Bonsai Society of Australia Inc. Newsletter - February 2015
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Bonsia Society of Australia inc.

Newsletter - Febraury 2015


Office Bearers for 2014/2015

President Georgina Kretschmar   9636 4261
Vice President/Treasurer Maureen Andersen   9871 4162
Vice President Dorothy Koreshoff   4998 6083
Secretary Colin Hugo   9674 2675
Editor Bruce Von Wootten   0406 996 300
Committee Ingrid Bauer (Publicity)   9652 2811
  Joan Cam   9489 5129
  Orhan Guzel (Web Master)    
  Josie McNeilly   9871 4750
  Michele Toomey (Membership)   9872 5146
Librarian Paul Walshaw   9809 0026
Correspondence to The Secretary    
  PO Box 32    
  Pendle Hill NSW 2145.    
Membership Joining Fee   $12.00
  Annual Fee   $30.00
  Students   $20.00
  Family (At same address)   $35.00
Meetings First Tuesday of the month (except January)
  West Pennant Hills Community Centre
42 Hill Road, West Pennant Hills.
7.15 p.m. for 7.45p.m.
Workshops Third Tuesday of the month (except December)
  Normanhurst Public School
Cnr. Pennant Hills and Normanhurst Roads
7.30 p.m.
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Check our Website
Welcome to the New Year, I sincerely hope that all our members had a terrific Christmas and a happy and relaxing holiday. I will now give all readers an apology. I am new to this editorial process and am feeling my way a bit so please accept this apology for any mistakes that you notice. I will do my very best to improve as we continue.
At this point I would like to extend from all our membership a sincere and heart felt THANK YOU to my predecessor the dashing Mr. Colin Hugo, who has tirelessly worked to produce this news letter for a number of years. Colin Thanks for your efforts and personally a big thank you from me for the assistance you have given to me during the transition.
While on the thank you's I must thank our President Georgina Kretschmar and Maureen Andersen for their support and to Josie for the the brilliant article on the demonstration by Ray Mackaway on aerial layering found later in this newsletter.
It is hard to believe that 2014 has finished and here  we are at the beginning of a very exciting and interesting  new year.
In March we had a visit from Robert Kempinski, an American demonstrator with great expertise. Our meeting night was filled with members and visitors. The atmosphere was great as Robert not only was a first class demonstrator but had great charm as well. The next evening a workshop was held and he shared more knowledge with us as he moved from tree to tree.

Our local demonstrators were of the usual high standard, commencing with Sue Brennan who always sets a great pace for us at the beginning of the year, through to Ray Nesci who kindly shared with us his great knowledge of growing bonsai. Our thanks go to all the other demonstrators who presented us with many varied aspects of bonsai, all of which will help us to design and care for more beautiful trees.

Our Spring show used a very different format for the first time and I am sure you will agree that it worked well in the available space, transforming a long, rectangular and, dare I say, boring hall into something we can all be proud of. My thanks go to all the helpers at the working bee and during the show, without your support we could not have achieved such an outcome.

We are now on Facebook and I would ask you all to support this. It is early days and we are still feeling our way but it is up and running and looks terrific. Also, our Web page had been updated, and if you find any information which could be of interest to include, please let a committee member know. Many thanks to Tabitha, Ingrid’s daughter-in-law who originally set up our Web page and to Orhan for continuing on with it, and for setting up our Face book page.

During November some of our members visited Khanh Linh’s amazing bonsai garden. Every time we visit we see a different garden,  it is always changing and evolving. Linh’s demonstration was to quite literally turn a fig on its head, from a slanting tree into a cascade. But it became not just a cascade in a pot, with an addition of a piece of mondo grass, two rocks and a figure, he finally presented us with a serene and gentle scene. He is truly a bonsai artist. His wife and her helpers prepared a delicious Vietnamese lunch afterward and we thank Linh and his family for making us all so welcome.

I must thank the Committee for their efforts throughout the year, without you we would not function and your help is much appreciated. Dorothy has had a fall and will not be mobile for three months. We wish her well for a good recovery. Thanks also to our retiring members, Ricky and Terry. Thank you for the time you have put in to making our Club run smoothly.

Finally, Colin is retiring as our Editor, which is a sad day for us. He has done a great job giving us lots of great articles and advice each month. I am sure he will be available to assist for a time whoever takes over from him.

