Austin Bonsai Society

February 2001

Roots 101

This will be the subject of our next meeting and our speaker will be our own Bill Cody. Bill has written numerous articles for Journal of the American Bonsai Society. If you go back through the magazines, you will find that Bill has done several articles regarding the roots of our bonsai.  Back in 1996, he wrote  'Since cold hardiness varies among species, between cultivars of a species, and even between various tissues of the same plant (e.g., crown and roots), it is no wonder that there may be confusion as to how to protect our bonsai against the rapidly-changing central Texas weather.' Then in 2000, he talks about the heat,  'Elevated root temperatures can influence other physiological and chemical processes within the plant such as shoot extension, apical dominance, stomatal closure, flower initiation, hormone synthesis, and translocation, which in turn can adversely affect growth rate, cause leaf chlorosis and abnormal branching, and reduced flower number and quality. As you can see, the temperature affects the roots, as well as insects, fungi, and fertilizers.  Then there is always the possibility that there were air pockets when you potted or your soil mixture was incorrect for the tree planted in it.

Bill will bring some plants to show us what we should see as far as good or bad rootage.  If you have something that has puzzled you, bring it, and we'll see if we can determine the cause - or at least hypothesize as to what the problem could be.

Calendar of Events

Feb. 10 Crash Course at Persimmon Hill
9:30 AM (See previous newsletter)

Feb. 14 Monthly Meeting
Bill Cody
7:30 PM
Zilker Garden Center
Refreshments by:
Els Ulug
Rita Matthews

Feb. 18 Club Rock Dig at Audrey's
See map on page 7

Feb. 20 Texas' Bonsai Exhibit board
meeting at the Hansen's
7:00 PM

Feb. 21 Board Meeting
7:00 PM
Zilker Garden Center

Feb. 28 Members workshop
See previous newsletters for info
7:30 PM
Zilker Garden Center

Feb. 24-25 Bonsai-A-Thon
San Marino, Ca.

March 23-25 LSBF in Dallas

Mar. 3l - Apr. 1 Zilker Garden Festival

April 12-15 ABS in New Orleans

May 19-20 Austin's Annual Show

May 25-28 Bonsai Societies of Florida

May 31 - June 4 - 4th World Conv.

General Meeting Minutes

by David Gordon 

The January 10, 2001 meeting of the Austin Bonsai Society was called to order by President Candy Hansen at 7:30 p.m. New guests were introduced. They are Angela Drews and Helene Taubert.

The Treasurers report was given by Pat Ware. Copies of the year 2000 budget/expense report are available for club members.

Terry Ward reported on the study group classes scheduled to start Wednesday, January 24, 2001. Details about the classes can be found in the January newsletter.

Elaine reported on the Austin Bonsai Society Permanent Collection. The collection is now a nonprofit corporation. More details about the collection will be reported in the February newsletter.

The upcoming LSBF convention in Dallas was discussed by Chuck Ware. Also a progress report on the 2002 convention was given.

Pat Ware reported on the Garden Council activities.
Volunteers are needed for a variety of positions for the upcoming garden festival.

President Candy Hansen asked for input from the club members on the types of programs they would like for the coming year.

The business meeting was adjourned at 7:50 p.m. by President Candy Hansen.

The program for the evening entitled Sho-Chiku-Bai was presented by member Elaine White.

Board Meeting Minutes

by David Gordon

The Austin Bonsai Society Board meeting was held on January 17, 2001.  President Candy Hansen presided

Members in attendance were Els Ulug, Jim Baumann, Gloria Norberg, Pat Ware, and David Gordon, plus past president, Alisan Clarke, and Chuck Ware.

Old Business:

Pat Ware informed the board that we have four tables for a display at the Garden Festival to be held March 31 and April 1, 2001. A discussion was held on possible display items. Members Alisan and Jimbo will organize a display for the club.

The question of whether or not to have a new members workshop this year was  brought up by Pat Ware. The workshop held last November went very well and  the new members felt it was of great benefit. It was decided to do the workshop again this year in November. It will be presented by Chuck Ware. A motion was unanimously approved by the board.

A motion was made and approved that Chuck Ware will do a presentation for the  club for the Barton Creek Garden Club on Wednesday, February 21, 2001.

Discussion was held on the Garden Festival tickets. Tickets have been given to club members and we have tickets remaining. A motion was made and  approved that the club will pay for the remaining Garden Festival tickets and they will be donated.

The club was asked to provide someone to do a demonstration at the Texas Stars' Brunch at the upcoming LSBF convention. A motion was made and unanimously approved that Candy Hansen will appoint someone to do the demo. The amount for the tree and pot not to exceed $100.

Discussion was held on the December meeting for this year. The meeting has  been moved to December 1, 2001, which is a Saturday. This will be the Christmas Dinner meeting. The date was changed due to road closures during the Trail of Lights display at Zilker Park.

New Business:

Discussion was held about the monthly programs for this year. Programs were discussed for each month. Based upon the proposals, program chair Gloria Norberg will come up with a schedule. The programs will be published in the yearbook.

A discussion was also held regarding the member workshops held the fourth  Wednesday of each month. It was decided that following Terry Ward's class, the workshops will be headed by appointed club members. Club members will bring trees to the workshop they would like help with and our more experienced members will be available for assistance. Some of the meetings may focus on specific trees. Details will be worked out by the April meeting.

