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Tuesday April 10th: Bob Pressler, Boxwood Part 3: 7:30 – 9:00 PM

Bob Pressler, owner of Kimura Nursery in Northridge returns for the grand finale of his boxwood-in-progress. In July 2016, he brought in a triple-trunk boxwood and did an initial pruning, turning an overgrown bush into a bunjin style bonsai, also adding interesting features to the trunk. He returned in October 2017 and drastically shortened one of the trunks. He cut off a lot of foliage and wired all the branches. He said his final steps will be to carve the shortened branch to give it taper and to find a suitable pot. But who knows what other surprises the meeting holds? He might make it into a shohin! Meet and greet begins at 7 p.m., the meeting at 7:30. See you all there!

President’s Message: Looking Forward!

My trees were very happy to get the recent rains. The downside is that they are leafing out much faster than I can pinch them back. I managed to collect 350 gallons or so of rainwater which I hope will keep my maples happier for longer than they have been in years. Their leaves have always looked like crispy potato chips by the end of summer. Maybe this year will be different. I hope that you are getting ready for our show next month. Please seriously consider entering a tree (or two). If you wait for it to be perfect, it will never leave the bench in your backyard. At the very least, bring something you have been working on, in whatever stage it’s in and whatever container it’s in, to display in our informal Trees-in-Training display which we will have set up separately from the main display. Also, be thinking about items for the sale and items that you might be willing to donate to the silent auction, both of which benefit the club’s treasury.

~ Joe

Last Month: Tom Post: Air Layering, Cuttings & Roots Oh My!

Once again, the newsletter saves the day! Tom Post was all set to give a lecture on the art of propagating cuttings, when he reread the March newsletter and found out that I said he was doing an air-layering demo. So he scurried about until he found a tree to use. Ah, the power of the press! First Tom cut around the tree an area equal to the diameter of the truck, then he put a piece of wire around the top of the cut. “This helps swell what will be the new base of the tree.” He said to make sure you get rid of all the green or the tree will grow around the cut. Tom then put root tone on cut, wrapped it are in sphaghum moss and wrapped a container around it, filling it with soil. He said he should have new roots by the end of the year. For his cuttings, he brought in a peach tree, partially because he wanted to see what kind of roots it had. He has had great luck with propagating apple tree roots, which are quite twisty. “You never know what’s in the pot,” he said exploring the roots. Sometimes in my pots I find an ugly spider. Then I have to search on the other side of the patio wall for the pot I just threw. Tom saves empty juice containers, which he puts over his cuttings to make a mini hot house. First he shaves the base of the cuttings and applies root tone. He said his wife is always glad to hear, a few years later, that they now have 37 new little trees.

~ Ernie

Third Saturday Workshops: Kathy Benson : April 21: 9am & 1pm

Kathy Benson has a degree in fine arts and has designed and painted prints, posters, and greeting cards. She utilizes her art background in her approach to her bonsai work. Self-taught, she began styling bonsai while living on the east coast. She strives to design and create a natural look to her bonsai. Kathy moved to California in 1975 and joined the local bonsai community. She has been doing bonsai demonstrations for many years and is a regular featured artist at the annual Bonsai-A-Thon. This is the last of our Spring workshops and there are only a few spots open. Send a check for $35 to the PO box, or contact Joe at:

Upcoming: April 14-15, San Jose, California

San Jose Betsuin Bonsai Club: 47th Annual Spring Exhibit at the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin, 640 North Fifth Street. Hours are Noon – 5 PM Saturday and Noon – 4 PM Sunday with demonstration at 1PM both days. Sales of plants and pots by the club and sales by vendors. For information call Jim Urhausen (408) 275-8059.

April14-15, Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz Bonsai Kai: 30th Annual Bonsai Show at the Museum of Art & History, 705 Front Street. Show hours are from 10 AM – 5 PM with demonstration at 2 PM both days. Demonstration tree and trees prepared by club members will be part of the raffle after each day’s demonstration. Sales area will include quality vendor and member trees, pots, and other related bonsai items. For more information, contact Ed Lambing at

April 28-29, 2018 San Diego, California

San Diego Bonsai Club: Spring Show at the Casa Del Prado, Room 101, Balboa Park. Show hours are 10 AM – 5 PM with demonstrations at 11 AM and 1 PM both days. Free admission; there will be Bonsai plants, Bonsai Pots for sale, as well as other bonsai-related items. For more information visit, or contact Abe Far 619-384-000

May 19-20, BCSB, Trinity Lutheran Church

The Annual Bonsai Club of Santa Barbara show and sale will be held this year at Trinity Lutheran Church, 909 La Cumbre Road at the corner of Foothill Road. 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. Besides bringing trees, pots, tools, and other bonsai-related items for sale, John Bleck wants to remind everyone that donations for the silent auction are greatly appreciated. The silent auction has become one of the more popular events at the show and all proceeds directly benefit our club, enabling us to continue to provide workshops and demonstrations of the highest caliber.

Further show info:

Saturday 11 am to 4 pm
Sunday noon to 4 pm

Plant Sale by Bonsai Club Members
Bonsai Demonstrations at 1:00 p.m. both days
Upcoming Beginners’ Workshop Info
Free Bonsai Problem Clinic

Member’s Corner: Bringing A Bonsai To Life

So, at last May’s BCSB Annual Show and Sale, Mel Ikeda, one of our featured demonstrators, created a mountain scape out of red lava stone and one multi-trunk juniper. He attached it to a plywood base and left the roots in a nursery bucket, also attached to the board. I won the mountain scape in a silent auction. And last month, I procured a hand-made slab designed by long-time Club member, Susanne Barrymore. And with Mel’s help at our March workshop, was able to transfer the mountain scape onto the slab. Shortly after I got it home and put it onto my bonsai shelf, it began to take on a personality of it’s own! The god of the mountain scape seemed to be saying: “You’d better feed me and take good care of me!” Which I fully plan on doing! For those of you reading this who might be a bit frightened for me, it’s okay. The face appeared during our three days of rain and disappeared when the sun came out.

~ Ernie