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Tuesday July 10th: Japan Slide Show

Japan in April is stunning, with shimmering cherry blossoms, bright green and red maples and beautifully trimmed pines everywhere. Plus bonsai of course. We saw some amazing ones in Kyoto and at Omiya Bonsai Village in Saitama City. At the July Tuesday meeting, I will be showing a few (less than 1000, I promise) slides, including a few of the Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples that were so prevalent, you’d be hard-pressed to throw a sacred stone and not hit one. We saw the largest outdoor Buddha in Japan and the amazing Ishi Doro (lanterns) of Nara. There are also some nice shots of me in a silk kimono (not!). Meet and greet begins at 7 p.m., the meeting at 7:30. See you all there!

~ Ernie

President’s Message: New Season Of Workshops Begin

Welcome to our new members who participated in the Bonsai Basics Workshop in June. I hope to see you often at our meetings and workshops. I think that you will find the club is a congenial and helpful group that grows some very nice little trees. Speaking of workshops, a new semester of them begins this month. Fill out and bring the entry form to the Tuesday meeting or mail it to the club’s PO box. This month’s guest instructor is Ted Matson, curator of the bonsai collection at the Huntington in San Marino and one of the best teachers you will find anywhere. I had the privilege of previewing Ernie Witham’s presentation on his recent trip to Japan, but I will be out of town and unable to attend our meeting, as will a record number of other members, so if you are able to be there, please make the effort to do so. You and Ernie will both be glad you did. Next month our annual Summer potluck happens. Tina Hammond has offered to have it at her house. You might remember that she was going to host our Winter potluck but had to cancel because of the awful air quality during the Thomas Fire.

~ Joe

Last Month: Group Critique Of Member’s Tree

We had a tree-mendous turnout for our last group critique. So much so that we had to branch out around the table and trim the time we spent on some trees. Still, members were showered with sage advice and many went home with food for thought (organic, of course). Steve Gibson brought in a nice collection of multi-colored colanders that he uses for his shohin trees, so he’s never short of cash for buying final pots. Joe Olson, who has more oaks than Oak Park, brought in a nice Konara Oak that he was wondering if he should remove a branch from. Lynn Lopez brought in an uptight, er, upright Zelcova that was struggling a bit, so it was suggested she let it grow. Jeff Sczechowski brought in a spruce that had a large jin coming out of the top. He called it the Voldemont, because he poked himself in the forehead with the jin and left a mark on his forehead like Harry Potter. We suggested he remove the jin before he puts an eye out (also, it didn’t add to the tree). Tom Post brought in one of his 2000 bouganvillea that we all agreed needed a new apex. I brought in a twin trunk boxwood. Some people thought I should cut off one trunk or the other. Or turn it around to a new front. That’s why I like round pots. Several of our new members brought in their beginning workshop trees. All-in-all a great meeting. Ernie


World Class Bonsai Sale, July 7 & 8

There will be a private collection reduction sale of a large collection of world class bonsai on July 7th and 8th 2018 in Los Angeles California. Well over one hundred bonsai will be offered for sale, a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire some excellent specimen bonsai. Many large one of a kind trees will be available. All bonsai will be sold and must be removed on the weekend of sale. Most of these trees are quite large and will require a van or small truck. Arrangements for removal from sale site and to a local nursery for later pick up will be possible for a fee. Shipping may be an option if buyer makes all arrangements for pickup and delivery. Trees can be crated at cost ($25 per man/hour plus materials) and buyer will make all arrangements and payments for shipping. Many of the trees will require at least two people to crate due to size.

Please Note: This sale is being held in a private gated community. Attendees MUST RSVP by private message at least 48 hours prior to the sale in order to be passed through security. Absolutely no one will be admitted into the community without an RSVP. These are the community rules.

• The Bonsai Collection Reduction sale begins on Saturday July 7th, starts at 9am and will end at 3pm. No one will be admitted early. Second sales day will be Sunday July 8th starting at 10am until 3 pm
• Trees will be double tagged and everyone must take one tag to cashier and pay. Any tree that does not have a double tag is sold. No one carries a tree except for employees.
• Cash and Carry on days of Sale. Cash and Credit Cards Only
• Trees will be offered for sale this one time only. All prices are firm and final. All info can be found on the Facebook Page. Prices will range from $25.00- $40,000.00

Obon Festival, Santa Barbara, July 21

Once again, our club has been asked to bring trees to the Buddhist Temple of Santa Barbara, 1015 East Montecito Street, for a bonsai display during their Obon Festival. If you would like to show a tree, please contact Joe Olson at It is a fun day with drumming dancing, food and more. The Temple says: “The Buddhist observance of Obon has its origins in the scripture Ullambana Sutra spoken by the Buddha. The sutras are the sacred scriptures of Buddhism, and serve as records of the interactions that the Buddha had with various people during the 45 years that he spent sharing the Dharma. The Ullambana Sutra describes an occasion when one of the Buddha’s two chief disciples, Mahamaudgalyayana (pronouced “Ma-ha-mode-gall-yaa-ya-na”), went to the Buddha seeking guidance.

This ancient story is rich in meaning for us. It encourages us to be mindful of how the kindness and generosity of those who have come before continues to touch our lives in so many ways. This Obon season provides many opportunities for us to practice the Buddha’s teachings by showing kindness and generosity, or dana, for each other as we remember our departed loved ones. Some people practice dana by volunteering to plan fun games or perform beautiful music. Some show kindness by joining Buddhist Services and providing support and comfort for those who may still feel the natural sadness of parting as they remember a loved one who departed for the Other Shore.”

Now – September 30, Fresno, California

Clark Bonsai Collection: “Going Native” a bonsai exhibition at the Clark Bonsai Collection in Shinzen Friendship Gardens, Woodward Park. Exhibition lecture by Curator Bob Hilvers on June 9 at 10 AM. Join us and marvel at desert Junipers over a thousand years old or an ancient Live Oak known as the Del Monte ogre. Gaze in wonder at a Pygmy Cypress that displays the very image of a coastal monarch yet is only 30 inches tall. See the rarest of the rare, a Monterey Pine bonsai. These and other wonders of the art of bonsai will be on display. Visit us at for more information.