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February 1999 Newsletter

Sensei: Kunitoshi Akabane (925) 736-7600
President: Ed Burns (925) 829-6463 or
Editor: Ed Burns

February Meetings

Heather Farms Garden Center
1540 March Banks Drive, Walnut Creek, CA.
All meetings are 7:30pm - 9:30pm.

Beginner:Monday Feb. 1
Refreshments:Ann Sousa

Combined:Monday Feb. 8
Refreshments:Jim Stalker, Norm Wanek

Advanced:Monday Feb. 15
Refreshments:George & Blanche Weston


President's Message

My favorite time of year is approaching quickly. It's great to see our plants wake up from their dormancy and start to leaf out and produce buds and flowers. I just hope they don't get too confused by our strange weather patterns of late and have their timing thrown off. Although it's been very cold lately, some of my own trees show swelling in their buds and some of my maples are even putting out a few leaves already. If yours are doing the same, be very careful with them if the weather calls for freezing at night. You'll need to protect them well in order to keep them from losing the new growth.

Our potluck dinner in January was a lot of fun. Thanks to all that attended and contributed to the nice assortment of food we had available. I enjoy the buffets at the potluck and our annual show since there are always so many foods at each that I don't usually get a chance to try.

Thanks very much to Don Meeker who did all the work to organize this year's dinner. Great job Don! It's much appreciated by all.

Two Field Trips This Month

Due to some scheduling quirks, both of our Club field trips will occur this month. We'll head to Cotati and Sebastapol to visit Sumigawa and Lone Pine nurseries on Saturday the 6th, then up to Auburn, and possibly Sacramento on the 28th. We'll meet at our usual spot in front of CompUSA in the Willows shopping Center in Concord at 8:30am to carpool/caravan. Directions for the first trip are included at the end of this issue. We'll put some together for our second too when everything is confirmed. I hope they'll be available at all meetings. You can call me or send email if you don't make the February meetings and need a copy.

Potting Session Coming Up

Our first potting session of the season will be held on February 20th. Get yourself to Tasajara Nursery at 9:30am and get your repotting done in a fun atmosphere. Please try and bring your donation trees so they can be potted now to grow out for the sale at our October show. As always, the Club will provide pots and soil for all donation trees.

There will be plenty of help and advice available for those needing it. I strongly encourage all that are new to the hobby of bonsai to attend these sessions. You will have an opportunity to gain much valuable experience by spending a couple of hours working "hands-on".

Some New Faces

We're happy to welcome three new members to our club. Tammy Self-Vigil of Danville, Jim Green of Walnut Creek and Bill Sautter, also of Danville have all joined us recently. Be sure and say "hello" to those new faces you'll see at the meetings.

Got E-Mail?

Tom Fong is putting together this year's member directory and has asked that anyone with an email account that would like their address listed, send it to him. His address is, .

Also, you can help save some paper and a little time and postage by reading your newsletter online at our website. If you are not already using the online version and would like to start, please send your e-mail address to Ed Burns at, .

We're Ordering More Happi Coats

Don't miss your chance to join the fashion elite. We'll soon be ordering a new supply of happi coats in the sizes we've been out of for some time. We hope to have many more members wearing them at the Cherry Blossom Festival and our annual show, so please consider purchasing one for yourself. We hope to keep the price near the old price of $35 but we haven't determined the exact price yet. You can contact Bob Evans or Ed Burns for more info or to let them know you'd like a coat this year.

A Word About Participation

At several recent board meetings and other gatherings the subject of member participation in Club events has been a topic of conversation. There is some concern that we've typically had to rely on the same group to help when the need for staffing events or volunteering on projects comes up. We've been fortunate to have a dependable core that we can count on, but we feel we should be seeing at least some level of support from everyone.

Our Club, like any other depends on the participation of all members to be a success. Being a contributing member entails more than paying dues and attending our workshop meetings. We really do need your help in every area as we progress through each year and the many functions the Club is involved with. We need your help on committees, we need volunteers to staff events and we need your donation trees for our annual sale. Over the last few years we've seen that quite a few members apparently don't feel these things are important.

The following is an excerpt from the informational paper that we give to new and prospective members of our Club that we'd like everyone to read as a refresher.

" Membership requirements:

Yearly dues are $40 per year for and individual, or $65 for couples or parent-child pairs.

In addition, each member is required to donate two trees for our 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. As always, the club will provide pots for all suitable trees. Donations "in kind" may be acceptable with approval of the sensei.

A donation of one "pot-luck" 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."

Field Trip Directions

As usual, we'll meet in front of CompUSA in the Willows shopping center for carpooling. If you want to drive up on our own, we'll be meeting at Sumigawa Nursery in Cotati at 10:30am. The nursery is located on highway 116 West, about 1.5 miles west of highway 101. From our area, take your favorite route to Hwy 101 and head north past Petaluma toward Santa Rosa. After leaving Petaluma, you will go over a hill and the Hwy 116 exit is located just before the road reaches the flat valley again. Exit the highway there and turn left to head west to the nursery.

Let's all cross our fingers and hope for a dry trip this time!

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