Austin Bonsai Society

March 2003

President’s Message

by Glenda Konopka

Well, it was certainly an interesting February weather-wise, to say the least. I knew we were in for a rough ride when the temperature in my backyard dropped from 36 to 24 degrees in 4 hours on Monday afternoon the 24th. Texas really keeps us bonsai folk on our toes - just when it looked like it was safe to put out repotted trees, we get freezing temperatures and ice. If you don't factor in the back pain associated with relocating about 500 pounds of trees (and I know there are those of you out there who have many more than I do!), it was nice to get a snow day off - the kids in my neighborhood had a grand time sliding down the streets! For you members, though, that had to get out and about, I hope you all kept safe and warm.

Let's hope March is more forgiving for us tree-obsessed. It will be a very interesting month for club activities. We'll be introduced to a new artist from Japan at the March monthly meeting, Mr. Hiroyoshi Yamaji, courtesy of Mike and Candy Hansen. Since the weather forced the cancellation of the sewing party at the February member's study group, that has been re-scheduled to the March study group, when the normal group attendees will be going over refinement techniques and other issues attendant to the show in May with Chuck Ware and Alisan Clarke. Remember, the May show will be a great opportunity for our club to strut our stuff for the Austin community - it would be great if every member had a tree in the show, so keep thinking toward that end.

Calendar of Events

Mar. 12 Monthly Meeting
Hiroyoshi Yamaji, Guest Artist Lecture/Demo
7:30 PM Zilker Garden Center
Refreshments by: Larry Gfeller Roger Patterson

Mar. 19 Board Meeting
7:00 PM Zilker Garden Center

Mar. 26 Members workshop
Refinement of show trees Chuck Ware & Alisan Clarke
7:30 PM Zilker Garden Center

Mar. 29 & 30 Zilker Garden Festival

Apr. 5 & 6 Houston Bonsai Soc. Spring Show Hermann Park

Apr. 9 Guest Artist, Hal Mahoney

Apr. 10 Workshop with Hal Mahoney Start preparing NOW

Apr. 12 & 13 Ft. Worth Show at Japanese Gardens

Apr. 24 & 25 Gr. New Orleans Bonsai Show Metairie, La.

July 11-13 LSBF Symposium, Austin, Tx.

General Meeting Minutes

by Del DeLos Santos

The February general meeting of the Austin Bonsai society was called to order at 7:35 P.M. on February 12, 2003, by President Glenda Konopka. There were no new members or guest to introduce.

ABS announcements were as follows:

  1. Refreshments were provided by Glenda Konopka and Sheila Ward. Kudos on the yummies.
  2. Reminder for the February 26th. Members Study Group with Elaine White’s continuing presentation of the care of new trees. Should a member have a questions regarding styling, disease, repotting or soils please attend the study group meeting. Bring your trees and tools.
  3. Also, for February 26th, the Special Sewing party. Those with portable sewing machines please bring them and assist in sewing the new tablecloths for our annual show.
  4. Eli Rodriguez has volunteered his services to do a video documentary of this years show. Eli provided the same service last year, totally unexpected and the results were most appreciated (I know, I got a tape of the show. Thanks Eli!). Also, Robert and Pat Mininni have volunteered to assist with organizing and setting up for this years show. Way to go new members!
  5. Mike Hansen donated a copy of Bonsai Saikei in Japan for the club library. It is written in Japanese.

Alisan Clarke represented ABS at the Zilker Garden Festival meeting and voted to support the proposed budget. Booklets regarding festival events will be available. Jim Baumann will man the ABS display, Elaine White will do the Texas State Bonsai Exhibit. Volunteers are needed to assist Jim and Elaine with the displays and also for other functions at the Zilker Garden Festival. Glenda reminded us that for those who sign up and work 4 hours, you get a T-shirt.

The ABS Treasure was absent so there were no announcements regarding club funds. The Secretary was anxious to report a trident maple so acceptance of the last general meeting minutes was taken for granted . Glenda introduced our speaker for the evening, Greg Setter who presented the scheduled program of repotting. The meeting adjourned at 9:30 P.M.

This is your last newsletter if you have not paid your dues! 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

Board Meeting Minutes

by Carl Quisenberry

The Austin Bonsai Society, Board of Directors meeting was called to order at 19:15, on February 19, 2003, in the Zilker Botanical Garden Center. In attendance were Glenda Konopka, Candy Hansen, Pat Ware, Larry Gfeller, Connie King, Carl Quisenberry and Chuck Ware. David Gordon and Del De Los Santos were absent.

