Diablo Bonsai Club
General Information for New and Prospective Members

Revision date January 2003

The Diablo Bonsai Club was founded in 1981 by sensei Kunitoshi Akabane to promote awareness and understanding of the bonsai art form. The club consists of members living throughout the San Francisco East Bay Area and many surrounding and outlying areas.

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Member Benefits:

The club is unique in that its structure allows Sensei Akabane to tailor his instruction and workshops specifically to the varying experience levels of our membership. Each of our meetings consists of just a few minutes of club business, then a lecture and discussion period followed by a workshop where each attendee is offered personal attention and advice about the trees they bring in. Monthly meetings provide instruction for beginners and for more experienced members. Prior experience is not required, the meetings for beginners, starting the first of each year cover the basics of the art and the culture of the trees. Members are encourage to visit the many Bonsai Shows throughout the area each year and to study the literature to build a solid understanding of the culture and art of these living works of art.

The club offers other activities throughout the year including field trips to bonsai specialty nurseries, garden tours, community events, club dinners, and our annual bonsai show.

As a member of the Diablo Bonsai Club you will receive instruction and advice based on your skills and understanding. Those new to bonsai will be introduced to the traditional basic styles and the culture requirements to help build a solid understanding of the techniques involved. The goal is to help beginners become comfortable at the basic level, then to continue to build on their knowledge as they progress.

Members with more experience are instructed in some of the more advanced techniques including branch development, style refinement, propagation, jin and shari, restyling mature trees, etc.

Basic and Intermediate Class meetings are held on Wednesday nights, in general the third and fourth Wednesdays of each month. Changes in meeting dates for holidays or other reasons are given in the newsletters and in the Events Calendar. Meetings are held in the Science Room of the Charlotte Wood Middle School, 600 El Capitan Drive, Danville, Ca. Meeting times are 7:00pm - 10:000pm. Some special workshops and potting sessions are held on weekend mornings at the Tassajara Nursery in Danville.

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Membership requirements:

Yearly dues are $50 per year for an individual, or $75 for couples or parent-child pairs.

In addition, each member is required to donate two trees to the Club sale at the annual show. Our dues do not entirely cover our expenses and this sale is important to make up the difference and keep the club functioning. Members in the beginning class are asked to donate two 1-gallon trees that are started in training or $30 cash. Advanced members should provide two 5-gallon trees, trained and potted or a $60 cash donation. Donations "in kind" may be acceptable with approval of the Sensei.

A donation of food, or cash equivalent, for the lunch buffet at our annual show is also required.

In addition, each member is expected to participate in club activities that require volunteer work whenever possible. There are many duties required to operate a successful club of any kind and your help is vital. DBC is an active club and we can only successful if all members are prepared to do their part.

We are always happy to welcome new members and encourage anyone with an interest in bonsai to attend one of our meetings and see our club in action. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact our Sensei, or teacher, K Akabane, at the Tassajara Nursery, 2550 Camino Tassajara, Danville. Telephone 925-736-7600.

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