Austin Bonsai Society

January 2001

President's Message

by Candy Hansen

Happy New Year to us ALL! I truly hope everyone had a most enjoyable Holiday season and is looking forward to a New Year of growth and new opportunities. It is with some apprehension I begin as your president, following the talented Alisan Clarke. She steps down from a club energized by many exciting activities. Join with me in thanking her for all her efforts!

Your Board will be very busy planning our year's events, beginning with the final details of our January digs. If there are program topics you would like to see addressed, please talk to any board member by phone or at the meeting. We will welcome for consideration any input ? if you are interested, others may be too!

Also of ongoing interest/concern is the LSBF State convention we are to co-host with the San Antonio Bonsai Club in November 2002, chaired by Chuck Ware. As the time grows shorter, more committees will be asking for helpers. Consider your interests and skills and get involved ? only by being involved do you make it your convention! It is a major fund-raiser for us in addition to a major opportunity to meet and learn with other bonsai enthusiasts (ask Els, or Sandra, or Gloria, to name a few!)

A second continuing effort of our club is developing the Texas State Bonsai Exhibit. This will be a very special permanent exhibit at Zilker Park to share our ancient art with all the world. Watch for announcements from Elaine White asking for various skills to pitch in. It, too, becomes yours only by participating. Looking forward to a great year together?

Calendar of Events

Jan. 6-7
Bay Island Bonsai
Haywood, Ca.

Jan. 10
Monthly Meeting New Year's Planting (see pgs. 3/6)
7:30 PM Zilker Garden Center
Refreshments by: Sandra Vitone Alisan Clarke

January 14
Club Dig at Tree Farm Directions given at meeting

Jan. 17
Board Meeting 7:00 PM Zilker Garden Center

January 21
Club Dig at Ranch in Dripping Springs - Directions at meeting

Jan. 24
Members workshop (See Pg. 5) 7:30 PM Zilker Garden Center

Feb. 24-25
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
Orlando, Fl.

May 31-June 4 4th World Conv. in Germany

Oct. 15-19 Bonsai on Board - BCI Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines

General Meeting Minutes

Elaine White discussed the January program and had a sign up sheet for those interested. Chuck Ware brought up the importance of supporting the Convention being held in Dallas in March. Dr. Justin Williams, Zilker Botanical Garden Manager, showed us how the Garden Center could make nametags for our club.

Alisan Clarke did a lovely arrangement that was raffled along with many other items that were brought in. This was a free raffle for all members in attendance.

The food and fellowship was �the best� as always.

Board Meeting Minutes

No meeting was held due to the Christmas holiday.

Nor was there a Members Workshop for the same reason.

State Convention 2002

The first full convention committee meeting will be Friday, January 12, 2001, at 7:00pm. This meting will include all Austin and San Antonio members that are wanting to be involved in our convention. The meeting will be centrally located at the Hays County Extension Office in San Marcos, just off Intrastate 35.

This meeting will over our speakers, workshop material, and convention site. We will decide on a logo and preliminary publicity. Raffle and goodie bag committees will get underway. The web page can begin to be constructed.

Our first objective is how to present the 2002 Convention at the 2001 Convention in Dallas in March. Our web site will go on line at this time, also.

Due to the difficulty of getting everyone from San Antonio and Austin to a central meeting, we will only have a few large organizational meetings. It is important to have as many people attend as possible. Plans will be constructed and decisions will be made. We need all ideas and help.

Directions to Meeting: Take IH 35 to Exit 201 - McCarty Lane.
From Austin, go to underpass and left onto Northbound access road.
From the stop sign at that underpass, go 7/10ths of a mile to Clovis Barker (there is a Atkisson GMC Car Dealer on the corner), turn right onto Clovis Barker.
At 2/10ths of a mile there is a road on the left, PASS IT, and go another 2/10ths of a mile to the next road on the left (Civic Center Loop). The extension office is on the corner on the left - THE ONLY BUILDING THERE. You can't miss it!�


The New Year seasonal bonsai planting. Check out The Japanese Art of Miniature Trees and Landscapes by Yuji Yoshimura and G. M. Halford (p. 139). Literally translated it means pine, bamboo, plum and these three plants for the basis of a group planting which represents, to the Japanese people, evergreen stability (long life), upright behavior (virtue) and happiness. To these three basic plants are added miniature bamboo, the red berried ardisia, nandina, and the Japanese wild orchid, two rocks, white pebble and moss.

The finished planting is not unlike a saikei, leading the viewer to feel the pebbles represent the sea, the rocks a seashore and the trees placed in order to give the visual effect of a mountain in the background. The leafless plum tree is in bud at this time of year, the orchid about to flower, the ardisia berries brilliant red against its dark green leaves, the nandina�s red winter leaves and the variegations of the miniature bamboo harmonize well with the green pine tree. All in all the Sho-chiku-bai is very pleasing visually.

