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Tuesday September 11th: Ann Erb, Sabamiki : 7:30 – 9:00 PM

At our next meeting, long-time bonsaist, club member, and our annual show designer, Ann Erb, will continue with a sabamiki demonstration she started in 2016. Sabamiki, which means “hollowed trunk” or “split trunk,” is done by stripping bark from the trunk, then drilling or carving out the exposed wood to produce a deep wound. The hollowed area may start and end part-way up the trunk, or it may start with a wide opening at the base of the tree which tapers to closure partway up the trunk. This creates the visual effect of a lightning strike or other severe and deep trunk damage, which has been weathered over time. The technique can also be used to hide an otherwise unattractive part of the tree. However, even if the entire trunk is ugly, the wound must not completely interrupt the flow of nutrients in the tree, or the branches above it will die and you end up with kanashimu ki (sad tree). Meet and greet begins at 7 p.m., the meeting starts at 7:30. See you all there! ~ Ernie

President’s Message: Summer Potluck

A good time was had by all at our annual Summer Potluck. Bob and Tina Hammond were excellent hosts, there was a lot of good food, and the club treasury is richer by $160 thanks to the items donated by our members. The only down side is that Ernie was away visiting medieval castles in Europe and no one, including your president who wrote the newsletter from what feels like medieval times until very recently, thought to take any pictures. So, my apologies to all for their absence. You may (or more likely, may not) remember my wishful hope last February that the rainwater I collected from the few storms we had last winter would make all my maples fat, happy, and green all summer. Well, it hasn’t. I have one happy Trident Maple that has been given mostly Goleta water (go figure), but all, and I do mean all, of my other maples look terrible. In addition to the “Potato Chip Syndrome” I was hoping to avoid, many are affected with what I think is some kind of fungus that is killing branches. Oh, well, at least I’m helping save the Earth with my few precious gallons of collected rainwater. ~ Joe

Upcoming: Saturday, September 15, 2018

Bonsai master and master ceramist Jim Barrett will be our September workshop instructor. Jim made his first real attempt at bonsai in the fall of 1955, the same year I started kindergarten (kinder is kid and garten is garden in German, so kindergarten is a garden for children, which doesn’t quite describe the place I attended in Laconia, New Hampshire). In the spring of 1959 Jim met bonsai master and nursery owner Khan Komai. One day when the two of them were at the nursery someone came in and inquired about bonsai classes. With the help of Frank Nagata, Komai’s father-in-law, a systematic presentation was worked out and classes began. Jim thus became the first non-Japanese instructor in the country to teach organized bonsai classes. Jim has been a featured speaker at many bonsai conventions and clubs and has worked for many bonsai associations. He is past president of Bonsai Clubs International, the first president of Golden State Bonsai Federation, and the founding president of the Santa Anita Bonsai Society. Always interested in ceramics, Jim has been making bonsai pots for the past three decades. ~Ernie

Ted Matson Sends His Regrets To The Club

Ted Matson will not be returning to SB. We are going to have to go see him at the Huntington if we want the benefit of his expertise. Here’s what he wrote: “I’ve enjoyed my time with you guys over the years and have made many friends along the way, but I’m just not liking the drive anymore—especially the return trip home. As to HG volunteering, I have weekly sessions every Wednesday, from 8 am – 12:30 pm (9 am start in winter), and pre-scheduled weekends throughout the year. I have work that can be tailored to all levels of bonsai hobbyist, including beginner. It’s a teaching environment, and I try to get people progressing in processes and tasks, often pairing them with more experienced volunteers to help in their own learning. The best way to get involved is to go to the HG website at, scroll to the bottom of the main page and hit the “volunteer” button. Print, complete and mail in the application to start processing. Volunteers can email me and get started while their application and badge are being processed… I’ll give details. I notify people in advance of weekends, and we may do anything from repotting to trimming in the courts to wiring to clean outs to weeding to filling teabags with fertilizer, to any other task you’d normally associate with maintaining a bonsai collection. The more hands, the easier the work.”

