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January 2002 Newsletter

Web Page Address Issue:                                  01/02 ¨ January 2002

2550 Camino Tassajara

Danville, California 94526

(925) 736-7600

Sensei: Kunitoshi Akabane (925) 736-7600

Sensei: Kunitoshi Akabane (925) 736-7600

President: Scott Couture (925) 735-3535

Editor: Daryl Bunch (925) 830-8790

January Meetings:

All meetings held at Heather Farms Garden Center, 1540 March Banks Dr., Walnut Creek. 7:00 – 10:00 PM

January 7th  - Basic Class  Meeting.    (7:00 pm to 7:30 pm) - Business meeting and library open (7:30 pm to 8:00 pm); Class instruction topic: ‘Essence’ How to approach the art of bonsai.  Moyogi (informal upright style)by Sensei Akabane;  (8:00 pm to 10:00 pm) – Informal Upright Workshop.  Every member should bring material to work on during the Workshop.

         Refreshments: Dimitri Koovshinoff and Nick Koovshinoff.

January 8th  -  Board of Directors Meeting at 7:30pm. Location to be announced.

January 14th – Intermediate Class Meeting.  (7:00pm to 7:30pm)  Business Meeting and Library                                                                                                                                                                                                                       open.  (7:30pm – 8:00pm) – Class Instruction Topic:  Review of basic styles by Sensei Akabane.  (8:00pm to 10:00pm) Workshop.  Every member should bring material to work on during the workshop.

                        Refreshments:  Don Meeker

Notes:     - (1) If you are listed to bring refreshments and cannot attend, please call Scott Couture at (925) 735-3535

               -  (2) Don't forget to bring a piece of plastic to cover your table during the workshop.  After the workshop, clean-up around your table and help put away the tables and chairs. (two rows of tables and chairs at the south end of the room.)

              -  (3) Wear your name tags to class every month to make it easier for everyone to meet each other.  If you need a name tag, call Scott Couture at (925) 735-3535 to order one.  The cost is $2.00.  

Club News

The final message from retiring President Bob Evans.  Bob has been President for three years, and I believe this is the third time he has been President.  He deserves a big thank you from all of us who have benefited from his hard work and dedication.  Acting Ed.  Don Meeker

Please welcome the following new members:  Lee Chen of Danville and Marcia Cozens of Concord. 

The annual dues for the year 2002 are now payable.  Please bring your dues to the December meeting or mail a check to Barbara Richards using the form at the end of this newsletter. The dues are $40 for single members and $65 for couples.  Please try to get your dues paid as early as possible so a new club roster can be finalized and given out to the membership.

The Diablo Bonsai Club 2002 Schedule of Events is finalized and included with this newsletter.  You can now mark your calendars for the entire year of 2002.

We will visit two bonsai nurseries on Saturday January 19.

               1.  Sumigawa Nursery – 8049 Gravenstein Highway (CA state highway 116 west of highway 101), Cotati, CA.  (707) 823-5024.

               2.  Lone Pine Gardens – 6450 Lone Pine Road, Sebastopol, CA                  (707) 823-5024

The tours will start at Sumigawa’s at 10:00am and go on to Lone Pine Gardens from there.  We are to be at Lone Pine Gardens by 1:00pm.  Carpooling will be from the former Montgomery Wards parking lot on Monument Blvd. In Concord.  Departure from  the parking lot will be at 8:30am.  A map is included with this newsletter and sign-up sheets will be at the class meetings or call Bob Evans at (925) 820-0268 if you plan to go on this field trip.  Both of these nurseries have a large stock of different trees of various sizes.  They will be a good source of trees for basic members to use at the upcoming potting session and for their class projects.

Diablo Bonsai Club Potluck Dinner – January 21, Heather Farms Garden Center

A sign-up sheet was started in the December joint meeting for the potluck dinner.  The sign-up sheet will be circulatred again in the January class meetings so each member can list the food item they plan to bring.

Potting Sessions – The first potting session for 2002 is scheduled for January 26, at the Tassajara Nursery, 2550 Camino Tassajara Road in Danville, (9:00am to 12:00 noon).  Take the Sycamore Valley Road East exit of of I-680.  The nursery is approximately 2.5 miles eas of I-680 on the right hand side of the street.  When you arrive please park on either side of the street outside the fenced parking area so that regular nursery customers can park inside the parking lot.  All members should plan to attend at least one of the potting sessions scheduled for January 26th and February 23rd.  The primary purpose of the potting sessions is for the members to prepare the two trees they will donate to the annual show plant sale.  Diablo Bonsai Club will provide the ptos, soil and wire used and the members are asked to provide their own trees.  Please bring your own bonsai tools and a piece of plastic to cover your work table.  Before you leave the potting session make sure you clean up around your area and register the trees you have prepared and the pots you have used.

As a reminder basic members are asked to donate two one gallon sized trees and the intermediate members two five gallon-sized trees or a group planting.  You may bring your own trees from home for the potting session or trees will be available at the nursery for you to purchase. 

The two trees prepared by each member during the 2002 potting sessions will be donated to the 2003 annual show plant sale.  The trees prepared in the 2003 potting sessions will be for the 2004 plant sale and so on.  This way the trees in the annual show plant sale will have been in training for two years and will be more mature and of better quality.  Sensei Akabane will work with the members attending the two potting sessions to select trees, prune, wire, select the right pot, etc.

Happy Holidays from the new President.   