Dues are Due Now

$25.00 individual
$30.00 Family

Pay at meeting or Mail to:
Pat Ware, Treasurer
12404 Ranch Road 12
Wimberley, TX 78676


by John Miller

Christmas is over and the event looming on the horizon is the LSBF convention in Dallas on March 23-25 at the Renaissance Dallas North Hotel. This promises to be an outstanding event with the visits of international artists Pedro Morales of Puerto Rico and Craig Coussins of Scotland and some new faces in the vendor area.

Your LSBF delegate has registration forms and convention brochures. One major change is that workshop #5 has had to be changed from Caussarina to European Olive (Olea europaea). The material for this workshop has been grown by Roy Nagatoshi and his father for over 20 years for use as bonsai. They are approximately 18 inches tall and have good trunks, branches and ramification. This should be a great workshop.

Workshops include 3-4" base shohin black pines and 4-5"trunk and 24" tall trident maples by Mr. Coussins, very nice driftwoody buttonwoods and European Olive by Mr. Morales, and a Japanese maple forest on natural stone slab by Mr. Setter. For pictures of the material for the workshops visit our website at or thru the Dallas website

Registration forms and all information can be viewed there also.

In the vendor area will be Masaru Ishii and his son where you should be able to pick up some different material. Allan Roach of Wood Furniture Craft Works is there and Sara Rayner Potter will be back. In all there are 12 vendors registered.

The early full registration for $125 ends on Feb 15. This includes the usual Friday dinner/lecture, Saturday lunch/lecture, Saturday dinner/lecture, Sunday brunch/Texas stars, and observation of all workshops.

Dr. David Schleser who is giving the Saturday lunch/lecture is a professional nature and wildlife photographer. His lecture will be of special significance to bonsai enthusiasts as he has been doing bonsai in Dallas for nearly thirty years and documenting his collection on a regular basis.

For reservations contact Renaissance Dallas North Hotel, 4099 Valley View, Dallas 75244, Ph 972-385-9000. For questions contact John Miller, 903-776-2910 email or Sylvia Smith, 972-392-1430 email

The frog
Rises up with the same force
With which it jumps in.


The LSBF State Convention is early so fill out the forms TODAY and MAIL IN NOW!

For More information visit the website:

Study Group Notes

Intermediate Bonsai Classes Offered

A series of five classes, designed to be a progression of last years introduction to bonsai series, is being offered to all club members of all skill levels Classes will cover improving skills in temperate material, pruning and wiring techniques, along with design concepts Emphasis will be placed on how to select plants for bonsai - how to see the bonsai in rough material.

Classes begin on Wednesday, January 24th and finish on Wednesday, March 28th Please see the calendar below for dates, locations, and times These classes are ideal for anyone wanting to gain bonsai skills and as a refresher for bonsai veterans It is not necessary to have taken last years classes to enroll in this series Classes are open to all skill levels and will be taught by Terry Ward.

The cost is $10.00 per person for the entire series You may register at the November or January club meetings or at Class 1. Make your registration check payable to the Austin Bonsai Society. Because classes are progressive, attendance is limited to registrants only.

Basic bonsai tools, a selection of aluminum bonsai wire and table cover, such as a garbage bag, will be needed. Minimum tools would be bonsai scissors, wire cutters and chop sticks. A concave cutter would be a most useful addition Details of what you will use will be covered in Class l.

There; are two additional items which are essential to bring to every class:; An eagerness to learn and a willingness to participate!

Class 1�

  • *Welcome To The Wonderful World of Bonsai Overview of upcoming classes.�
  • *Classic Styles and Part 1 of Material Selection Guidelines Introduction to classic bonsai styles and how to use them to our advantage.�
  • *Interactive Questions and Answers�

Class 2�

  • *Material Selection, Part II�
    How to see bonsai in rough material using multiple examples.�
  • *Interactive Questions and Answers

Class 3�

  • *Wiring 101 And Shaping By Pruning�
    Basics Overview of wiring and pruning techniques for some commonly used bonsai material.�
  • *Workshop�
    Hands on wiring and pruning practice. Students to bring their own tree(s) to work on.�
  • *Select Topic for Class 4�
    Students will decide what topic or workshop they want to cover in Class 4.�
  • *Interactive Questions and Answers.

Class 4�

  • *Students Choice�
    Topic or workshop will be as selected by the students.�
  • *Review Of Material Selection Guidelines�
    A review to aid students in the selection of their plant material to use in Class 5.

Class 5�

  • *Workshop: Create A Bonsai�
    Students create a bonsai from rough material they have selected.�
  • *Interactive Questions and Answers.

