If this newsletter does not display properly with photos, please view it at www.richmondbonsaisociety.org .


August 2019 Newsletter

The 2018-2020 Officers of Richmond Bonsai Society!

President Randi Heise
Vice President BettyLou Lages
Secretary Wendy Peckham
Treasurer Dave Barker
Board Member at Large:TBD
Past-President Thomas Sones

Regular Meetings, unless otherwise noted, are held the 4th Monday of every month at 7 pm in the Community Room at St. Mary’s Woods, 1257 Marywood Ln., Richmond VA, 23229.

Contact us at info@richmondbonsaisociety.org  or visit us at www.richmondbonsaisociety.org or on Facebook.

Bonsai information, common questions and answers, monthly growing advice, and bonsai links can be found on our website.

In this issue…

President’s Message by Randi Heise

Richmond is currently a member of the Potomac Bonsai Association (PBA).   PBA is a non-profit umbrella organization dedicated to the awareness and practice of the art and horticulture of bonsai, and the collection and art of viewing stones.  PBA consists of local bonsai clubs in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, Richmond and Maryland. Member club’s members are automatically members of PBA and may participate in the activities of any other member club. Member clubs include Baltimore Bonsai Club, Kochino Kai (study group), Northern Virginia Bonsai Society, Brookside Bonsai Society, Maryland Bonsai Association Peaceful Way Bonsai Club and Richmond Bonsai Society. In addition to member club activities, PBA offers opportunities for our members to attend workshops and other activities that are not club specific and offered by offered by PBA.  Two of the largest PBA activities are the Spring Bonsai Symposium, generally held in May and  the upcoming PBA auction on September 9th.   The auction is an excellent opportunity to purchase trees, pots and bonsai supplies.

Notice of PBA activities are emailed to Richmond and then the email is further distributed to our members. If you are interested in attending the workshop, it is important to respond as soon as you receive the email notice. Spaces are limited and fill quickly.  Workshops are often held  at the National Arboretum, 3501 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002.  Others may be held at other northern Virginia locations and workshops sponsored by Richmond are held locally.

Richmond currently pays approximately $500 to PBA as dues.  The amount of the dues is determined annually by the current number of Richmond members. While membership in PBA is voluntarily, in order for the membership to be beneficial to and economical to Richmond members, you need to consider participation in PBA sponsored workshops and study groups.  I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to expand your skills and understanding of bonsai. If you have any questions, please see Randi at any meeting.

Club Directory: We have had several requests for a club directory and I am happy to announce we will be creating a directory with member’s names, email and phone numbers.  If you do not want to be included in the directory, please let me know that you wish to opt out.

Need an Excellent Bonsai Reference? There is no shortage of bonsai resources or bonsai references.  When you are looking up bonsai concerns or any of the “how tos”, please be sure you know the credentials of the person offering the advice AND be sure the temperate zone is applicable to your growing area.  Three top resources are included below:

Michael Hagedorn’s Blog                    https://crataegus.com/blog/
Ryan Neil Weekly Live Stream           https://bonsaimirai.com/education
Bjorn Bjornholm                                   www.bjornbjorholm.com
ONLINE Courses:                                 https://www.bonsaiempire.com/courses


Back to the top.

Calendar of Bonsai Events:

Richmond Bonsai Society Events

August 26                Regular Meeting- Using Landscape and Nursery Stock for Bonsai
September 14-15    RBS Annual Fall Bonsai Show, The Great Big Green House
September 23         Regular Meeting- TBD
October 28              Regular Meeting (Location will be in the Activity Room, not the Community Room.)

Other Organizations
September 14          PBA Auction and Annual Meeting (see Upcoming Events)
December 7-8         Winter Silhouette Show, Kannapolis, NC

The National Bonsai Foundation hosts regular events at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum in Washington, DC. Check out their events at https://www.bonsai-nbf.org/events.

Back to the top.

Recent Activity Reports

July Meeting Report

The July meeting had a special speaker Mike Cartrett who did a demo with a Brazilian raintree from pre-bonsai stock that, after he was done, was well on its way to being a good bonsai. It was auctioned off at the end of the meeting and was purchased by Lois Gray, a newcomer to the club.

Brazilian raintrees are prime material for tropical bonsai with small soft feathery leaves.  Mike wired the branches to down to have the appearance of age and also to add movement to the straight branches.  He also pruned the branches to give it a good shape.  Mike is a big fan of keeping the bonsai in shape through pruning.  Rather than simply letting it grow wild, cut it back to shape in the growing season unless you are trying to thicken a branch.  Why waste the tree’s energy on pieces you are not going to keep.

The main problem with this species is the large number of spikes, two protecting every branch.  Mike advises to cut these off when you first acquire a tree to avoid getting stuck repeatedly when pruning and wiring; the spikes do not grow back.

As he was wiring the tree, he provided a lot of advice, especially for novices.  He suggested that to develop their skills, they start with many inexpensive trees and learn the basics of pruning, wiring and potting, and how to maintain healthy trees.  Choose trees with a strong base, not pencil-thin sticks that get sold as bonsai.  After a couple of years, move to finding a few high quality (more expensive) trees to work with.  The bonsai hobby should be about developing high quality trees and not simply owning nice-looking bonsai.

Upcoming Event Details

Summer Bonsai Basics Class Part 3, August 26, 6 pm., St. Mary’s Woods

The final installment of the 3 part class will run 55 minutes,  composed of 20 minutes of lecture/discussion and 35 minutes of practical application – working on your tree.  This month, will discuss bonsai soil, pots, and the repotting process. Repotting will start with preparing the pot with a drain screen and wires to tie the tree in the pot to avoid tree movement.  Then the tree  will be removed from it potting soil and root pruned before placing it in the pot at the right location and angle and tying it down.  The last step is to add bonsai soil, chopsticking the soil in to eliminated air pockets, and watering it.  The class will then discuss maintaining a healthy bonsai.