Upcoming Events

September 6 – 9, Santa Ana, California

Kofu Bonsai Kai: 2018 Bonsai Fest at the Bowers Museum – John M. Lee Court, 2002 N. Main St., Daily 10 AM – 4 PM, Featuring bonsai trees of the members of Kofu Bonsai Kai and special presentations by noted speakers (names, dates and times to be announced). Free entrance to bonsai area. Access to other museum exhibits requires admission ticket. Questions? Call the museum at (714) 567-3695 or email Michael Walsh at Final speaker and presentation schedules will be posted on the Bowers Museum Website: Kofu Bonsai Kai:

September 22, San Andreas, California

Mother Lode Bonsai Club: 4th Annual Bonsai Exhibition at the San Andreas Public Library, 1299 Gold Hunter Road (off Mt. Ranch Rd.). Show hours are 10 AM – 4 PM with demonstration by bonsai artist Joan Scroggs at 1 PM and benefit prize drawing immediately following. Vendor and member bonsai-related items will be available for sale. Open to the public with free admission and parking. For more info, contact Richard McKinstry (209) 288-2330 or email Visit club website at

September 29-30, San Diego, California

San Diego Bonsai Club: Annual Fall Show at the Casa Del Prado, Room 101, Balboa Park. Show hours are 10 AM to 5 PM with demonstrations at 11 AM and 1 PM on both days. Show is free and is open to the public. We will be selling bonsai and bonsai-related items (bonsai, pre-bonsai, bonsai pots, and others). For more information, please visit

October 7, Asian American Neighborhood Festival, 12-3 PM

The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation presents the Asian American Neighborhood Festival, an outdoor event celebrating Asian American heritage at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park. This free, family-friendly event celebrates the history and culture of the Asian communities that once thrived in and around the Santa Barbara Presidio. Learn about a number of Asian cultures through performances, food, and hands-on activities.

Performances and artistic displays will celebrate the rich and vibrant traditions of our Asian American community. Traditional cultural performances feature dance, drumming, music, and other performing arts. Free parking in lot at the corner of Santa Barbara and Canon Perdido Streets behind Panino at 834 Santa Barbara Street. Our Club will have a table at this event. We will be showing a few trees, recruiting potential new members, and answering questions about the art of bonsai. Stop on by! The entertainment is great and last year they had food truck with fun Asian food.

October 24-28, 2018 Sacramento, California

Golden State Bonsai Federation: Convention 41 “Creativity taking Flight” held at the McClellan Conference Center. Registration begins July 1st online at for Convention, Workshops, Seminars, Excursions, etc. GSBF recommended lodging is Lion’s Gate Hotel at McClellan Park. This year’s headliners are Yasuo Mitsuya, Suthin Sukosolvisit, and Bjorn Bjorholm. Please join GSBF and Yasuo Mitsuya’s esteemed students in honoring Mitsuya-san for his influence on bonsai in the modern era. Hosting Yasuo Mitsuya’s visit are: Kathy Shaner, Hideko Metaxas, Boon Manakitivipart, Kenji Miyata, Cheryl Manning, David DeGroot, Gordon Deeg.

Librarian’s Corner: Four Seasons Of Bonsai By Kyuzo Murata

Murata spent 60 years as the official bonsai gardener for the imperial household. I admired especially the author’s commentary accompanying each illustration. He is clearly a cultivated and well educated person, and expresses well his appreciation of some of the most familiar and common plants which he likes to cultivate in a small container, which reminds one of the season. You may say some of them are just weeds. But for the author they clearly reflect the current season. It is just a pleasure to read his commentary about the pictures. There is helpful information often accompanying the plant illustrated, and as I contemplate many of them, while we suffer through our long, hot dry summer, I suspect his success depends upon their benefit of periodic rains. A damp greenhouse may be a help. ~ Susanne