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February 2003 Newsletter

Web Page Address:                            Issue: 02/03 February 2003

2550 Camino Tassajara

Danville, California 94526

(925) 736-7600

Sensei: Kunitoshi Akabane (925) 736-7600,                  President: Jim Stalker,                  Vice President: Nick Nickerson

Editor: Don Meeker,                                                         Webmaster:

February Meetings:

February 10 - Joint Class Meeting.

7:00 - 7:15pm Library open, 7:15 - 7:30 Business Meeting - 7:30 - 8:00 pm Class Instruction by Sensei Akabane: Fundamentals of bonsai styles. Subject matter - Moyogi & Shakan(informal & slanting) styles. Soil, root & transplanting. 8:00 - 10:00pm Workshop.

Refreshments - Patricial Hines and Byron Nobriga.

After the meetings help clean up and put away the tables and chairs.

If you are listed to bring refreshments and cannot attend, call your Class Representative. Wear your name tags to class every month to make it easier for everyone to meet each other. If you need a name tag, ask your Class Representatives to order one. The cost is $2.00.  

Club News:

From the President:

Diablo Bonsai Club Members, As you know from our discussions at the January 13, club meeting, we have received a large increase in the rent we pay to use the Heather Farms Facility for our meetings. The hourly rate has increased from $10.00 per hour last year, to $30.00 per hour this year and beginning in July will increase to $35.00 per hour. You will recall that we asked for ideas anyone had to find a new location for the meetings that would meet our needs at a more reasonable price. You can imagine the drain this puts on the club funds. This week we have received excellent help from Dimitri Koovshinoff, who investigated the possibility of using a room at the Charlotte Wood School in Danville where he formerly taught. Today, Dimitri, Kay Akabane, Don Meeker and I, visited the school and found they have a room that will meet our needs very well. Tables, chairs and blackboard are all in place. The good news is that the cost to rent the room is only $3.11 per hour! We realize that while for some members it will be a shorter drive to the meetings, for others it will be longer. The school is located only a short distance off highway 680 however, which makes it quite accessible. At the February 10, meeting (which will be as usual at Heather Farms) we will have maps and be prepared to discuss the advantages of making a change to this new location. If there is agreement we would be prepared to make the change effective with the March meeting. We hope to see all of you at the February meeting. Jim Stalker                                   * * *

Things we have learned - Transplanting or repotting bonsai trees. One of the frequent questions is about the bonsai potting soil mix. Several years ago in a workshop, Sensei talked about potting soil and Jim Stalker made his notes available.

Transplanting or repotting is one of the critical activities in the culture and care of bonsai. For our special climatic conditions now is the time for transplanting. The period for deciduous trees is a little earlier than for evergreens, and begins in mid to late January and will end for most by mid February. For individual species you may want to seek Ks advice if you cannot repot now.

Ks Bonsai Soil Mix Formula

Basic: Cactus mix 10 parts (cups, quarts, etc) 65% Perlite 3 parts 22% Sand 2 parts 13%

For Conifers To the basic mix shown above add: 1 more part of sand 2 more parts of pumice. (to 15 parts of basic mix 83%, add 1part sand 6%, and 2 parts of pumice 11%).

For Deciduous trees To the basic mix add: 2 parts of planting/potting mix (to 15 parts of basic mix 88%, add 2 parts planting/potting mix 12%).

Remember this is for the general case. K recommends that members work with this and experiment with different mixes to find those that work best for them. Also remember that more mature trees may require more organic material than young trees early in their training and development. Perlite, pumice and sand should be screened to get rid of the fine particles. Course sharp sand should be used rather than fine and round sand. For course sand get a construction #2 or 3 sand.

The second field trip to Northern California nurseries is planned for February 15th. These trips provide the members with the opportunity to acquire material for their new projects and for donation trees for the Club's fall show. The second potting session is scheduled for the Saturday following the field trip, February 25th at the Tassajara Nursery, 9:30am. Details will be published as soon as arrangements can be completed. Dates are subject to change.

Events Elsewhere

February 23, Golden State Bonsai Collection-North Mammoth Bazaar XII at the Lakeside Garden Center (Lake Merritt), 666 Bellevue Ave., Oakland. 10am-5pm. Demonstrations, benefit drawings and large vendor area.

Diablo Bonsai Look Ahead Schedule

March 10 - Joint Class Meeting. Yoseue(group planting). Pinching of new growth. Feeding and watering. Workshop.
Refreshments - Janette Mahoney and James Stalker.