Non-participants are welcome to observe. Also, experienced members  are needed to assist the last 30 minutes.

RBS August Meeting, August 26, 7 pm., St. Mary’s Woods

Club member Thomas Sones will lead a presentation and discussion on  , Using Landscape and Nursery Stock for Bonsai  Thomas will be discussing what you should consider when identifying and selecting material for bonsai.  He will also address the difference between the common elements that are “must needs” to develop goods pre-bonsai and what you are able to cultivate using selected material.  We will look at several examples of nursery stock and discuss possible design options. Members are encouraged to bring their nursery stock and bonsai from nursery stock for a bit of show and tell or to get advice from the group on developing the nursery stock.

We have several nurseries in the area with lots of good potential bonsai material and we will discuss a possible group trip to look for good purchase together.

Additionally, we will discuss important plans for our Annual Fall Show, so please be there!

The PBA Auction and Annual Meeting, Saturday, September 14, 9 am.

The action and meeting will be held on  in the Lilac Pavilion at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct, Vienna, VA 22182.AUCTION – Bidding at the PBA Auction is open to the public as well as PBA members.  Only PBA members are able to sell, however. Start considering if you have items you might like to sell. You can sell up to 7 items (or lots) and you will register your items when you arrive on the 14th. PBA gets 20% of the proceeds and the rest goes to the seller. If you plan to sell, try to arrive by 9 a.m. The Auction will start at 10 a.m. Come early to check out the selection. And please spread the word. Share with others and post on social media. We want a good turn out! ANNUAL MEETING- Following the auction, PBA will hold an annual meeting where you will be able to hear PBA updates and vote on any PBA business that requires a vote by the membership. We hope to see you there!

RBS Annual Fall Bonsai Show, Saturday & Sunday, September 14 & 15

Richmond Bonsai Society is partnering with the Great Big Greenhouse to bring bonsai to the public during the weekend of September 14 and 15.  We plan to have space for approximately 25-30 trees.  There will be an area for long time members to show established trees, new members to show newly developed trees and a section for trees under development that will help show the public how bonsai are often created from nursery stock.

In addition to a call for trees, we will need volunteers to fill several shifts on Saturday and Sunday.   A sign-up sheet will be distributed at the August meeting for the you to volunteer for a shift as well as let us know how many trees you would like to show.

Since we are exhibiting trees in greenhouse environment, all trees must be disease and pest free.  If you have any questions regarding the health of your tree, we will have experienced members available when you drop off your trees at the greenhouse.

Back to the top.

Article: Your Tree’s Burned Leaves May Not Be Completely from the Sun

When summer temperatures reach 90° F and above, almost all plants stop or considerably slow down their growth rate. Metabolism, photosynthesis, transpiration and gaseous exchange undergo major changes, forcing the leaves to put mechanisms in place that help reduce the absorption of heat.  Plants actually stop growing and enter a state of “rest”. When weather conditions return to a cooler state, the trees functions begin to work normally again.

During this period, it is important that your attention needs to be focused on watering. The bonsai’s leaves will dry out due to the heat and dehydrated leaves will literally burn.  If the tree is not hydrated, the leaves begin to go dry and turn brown on their outer edges, and if the plant is not quickly watered, including being sprayed with a fine mist, they will end up drying out completely. It is easy to understand that when the amount of water lost through foliar transpiration and evaporation is greater than the amount being absorbed, the leaves will wither.

If the imbalance is only slight and does not last long, normal conditions can quickly be re-established by watering, with no permanent damage to the leaves. will be recorded. Only photosynthesis and growth will be temporarily inhibited. Without watering, the loss of water will spread from the leaves to the trunk and right down to the roots, and the leaves will fall off within a few days. As with leaf loss in late autumn, the loss of all leaves in advance through drying out is not always a sign that the plant is dead. If the buds for the following spring have been produced, and the dehydration has not affected the branches, trunk or roots, the plant will bud normally in the spring.

Back to the top.

Other Announcements and information

Six Month Financial Report , Dave Barker, Treasurer

Below is the half-year financial report, January 1 – June 30.  RBS is a non-profit organization with all income going to club activities including special speakers, materials for workshops, refreshments, and our membership in the Potomac Bonsai Association (PBA).  All spending is approved by the RBS board.  If you have any questions about the financial report, please contact Dave Barker, RBS treasurer, after the August meeting.

Board Change in Use of Paypal for Workshops

The RBS Board changed the policy with regard to paying for workshops in 2018 through Paypal. The price of a workshop paid for using Paypal will include the Paypal service fee of roughly 4 percent. So for a workshop costing $50, the price on our website will show $52 for the Workshop if paid online. The workshop price, if paying by check or cash, will be $50. If you have any questions on the new policy, contact Dave Barker, RBS Treasurer.

RBS Board Position Needs To Be Filled

As many of you know, there have been some changes to our Board of Directors since the election last year. Dave Barker was appointed to fill the remaining term of the Treasurer leaving the Board Member At Large position available. If you are interested in stepping in to fill the remainder of this term (until May 2020), please speak to Randi.

Donate a Book or Magazine: RBS maintains a lending library available to members. The lending selection includes many magazines, books, and some videos. If you have books or magazines that you no longer enjoy, please donate them to the club.

For sale:

Mixed Bonsai Soil -regular and shohin soil (fine) 5 gal bags. Call Lee (804-869-1257) to place a special order.

Notice: RBS mails printed newsletters upon request. We encourage members to update their member records and switch to electronic versions of the newsletter when possible. If you receive a printed version, but would prefer electronic, please inform the club secretary or reply to this mailing.

Back to the top.