Austin Bonsai Society
July 2002

President's Message

Candy Hansen

Our speaker for the past month, the visiting Lone Star Artist Mary Miller, presented an excellent program. Of all the information she had to share, I think the most important for us all to remember when styling or evaluating "potensai" (the term with thanks to Elaine White) we need to look for the skeleton, or create it, as the case may be!

In July we have another special speaker, one who may appeal to many of us who do not like to put harsh chemicals into the environment. John Dromgoole is a natural gardener and specialist in natural pest controls. Put on your thinking caps so you can ask any questions about problems you have, or have had, or have heard about! Remember, too, what Mary said about not confusing specialists who may think Bonsai is a special species, not a style of growing.

In August we have a joint meeting with the San Antonio club, those folks with whom we are co-hosting the Lone Star Convention in November. Plan on going to the joint meeting this year in San Antonio. Sign-up sheets for food will be available at the July meeting, but don't let that stop you if you miss the meeting. The joint meeting is a pot luck, so bring your favorite dish to share!

We will be going to the American Bonsai Convention in Milwaukee June 27-30, hoping for some cooler weather, but probably not getting it. Good luck keeping your trees happy in the heat.

See you at the meeting

Calendar of Events

July 10 Monthly Meeting - Organic Approach to Insects
John Dromgroole (see pg.3)
7:30 PM
Zilker Garden Center
Refreshments by: Arlene Hastings & Pat Ware

July 17 Board Meeting
7:00 PM
Zilker Garden Center

July 24 Members Workshop (see pg. 5)
7:30 PM
Zilker Garden Center
Pot Selection, water & soil with Elaine White

Jul. 3-7 BCI 2002 Bonsai in the Sun, Orlando, Fl.

Aug. 10 Joint Meeting with San Antonio
This is a Saturday NO Wednesday meeting

Sept. 6-8 IBC, Rochester, New York

Oct. 17-20 Golden State Bonsai Federation, Sacramento, Ca.

Nov 15-17 State Bonsai Convention - New Braunfels, Tx.

General Meeting Minutes

David Gordon

The June regular meeting of the Austin Bonsai Society was called to order by President Candy Hansen at 7:30 P.M.

New members and guests were introduced.

The business portion of the meeting was postponed so there would be more time for the featured speaker for the evening.

Gloria Norberg introduced our speaker, Mary Miller, who presented a lecture-demo and styled a Ficus tree.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:30 P.M.

Don't Forget!

All hours spent working on our Annual Show, and any other volunteer hours, should be reported to: Charlotte Cranberg.

PLEASE SEE BILL CODY if you left a bonsai stand at the Annual show. It is 8 1/2 x 11 inches and dark wood - has a "Made in China" sticker on back. Also, a small piece of wood used for a stand that is light wood with dark center markings.

Board Meeting Minutes

David Gordon

The Austin Bonsai Society board meeting was called to order on June 19, 2002, by President Candy Hansen. Members present were Candy Hansen, Gloria Norberg, Pat Ware, Jim Baumann, David Gordon and Chuck Ware.

The minutes from the previous board meeting were accepted as written in the Bonsai Newsletter.

The treasurer's report was given by Pat Ware.

Old Business:

The Mary Miller lecture/demo was briefly discussed.

Candy informed the board that an artist from Japan, Hiroshi Yamaji, will be in Austin in March of 2003. He will be available for a lecture/demo while he is here, so the board will make arrangements for him to make a presentation to the club for our regular meeting that month.

The bonsai show was discussed. Some suggestions for next year were made. Elaine White has written a letter to the Botanical Gardens requesting more parking space be made available for the show.

New Business:

The joint meeting with the San Antonio club was discussed. This meeting will be on August 10, 2002, in San Antonio. This is a Saturday.

Our speaker for July, John Dromgoole, was discussed.

The meeting was adjourned by President Candy Hansen.

John Dromgoole

Owner of The Natural Gardener, has been heavily involved in the organic industry and environmental issues for over 28 years. His nursery has been voted "Best Nursery" eight times in the Austin Chronicle's "Best of Austin Poll," and is known for supplying organic products, native and well adapted plants, and bulk compost, soils and mulches. John is the host of Gardening Naturally, a biweekly question and answer radio program that focuses on the organic technique for home owners and weekend gardeners. He has hosted that show on KLBJ AM 590 for 20 years.

John originated the City of Austin's Chemical Clean-Up Day, which has become an annual event and has now established a permanent drop-off site. He also co-authored standards for certifying organic farms as part of a Texas Department of Agriculture Task Force.

Since 1983, John has written articles for Texas Gardener Magazine and Organic Gardening Magazine, and has won numerous environmental and industry awards.

Mary Miller

started her lecture with a vivid demonstration on trunk & taper having to be first - then developing branches. Cut the "fluff" and get back to the skeleton of the tree. The burserra black olive was probably as shocked as the audience.

Mary Miller, working on the black olive....beginning taper. Mary Miller holding up a large branch - "fluff!"

Then on the ficus retusa, she took off all that wasn't needed, so that the tree would get the sunlight and fill in. Focusing once again on the skeleton of the tree, she took off two aerial roots that were too straight for the line of the tree - now we have base & taper. The skeleton is exposed!

Mary wiring the ficus. Mary with finished tree and auction winner.

Look to August!

You have to plan now for our Joint meeting if you want to take advantage of the workshop!

