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I’m extremely happy and relieved to report that we have almost a full slate of ready, able, and willing officers for 2021! The club constitution calls for elections in November, but as long as I have been a member we have never had a contested election, so unless there are immediate objections I will assume that our proposed new officers are once again elected by acclamation

Jeff Sczechowski and Allan Hemmy will act as a team to lead the club, with Jeff as the President and Allan as the Vice-President. Together, they have some fresh new ideas to build and maintain interest in the club both during the current pandemic and beyond. Carol Hicks will transition from Vice President to being our new Treasurer. Ernie Witham will take over the Webmaster duties from Anna Baker as well as continue to write the club’s excellent newsletter. A big Thank You to all of you!

I’d also like to thank Tina Hammond for her excellent service as Treasurer for the last four years, as well as all the appointed officers who will continue into the new year. As for me, I’m very happy to know the club will be in capable hands.

I said we have almost a full slate of officers. We are just one short. We need a new Secretary-Historian to replace outgoing incumbent John Bleck. If there is any chance you would like to help the club by filling the position, please let me or President-elect Jeff Sczechowski know! The primary duty of the Secretary is to attend board meetings, take down minutes, and send them to the board, as well as to maintain a copy for the files.    Joe


In case you haven’t seen this, GSBF Fresno is selling some of the trees from the collection at the annual swap meet. Also anyone can sell trees at the meet. It might be of interest to other members. Here is the notice.      Allan Hemmy

“Please spread the word with the bonsai folks you know regarding this annual event.  Social distancing and face masks will be required but this is an outdoor event and the weather promises to be perfect.  Due to the onset of the pandemic restrictions earlier this year the GSBF Clark Bonsai
Collection in Shinzen Gardens has been closed to the public until recently and this will be our only fundraising opportunity for 2020.  Over twenty bonsai de-accessioned from the Clark Bonsai Collection and private collections including an unworked California Juniper collected by Harry Hirao,  a massive 500 year old Calif. Juniper, a rare Pygmy Cypress, Coast Live Oaks, and more will be offered for auction.  In addition, tables upon tables full of bonsai, pre-bonsai, plants and related bonsai items will be presented during this one-day annual event.  Don’t miss the opportunity to discover what many bonsai enthusiasts from around the State have already learned – the Fresno Bonsai Yard Sale is the place to find bargains, meet old friends and enjoy a day of bonsai.”


On the left is a cork bark elm that is partially losing it’s leaves — so let’s pretend that it got pruned.

I did snip off a few branches to take this photo. I have let it grow out to more of an umbrella shape per advice in Ted Madsen’s workshop. It was in a cone shape when I bought it from Danel Trevor 10 years ago.

The photo on right is a portulacaria afrathat I grew from a cutting taken in Ann Erb’s adult education bonsai class 18 years ago. It is 22” tall with pot, and 20” wide.    Joan


The $25 million addition to Liu Fang Yuan — the Garden of Flowering Fragrance — recently opened it’s newest sections to the public. The Chinese Garden now covers 15 acres. Many of the buildings are not yet open, like the Studio For Lodging of the Mind, which will house Chinese art; the Jade Café; the Court of Assembled Worthies and the Flowery Brush Library, which will offer calligraphy: and a number of others. Penjing are on display throughout the garden, but the largest collection is at the Verdant Microcosm, with it’s white walls and artistic cutouts. I highly encourage a visit. You must register online, every other Tuesday for the next two weeks. Here are some photos from my recent visit.    Ernie


My grandkids bought me a bonsai one year for my birthday. It consisted of a rock mountain and a juniper in a green glazed pot. It was probably already pot bound, but I kept it the way it was for a couple of years. Finally, I knew I had to repot it. I also had another rock mountain that I purchased at Bonsai-a-Thon years earlier, and several other small rocks. And I had a slab that I got from Susanne Barrymore. So I decided to incorporate all these elements, including another small juniper from a cutting I had. The rock was cemented into the pot and took a bit of persuasion with a hammer and screwdriver to remove. I used muck to hold the larger rocks in place. I positioned the original tree between the two peaks and the other small juniper behind the peak on the left. I used red scoria as the soil and later robbed moss from a bunch of my other trees to make the landscape. I have since done some trimming and wiring and I have kept the moss quite wet so that it would root. Interestingly, I went out this morning and birds had dug through all the moss looking for breakfast. I quickly replaced it and I’m now thinking of adding a small scarecrow.    Ernie