March 2018 – Tom Post

Tom Post – Air Layering

Tom PostLong-time member and ex-president, Tom Post, will present a class on air layering on Tuesday evening at the usual spot — Room 7, Goleta Valley Community Center. Air-layering should always be done during the spring, when the tree has already started growing after its winter rest. Lately, I rest a lot and I’m growing a lot. Maybe I need to be air-layered! You can use air-layering for several purposes; reducing the length of a trunk, growing a better nebari (root flare or surface roots) or selecting a branch to be grown as a separate tree. The idea behind air layering is to force the tree or one of its branches to form new roots. To do this you must interrupt the nutrient flow from the current root system. Tom will be demonstrating how to do this without killing the tree. We hope. Tom will also be discussing propagating cuttings from trees. Meet and greet begins at 7 p.m., the meeting at 7:30.

President’s Message: Looking Forward!

Time flies and it’s time to start thinking seriously about our annual show and sale which is only a little over two months away. We’re in the middle of measuring our new space at Trinity Lutheran Church and trying to see how we can best use it. We have a lot of room, but wouldn’t you know it, the church is in the middle of abating unexpected lead and asbestos in the main chapel, so we are going to have to share much of our floor space in Fellowship Hall with their parishioners on Sunday morning until about 11:00. Maybe we can even proselytize and recruit a few new members from their members. In any case, have no fear, our club is nothing if not adaptable and flexible, so you can expect another excellent show. We’d like to have as many of our members as possible display at least one tree, so we plan to set aside space for an informal trees-in-training display where even the newest member can show something they are working on, even if it’s only been in training since Tuesday.

~ Joe

Last Month: Mel Ikeda – Bunjin

Once again Mel Ikea turned an unsightly, overgrown bush in a bucket into a stylized bonsai, one that still needs work, but, hey, don’t they all? He said if you are trying to pick something out with potential and you have the opportunity, watch how a pro goes about it. You need good material to start and that means something with a taper. Mel started with a prostrata from a nursery up north that was 10-15 years old and had grown straight sideways. He turned it up on end to create a tall, tapering tree, then cut most of the lower branches off, leaving stubs for a natural look. Then with the help of Tom Post, he wired it and bent it to the point that we were all cringing waiting for the snap. But it didn’t snap — another way that pros differ from us, or me anyway. Mel saved the lowest branch and after stripping it, bent it into the pot in hopes that it would turn into a new root. He said the tree should have a long twisting shari added at a later date. He then donated the tree to the Club for a future raffle.

~ Ernie

Third Saturday Workshop: Mel Ikeda : March 17

Mel IkedaLike a good-luck penny, Mel Ikeda keeps coming back! Last month he demonstrated making a bunjin style juniper. This month he will be at GVCC to help you work on your trees. Mel Ikeda’s father, Masayuki Ikeda, owned Ikeda Bonsai Garden. This gave Mel the unique experience of growing up around Harry Hirao, Khan Komai, John Naka, Kenji Miyata and others who eventually became his teachers. Mel conducts demonstrations throughout the United States and was a headliner at the 2009 Bonsai Ohana II Convention in Hawaii. He is active in many clubs, serving on their boards as well as that of the Golden State Bonsai Federation, where he performed several demonstrations at the recent 2018 Bonsai-a-Thon. As usual, he donated his results to the Bonsai-a-Thon auction, where they brought in hundreds of dollars for the GSBF.

Upcoming: March 24, 2018 Hacienda Heights, California

Legacy Cork Oaks Spring Clearance Sale. Large specimens in 10 & 15 gallon containers, approximately 40 years old. Limited quantities at $150-$250 per tree. One day only, Saturday March 24, 8 AM TO 12 PM. Call 626-826-6250 for more info.

March 24-25, 2018 Oakland, California

Bay Area Bonsai Associates: 37th Annual Bonsai Exhibition at the Lakeside Park Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Avenue. Show hours are 5 – 9 PM Saturday and 12 noon – 4 PM Sunday. Light dinner at 5:30 PM Saturday followed by a bonsai demonstration by club members from 6:30 to 9 PM. Benefit drawing of demo tree(s). Winning ticket must be present to win. Sales of plants, bonsai, and other bonsai related items both days. Admission is free. Parking fee to the Lakeside Park entrance is required during the park hours. For more information, please contact Janice Dilbeck

March 24-25, 2018 Tucson, Arizona

Tucson Bonsai Society: 46th annual exhibition in the pavilion at the Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. Show hours are 9 AM to 4 PM daily. Show in the pavilion will feature 24 trees, while the intermediate and beginning students trees will be staged outside pavilion. Continuous demos by club mentors, bonsai for sale and raffle. Bonsai Basics 3-session classes start in April. Garden admission for adults of $13 include all features of the gardens, such as the butterfly greenhouse and Zen garden. Visit website at:

Member’s Trees: Joe Olson

Well, these aren’t actually Joe’s trees, though if he could have figured out how to get one in his luggage without getting caught he might have brought one back from South America. Maybe he could have put a collar around one called it a “an emotional support companion tree,” and brought it onto the airplane with him. Here is what Joe has to say: “The highest growing tree in the world, Polylepis tarapacana, known locally as Queñoa, grows in sparse and scattered stands in the high Andes of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. This California Juniper-sized small tree of the Rose family grows at altitudes above 13,000 feet. The highest tree is found in Bolivia at an altitude of over 17,000 feet. These pictures were taken in northern Chile at an elevation of 15,000-plus feet near the Bolivian border.”