Austin Bonsai Society

August 2001

President's Message

by Candy Hansen

July came and it got hot, all of a sudden! We went from watering one time a day, mostly, to two to three times a day for some of the most vulnerable plants. Living in Central Texas will teach you to look at your plants to see what they are telling you, not at a book with a calendar in it, written someplace else!

Your board meeting in July discussed some exciting events coming up. First, our joint meeting with San Antonio is this month, on SATURDAY, August 4 beginning at 3:30 in the afternoon with three of our members doing simultaneous demonstrations. Should be interesting. Meat will be provided, bring a dish to share and come be a part of it!

September will bring us Hal Mahoney's visit, as this year’s Lone Star Speaker. He is an excellent teacher, consider doing a workshop with him, and watch for dates so you can come to his lecture-demo for the club. Visitors will pay for this opportunity, but this is a special benefit for club members!

On another special date, not our usual Wednesday, in October we will have two Texas speakers. Marty Klajnowski will do a workshop, and Yvonne Padilla will do a demonstration for us. Watch for more information coming in the newsletter.

We, as a club, are 30 years old. Plans have been begun to celebrate this momentous event. If you know of former members, we will be trying to contact as many as we can for our celebration. Let someone on the board know if you have addresses.

Stay cool, keep your plants watered, See you at the joint meeting,

Calendar of Events

Aug. 4 Monthly Meeting
3:00 PM Zilker Garden Center
Refreshments by: EVERYONE

Aug. 15 Board Meeting
7:00 PM Zilker Garden Center

Aug. 22 Members workshop with Greg Setter
7:30 PM Zilker Garden Center

Sept. 21-23 Puget Sound Bonsai Assn.
Belevue, Wa. with David DeGroot

Oct.15-19 Bonsai on Board: BCI
2001 Majesty of the Seas

Oct 20-21 Bonsai Soc. of Gr.
Cincinnati Cincinnati, Oh.

Oct 26-28 Int’l Scholarly Symposium on Bonsai & Viewing Stones
U. S. National Arboretum Washington, D.C.

Nov. 23-26 6th Asia Pacific Bonsai & Suiseki Convention
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

General Meeting Minutes

by David Gordon

As this newsletter is going out earlier than usual, and David is on vacation, the minutes will be in the next newsletter. Sorry for the inconvenience.


There will be a new “wrinkle” to our meetings. Please bring a tree that you may have a question on and would like someone to give you an answer between 7:00 and 7:30 PM. Whether you want help with a styling problem or an insect problem - whatever you want help with!

Board Meeting Minutes

by Jim Bauman

The meeting was called to order by President Candy Hansen at 7:20 PM., in attendance were Alisan Clarke, Jim Bauman, Gloria Norberg, Pat and Chuck Ware

Discussion for the Joint Meeting was first up and the table layout was okayed, the entree will be ham -Alisan - and fried chicken - Gloria, and to try to notify San Antonio concerning the construction on Barton Springs Road.

Old Business

The Nick Lenz L/D was discussed and Gloria will check into this further.

Also, the notice to members to bring something between 7 and 7:30 PM before the meeting should continue.

Gloria discussed some future program choices.

New Business

Hal Mahoney workshop will be “Bring Your Own Tree” for $35. and limit to 8 people. Observers $5.

The lecture/demo will be a “mother-daughter” or a three-tree planting and he will select material while visiting Candy. There will be a pre-lecture “buy your own” meal with the artist at a restaurant to be announced.

The workshop with Marty will be a “Bring Your Own Tree” for $30. with a limit to 8 people. Observers $5.

Gloria will line up the auctioneers for the September auction.

Texas Garden Show wants a “lecture” but Pat will find out if it is in Palmer or Convention Ctr. - if latter, we won’t do it.

Pat brought three books for us to look at. Gloria made the motion, Jim seconded, that we purchase all three for the library. Agreed.

It was noted that Elaine White donated the book, Ancient Trees by Anna Livingston & Edward Parker to the library. Everyone expressed appreciation for the gift.

It was decided not to do the outreach to the Asian Association.

It was reminded that the budget is due to be presented to the membership in November. Consequently, we will start thoughts about it at the next board meeting.

Alisan told us that September 2nd is our club’s 30th Anniversary. It was decided that we should have a party to celebrate. Everyone will bring ideas to next board meeting as to what we want to do. Some ideas were expressed.

Adjourned at 9:00 PM.

Come one - Come all Covered Dish Dinner Combined meeting of San Antonio and Austin

SATURDAY August 4, 2001
Zilker Botanical Gardens Arrive between 3:00 and 3:30 PM
Eat somewhere around 5:00 or 5:30 PM
Three demonstrations going on at the same time
Greg Setter
Terry Ward
Elaine White



1. Start getting together all the trees, pots, tools, or WHATEVER that you no longer wish to own - Bring to our September meeting! It is time for our ANNUAL AUCTION! AND, undoubtedly, you will find something that you will take home in its place - something you have been looking for and “cannot live without”. PLUS, you'll have a whole lot of fun doing it!!!

2. Plan on taking the workshop with Hal Mahoney on September 25. There will only be 8 people in this workshop. For $35. to work with an artist of his caliber is truly low cost. He is a “master of design” so if you have a tree that needs to be redesigned, sign up. But, he can do everything!! That means thinking about what you want to do and start getting it together. DON'T wait until the night before, PLEASE!