First I want to thank our outgoing President, Bob Evans, for the great job he did the last three years. During his time in office we made a major move for our Bonsai Show - from Walnut Creek to Danville – and put it back on firm financial ground. He’s been a great help to me the past few years. I also want to thank K. Akabane and the rest of the Board for their help and for having confidence in one of the “new guys” in the Club and helping me help out. Which leads me to the central point of my first newsletter note – Diablo Bonsai Club is a great CLUB!


There’s a reason I put “club” in all caps. The Diablo Bonsai Club started out over 20 years ago as a group of friends and acquaintances who shared a common interest – the art of bonsai. It took a huge commitment by K. Akabane to be the club sensei and a lot of hard work by those club founders to get it started. The club has been able to continue only through the hard work of K. and a group of folks who have stepped up, year after year, to put in the effort to administer the workings of the club. The most obvious sign of that effort is THE BIG EVENT – the bonsai show we have held each year. But, there is a lot of other work – organizing potting sessions, setting up the meeting rooms, cleaning up after our meetings, organizing field trips, the Spring Garden Tour, keeping the books, and putting out the newsletter - without which we could not attract new members, keep on the good side of our landlords, and keep the club a fun place to learn about and practice the art of bonsai. If any of these things falls apart, we’re out on the street, shrinking in size, or getting dull. Most of the work has been done by long time members who have done much more than their share and deserve a break – instead of us calling on them again and again to jump back in and fill a post. I thank them for keeping the club around so I could join.


The way the club is organized now, a very, very few people do all the work for a club of 60 or 70 eager bonsai enthusiasts. (On a side note, so far this year no one has stepped up to be the Second Vice President, who usually organizes most of the events.) As President this year, I have a few goals. The first is to spread the work around a bit. A few folks shouldn’t have to do all the work of the club. If even 20 percent of the club put a little of that bonsai enthusiasm into helping out, most everyone would have a darned easy job. So, I am asking (actually, expecting) more of you to help out. I help out because I realize how very much time (and bonsai stock) it would have taken me to build my skills on my own, outside of a club environment. I feel it’s only fair to pay part of that time back to help the club.


We need a Second Vice-President right away. I expect them to have a committee of folks to organize events instead of one person (them) doing it all. I’ll also be asking for a Web Master to update our site and keep it current. I plan to invite our more experienced members to write some short notes for the newsletter. I’d like someone to help increase communication – especially between new members and Basic members and the Board – so we can learn how we, as a club, can be most helpful. So, stay tuned. And, if you have ideas on how the club might organize to be a better club, please speak up. If you see a niche you’d like to fill, please do the same. You can call me or e-mail me at, but keep it clean. Otherwise, use

The second goal I have is to put a lot of the workings of the club on paper. The new folks who are coming in to club positions (like me) haven’t “lived” the club the past 15 years and need some things written down to help us know what to do. We started this last year. I’d like to finish it up this year. So, I’ll be asking for help from you long time members one more time. (And, don’t try too hard to trip up the new guy – it’ll be too easy).  Scott

Events Elsewhere

Golden State Bonsai Collection at Lakeside Park Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Avenue, Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA.

Garden House Hours

Wed, Thurs, Fri – 11:00AM to 3:00 PM  -  Sat – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM  - Sun – 12 Noon to 4:00 PM

Call ahead to be sure they are open at (510)-763-8409.

                January 12 & 13 Bay Island Bonsai 3rd Annual Show, "An Exhibit of Fine Bonsai" at Centennial Hall, 22292 Foothill Blvd, Hayward.  Hours are 10am to 4pm both days.  Admission $3, Free parking.  Guided tours of the exhibit. 

 Auction of quality bonsai on Saturday, preview at noon, Auction at 1pm.

               January 19 & 20  -  Bay Area Bonsai Associates 21st Annual Bonsai Show at Lakeside Park Garden Center (Lake Merritt), 666 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland.  Hours are Saturday 6pm to 9pm and Sunday 11am o 4 pm.  Demonstration on Saturday by Tatemori Gondo and on Sunday by a person to be announced.

               February  24  -  GSBF Collection North Mammoth Bazaar XI at Lakeside Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Ave. Oakland.  Hours 10am to 5pm.

Diablo Bonsai Look Ahead Schedule

February 4 – Basic Class.  Topic – Chokkan or formal upright style.  Workshop.              Refreshments:  Jan Mahoney and Sybil Renee McGowan   

            February 5  -  Board Meeting

            February 14  -  Intermediate Class.  Topic – arrangements of roots.  Workshop.

                Refreshments:  James Merrill

            February 16  -  Field Trip to Bonsai Nurseries

            February 23  -  Second potting session.

            January 26  - First Potting Session


Annual Dues

January 2002 is the start of the new year and Diablo Bonsai Club dues need to be paid again.  If you have not already paid, please fill out the following form and a check made out to: Diablo Bonsai Club and mail it to: Barbara Richards, 172 Western Hills Drive, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523, or bring it to a club meeting in January.

 Please remember that payment must be made by January 31, 2002, as we do not want the process to drag out as it has typically in the past.  The Treasurer and others who process the payments and club records are volunteers, they deserve your cooperation.


Diablo Bonsai Club

2002 Dues Payment Coupon - Return before January 31, 2002


Circle One Single - $40.00 Couple - $ $65.00

Name _____________________________________


City _______________ State _____ Zip _________

Phone No. _________________________________

email Address ______________________________

Occupation ________________________________

Please Return to Barbara Richards, 172 Western Hills Drive, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523