You are currently viewing May 2022 – The Big Show!
Wally Kunimoto, Juniper Shimpaku, Informal Upright, 24" Tall

The Administration Says: We Need You!

With each passing year, I increasingly view the next in the context of my bonsai schedule. Just four months into this new year, spring repotting is already behind me (having missed my preferred pine repotting window). Now we are all hurtling toward a whole new set of pinching and pruning tasks vital to tree shape and energy balance. Similarly, the Bonsai Club is entering a crucial phase of strategic growth and development as we anticipate our fast-approaching Club Show on May 21st and 22nd. 

Allan Hemmy

Historically, through their own passion for bonsai and aided by recurring in-person activities, a few members have become more involved in the Club each year. The last 2 years of online meetings without community-building events have made it challenging to cultivate such engagement. We hope that, as the Club returns to in-person meetings and workshops, meeting turnout and participation increases. At our new meeting and workshop location – Bethany Congregational Church – we are excited to re/unite in person with current members as well as to engage church members (many of Japanese descent) and the local community in bonsai. 

Our meetings and workshops are for YOU! If you have a tree needing help or even just timing questions, bring it to a workshop.  If you are interested in attending and/or helping to plan workshops, please email Carol or Steve. While you’re at it, consider volunteering to help with workshop set-up, break-down, and clean-up. Let’s leave our new space cleaner than we found it, and make a good impression on our new hosts.

Meeting and workshop engagement builds momentum to put on a Club Show on par with the quality shows of past years. We should all consider showing a tree. Much of the key work to prepare trees for the show is taking place right now. If you have questions about showing a tree, whether you should show a tree (yes, you should), or if your tree is ready to show (it is), please email us or post to the Google Group page (email bonsaiclubSantaBarbara@gmail.com for the link). Don’t let lack of a display table or the right accent planting prevent you from entering a tree. You can borrow tables, wood slabs, and accents from other club members, and if there is a need or interest we may be able to rent stands from a local bonsai nursery. 

We will also have a couple of tables to display “Trees in Training” in a less formal display (stands, accent plants, etc. are optional). This is a great opportunity for members who are new to bonsai to display a tree they hope to be in a future Club Show. Beyond showing a tree, there are many ways to help before and during the Show. Start now by sharing the Show flyer with family, friends, neighbors, colleagues at work, and community groups.  Contact Carol or come to the May meeting to pick up a handful or two of flyers to distribute.

It takes all of us to put on a truly good show. The rewards are great – the satisfaction of displaying the culmination of years of work on a tree and sharing that impression or feeling that a tree or planting invokes. You can also take personal rewards from the Club Show, as this is our chance to generate revenue to fund programs and activities to advance your bonsai skills. We plan to have a vendor for bonsai, pre-bonsai, and ceramic containers. This is a huge opportunity to purchase bonsai and supplies while avoiding L.A. traffic and a second mortgage to fill your gas tank.

For Club newbies to long-timers, we strive to provide the resources to grow and thrive within your pursuit of bonsai. Please share your ideas, questions, challenges, and concerns via email or in person. See you at the Show if not sooner!


Tuesday, May 10, 7-9 PM Ann Erb: Tools: Proper Use And Care

Bethany Congregational Church, 556 North Hope Avenue. I think Ann has more tools than Home Depot! And like her trees, most have their own history. But one thing they all have in common is that they are well cared for. This month Ann will show us some of her special tools, explain the proper use for them, and she will show us how to clean and sharpen our tools to extend their useful lifespan. 

Last Month, Ann Erb – Show Preparation

Besides tools, I think Ann Erb, SBBC’s Show Designer, has more little tables than IKEA! Last month she showed us how to prepare a tree for showing, including light pruning, cleaning pots, picking the right size and style of stand, and how to choose an accent plant that, well, accents, but does not overwhelm.  

The Big Show! May 21-22: Trinity Lutheran Church: Be There!

909 La Cumbre Road at the corner of Foothill Road. Please note the times: Saturday 11 am to 4 pm, and Sunday 11 am to 4 pm. Church services end at 10:30 on Sunday. That gives us 30 minutes for the congregation to head home before people start arriving for the show. 

Show trees must be dropped off at Trinity Lutheran by 9 am on Saturday and picked up Sunday at 4 pm. ALL sale items must have a sticker attached with your initials and a number on them that corresponds with the Sale Form you are also receiving with this newsletter. Club Members receive 70% of sales.    

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. 

Our New Vendor Will Be Legacy Cork Oaks Of Hacienda Heights

Here are a few of the items they will be supplying:

Upcoming And Ongoing

The CBS Ben Oki annual scholarship application opens May 1st. The link with details is from last year but all the info and contact is the same: https://www.californiabonsaisociety.com/post/the-ben-oki-bonsai-scholarship-fund.

I’m not sure if we want to shill for Stone Lantern, but I saw they are offering $5 off the pre-order on David De-Groot’s expanded 2nd edition of his Principles of Bonsai Design. I would put his original edition in the top 5 best overall bonsai design books: https://stonelantern.com/collections/featured-sale/products/principles-of-bonsai-design-by-david-de-groot.

Regarding the library, I am inventorying the library and it appears from the checkout sheet that we are still missing several items (~8 books & magazines) checked out pre-pandemic in 2019. If you have a library material, please bring it to the May meeting or email bonsaiclubsantabarbara@gmail.com to confirm that you have the item. We are in the process of consolidating the library with the hope that we might house it onsite at our meeting location. But we need to get a good idea on the amount of space needed.

We have the option to order durable plastic name badges with magnetic backing from a local shop for the price of $9 each if we order more than 15 at a time. Here is a picture of a sample badge, however the final ones that we order will have rounded corners. The badges are 100% optional, but certainly are a nice touch for the show when we are interacting with the public. In order to get them by show time, we will need to put in our order by May 6th.

After the initial order, we can still order them in batches of 5 for $10 each or single name tags for $14 each. If you would like one, please email the bonsaiclubsantabarbara@gmail.com with your name as you would like it spelled. You can mail us a check, pay at a meeting, or we will also create a link on the website to pay. We will also print blank sticker badges that we can fill in the day of the show for anyone that would like one.