October 15-16, 2016 Workshop

OK, Buckaroos, October is here, and we have some serious bonsai wrangling to do.  10/01 at the church.  Read the message below.  10/15-10/16 at Gordon’s hacienda.  I will send a map in another email.  Read about this below.  And, of course, a timely warm and fuzzy message from John.

Happy trails,//Jesús.


Hey Jesus,

Please remind everyone in your monthly meeting notice about the sale and raffle of bonsai pots, etc belonging to the late Bob Gasaway. I have a sturdy turntable made by one of our former members, a new set of soil scoops, a sharpening stone and 25 pots/sets of pots, glazed and unglazed, to be raffled off. Most of the pots are Japanese, a few are Chinese. Raffle tickets will be $1.00 each or 12 for $10.00 or 25 for $20.00 There will be a can adjacent to each of the raffle items. Anyone interested in winning a specific item will deposit a ticket (or tickets) in the can for that item. A winning ticket will be drawn from the can for each item. I also have 20+ 100 gram rolls of aluminum wire in varying sizes for sale at $2.50 each. First come, first served (no tax, no shipping.) There will probably be a few other surprises as well. Remember,half the proceeds of the sale will go to the club treasury and the other half to Bob’s wife Cheryl.



The last of the trees arrived yesterday. The final total: 5 blue arrow juniper (5 gal) – 15 Wichita Blue juniper (5 gal) – 13 Wichita Blue juniper (2 gal). All material is in very good condition but a number of the 2 gal will be better suited for a style other than formal up-right. We can get a count of workshop participants through email and at the club meeting. Kenn suggested we sort through the trees and number the formal upright specimens then draw numbers from a hat to match tree with club member. When do we want to sort them. Sat. prior to the start of the workshop or some other time before the 15th? My neighbor saw all the trees and wondered if I had finally totally gone round the bend and would be constructing an impenetrable wall of tree around my yard.. I have gone round the bend but am to lazy to dig that many holes. – burt


All right, you Nitrogenous Nimrods:

I hate to ruin your evening, but it is now time to remind you that our yearly cruise down the River Styx into Horticultural Hades will take place on October 15 &16. This workshop ordeal will have as its subject the study and creation of a formal upright–style (Chokkan) bonsai from nursery stock. Now, we know that many of you have had your Driver’s Licenses stripped by the courts, and/or are unable to bring your urine or breath up to the standards required by your interlock system. As a result, Burt went completely into lunar orbit again and has purchased 38 pieces of juniper nursery stock, which the club will sell you at drastically reduced prices. Here’s a list of stuff you will “need” ( though we can work around most of it if you’re brand new):

1) Basic tools— a decent pointed-nose trimming shears, a heavier pruning shears, and a wire cutter will suffice. Go to our website and FB and read my screed about tools.

2) Wire—- This will be your thorniest problem. I’ve got a lot of wire, and will be glad to give you some if you are helpless on this front. If you want to buy some, check either Dallas Bonsai Garden or Tian Bonsai on Amazon or ebay. Dallas is a bit cheaper, but Tian has some starter pack–type deals that might appeal to you, and are reasonably priced.  We’ll probably use–more-or-less– 1.5mm, 2mm, and 3mm. I have some huge ballbuster sizes if we need to straighten trunks or bend large branches.

3) As noted, the Club has trees for you, but if you want to get your own, by all means. HOWEVER, NO deciduous or broadleafs, NO goddamn Procumbens “nana” junipers, and please don’t tempt me with exotica or crapola too small to wire. I was going to forbid spruces and cedars, but Rikki Martin found a beautiful Atlas Cedar in Santa Fe last week. NO Alberta Spruce, unless the trunk is huge and powerful. If you want to go big, be my guest—- just don’t expect me to LIFT your POS, Get a straight (or straightenable) trunk!!

The purpose of this workshop is to learn the basic style and basic methods. I’m acutely aware that there will doubtless be a chaotic mixture of new and old hands. I am going back to old-school teaching style here, and will work step by step. If you’re more advanced, you can get out into  more exotic techniques, but if I see you being too cute, I’ll circumcise you with a root cutter to slow you down. You will emerge with something decent, not yet potted, that you must then learn to Winter over and start refining next spring.

We will cover a lot more ground on Saturday at our regular meeting at the Church.