Old Business:

Pat gave a brief Treasures’ report on the status of our CD’s. She put $3,704.00 in an Edward Jones CD at 3.556% for 3 years, the interest is payable at maturity. We also have $5,000.00 in a 5 year CD at 3.7% with the interest deposited every month. The new material for the tablecloths for the show tables has been ordered and paid for. Pat also purchased 6 storage boxes from Sam’s for the table cloths. We still need the matching thread to complete the project.

Larry talked to Bill Cody about writing a monthly article for the Bonsai Notebook. Bill agreed to write the articles every other month.

New Business:

Vito Megna has agreed to do the presentation at the November club meeting emphasizing Azaleas. He is going to do the Members Workshop in May on Azaleas. He is also willing to teach a children’s study group in Bonsai. Larry suggested we approach the rest of the club to find out if anyone else would be willing to teach a youth or retirement group on Bonsai. Each board member will approach at least one group by the next board meeting. Some of the groups we are considering are the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4H Clubs, church groups and eldercare centers. It was felt this was a good way to give something back to the community. Glenda suggested we donate a tree to the silent auction at Austin Groups for the Elderly (AGE). We discussed having an organized tour of members tree collections. We need to find out if there is sufficient interest and if so, how the members would like it organized.

The Albuquerque Bonsai club wants bring Marc Noelanders back to the states and split the cost with us. The planning window is about a year out. Marc told Glenda he would like to work with our native trees. It will be a 2 day workshop. The cost will be in the $300+ range, based on a single event and the quality of the material that such a workshop will require. Enrollment will be offered to the other Texas clubs and a deposit will be required. Pat & Chuck will contact Marc to find out when he is available.

Glenda suggested we get several of the members to take turns working on trees at the May show and answer visitor’s questions about Bonsai. Carl will bring the idea up at March club meeting.

Mike Hansen went to Washington to talk to the Department of Agriculture about the new rules governing importing live Bonsai trees. If left unchanged, the rules will shut down importation of foreign trees for 5 years. Mike is working to get fast track approval for a rule change in 18 months.

Meeting adjourned at 20:40

Hiroyoshi Yamaji

Mr. Yamaji is a second generation bonsai grower from the Japanese island of Shikoku near the city of Takamatsu. Following his graduation from Kansai Gaidai Junior College he took over his father's bonsai business of growing bonsai. His business now includes exporting bonsai to many countries in the Americas and Europe.

Mr. Yamaji is 50 years old. He is married with four children, three girls and one boy. Consistent with Japanese tradition, he also cares for his parents in their retirement.

For the bast 35 years the Yamaji family business, Sanshoen Bonsai, has provided leadership for the bonsai growers of Shikoku Island. Mr. Yamaji is a member of the Nippon Bonsai Association and he is Vice President of the Bonsai Division of the Kokubunnji Agricultural Cooperatives. In addition to being an excellent bonsai artist and grower, Hiroyoshi has excellent English skills. He has a very disarming personality all of which make him an excellent teacher.


This annual fund raising event for the Garden Center features a flower show and many sales booths with wonderful plants, herbs, flowers and garden related items like tools, clothing, jewelry, garden ornaments, pond gardening and food. Bring the kids for games and face painting. Just a great time for everyone and you are helping support the Garden Center. Don't miss it! Some of our members sell bonsai and supplies there as well.

If you can help for 2 hours or more, give me your name at the March meeting. Thank you so much if you have already volunteered.

And don't forget to pick up your free tickets. The club has purchased 2 tickets for every member, available at the March meeting. Tickets at the gate will be $5.

Please bring your volunteer hours to the meetings.

Thanks to Alisan Clarke for attending the last Garden Council meeting at very last minute notice for me despite her hectic schedule. Hope none of you got the stomach virus.

Charlotte Cranberg

Sign up at the March meeting for Hal Mahoney’s Workshop on April 10, 2003 7 PM Zilker Garden Center

The Indianapolis Bonsai Club offers you a spectacular Grand Tour of China plus $50.00 for your bonsai club for every one of your members who goes on the tour.

June 10 through 22. 2003 See Pat Ware for forms.

Man is not content
to take nature as he finds her.
He insists on making her over..


Don’t forget! to send in your registration form for the 2003 LSBF Symposium to be held in Austin - the workshops are filling fast!

