Golden State Bonsai Federation and American Bonsai Society presents 2014 Convention XXXVII “Bonsai Visions of the West” in Sacramento, CA. Early Bird Full Registration runs July 1st – August 15.  Register online today! Click Here!

Marin Bonsai Club Annual Fair Bonsai Exhibition

150“Bonsai Beauty. Bonsai is the ancient art of replicating the shape and style of fully grown trees in a miniature environment. Many of the bonsai at the Marin County Fair are over 100 years old and are still living very happily! Come and be inspired by the sheer majesty and diversity of the trees, and meet Marin Bonsai Club docents who love to share their knowledge of cultivation techniques and maintenance care. More than sixty unique tree specimens will be on display – ranging from inches to feet in size, and in a variety of classic bonsai styles and species.” (more…)

Soup Bonsai

Image257-150Story and Photos by Chris Zanella
Redwood Empire Bonsai Society (REBS)

The June 2014 club demonstration was conducted by Steve Price, whose family owns Lone Pine Gardens in Sebastopol, California. Steve brought in a Dwarf European Olive tree. Steve started off the evening by discussing the characteristics of Olive trees. He likes to use Olive trees as bonsai because they adapt very well to living in a container, their small leaves, attractive trunks, they can get an aged look quickly, and some of the varieties will produce fruit. He also added that Olive bonsai do not like long periods of cold. He has had little to no problems with disease or insects with his Olive trees because Olive trees are very disease-resistant. (more…)

Inspiration of the Sierra Juniper

150By George Haas

Last fall of 2013, Don Van Dyke, Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) Golden Statements Photographer, Ken McLeod, owner of Suisekistones.com, and me drove over the Sonora Pass, California, elevation 9,624 feet, in search of big Sierra Junipers (Juniperus occidentalis ssp. australis). We wanted to photograph the biggest, oldest Sierra Junipers we could find in the region. We wanted to see up close the physical characteristics of the mature Sierra Juniper, such as the trunk and multiple trunks, size, bark, foliage, deadwood features, and other environmental stresses endured by these magnificent trees. We found an old stand of trees and inspiration. (more…)

Sansui Kai of Southern California Annual Exhibit

Image356_150The Sansui Kai Club of Southern California held their 2014 annual Bonsai Exhibit at the Sepulveda Gardens on Saturday June 14th and Sunday June 15th. Club President Jack Reynolds conducted a bonsai demonstration on a Shimpaku Juniper. The Exhibit was held in concert with the Los Angeles Cactus & Succulent Society 14th Annual Show. There was a sales table featuring both beginner’s material and finished Bonsai trees. Sansui Kai meets every second Wednesday at 7:30 PM at the Sepulveda Garden Center in Encino, California. (more…)

The GSBF Collection at The Huntington

Image250Golden State Bonsai Federation Collection South

Message from the Chairman Bob Ahlstrom

Thank you to all the participants in the 2014 Bonsai-A- Thon. Our Demonstrators, Vendors, Committee Members, Donors, and everyone that attended and helped fill the raffle tables helped to make the occasion a great success. The Bonsai-A-Thon is our once a year opportunity to raise funds for the GSBF Collection South at the Huntington Gardens. Speaking of the Collection, I have had many bonsai enthusiasts tell me that the trees are looking better than ever. Ben Oki, Curator, along with Ted Matson and Ray Blasingame raised the quality of the trees considerably. See Ted’s report later in this newsletter. (more…)

6th Annual Show Valley Bonsai Society

150Photographs by Charles Harder

The Valley Bonsai Society held their 6th Annual Show at the Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore, California on June 14 and 15, 2014. Show hours were from 10 AM to 4 PM. Mike Baker performed a demonstration on a 20-25 year old nursery stock juniper on Saturday. Sam Adina was scheduled to perform a demonstration on Sunday. The finished demo trees were raffled off at the end of each demonstration. Member sales table and door prizes were available. Admission was free. In addition, Jerry Braswell was vending suiseki and custom made diazas. The club’s website offers additional information at www.Valleybonsaisociety.com. (more…)

Organic Nitrogen

150By George Haas     

(Petaluma, California, November 2013) I have been interested in bonsai for about eight years now. I consider myself a beginner and my collection a good start. With the exception of one or two mature bonsai, the collection is mostly in growing containers or training pots. I am for the most part at the horticultural level of bonsai development. Everyone in bonsai wants to have healthy, growing plants. Our instructors and fellow hobbyists emphasize having a schedule of regular feeding of fertilizers year round. That means we find a regimen and stick to it for healthy plants. Then, there is the question of what type of fertilizer should I use — organic or chemical? Most of my instructors would say use organic versus chemical fertilizers. If you’re not careful with watering, over time chemicals build up unwanted salts and hard, crusty surfaces making it difficult for water to flow through it. I found this to be true when using chemicals. (more…)

19th Annual Suiseki Show California Suiseki Society

logo-150Photographs by Nils Schirrmacher

The California Suiseki Society held their 19th Annual Show at the Lakeside Garden Center, Lake Merritt, in Oakland, California. Admission was free. The show featured suiseki stones collected and mounted on their wooden bases by the club members from various California sites. Show hours were from 10 AM to 4 PM. Raffle. Sales area offered suiseki and viewing stones as well as Asian objects and artwork. (more…)