3. If you can't make the Hal Mahoney workshop because it is a week night, come to the workshop on Saturday afternoon, October 13th with Marty Klajnowski, one of our Texas speakers. She is capable of doing shohin to “whatever” and for the cost of $30. you can get this expert teacher to help you. There e will only be 8 people in this workshop. Again, find your material now and prepare it.

Texas Bonsai Archives CD

Volume I of the archives is available on a CD which can be read by both Macs and PCs. Original formatting of text, graphics and photos remains intact not matter if you are running Mac OS or Windows.

Volume I begins with Newsletter 1 of 1982 and concludes with the fall 2000 edition. You can read about 'things bonsai' in Texas of the past and today. There is a comprehensive, searchable index of all forty-six issues.

The CD is priced at $12.50 and includes mailing. Please make your check payable to the Lone Star Bonsai Federation (not Texas Bonsai). Mail it along with the address where you want the CD sent, to:

Texas Bonsai CD
12001 Red Hawk Cove
Austin, TX 78739-5640

Please allow 7-14 days for delivery.

Hal Mahoney

Hal has over 30 years of bonsai experience. He began teaching bonsai in 1976 when he introduced bonsai as a credit earning course into the Science Curriculum of a local public high school.

He is a past president of the Bonsai Society of Greater New York and of the Long Island Bonsai Society. He is also a founder of the Eastern Suffolk Bonsai Society and of the regional Mid-Atlantic Bonsai Societies.

Hal served as a vice president of Bonsai Clubs International and served for several years on the Editorial Board of Bonsai Magazine. Hal has published many articles on bonsai.

“Hal’s innovative techniques in bonsai are renowned.” In addition to classical bonsai, his major areas of interest include Chinese Rock Penjing, Saikei, and Water and Land Penjing.

One of his Chinese Rock Penjing is featured in the book, Outstanding American Bonsai and an Hinoki cypress that he designed is now residing in the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection.

He is currently involved in developing techniques for CLAFT style forest plantings and saikei.

Hal has been a demonstrator at many major conventions across the United States, including our own LSBF Convention that was held in Corpus Christi.

Congratulations to past-president Roger Patterson and his new wife Angela on their marriage on July 15th. The Bonsai Society wishes them the best of luck in their future and much happiness.

Japanese Black Pine

by Mike Hansen

(Ed. note: those of you that watched Mike in the 7-7:30 session at the last meeting might not have been taking notes; therefore, I am reprinting part of an article written by Mike in our June 1991 newsletter)

There has been an abundance of confusing and conflicting information about the Japanese Black Pine published over the past several years. The following grooming information only applies to trees that have been styled in the intended basic shape, that are growing in a porous soil mixture with a pH of 5.0 to 6.5, and that are healthy, have good color and have been growing vigorously. If your tree does not meet all of these criteria, correct the deficiency before attempting to groom the tree.

Step 1.

Grooming begins in the late Fall and Winter. Visually divide the tree into three equal horizontal zones stacked on top of the other.

Beginning at the top of the tree, remove by pulling, either by hand or with a sturdy pair of tweezers, all but four to six pairs of needles from each branch and twig on the top one-third of the tree. Leave four pairs of needles on the larger or stronger branches, and six pairs on the smaller or weaker twigs. Leave all of the needles on very small or very weak twigs.

Repeat the process on the middle one-third of the tree, only this time, leave six to eight pairs of needles on each twig and branch. Again, leave eight needle pairs on the smaller or weaker twigs, and six needle pairs on the stronger branches. As on the top one-third of the tree, leave all the needles on very small or weak branches.

Repeat the process on the lower one-third of the tree, leaving eight to ten needle pairs on each branch and twig. Again, do not remove any needles from very small or weak branches.

Wire the branches and twigs that require shaping and wait for Spring.

Step 2.

After the candles begin to grow in the Spring to the point where the sheath covering the candle breaks open and the individual needles can be seen, holding the base of each candle with one hand, carefully remove one-half to two-third of each candle with the other hand. Try to break each candle with a twisting motion. Do the whole tree at one time.

Step 3.

When the new candles have matured to the point that the new needles are open, divide the tree into the same three horizontal zones that we used in Step one. This time, beginning with the lower one-third of the tree, cut off all the new growth, leaving about one-sixteenth of an inch stub at the base of each new candle. Be careful not to remove the remaining old needles. Leave the new candle on any small or very weak branches that have short or weak new growth.

Wait 10 days!

Now, remove the new candles on the middle one-third of the tree, leaving any very weak or short candles whole.

Wait 10 more days!

Complete this step by removing the new candles from the top one-third of the tree.

If the tree is healthy and vigorous, it will produce a second set of buds that will open by Summer. Often, many new buds will form and open on each branch. When this happens, prune away all but the two smallest candles on each branch and twig. The length of the new needles will be about one-half to two-thirds as long as the original needles and the growth will be very compact.

Step 4.

By mid-Summer, the second budding will have hardened off and the tree will set new buds at the tips of the new growth for next Spring. Using tweezers, carefully remove all but the smallest two buds on each branch and twig.

Step 5.

Repeat Steps 1 through 4 next year. Repeating this process will produce a very finely ramified Japanese Black Pine bonsai with short, dense, dark green foliage. The key to success is watch the tree to know when to perform each step and not by watching the calendar. If you have several Japanese Black pine trees, you will notice that not all of the trees are ready for each step at the same time.

Bound by ceramic, The gnarled bonsai remembers Roots probing deep soil.