May I take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very happy prosperous 2015.
And now an Introduction to this months presenter

Get ready to be entertained!
Sue not only has a vast knowledge gained over nearly 40 years as a bonsai aficionado but is one of the most delightful and amusing demonstrators in the bonsai fraternity. Sue’s expertise extends to many areas, as evidenced by her having a personal collection containing almost 40 different varieties, and coupled with her storytelling and wit, this makes a Sue Brennan demonstration a sheer delight. As an accredited AABC demonstrator Sue has demonstrated at Club, National and International level as well as operating a successful bonsai design and care business.
Sue is a passionate tutor, and gifted virtuoso with a natural ability whose trees have won a number of prestigious awards.
 Don’t miss this opportunity to see her...
Beware the hot summer month of February.
A few tips for these hot summer days. Keep your Maples under shade to avoid burning of leaves by heat and wind. Immersing pots in water on a regular basis helps keep plants in good condition. When watering on hot windy days, mist all foliage and surrounding area of trees to create a humid condition. Don’t forget water pots thoroughly. I have even had Junipers that have suffered from burning of the foliage tips in the unusually hot weather we have experienced, one in particular was close to a brick wall and I suspect it suffered more because of the reflected heat off the wall.
There is still time to defoliate or re-pot figs, whilst larger leaves can be removed from most trees on a continual basis. Pinch out growth tips on such trees as Japanese Maples to promote back budding and thus ramification, any burnt leaves can be removed and it is also an opportunity to partially defoliate to allow new leaves to develop, but don’t leave it too late in Summer and be sure to protect your tree afterward.
Black Pine branches which have matured since forming in the Spring may be cut back by half to encourage more compact budding. Do not cut back where there are no needles.
Stand Wisteria in dishes of water as  this will promote flower development and root growth.
Keep up your established fertilising programme all through the summer, but do not fertilise in extremely hot weather. Remember, with extra watering fertilisers will leach through the soil at a faster rate than usual.
Hold caterpillars at bay with suitable recommended sprays and be careful of your Azaleas which can be damaged by Lace Bugs
Paint jins and shari with lime sulphur, but avoid touching living parts of the tree, soil or the pot.
Be careful with any wiring on your trees as it can cut in very quickly in a strong growth period as we have just experienced.
Pruning to shape can continue through Summer but remember to leave Winter and Spring flowering plants such as Crab Apples and Azaleas to grow as pruning will remove the flowering wood of the tree.
Our demonstrator for the October meeting last year was Ray Mackaway and he let us peek behind his peat moss and plastic covering to reveal how he performs his magic on trees with suitable trunks or branches for layering.  He has found that his new aerial layering technique has also been successful on trees that have previously been very difficult to layer e.g. trident maples, black pines etc.

Air layering is believed to be of Chinese origin and has been practiced for over 1500 years. Initially the method was to encase a partially severed branch in wet clay and then cover with hessian, the interruption to the sap flow causes the trunk or branch to go into survival mode and either bridge the gap or throw out new roots to draw moisture and nutrients from the immediate environment.

The advantage of air layering is that a mature tree can be obtained in a relatively short time. Detailed below is Ray’s layering technique.
1. Ring bark the tree using a clean and very sharp knife. Cut then scrape a band 1.5 times in width of the diameter of the trunk, removing all cambium, to the heartwood.  Consider also the angle of the cut as this will form the new nebari and will of course influence the angle of the new trunk, it could be anywhere from straight to possibly a 30 degree angle. Wrap this area with strips of cloth soaked in Seasol to keep the bark from drying out until you are ready for the next step.

2. Prepare a hormone mix:  Mix together Clonex Purple and Richgro Hardwood or Yates plant powder in a 50/50 paste. Using a small paintbrush, paint the mix on to the top cut. Using bonsai wire the same thickness as depth of cut, place wire around heartwood pushed up under and against top cut and twist ends to tighten, as a tourniquet.  Paint on mix again over wire.

3. Add a muck collar:  Using clay and cow manure, in a 50/50 mix, roll into a sausage and apply around the trunk covering trunk, wire and heartwood.

4. Cover with sphagnum moss.   Using a thick quality plastic, like a cut up ziplock bag, and tie wire, tie the plastic around the trunk, creating a large, blousie bag which is generously filled with sphagnum moss which has been soaked in Seasol for at least one hour. Tie top of plastic to trunk and also wrap tie round and round the plastic to ensure good contact between muck collar and moss. Cover with Alfoil, not black plastic, to reflect heat.

Aftercare:  If you can see condensation on plastic, moss is wet enough. If dry, use a syringe to re-wet with Seasol.  Cut off the aerial layer only after a substantial root system has formed. Cut through the trunk, soak roots in Seasol and then carefully tease out the new root system. Some people will plant the new section in peat moss rather than potting mix to limit the chance of damaged roots.

The more roots showing in the moss the greater the chance of the air layers survival. Plant, but do not fertilise until tree has recovered and is showing new growth, use only Seasol up to this point as fertiliser could damage the tender new roots.

In time it will be impossible to tell that the tree has been air layered as opposed to being grown from seed, cutting or grafting.

As can be seen from the above and following pictures this was a wonderful demonstration.

Well people that is it for this my first go at the news letter please forgive me for any and all errors this is all new to me and I am sure that I will get better, unless the committee sacks me as a result of this attempt.
Thank You and I hope to do a better job next time...

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