Newsletter from Bonsai Society of Australia - March 2016
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Bonsai Society

Australia inc.

Newsletter - March 2016

Next meeting Tuesday, March 1st
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This Month's Demonstrator
Okay this is where I would insert a short “Blurb” about how entertaining and knowledgeable our presenter for this month is. As Ian is a well-known member of our club and I am sure most of you have seen him either at the meetings or demonstrating in the past I will instead use this space as a plea to you all!

I know that you have seen this request before but I must ask you all yet again for some input to the magazine. If it were not for our treasurer Maureen and our wonderful librarian Paul, we would not have a magazine at all. Now I think that is very unfair that only a few members of the committee are able and willing to put contributions to the magazine.

So I guess that the issue may be that you are all unsure of what to write to submit? Well the answer is anything of interest that you feel you would like to share, like a tree you are working on or one that you would like to get some ideas on styling or a trip that you have been on or a book you have read or what first attracted you to bonsai in short almost anything is suitable. So please can you think seriously about making a contribution!!
Presidential Report
Due to unforeseen circumstances our president is unable to provide us with her usual insightful, and interesting article.
Christmas Meeting Photos   - By Paul Walshaw

Although I was unable to join you all for last year’s Christmas Party. From the photos it looks to have been a good night. I hope we all had a great and wonderful festive season, and are all looking forward to this being a terrific new year.
Much Thanks to Paul Walshaw for the Pictures.
Last Month's Demonstration
For anyone who missed last month’s demonstration by Mr. John Cargill. I must say that it was incredibly interesting. We were able to observe a true master of the art form create before our eyes a beautiful back yard garden in suburban Japan.
We got to see the magic as right before our eyes we witnessed the transformation of all the elements into the magnificent Miniature Creation of this garden following are some pictures
John explaining what we were about to witness and beginning the positioning of trees.

Adding more plants and additional pieces to create the picture.
And finally the completed Image is created.
After watching this Demonstration, we were treated to the incomparable Sue Brennan and an update of a couple of Black Pines that she used to demonstrate the legendary “Death Cut” method to us last year. Following are some photos I will not go into any detail other than to show the obvious success Sue has achieved using this method.
I am trying to convince connive or blackmail the “Queen of The Death Cut” to put pen to paper and write up the method in detail for a future edition anyone chatting to Sue may wish to help me convince her to do this!
Those members who were present last year for Rolf Kretschmar’s tool sharpening demonstration would remember this.  It’s the four sided sharpening block from Aldi which retails for $10.  They will be available for sale on Saturday 27th February, but be warned – they go quickly.
Advance Notice!
Please take note and put in your diary! Mr. Tony Bebb AABC Demonstrator will be presenting a demonstration at our club on the 5th of April at our monthly meeting visitors welcome/ He will hold a workshop the following night for 8 lucky members 2 places have already been taken so get in early so you don’t miss out.

