Upcoming Bonsai Events

GSBF_sq_stampDear Friends in Bonsai,

Happy 2016 to everyone. Hope you all have a safe and prosperous year.

There are definitely lots of things happening in the Bonsai world. We hope to see you in one of these events:

February 5-7, 2016 – California Shohin Seminar at the Hotel de Oro Conference Center in Santa Nella. Hardly advertised, this is a must-see event that happens only every two years. We are vending and Scott is doing a demonstration and a workshop on shohin trident maple. Let us know what we can bring for you. We have super small akadama at $35/bag; kanuma and hyuga for $28/bag in small, medium, large grain size. (more…)

Phoenix Bonsai Society To Hold 53Rd Anniversary Bonsai Show

150_PhoeThe Phoenix Bonsai Society will be holding its 53rd Anniversary Bonsai Show on April 9 & 10, 2016, from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM both Saturday and Sunday. The event is free to the public. The show will be opened Saturday morning by a traditional Buddhist Blessing, opening the Valley Garden Center doors to over 50 examples of bonsai trees, as well as viewing stones known as Suiseki, and companion plants known as Kusamono. Outside there will be a Children’s Area with an art and coloring section featuring the Bonsai Coloring Book written by club member Robert Baran. Also for the children will be a free mini bonsai potting area where all children under age 8 will receive an Elephant Food Bonsai and mini bonsai pot. In the gardens will be a Bonsai Market Place selling bonsai, pots, bonsai soil, and related items, plus three display and teaching areas. The Novice Village will have new members trimming and wiring bonsai throughout the event. At the Intermediate Village more seasoned members will be working on bonsai and answering questions from the public. In the Expert Village long time members will be conducting demonstrations and describing the history of bonsai. (more…)

Unearthed: Found + Made

150_Image327By George Haas

On December 26, 2015, I visited the Oakland Museum of California at 1000 Oak Street, Oakland, California, to view the suiseki exhibition by two local clubs, San Francisco Suiseki Kai and California Suiseki Society, combined with the work of a contemporary artist. The similarity in displayed material is taking from the landscape, reworking and presenting it as an art form. The display and appreciation of natural stones dates back to China before the 7th century A.D., after which it was introduced to Japan where it was accepted in to their culture. The work of Jedediah Caesar, an Oakland-born, Los Angeles based contemporary artist, “imitates geological processes in making his sculptures, sometimes encasing found objects from the urbanenvironment in clear colored resin” according to the exhibit literature.

Breaking News – The Golden Statements Winter Issue is Almost Here!

GSBF_sq_stampThe GSBF Golden Statements Magazine Winter issue has been sent to the printer. That means within the next business week the magazine will be printed and mail dropped to its subscribers throughout the country and British Columbia, Canada. The Winter issue contains more information than ever. It is often referred to as the convention copy because it covers the latest GSBF Convention held in Riverside on October 29 – November 1, 2015. But, there is more, regular columns on season changes, bonsai on the internet, suiseki and bonsai. There is coverage of the most recent Kofu Bonsai Kai Show and the Grand Opening of the newest, third GSBF bonsai collection in Shinzen Japanese Garden, Fresno, California. You’ll also read highlights of the Artisans Cup held in Portland, Oregon, on September 25 – 27, 2015.

If you are not a current subscriber of GSBF Golden Statements Magazine, subscribe now by clicking here and complete the simple form and pay by PayPal.


Companion Plants for Bonsai Display

150_pots_Image278On December 12, 2015, at the Garden Center, Lake Merritt, Oakland, California, Kora Dalager of Bonsai Tour and longtime member of the Bay Area Bonsai Associates (BABA) presented a demonstration and workshop for the club’s members, featuring companion plants for bonsai display. Kora recently returned from a bonsai tour in Japan, where she purchased a number of accentplant pots of varying sizes, shapes, textures, and potteries. In addition, she purchased a quantity of accent plants. Members purchased the pots and plants for the workshop. Notes prepared by Kora were handed out. (more…)

Annual Mammoth Auction and Sale!

lakemer150Join us for the biggest and best bonsai auction and sale in California! February 27-28, 2016 at the Lakeside Garden Center in Oakland, Ca.

Saturday: Auction preview at noon with the auction at 1pm.
Sunday: Vendor sales start at 9am, plant sales start at 10am, and demonstrations at 1pm.

If you would like to donate bonsai, pots, and other related items, contact us before January 2, 2016. This allows us time to evaluate, photograph and catalog all auction items. All procedes for the fundraiser go to support the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt. For more information or to sell trees, visit www.gsbf-lakemerritt.org.



A Weekend of Bonsai Wiring and Styling


On 14 and 15 November 2015, at Petaluma, California, Vale Cruz and I spent the weekend working on bonsai. I asked Vale for his help on wiring collected Sierra Junipers (Juniperus occidentalis). I collected three Sierra Junipers from the Tahoe National Forest with Bob Shimon and other members of the Redwood Empire Bonsai Society (REBS) in 2008. These junipers were all initially wiredand styled by Mike Pistello. I later removed the wire to avoid having the wire cut into the branches. I then decided to let them grow out. It was time again for wiring and styling. Vale worked on two of the larger junipers, while I worked on the smaller of the three.


Kathy Benson Demonstration on Repotting Japanese Black Pine Baikoen Bonsai Kenkyukai

150_Image357November 30th, 2015. Kathy Benson was our guest demonstrator at our last club meeting. She brought tons of detailed information about fall repotting. I know many of you out there would say “repotting” is for beginners, but honestly it’s a great refresher course right before the “major” window for repottingbegins. Thank you Kathy for bringing this subject back into the limelight right before the major push for repotting begins in January. (more…)

Kathy Shaner Demonstrates a Black Pine at the Redwood Empire Bonsai Society (REBS)

150_Image255On November 24, 2015, Redwood Empire Bonsai Society (REBS) conducted its general meeting and demonstration as normal on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Club sensei Kathy Shaner brought in a black pine (Pinus nigra) to demonstrate on. The black pine was estimated to be about 40 years old. Kathy said she like the trunk’s good movement. However, she pointed out many flaws in the tree as a bonsai. Kathy did not have a lot of information on the history or initial styling ofthe black pine. She did not like the overall shape and direction of the primary branches.

Kathy would be working on trying to shape the black pine’s primary branches and cut back on foliage for the demonstration at this time. In January, she will return with the same black pine and repot it in one of several deserving bonsai pots. Then, in June, Kathy will cut candles and goover the black pine again for shape and styling. The demonstration will be auctioned or raffled upon completion of the three sessions.