Class Schedule:�

  • Class 1: Wednesday, January 24, Zilker Garden Center, 7:30 p.m./9:30 p.m�
  • Class 2: Saturday, February 10, Persimmon Hill Bonsai, 9:30 a.m./Noon�
  • Class 3: Wednesday, February 28, Zilker Garden Center, 7:30 p.m./9:30 p.m�
  • Class 4: Saturday, March 10, Persimmon Hill Bonsai, 9:30 a.m./Noon�
  • Class 5: Wednesday, March 28, Zilker Garden Center, 7:30 p.m./9:30 p.m.

Please Note: Each class will begin promptly at the time shown.

Sho - Chiku - Bai�

Pine = long life
Bamboo = virtue
Japanese flowering apricot = Happiness

This New Year planting will be our program for January. If you did not get a handout at the November meeting or were not there for the it is.�

The club is providing the potting medium and the plants for your group planting of 1 Gal. pine, 4" apricot from California, and 4" Japanese quince. What a deal!�

You will bring:�

  1. suitable container with drainage hole or a nursery pot to insert into a decorative pot�
  2. nandina (heavenly bamboo) preferably one with berries�
  3. small rocks (just a few) to suggest a seashore�
  4. shears and chopstick.�

Don't expect the apricot to be blooming as these are very young trees. We have enough trees for 40 members and there are now 19 names on the list from the Christmas Party.�

Put your name on the list as you come in the door at the January meeting.

Should be fun !�

Potting Soils�

by Stan Perkins�

Soil has a number of functions. First, it supports the plant by giving a medium for the roots to hold fast. Second, it stores moisture necessary for plant growth. Third, soil holds air required by plant roots to function properly. Finally, soil provides or retains the nutrients necessary for plant growth. In bonsai, plants are kept in shallow pots with very little soil present when compared with what exists in Nature. Therefore, the balance between too much and too little rests on a razor�s edge of difference. We must pay constant attention to the soil, water, fertilizer and drainage to be successful in bonsai.

Roots function to hold the plant in place in the soil and to absorb nutrients and water. Tough, thick, woody roots generally provide most of the support functions while only the smaller capillary roots absorb water and nutrients. Water is not absorbed but rather must be in the form of water vapor.�

This is why air must be present. Most plants will die if there is not enough air to aid in this absorption process. Excess water will also encourage fungus and bacterial growth which causes root rot. A loose soil mix helps this process by allowing enough spaces for capillary water and air to benefit plant growth.�

Particle size of the soil is very important in the above process. Soil particles too small tend to clog these capillary passages and water will not drain rapidly. Water will adhere to these finer particle and the soil will become water-logged. Air is displaced in this process, severely affecting the absorption process. We can prevent this process by careful attention to the particle size of our potting mixes.�

Japanese textbooks (and some American texts) recommend to layer the soil based on particle size. Current research seems to indicate that this is not necessary. In fact, there is some research which shows that layering in the soil may actually inhibit root pene- tration through the different zones.�

No one can really tell you what mix of soil is best for your plants. a lot depends on the microenvironment present where each plant is growing. Careful observations on what each plant seems to need is the only way to determine the �right� soil mix.�

Reprinted from Texas Bonsai, Winter, 1992

If you missed seeing all the Christmas trees done by the different club belonging to the Garden Center, this is the one which OUR club did. Thank you to all the members who did the needlepoint trees and other ornaments. We received a lot of compliments on this tree.�

November 15, 16, 17, 2002

Put this date on your calender and circle it!

Plan your vacation at that time!

Austin and San Antonio are combining with LSBF to have the State Convention at that time It will be held at the Civic Center in New Braunfels All members in BOTH clubs will be working with each other to make this a success Everyone is excited about this new concept initiated at this Convention.

Offer your help and support!!!!!!

  • Show Chairpersons: Chuck & Pat Ware
  • Registration Chairpersons: Greg & Shelia Setter
  • Treasurer: Arlene Hastings
  • Vendor Chairpersons: Mike & Candy Hansen
  • Goodie Bag Chairperson: Libby Huffman
  • Exhibit Chairperson: Marty Klajnowski
  • Transport/Hospitality Chairperson: Gary Martilla
  • Co-Chairperson: Rachel Cynwinski
  • Publicity Chairperson: Elaine White
  • Raffle Chairperson: Gloria Norberg
  • Co-chairperson: Alfred Lopez
  • Monitor Chairperson:; Jeff Holmes
  • Co-chairpersons: Audrey Lanier
  • Charlotte Cranberg
  • Food Chairperson: Sandra Vitone
  • Co-chairperson: Mary Martini
  • Logo/theme Chairperson:; Jim Bauman (Jimbo)
  • Co-chairpersons: Jordan Merson
  • Alisan Clarke
  • Webpage Design: Jim Allan

Don�t forget to give your volunteer hours to Don Rehberg