Sewing Group! Rescheduled to March 26th


On June 11 , 12 & 13 , 2003 The LSBF will host Summer Breeze Symposium . Which means all the Texas Bonsai Clubs will participate as the real host. I have been ask to be door monitor chairman. As a result I am asking for volunteers to help monitor the doors at all workshops each day. I need approximately 15 volunteer hours for Friday and 30 for Saturday. Please ask everyone who is going to the symposium to volunteers some time as door monitor. The more volunteers we can get the less time any one person will have to be a monitor. I know this is early but as soon as I get the information I can start a schedule. Now the good part. I also need volunteers to assist the Artist. What a great way to listen to the Artist at work. Please ask your news editor to put this request in the newsletter so all members can be reach. Volunteers can contact me direct.

Thank you Dennis Corley Southeast Texas Bonsai club E-Mail @ Work: 409-722-0644 Home: 409-866-5803

Anyone who wishes to attend the 2003 BCI Convention in Taipei, Taiwan and needs a registration form - please see Pat Ware for one.

Water Quality in Bonsai Culture

by Bill Cody

During the lecture/demonstration delivered by Warren Hill this month, he discussed in some detail the problem of leaf burn in Japanese maples. Apparently in California, there is significant problem with an excess of sodium in the irrigation water. Naturally this excess of sodium eventually finds its way to the leaves. On hot, dry, and windy days, transpiration (evaporation) of water is more rapid from the narrow lobes of the leaves than from the broad interior of the leaf. As water leaves the leaf, the concentration of sodium ions in the lobes rises to the point that the cellular structure of the leaf is damaged, resulting in the characteristic browning and curling of the leaf tip.

I'm not sure that Warren has hit upon the real culprit here in Central Texas. My own water has a normal amount of sodium (less than 50 ppm). Normally my magnesium is quite low (8 ppm; normal = 30-50 ppm) and my calcium is okay (44 ppm; normal = 40-75 ppm) but the Ca/Mg ratio, which should be about 2:1, is 5:1. I add Epsom salts by way of my injector to maintain the 2:1 ratio.

Since you will not know what, if any, your water problems are without testing, I am including the address of the TAMU laboratory. My experience has been that the director of this lab has been less than readily available to answer questions about soil/water test results. A PDF sample submittal form may be downloaded at: Your county extension service agent may have forms. URLs for the other labs are included below for your further search for specific lab sampling instructions and mailers.

Texas Agricultural Extension Service Soil and Water Testing Laboratory Texas A & M University College Station, TX 77843 See below. Cost: $20.00 for routine test.

J. R. Peters Laboratory 6656 Grant Way Allentown, PA 18106 1-800-743-4769 Cost: $36.00 each sample.

Servi-Tech Laboratory 1816 E. Wyatt Earp Dodge City, Kansas 67801 1-800-557-7509 620-227-7123 Cost: $46.20 per sample

General instructions for collecting a water sample are below, but check with your lab first:

  1. Test all new sources and retest twice a year.
  2. Flush out all lines for several minutes prior to taking a sample.
  3. Send at least eight ounces of water (one cup).
  4. Use a clean, unbreakable, leak-proof container. Fill completely to the top (no air space) and seal tightly. Plastic soft drink bottles have done the job for me in the past.
  5. Identify each sample clearly using a stick-on label. Some may want a personal ID code.

Usually, the labs will send containers, instructions, and questionnaires, which you enclose with each sample, if you call and ask for them. The prices listed above are as 2/24/03, but it is best to call first.


Minutes for January 18, 2003 Austin Area Garden Center, Austin, Texas

President Chuck Ware called the meeting to order at 1:00 PM.

Chuck called for a vote to approve the minutes. One sentence was incorrect and is removed from the minutes. Kathleen Williamson made a motion to approve the minutes. Dennis Corley seconded. Motion passed.

Pat Ware distributed the December 31, 2002 budget statement, club benefits received for their dues and convention attendance history by club. Kathleen Williamson moved the 2002 budget report be approved. Buddy Allen seconded. Motion passed.

Pat Ware presented the proposed 2003 budget. Kathleen made a motion to increase the guest speaker airfare from $700 to $1,000 and to approve the budget with this increase. Dennis Corley seconded. Motion passed.

Terry Ward per the request of LSBF gave a report on the benefits of joining the North American Bonsai Federation. Annual dues of $25 includes a monthly newsletter, provides financial assistance for hosting the 5th World Bonsai Convention to be held in Washington, D.C. and helps promote world-wide Bonsai interest. Dennis Corley made a motion to pay the annual $25 dues. Marty Klajnowski seconded. Motion passed.

