sharing exhibit space. The show with not without its problems this year, with a major storm midweek causing travel problems into the city.
A huge round of thanks to all the members who volunteered their time to act as exhibit sitters, some who assumed extra slots or stayed well beyond their assigned times.
This year's exhibit was chaired by Randy Naftal, with much help from Chase Rosade, Bob Mahler, and Karen Harkaway in coordinating exhibit trees. Special thanks to Chase for coordinating transport of trees to and from the show.
From Randy:
This year's Flower Show exhibit was a huge hit amongst visitors and I must say, the layout was nicely designed. Next year we will have a background for the trees.
The combined exhibit with Rosade Bonsai Studio worked well and the collaboration proved to be very successful. The trees were really special, with the addition of some folks who haven't displayed in a long time, and a few new, the show was outstanding. 
Thank you all for your help, and thank you to the sitters who every year donate time to answer questions from the crowd ("what does training mean?") and take special care of the collection.
On a sad note, sorry to hear of Howard McNeal's passing. He handed the reins of Exhibit Chairman over to me in 1995 and assisted me every year until the last two. Howard was a friend and bonsai mentor, he will be missed.

Seasonal Notes

What a wacky Winter/Spring this year has provided!! February warmth, March snowstorms and frigid temperatures have totally confused our bonsai. While some landscape maples are pushing hard, maple bonsai in outdoor storage are barely moving.
Now is the time for repotting most bonsai. The need for protection from freezing after repotting is paramount. Tender roots that have been trimmed in the repotting process will die off if frozen, likely killing the tree. The result of this goofy weather is what we joking refer to as "the bonsai shuffle", moving trees from the garage shelter on warm days and moving them back into shelter in the evening if the temperatures are going to drop. Keeping trees in the garage too long ends up causing long internodes to form along with larger leaves. Additional work is then needed to correct these faults.
Have fun with your trees, keeping learning and growing in your knowledge - there's always something new to learn. Just ask Chase Rosade!!

Meet & Greet Exhibit at Morris Arboretum

On April 15th several of us will be going to the Morris Arboretum to participate in the Cherry Blossom Festival. We will set up a table and work on trees and answer questions to the many people passing by enjoying the festivities.
There is room for a few more members to come out and help. If you are interested please let me know. We will be there from 10 AM to 3PM. If you are interested or have a question email or

Falling Leaves

We were greatly saddened to learn of the passing of our good friend, Howard McNeal on March 26. Howard had been battling declining health over the past months.
Howard was a lifetime member of PBS, chairing the Flower Show exhibits for many, many years, as well as acting as a PBS president from 1990-92.
Howard was especially proud of his studio, Old Mill Bonsai Studio, as well as his impressive bonsai collection. Many people, bonsaists and general public visited his collection. Howard was a generous and giving person, more than willing to share his knowledge, his time, and enthusiasm for bonsai. Often a bonsai beginner left his studio with a gift of a bonsai, in order to further bonsai interest.
Howard loved to teach, to see that gleam of understanding in his students' eyes.
For many years Howard's beautiful home in Honeybrook was the site of our club picnic. He was always the gracious host, not only sharing his home, but also in cooking for club members. Many of us were also lucky enough to share lunch or a formal dinner with Howard. His coffee pot was always going.
He was a great ambassador for bonsai and will be sorely missed by all.

Upcoming Bonsai Events

Ongoing - May 7 - Suiseki Exhibit - National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, Washington
April 15 - Morris Arboretum - PBS Meet & Greet - Cherry Blossom Festival
April 27-30 - 8th World Bonsai Convention - Saitama City, Japan
May 13 -Open House - World Bonsai Day - Rosade Bonsai Studio - New Hope
May 13 - Bonsai Festival - Nature's Way Nursery - Linglestown
May 26-29 - American Bonsai Society Convention - Orlando
June 23-25 - National Shohim Exhibition - Kannapolis, NC

Future Meetings

May 19 - TBA
June 16 - TBA
August - Picnic & Auction

MidAtlantic Festival

It's right around the corner! The 2017 MidAtlantic festival will be held on April 7-9, 2017 at the Raddison Cromwell, Cromwell, CT. A great lineup of bonsai artists from around the world is again scheduled. From Japan, Akio Kondo, from the U.K., Will Baddeley, and from the US, Boon Manakivipart, with the addition of kusamono artist Young Choe, all to extend their extensive bonsai knowledge to those attending.
The MABS weekend is well worth the investment of time and money, and the drive is doable. There will be, as usual, workshops, a great variety of vendors, an excellent bonsai exhibit, great demos, raffles, as well as silent and live auctions. Make your plans soon for April 7-9, 2017 MidAtlantic Spring Festival. For more information, as well as online registration, go to

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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