Austin Bonsai Society

June 2001

President's Message

Candy Hansen

Our club's annual show this year was great! Many comments were heard that this was the best show ever. This means we are growing as bonsai stylists, and learning with each other, and from each other. I think we are having a good time, too.

To put on a show like this takes many hands. I want to thank Vito Megna for chairing the event. Many thanks go also to those who helped set up, Dave, Mike and Cody for hauling show set materials from storage, those who hosted our show, those who brought trees, Mike and Terry for demonstrating, those who helped tear down, those who came to the show and brought your friends, and those who brought food for hungry workers, especially the 'pizza angels', Elaine White and Alisan Clarke. Vendors also help make a show interesting to attendees; thank you to all of those who participated. I'm sure I missed some one - thanks to all who participated!

Our show is the venue where we most obviously fulfill our mission statement to teach others about bonsai. I think everyone who has hosted at our show realizes people are really in awe of our art, and sharing it with the public is a special privilege. Every time we tell someone that the trees are not tortured, or picked on, or a special species, we make friends for bonsai. Hopefully, as more people learn what bonsai really is, we will gain more enthusiasts, and more community-wide recognition of bonsai as an art form, as well as fine horticulture.

We have been blessed with a longer spring than usual, more moderate weather maybe a little longer into the season. Our trees are happy, and it is surely more pleasant to work outside!

Calendar of Events

Jun 13 Monthly Meeting
  Suiseki Dai Making
  with Vito Megna
  7:30 PM
  Zilker Garden Center
  Refreshments by:
  Carl Quisenberry
  Donna Cooper

Jun 20 Board Meeting
  7:00 PM
  Zilker Garden Center

Jun 27 Members workshop
  with Elaine White
  7:30 PM
  Zilker Garden Center

Coming Events

May 31-June 4 4th World Conv.

Jun 2 -3 Central Oklahoma Bon. Soc.
  Oklahoma City, OK

July 27-29 Assn. of Mexican Bonsai
  Las Agulas, Mexico with Pedro Morales

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

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

General Meeting Minutes

David Gordo

The May 2001 meeting of the Austin Bonsai Society was called to order by President Candy Hansen on May 9, 2001, at 7:30 PM.

A motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting as written in the newsletter was made and accepted by the membership. The Treasurer's report was given by Pat Ware.

Gloria Davis, a guest for the evening, was introduced.

There was a discussion regarding the volunteer hours. The scope of what actually counts as hours was explained and members were encouraged to report hours worked.

Vito discussed the upcoming club show. Final preparations are being made and everyone was encouraged to come Friday to help setup.

Elaine White discussed the Bonsai Club International. She gave a short description of the club functions and advantages of belonging to this organization.

Gloria Norberg introduced the speaker for the evening, our own Mike Hansen. He presented his program "Mountain Top Experience" which showed members a technique for making a unique and interesting "mountain with trees."

Meeting was adjourned at 9:30 PM by President Candy Hansen.

Thank you

Alisan Clarke
Elaine White
for the


AND, a big THANK YOU to all who brought the other goodies the rest of the weekend.


Vito Megna

The club program for the month of June will be on making a dai for a suiseki. The Empress Regent Suiko greatly admired the miniature landscape stones first brought to Japan as gifts from the Chinese imperial court during her reign (A.D. 592-628).

It is not surprising that, today people all over the world share the same enthusiasm and love of beautiful stone landscapes. Suiseki clubs are springing up in all parts of the globe, in fact Butch Wilkin just recently suggested that Texas needs such a program to bolster our common interest in bonsai. When children visit my nursery with their parents, they often are found digging in the stones that I use to cover the area. I furnish them with a plastic bag to take some stones home; I know my granddaughter must have about 50 lbs. stored around her house much to the dismay of my daughter, so, I have to keep reminding her about her love for stone collecting, some of which I still have in the garage.

My program will be to highlight the fabrication of a dai, there may be some wood chips flying around and it might be a little noisy, but I promise it will be interesting and fun, so please join us. If you have a suiseki that you would like to display for the members to view please do so.

Board Meeting Minutes

David Gordo

The May Board meeting of the Austin Bonsai Society was called to order by President Candy Hansen on May 16, 2001. Members present were Pat Ware, Gloria Norberg, Jim Baumann, Mike Swenson, David Gordon. Also attending were Past President, Alisan Clark and Chuck Ware.

The minutes from the previous meeting were accepted as written in the newsletter. The Treasurer's report was given by Pat Ware.

There was discussion about arrangements to be made to help clear the permanent collection site. Information will be published in the newsletter. Elaine White will be making the arrangements regarding date and time.

There was discussion about making a presentation at the Asian Center. We will possibly be making a presentation in the future which will give members of the Asian Center information about the Austin Bonsai Society.

President Candy discussed a request by Vito that vendors provide trees for the raffle at the annual show. The vendors will be paid for the trees. Gloria Norberg made a motion that our budget for the show be increased so we can purchase the trees. Motion was seconded and passed by members.

Details about the annual show were discussed. There was discussion about providing pizza for the members at the Friday night set up.

The June meeting was discussed. Vito will be presenting a program entitled Suesiki Dai Making.

The formal display we have at each meeting was discussed. Not everyone has all the materials necessary to make a formal display. In order to get everyone involved, a list of resources such as screens, tables, etc., will be made.