Tony has:
Demonstrated at AABC Seminars in 1993, 1998, 2002 and 2009. Conducted demonstrations and workshops for clubs in Darwin, Penrith, Otford, Port Macquarie, Adelaide and Canberra. Also conducts regular demonstrations for bonsai clubs in the South-East Qld corner.
Has conducted demonstrations and workshops in New Zealand. All subjects with a preference for Literati, Cascade, Windswept and Driftwood Styles, including carving. Favorite species are Pines, Junipers and Azaleas but will work with anything.
Stanwell Tops Weekend August
By Lee Wright
Steve Tolley, an English bonsai master, was the headliner at this years Stanwell Tops Weekend Workshop.   He is entertaining, informative, humorous and VERY talented.   Steve worked a shaggy substantial juniper into an upcoming bonsai.
Notes taken during his styling:
The strength of a juniper is in the foliage.  The last thing we should do is to scalp the foliage.  When we repot the tree we know that we can remove a lot of roots and the foliage well help to regrow roots.  Where junipers grow they absorb a lot of moisture through the foliage.   Feed via the soil one time, feed the foliage the next fortnight.  With a weak or sick juniper spray the foliage with feed.  This works for all junipers.
Pines get their strength from the roots so they cannot be root pruned hard and need soil based fertiliser.
Maxi Crop with seaweed is good for this.  There are two Maxi crops, one without and one with seaweed. 
Almost all trees can be bonsaied but not all trees make good bonsai.  You want trees that thrive, not just survive.
Bonsai in started in late 50s with one or two people in London and really started to gain momentum in early 60s with masters like Peter Adams, Henry Tomlinson and Dan Barton.  Now England has been left behind by the Italians and Spaniards.    There are 10 million bonsai stylists in Japan, but that's not saying that all are good - there are only about 12 true masters in Japan – A bonsai master is thoroughly knowledgeable in horticultural, styling, technique and care.  The one thing the Japanese have is history and they have had trees in training for centuries where we have had trees for decades.
Bonsai is the art of seeing the future.  When you create a tree today you are creating it for the future.  The first styling is not a bonsai - it is just the first step towards a bonsai.
The important aspects of bonsai are horticulture, technique and aesthetics and of these horticulture is the most important.  Plus time.  Bonsai has four dimensions and the fourth is time.
An enthusiast must get their head around horticultural.  It doesn't do any good to learn how it is done in Japan, you have to know your own growing conditions and work your trees to that.  Otherwise you will kill your trees.
Mugo pine needs cold, needs frost to be healthy.  Junipers give you the most scope for styling.
Refined and natural bonsai - there's a balance.  A bonsai is a tree that has been artfully shaped by the hand of man; you can over refine and under refine.
Lime sulphur - do it regularly, not just once a year.  Dilute it 1 to 5 so the colour is more silvery and not white.  Do the lime sulphur regularly so that it builds up.  If there is nothing to do with your bonsai, apply lime sulphur to any deadwood.  Get any algae or moss off as that will cause the deadwood to deteriorate more rapidly.
Silk thread carving is another way of texturing deadwood and has been developed by the Taiwanese.  With a tool flick a piece of the deadwood - freshly prepared jins or shari - and pull that along the wood so the tear is with the grain.  This only works on green wood, not seasoned timber. It will pull along the grain and can wrap around the tree so you get a very natural affect that is harder to achieve with tool carving.  A creme brûlée burner burns stripes in the wood and you then use a wire brush to texture the burned area.  Apply the torch for different lengths of time so the burn is different depths and when you use the brush it will give different affects.
Some trees rot from the inside out; others, like pines, erode away.  When you are carving your carving must reflect the way a species would decay.
High mountain plants grow very compact because of the extreme conditions:  thinner air, higher UV radiation; to cope with the conditions they have to grow very compact.  When you bring yamidori down from high altitude they can go in shock.  Then they are put in good potting mix and fed and they start growing coarse with all the nutrients.  In the mountains they often grown in their own needle litter, soil can be scarce.
You can't follow guidelines pedantically.   With mother/daughter, groups or forest planting the lowest branch must be on the smallest tree.  If you are doing a multi trunk or a forest the tops should be different heights.  The most powerful must be the tallest.   In nature the oldest will be the tallest, the youngest will be closest to the ground.  Bonsai must reflect this.
On the other hand – you can’t follow the guidelines concerning first branch, second branch, back branch... If you have a tree with two branches and one is on the inside curve you are not going to remove it, otherwise the tree would be very boring.  Look at the trunk, what does the trunk tell you.  Is it feminine or masculine.  The trunk should give you the insight as to what the tree is and how it should be styled.
If you have a straight tree you don't want curvy branches.  What caused the trunk to grow straight or curvy will be the same thing that makes the branches grow in the same style.   If you take an upward growing branch and bring it down for a cascade branch you should leave the foliage long so there is sufficient foliage to pull the nutrient down.  When the branch is acclimatised to its new position in a few months you can then start reducing and refining the styling on that branch.  To do so earlier could jeopardise the health of that branch.
Forget eBay,
The best way to buy and sell is on the
BSA Sales Tables.

At the May, we will be conducting a sales table where members can buy and sell bonsai, pots, stands, stock plants, books, magazines, tools or anything else bonsai related.

This is a great opportunity for those who might want to trim their collection or unload excess odds and ends, whilst it is a fantastic way for members, particularly newer members, to pick up good quality stock at reasonable prices.
A few simple rules will apply:
  • Items must be on the sales table before 7.45 pm, the start of the meeting.
  • Price and seller’s ID, must be securely attached to the item.
  • The Bonsai Society will charge a 15% commission from all sale proceeds. .
  • Business will only be conducted during the evening “walkabout” so as not to disturb the meeting.
So bring along your stock to sell and your money to buy

The usual Club stock of tools such as scissors, or sealant or any grade of wire, in 100gm or 1kg packs, will still be available at ROCK BOTTOM PRICES.