This year's get together is being hosted by San Antonio. We have made arrangements to have Sean Smith as our special guest artist. Mr. Smith is a well known authority and collector of in the USA. His talent for carving daiza has gained him international recognition. He is proprietor of Custom Oriental Woodcraft and presents lectures, demonstrations, as well as exhibits his stones and daiza in the USA and Europe. He is scheduled to demonstrate carving a daiza at BCI 2002 during the July convention in Orlando, Fla.

He has agreed to do a workshop and a lecture demonstration of daiza carving on the day of our get together, Sat 10 Aug. 2002. The workshop will be for 4 hours beginning at 10:00 AM for a maximum of 8 people. The lecture/demonstration will follow our meal, which is scheduled to begin between 3:30 and 4:00 PM. Both functions will be at the Windcrest Rec. Center. We would like to offer our friends of the Austin club 4 of the workshop slots. The cost for the workshop will be $50.00 per person. Mr. Smith has said that he would provide a quality stone for any workshop participants who did not have a good stone of their own. His stones are normally $50.00. He is offering us a special price of $30.00. He provides the wood as part of the workshop cost. Participants need to have a Dremel carving tool or it's equivalent.

Let Pat Ware know if you are interested and she will get the money to San Antonio. We will need to have the list by 31 July. Also, if you want Mr. Smith to bring a stone for you, he needs to know how many extra stones he needs to bring with him.

Suiseki  with carved wooden base.


The surgeon's motto finds application in bonsai:

Don't cut unless you can see the tips

of your scissors.

--shared with us by J. R.  Bill Cody, M.D.

July Study Group

by Elaine White

We will have some continuity in the next one, concerning refining tropicals.

We will also discuss propagation, what and how to, and review a video on pot selection.

If anyone has suggestions on what they would like to review/discuss in the next 2 sessions, I am open to all ideas.

Editor's Note: One our club's former editors wrote this and something that transpired recently drew me to the article - please give this some thought.

From the Editor

by Mike Powers

My young daughter was having trouble getting to sleep so, as I gently stroked her hair, I told her of an idyll, a place with broad meadow and tall grass, bright flowers with a stream running through the middle. At the edge of the meadow you can see where the forest begins, stretching up into the distance where the rolling hills reach upwards to heaven.

Growing up in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, I spent many years wandering through that forest. It was where the love for trees that drew me to bonsai was nurtured, where the lessons of the science classes cane alive, and where the meaning of the sermons came home to roost.

I'm not so old that such places are ancient history, but the truth is that they're disappearing at a rapid rate. Development is increasingly encroaching upon wild areas, so much so that the government sets aside tracts of land as "Wilderness Areas" to preserve for future generations a part of OUR country that embodies the American Spirit.

However, even with these efforts, the pressures of employment and today's profits threatens tomorrow's idylls. The Interior Department recently opened thousands of acres of "Old Growth" forests to logging. While this election-year pandering will save some jobs for a few years, it won't cure the logging and milling industries' ills. What it will unquestionably do is destroy forests that have taken thousands of years to develop, places where lightning has ripped scars down trees to the ground, places where the worst blizzard in fifty years froze the top off every tree that wasn't covered with snow, where gnarled, stunted trees find pockets of humus in crags of stone, and where life springs eternal from the phoenix of yesterday's forest giants.

The logging companies will replant for tomorrow's lumber needs with trees as far as the eye can see. But they can't replace what took nature a thousand years to create. Gone will be centuries-old trees, gone will be the stunted anomalies wresting life from an inhospitable terrain, gone will be the idyllic meadows of childlike reverie. There instead our children will see the hand of man. I sympathize with the young daughters of loggers who would lose their jobs if Old Growth forests weren't opened to logging, but what will they do in three years when these tracts are all logged out: Where will they go then to find the trees in which the hand of God gives us the inspiration to make bonsai?

Bonsai Notebook, July 1992

Things to do this Month

If you have nursery stock in one to five gallon containers for thickening trunks and branches, check for roots coming out of the drainage holes. Plants can be safely potted up unto a larger container at any time of year as long as the root ball is not disturbed.

Tropicals can be put in bonsai pots now as well as being repotted. Some of these varieties are: Bougainvillea, all Ficus varieties, Fukien Tea, Serissa, Barbados Cherry, Natal Plum, Pomegranate, Hawaiian Umbrella, Texas Ebony, Black Olive, Buttonwood, Jaboticaba, Tamarind, Brazilian Rain Tree, Powder Puff, Huisache (Acacia), Portulacaria Afra (Jade), Ixora, Malpighia, Cypress, and Lantana. Some people consider Rosemary a tropical but it must be repotted in the early spring.

Most Bonsai would like some filtered shade now and into September. Most important of all ... don't let them dry out!

Bonsai Notebook, July 1992


Not to be deleted or censored by editor.

Many individuals in our bonsai society spend many hours a month in thought and preparation to make The Austin Bonsai Society the most active, interesting and vibrant in the state.

We, of course, thank the artists who came for special lecture/demonstrations, but do we thank the people who made it possible?

Chuck now does the scheduling for artist for the state - which means many phone calls, e-mails, purchasing airline tickets, pickup, drop off, and coordinating with all clubs meeting schedules.

Pat does all the computer work; artists stay at their house, which involves cleaning, cooking, entertaining, playing tour guide, and encouraging members to join the artist for dinner for social time before the lecture/demonstration. I want to thank the Ware's for the things too numerous to mention, that they do for our club and The Lone Star Bonsai Federation.