The meeting was adjourned by President Candy Hansen at 8:30 PM.

Summering Bonsai In Texas

Ted Guyge

Texas summers are long, hot and usually dry. This is a combination that is extremely hard on most bonsai. By careful experimentation on summer care, I have come up with a procedure that seems to minimize the problem of high temperature and low humidity.

My bonsai stay in several different situations. Some stay in full sun all the time; some are partially shaded during the day by nearby trees; others are under lath shelter in open shelves and some others are in a shade house protected on the west and north by reed fencing with shade cloth over the top.

Junipers, many large plants, and plants in early stages of training benefit by being in the full sun as this helps to retard their growth. Junipers particularly benefit since they have a tendency to grow wild under more comfortable conditions. Some of the plants in this group do receive some shade parts of the day from nearby trees.

Deciduous trees, trees that are sensitive to hot sun and small trees that would dry out too much, maintain their color better and stay in better health under the lath shelter. Ground cover plants (other than mosses) do well under the lath.

My smaller trees (including mame) and sun tender trees do well in the shade house. The trees are on tiered shelves on concrete blocks. The ground under these benches is always wet and maintains a high humidity around the trees. Moss does very well on trees fact I have to use care that some trees do not stay too wet. Even my mame which are sitting on a tray of wet Turface rarely need watering more than once a day.I have several desert type trees in my collection and I have found that these do best under these conditions also. In the winter, the shade cloth is removed and the house is covered with plastic to provide necessary winter protection for my more tender plants.

Watering is the most important factor in care of bonsai. Lack of water kills more bonsai than any other thing. I do not made a fetish of watering, however. I water (with a few exceptions) once a day, usually around five o'clock regardless of the sun. The exceptions occur in extremely hot, dry weathe when a few trees have a tendency to wilt. I water these twice a day at that time and also spray the foliage on all my trees. My regular watering also includes washing the foliage on all of the trees. When I water, I do not always water every tree every day. By observing the soil I can tell whether the particular tree needs water or not. If I do not think it
needs it, I do not water it that particular day. Junipers are allowed to dry completely if possible, between waterings.  Too much water forces too much growth. Overwatering should be avoided on all tree for this reason. By knowing my trees I know how much water should be applied to each tree to insure adequate watering.

I fertilize my trees every month during growing season EXCEPT July and August. Many trees will burn if they are fertilized at this time since fertilizing forces tender new growth.

Insects are very active during this time of the year, but I have learned that spraying must be done at a time when the sun will not be on the leaves wet width insecticide. This means that the spraying must be done in the evening with the humidity low enough to be sure the leaves are dry before the sun gets on them the next morning. (There may be emergency situations when leaf damage would be secondary in which case I would spray immediately.)

The guidelines that I follow in summer car can be summed up as follows:

  1. Know your trees as individuals.
  2. Do not coddle your trees....let them have as much extreme conditions as they will safely take. They are healthier and maintain and/or gain improved stature as bonsai.
  3. Water with extreme care.....neither too much and not too little. If a stranger is caring for your trees for a short time, too much water is better than too little....but only for a brief period of two or three weeks.
  4. Maintain routine training practices consistent with the growth of the tree. Normally summer is a slow growth period and there is not much pruning to be done. Watch wires for they can cut into branches and trunks before you know it.

  These procedures are used with a collection of over one hundred fifty trees......many of them extremely
large. Even in the hottest weather they can be cared for with a minimum time of twenty minutes for watering. Other procedures can be postponed but not watering.

Reprinted from Texas Bonsai, Fall, 1987


We're having another "clearing brush" party! This time we get to shred it.

All hands be at Zilker at 8:30 AM, Saturday, June 9th. If you have heavy tools you can put them in John Pittenger's truck in the parking lot to be taken down to our work area. If you come later than 8:30, come on down

Bring trimming tools, gloves, hats, water and lunch. Provided will be a large cooler with ice to put your lunch in, soft drinks and snacks.

See you there, Elaine.

Juniper Dieback

Mildred Dil

Browsing thru back issues of the New Orleans Bonsai, under Quick Snips is an article on junipers. A member of GNOBS had pinched back his junipers following a particularly heavy lush growth of early Spring. Instead of the remaining foliage recovering with a good growth of new foliage, a very few new shoots were produced and the older growth failed to sprout again, and there was an alarming die-off of branches. The die-back was so severe that, in some instances, it amounted to the loss of a year's growth. Studying the cause, and many other members of GNOBS shared the problem, the very wet Spring and lack of shade were two things discussed. These are not usual conditions, so when a visiting lecturer came for workshops, the problem was discussed with him. The feeding problem was immediately questioned - in review, an ambitious feeding program was brought to light: blood and cottonseed meals in cake, fish emulsion in quantity, Osmocote 18-18-19 and, in some cases, chemical liquid fertilizer. The guest speaker immediately identified the problem: too much nitrogen. Blood meal was eliminated from the cake feeding, with less cottonseed and bonemeal used; fish emulsion and Osmocote were eliminated for high heat season.

Reprinted from October, 1986 Bonsai Notebook, Austin

Another Successful Show!

Our members supplied a vast array of trees for the enjoyment of all that came - and there were many!
From conifers and deciduous lovely flowering trees
Our members did a marvelous job of
setting up and hosting. Everyone pitched in and made this a success.
Thank you