The meeting was adjourned by President Candy Hansen.

Pedro Morales & Craig Coussins

The LSBF State Convention is early so fill out the forms TODAY and MAIL IN NOW! You can save money by sending in by February 15th!!!!

For more information, and to check on workshop availability, visit the website:

Going Native

by John Miller

Guess what, folks? It's time to "think native".  Using material from the nursery can lead to some fine bonsai, but the only way to get a fifty year old tree is to go where one has been for fifty years. If you can get a tree that nature or livestock has been working on for a long time, you will have most of your work done for you.  Some of the local species are almost ready for a pot when you get them home.

  Some of the local species are equal to the Japanese species that are traditionally used for bonsai; they merely copied the practice from the Chinese and so vastly improved on it that they got the reputation of owning it. They also used the material that was indigenous to their country for the most part, therefore the traditional bonsai was of the Japanese material that best suited the bonsai practice.  However, they were not hesitant to use foreign material, i.e. Trident Maple, whenever it was suitable. The Japanese think highly of the California Juniper, also.

If you ever see both the California Juniper and our own Ashe Juniper together, you will note that the Ashe Juniper has much finer foliage, closer to the famed Shimpaku Juniper. You can also find specimens with wonderful twisted and whitened trunks.

  The local Cedar Elm is a world class tree with good bark, leaves in good scale, nice twiginess and a long life. Besides all that, it is very easy to find specimens in just about any pasture and hillside you look at that has been browsed by cattle or deer. Just dig them up and in a year or two you will have a show quality tree. Of course, there are many more that will take a lot longer to develop.

There are a bunch of other trees in this area that will make good bonsai. The Mexican Plum has dark, rough bark which shows off its outstanding white blossoms in the Spring. It is one of the few plums that is single trunked and does not sucker from its roots. The Hawthornes give both flowering and fruiting displays. The Winged Elm is almost an identical twin to the Cedar Elm, having a little longer leaf, more corky wings and blooms in the Spring (the most reliable characteristic).

Almost any woody plant, even a vine, can and has been used for bonsai. Some good bonsai have been done out of Hackberry, Texas Persimmon and wild Crabapple. I have seen nice bonsai from the Rusty Blackhaw and the long-needled Loblolly Pine. I would like to see more people work with the oaks. The species most likely to give good results, I think, are the Shumardi and Texana Red Oaks and the various Live Oak species. Don't get caught in the trap of trying to positively identify a species. If it looks good, dig it, enjoy it and let someone else with nothing better to do read the books and identify it. In the meantime, your collection will be that much better for having a great tree in the middle of it.

Reprinted from Texas Bonsai, Spring, 1992

The Texas State Bonsai Exhibit

We're having a party!
  A working party, that is. We are clearing our bonsai exhibit area of brush and undergrowth. So, bring gloves, loppers, pruning shears and Water. If you can't come for all day, come for half. Your hours will count toward a permanent plaque in the garden.

  Soft drinks and snacks will be
Monday (Presidents Day, a Holiday)
February 19th, from 09:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

The Texas State Bonsai Exhibit

by Elaine White

We are officially incorporated and recognized by the IRS and the State as a non-profit organization under the tax code 501(c)3. This means that all donations can be deducted as a charity when you pay your taxes. John Pittenger designed the proposed garden plans (shown at meeting). Those plans and cost estimates will be shown to the Austin Area Garden Council Executive Committee on February 6 for their approval. The next step is to sign a co-operative agreement between our corporation and Zilker Park, then approval by Parks and Recreation.

Many, many thanks to our hard working dedicated Directors in accomplishing all of this in seven months!

Studying Nature,
Nurturing aged, tiny trees;
Bonsai collectors.

  Wanda Woods

LSBF Convention

by John Miller

The LSBF-Dallas Convention is to be held on March 23-34-25 in Dallas. The deadline for getting your early registrations in is approaching. The date for full registration of $125 is Feb 15. After that the full registration is $145.

Changes to the published brochure are that the Caussurina workshop has been changed to European Olive using material grown by Roy Nagatoshi and his
father for more than 20 years. In the vendor area, popular pottery vendor Sara Rayner has had to cancel. Her spot will filled by another of our upcoming potters, Michael Hagedorn.

As of this writing, there are openings in the Buttonwood workshop with Pedro Morales on Friday afternoon and on the Japanese Maple forest on a natural slab on Saturday morning. The Trident and Black pine workshops with Craig Coussins and the Olive workshop with Mr. Morales are filled. If you have anyone who would like to participate in the youth work (which is free) please register them also. The Saturday lunch time lecture by Dr. David Schleser is an opportunity for you to learn to use photography from a professional in that field as well as a great bonsiast who documents his collection on a regular schedule. Tips on camera techniques will be give as well as how to use the photographs to help you decide on styling or restyling the tree.

Members of other clubs are earnestly requested to display trees in the exhibit area. We wish to emphasize that this is an LSBF function and would like a cross section of Texas represented in the exhibit. Give information to the exhibit chairman is Michael Parkey, 214-824-7067, email or contact your LSBF delegate.

2002 Convention

The first major combined meeting for the 2002 Convention was held on Friday, January 12, 2001 at the Hays County Extension Office. There were 19 members in attendance. The meeting was very productive and seems to spark a lot of enthusiasm for the project we are entering into. Questions were answered and the decision on the logo was decided.