You are currently viewing November 2021 – Ann Erb, Japanese Blacks Pines
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President’s Message: Show Us Your Trees!

Greetings BCSB Members. I think everyone who attended the spontaneous bonsai creation workshop we had at our October meeting would agree it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed meeting and working with 3 of our new club members (New people…..Woo-Hoo!!) on their trees. I also greatly appreciate the help that the more experienced members provided to those newer to bonsai, as it looked like everyone across the board made good progress in the 90 minutes we worked on our trees… that is except for our illustrious VP (but that’s a story you will more learn about at our next meeting). Many thanks to our Website and Resident Juniper Guru Danny Martinez for his kick-off presentation on juniper styling from raw nursery stock. Remember the goal of this little exercise is to create starter bonsai for sale at events like our annual show to generate some ‘fun”-ding for the club to help pay for all the fun stuff that we do.

I’m sure all of you October meeting attendees have been busy little “Tree Guardians” since that meeting finishing your preliminary styling of your “charges”. Please bring your new creations to our upcoming November Meeting so we can take pictures for the next newsletter and track the progress of the trees over time. That next meeting will be on Tuesday, 9 November, starting at 6 PM at the Goleta Valley Community Center (GVCC). After a quick peek at the new juniper creations, the main feature presentation will be on Fall Care of Japanese Black Pine by BCSB’s very own Ann Erb.

For any new people interested in attending BCSB meetings, our meeting room is located in the southeast corner of the Goleta Valley Community Center (GVCC) building. Drive along the east side of the GVCC building and park in the back lot. Enter the GVCC via the door on the southeast corner of the building (right next to the beautiful new COVID-19 edition men’s port a-potty). We are in the second room on the right. If you get that close, the noise and the crazy people carrying around tiny trees are sure giveaways.

Our final Saturday workshop of the year will be on 20 November in the GVCC courtyard just outside our regular meeting room and will feature Ann Erb as the instructor. It will be organized in our traditional AM/PM format. By the way, did you know that November is National Ann Erb Bonsai Month? Here’s a quick summary of other fun bonsai had during the month of October as we slowly crawl out of the pandemic:

  • 2-3 October: The Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) held a great (and free) “Bonsai Rendezvous” in Santa Nella. Danny Martinez and I attended and caught up with 2 of our fellow Mirai students. I also got a little carried away with the event’s silent auction and now own a “little” olive that was the demo tree by Sam Adina, the Sensei of the Modesto Bonsai Club. As I told my wife, “It’s OK, it only takes 3 strong people and a dog to move it around in my garden.”
  • 7 October: The 7th Annual LA Community Bonsai Swap Meet was held in Van Nuys where Allan Hemmy had an all-out yard sale. Ernie Witham made a surprise special guest appearance. And Danny Martinez got bored hanging out with cool BCSB Executive Officers like Allan, Ernie and me and went in search of a new bonsai friend, who also happens to be a legendary heavy metal rock drummer.
  • 16 October: My Birthday!! ….AND (more importantly) we hosted Bob Pressler as the instructor for our October workshop. Bob did a great job and both sessions were close to fully booked so several club members benefited from Bob’s expertise and quality instruction. Thanks Bob!! Cheers!! And See you at our upcoming November events.

~ Jeff

Tuesday, November 9, 6-8 PM: Ann Erb, Japanese Blacks Pines

For those of you pining for a great learning experience… good news! Club Member and Show Designer, Ann Erb will be our guest speaker and she will be talking about… wait for it… Pines! Ann has been a member of our club since she moved to California from Minnesota a number of years ago. Ann takes her bonsai seriously; she is a member of California Bonsai Society and is often a guest artist at Bonsai-a-Thon, held at The Huntington every year in February. Have not heard yet, but we hope there will be a show in 2022. Ann taught bonsai classes at SBCC Adult Ed. for years. She has one of the largest personal collections in California, and she has been taking pottery classes and is now making her own pots. Ernie

Saturday, November 20: Ann Erb, 9:00 AM-Noon & 1 PM-4 Pm

Saturday November 20, Ann Erb Part Two! That’s right. Ann will be our workshop leader in November heading up two sessions: 9 am to noon and 1 pm to 4 pm at the outdoor section of the Goleta Valley Community Center on Hollister Ave. Check with Steve Gibson for space availability. Even though we are outside, masks are still required by the GVCC. If you have not already done so, you will also need to show proof of vaccination (or a quite recent negative test) and sign a waiver form. See you there!

~ Ernie

Upcoming Bonsai Events: Clovis, Fall Sale, November 20

We will be holding our Fresno Bonsai Society Annual Fall Sale, November 20th, 2021 Fresno/Clovis California, 9 am to 1 pm. Located at Clovis Botanical Garden, 945 Clovis Ave. Free admission and parking. Bonsai, pre-bonsai, pots, and plenty of bonsai related items. Silent Auction event. Some items included are donated trees From the Clark Collection. Vendors welcome. Any questions contact FBS President Cris Saldana at 559-260-8860 or

Upcoming Bonsai Events: GSBF Shohin Convention, February

The Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) Shohin Convention will take place 4-6 February 2022 in Santa Nella at the Hotel Mission de Oro. Registration opens on 1 November 2021. If you are interested in attending a workshop, the workshop slots are determined via a lottery process that begins by submitting your registration form ASAP. While it’s a bit of a drive to Santa Nella (which is pretty much in the middle of nowhere), I was pleasantly impressed with the Hotel Mission de Oro venue that hosted October’s Rendezvous and will host this Shohin Convention. The event rooms were attractive and included windows with real natural lighting (amazing, huh?), the hotel restaurant food was pretty decent, and I heard from friends that their rooms were recently and very nicely remodeled. To make the trip a little more interesting this time, I’m going to drive through Pinnacles National Park (or at least do it during daylight hours this time….) Jeff

Library Additions! Check It (Them) Out!

We will soon have a dvd copy in the library of the Eric Schrader Cypress, Sergio Cuan Deciduous, Jonas Dupuich Pine, and Todd Schlafer Juniper presentations. We would also like to ask people to check to see if they have any items checked out of the library from way back in early 2020.

Last Month: Styling Junipers To Sell

At the October meeting, a dozen of us gathered together to begin the process of turning overgrown nursery stock junipers into trees for future sales. Lead by Daniel Martinez, who gave us a short lecture on finding the tree within the mass of foliage and branches, we were each given a one-gallon “bush” and over the next two hours pruned them and wired them into a variety of styles. Daniel and Jeff worked with Club members (guardians, per Jeff) to help in the initial decision making. Club members are encouraged to bring these early efforts to the November meeting for additional suggestions on wiring and pruning. We plan to have a second gathering in March to remove the wires, continue to shape through branch trimming, jin formation and pruning, and to put them into bonsai pots if they are ready. Some will be selected for immediate sale, some will be available for our annual show and sale in May. The rest will continue to be refined for future sales

~ Ernie