Terry Ward support from the clubs to provide their newsletters of events, digital photos of member trees in all stages of development from across the state and Texas Speakers develop a raw tree to be shown in the Texas Bonsai. Terry distributed a letter with guidelines for submitting digital photos. Terry's plea is to bring more of Texas artist and club member activities into the Texas Bonsai publication. Please e-mail your newsletters, photos and articles to Terry well in advance of the next publication dates. Your support will be greatly appreciated.

Pat Ware distributed the 2002 State Conventions report. There were 153 full, 79 daily and 46 walk-in registrants. Austin, San Antonio and LSBF received checks for $5,011 each. Raffle income was nearly $6,400. The convention was a success based on the high attendance and participation from across the state.

Yvonne Padilla distributed the registration forms for the 2003 Symposium to be held on July 11-13th at the Omni Hotel in Austin. Yvonne requested help in gathering items for the "goodie" bags, raffle item donations and trees donated for either raffles or silent auctions.

Delegates were asked to solicit support from all the clubs. Each club was asked to donate one good tree in a nice bonsai pot for a silent auction to be held Sunday morning at the Symposium. Full registration includes four meals and access to observe all workshops and educational programs. Attendees are encouraged to register early.

Buddy Allen reported that the 2004 State Convention will be co-hosted by Houston and Corpus Christi clubs. The convention date and locations is May 21-23rd at the Omni Hotel in Houston. Hotel room rates for the convention is $79.95. The guest artist are Mary Miller, Kathy Shaner and Guy Guidry.

John Miller reported that some progress has been made in seeking liability protection insurance for LSBF and affiliate clubs for their events. John is researching options through the National Association for Non-profit Organizations (NANPO). Preliminary cost estimates to be confirmed is approximately $700 per year plus $20 per event. John will continue to investigate and report his findings in the June meeting.

Kathleen Williamson distributed the September 24 - October 9th schedule for the fall Texas Tour artist, Roy Nagatoshi. The schedule was reviewed and discussed. A question was raised regarding who should pay for the days of rest scheduled for the artist and a suggestion was made for LSBF to pay up to $100 for hotel & meals for the artist for the day. Delegates were asked to discuss this with their clubs. Any motions will be presented at the next meeting in June.

Carl Quisenberry distributed the survey results on the visiting artist guidelines. Carl reported that all the clubs did not respond with feedback. Attendees recommended the survey review be tabled until the next meeting in June. Clubs that have not responded are encouraged to send their responses to e-mail address: Delegates are asked to consult with their clubs to develop a list of potential touring artist to bring to the June meeting.

Buddy Allen distributed the updates to the by-laws and reviewed the specific changes that were agreed to in the last LSBF meeting. Several issues were discussed and further changes were agreed to. Buddy will prepare these updates for review at the next meeting in June.

Buddy Allen asked the question, "How do we add a person to the Texas Artist list? Attendees stated names can be submitted to the secretary after the person has been contacted and agrees to the $75 for the first event and 30 cents per mile. Buddy asked that Greg Setter name be added to the speakers list. Further discussion revealed confusion regarding the guidelines for the fees for the second program conducted by an artist. Attendees discussed rates. Yvonne Padilla recommended that the speakers list be updated to include the speaker's name, type of material preferred and include the rates for the first program plus mileage. Libby Huffman moved that the by-laws state a rate of $75 for the first program and 30 cents per mile for travel and that the second program be negotiable between the club and guest artist. Suzanne Scott seconded. Motion passed. The vice-president, Suzanne Scott agreed to update the speakers list.

Libby Huffman moved the meeting be adjourned. Bob Swindle seconded. Motion passed.

Meeting adjourned at 3:27 PM.

Attendees: Bob Swindle (Abilene), Chuck & Pat Ware, Carl Quisenberry (Austin), Dennis Corley (Beaumont), Yvonne Padilla (Corpus Christi), John Miller & Timothy Phan (Dallas), Suzanne Scott & Steve Hendricks (Fort Worth), Buddy Allen & John Denton (Houston), Todd Davis & Mike Morgan (Longview), Marty Klajnowski & Libby Huffman (San Antonio), Kathleen Williamson & Alisan Clarke (Shohin), Peg Hollen (San Antonio), Virgil & Connie Curtis (Houston), and three (not-registered).