Happy Birthday Harry Hirao!

Happy Birthday HarryWe would like to wish Harry Hirao a Happy 98th Birthday! The photo was taken in front of a California Juniper that Harry donated to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park Bonsai Pavilion.  Volunteers from the San Diego Bonsai Club and San Pu Kai Bonsai Club maintain the bonsai trees and garden in the Pavilion.

Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt’s Mammoth Fundraiser 2015

mamth_150It wasn’t just another annual fundraiser. It was a celebration. “From the raw earth… A garden grew” thanks to hundreds of volunteers who put in countless hours turning this raw patch of the Park at Lake Merritt into a bonsai garden. Fifteen years later it has grown from this humble beginning into a world class museum known as the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt (BGLM).” (more…)

The Dai Ichi Gazette

dai_ichi_G_150The Dai Ichi Gazette was the winning large club newsletter in 2014. It continues to be the best by its monthly content, use of quality photographs and graphics, inclusion of video clips, creative style and ingenuity. It serves to inform its membership and welcomes sharing with the greater bonsai community. Congratulations to the editor and contributors, who make this club newsletter a must read. Information posted to their website shows Dai Ichi Bonsai Kai (“Number One” Bonsai Club) was established in January 1986 and takes great pride in its family-oriented character. (more…)

Transporting California Trees to The Artisans Cup

transp_150I assume by now you are aware of The Artisans Cup will be held September 25 – 27, 2015, at The Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon. It has been a long and challenging road for Ryan Neil and Michael Hagedorn to bring this much-anticipated event to the greater bonsai community.

Information on submitting a tree for the exhibition is available in The Artisans Cup publicity at  http://www.theartisanscup.com. I have heard a number of Californians express their reluctance to send a tree out of the State for fear of not being able to bring it back into California. The purpose of this article is to assure you that it is possible, and how it will work.  (more…)

Ryan Neil Work Session at the Huntington

150RNImage250In December 2014, Ryan Neil came down for a second phase of his work on a number of old California junipers in the bonsai collections at The Huntington Library Art Collections & Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California. This was a follow-up to a major repotting session from two years ago. At that time, a group of trees that had lost their stability over many years–mostly through base wood decay–needed quite complex anchoring to position them so they could recover in a manner that would preserve their bonsai potential. Now, by allowing those trees to grow untouched for two years, all the trees had solid root masses (although still some fragile wood in some trees) and large volumes of healthy, mature foliage which indicated that it was okay to rework them into new designs based on the new stable growing positions. However, Ryan also pointed out that part of the effort on these trees has to include working them in a more appropriate manner to ensure that the refinement of the structure is reestablished and able to be maintained over time without producing the kind of coarse, vigorous re-growth that takes it away. (more…)

GSBF Bonsai Collection News

huntIn 2014, we’ve seen continued progress in the overall health of the bonsai collections at the Huntington Library Art Collections & Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California. We are in the third year of our repotting program, and are on track to have all remaining trees in good soils within the next two years. We had an incident of juniper blight earlier this year and a number of junipers, both domestic and native, were affected. We implemented a treatment program and most all are well on their way to recovery, with only one really continuing to show stress. That tree continues to be monitored. Ray Blasingame continues to manage the GSBF Shohin collection, watering, fertilizing and regularly changing the display. There were some acquisitions this past year through donations. Most are not collection quality and will be culled at future Bonsai-A-Thons. (more…)

Thread Grafting Roots with Ted Matson

ted-150Do you have a Trident maple with poor nebari or an unsightly bulge near the base of the trunk? Take heart, you don’t have to just live with it or wait many years for a correction. Thread grafting of new roots is the answer. It will quickly provide new, mature roots. You can also look at possible new material with a different perspective knowing that you’re not stuck with poor roots forever on an otherwise nice tree. Ted Matson’s demonstration at the Bonsai Club of Santa Barbara’s January 2015 meeting made it look downright easy (but then you do have to remember that just about anything Ted does appears to be effortless). Winter, while the trees are dormant, is the time to do this work. (more…)

The American

amer150By Mauro Stemberger

“A trip is from restless seeking new answers and return calm with a thousand other questions.”

The chance to travel and cultivate my passion is one of the things I love most in my life. During the month of May 2012, immediately after participating in the Exhibition Italian National UBI, I travelled to the United States to spend 10 days visiting new places and doing what I love, Bonsai. The person who made it possible for my trip is the famous American Bonsaiist Jim Doyle, who runs Nature’s Way Nursery in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. My journey made various visits to New York, Harrisburg, Washington DC, and to the Kennett Collection in Kennett, Pennsylvania, where I could work on some specimens, including a San Jose Juniper (Juniperus San Jose) of considerable dimensions. (more…)