From the Treasurer
A big thank you to my helpers last month for carrying on my jobs.
Now a little reminder its that time of the year when fees need to be paid and if it is easier for you
There is always direct deposit so here is our number BSB 062140 Account No 00904334 Bonsai Society of Australia Inc
 Another month has flown by and I hope all your trees have survived the summer months. Now is the time to start working on your trees for our show,
 refining them and keeping them in good shape.
We have a special guest a No 1, AABC demonstrator Tony Bebb coming for our April meeting and then on the following night we will
have a workshop with him and 8 lucky members will be able to take home a tree styled by Tony “as a future famous bonsai”
Don’t forget to get in early and put your name down for the work shop and observers.
Visitors are welcome so bring along your bonsai friends or friends that would like to become bonsai friends.
Dates For Your Diary
Our club events
  1st March  2016     Our Club Meeting Ian White to Demonstrate
  5th April   2016     Our Club Meeting Tony Bebb to Demonstrate
  6th April   2016      Workshop night with Tony Bebb
  3rd May   2016      Our club meeting night Demonstration and a Market Place
Other Events
11th to 13th March 2016   Wauchope Bonsai Society “Bonsai on the Beach” Francis Retreat (formerly the Bonny Hills  Conference Centre) 2 Thomson Place Bonny Hills

12th to 13th March 2016   Bonsai Society of the Central Coast Exhibition, Erina Room Erina shopping centre Terrigal Drive Erina NSW

20TH March 2016            Ausbonsai Community Market Day , Auburn Community Picnic Area Kileen St. Auburn NSW

10TH April   2016            Nepean Bonsai Society Annual Show Glenbrook Community Hall Cnr. Ross St. and Great Western Highway GLENBROOK.

20th to 23rd May 2016      AABC 29TH Australian National Bonsai Convention  Wrest Point Convention Centre. Hobart Tasmania

3rd September 2016       Bonsai Study Group annual show is moving from May to September I will add the address next Newsletter

9th to 11th Sept. 2016     The 17th annual Weekend Workshops at the Tops Conference Centre, Stanwell tops

17TH 18th Sept.  2016      Bonsai show Annual Show Don Moore Centre NORTH ROCKS.

11th to 13th Nov. 2016     Newcastle Bonsai Society Exhibition, Charlestown Bowling Club 5 Lincoln St. Charlestown NSW
Tips for the month From the Bonsai Sage
If your trees are anything like mine it will take a month to weed them all, while you are weeding check to make sure you have no wire cutting in,
Cut off any large leaves on your figs as it is a little late to defoliate but sometimes you get the odd shoot with extra-large leaves so cut back
 and remove the largest leaves. Check for insects in densely foliaged trees they usually curl up in a leaf or needles stuck together so remove
 dead foliaged and trim any overgrown pads as you go, opening up the foliaged to allow sunlight and air to circulate. It is time to stop pruning
your azaleas and camellias as their flower buds will be forming which no buds no flowers.
The recent weather has been mixed, with warm days and somewhat tropical rain. Most trees are showing a late summer/autumn spurt of new growth, so be diligent with your pruning and remember the more clipping the more refinement of branches and thus the more beautiful the bonsai will be.
Use a low nitrogen organic fertilizer during autumn to harden late growth and improve flower and fruit production in spring as plants need to store energy as we approach winter.
 Figs can still be repotted and partially defoliated by removing large leaves; the rain and high humidity are ideal conditions for Ficus. As we move into late March and April where the weather is milder we can begin repotting such trees as Australian natives, conifers and fruiting trees such as apples, quinces and pears. If you are repotting at this time of year don’t be too drastic with root pruning and wait till any new growth has hardened off. This is also the time to mix up lots of potting mix in preparation for the trees requiring autumn potting.
Although by the calendar we are in autumn be wary of warm weather, although as we move later into the month we will need to rearrange our trees to provide adequate sun during late autumn and winter.

Trees that exhibit autumn colour will give a spectacular display at this time of year. If you don’t have many or any such plants autumn is the perfect time to make a decision as to what trees impress you most, such as liquidambar, zelkova, some maples, gingko or Manchurian pear. If you are collecting trees for a group, where coordination of colour is important, now is a great time to choose trees. Autumn flowering trees should be chosen in autumn.
Trees that bear fruit or berries in autumn will need some attention at this time. Excessive fruit or berries left on the tree for a long period will weaken the tree and possibly lessen next year’s crop as the tree expends a great deal of energy setting fruit. Withhold fertiliser until the fruit sets, then fertilise lightly.       
Weeds will also be growing in abundance so remove these as they take energy away from the tree and be careful of attack by insects, slugs and snails. Watering can be reduced as we move further into autumn but still be careful of the odd hot and windy day. It may be a case of checking your trees daily and adjusting your watering to suit individual trees.
Autumn is a beautiful time of year, so enjoy your bonsai.
Well Guys and Girls that is another newsletter done and dusted
Please give some thought to contributing to future issues until next month

Office Bearers for 2014/2015/2016

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 7.30p.m.
Workshops Third Tuesday of the month (except December)
  Normanhurst Public School
Cnr. Pennant Hills and Normanhurst Roads
7.30 p.m.
Copyright © 2016 Bonsai Society of Australia Inc, All rights reserved.

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