Newsletters · July 2017

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Roots, Shoots & Tips

Happy Birthday! MVBC is celebrating 12 years with our annual bonsai exhibition on July 1 & 2, and a picnic/auction on July 8.

Our club exhibition is July 1 & 2,Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, 310 Genesee Street in downtown Utica. Show hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Our “living art” will be on display in the Easton Pribble Gallery, which is located in the education wing (ground level, between the Museum of Art and Fountain Elms).

Carl Hoffner will give the demo/educational discussion at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Sculpture Grove.


Preparing trees for the show: To show them at their best they should be 'cleaned up' — no weeds, fresh top layer of soil and, if possible, 'display moss' should be added. Any old moss that clings to trunks should be removed. Trees need to be properly watered prior to placement in the exhibit. Pots need to be clean. Display stands should be labeled with owner's name.


Club Picnic & Auction: Saturday, July 8, 1–3 p.m. at the church, 10 Higby Road, Utica. Outdoors if weather permits.

The first hour will be the picnic. Families are welcome. Please bring a dish to share, such as a salad, casserole, baked goods or dessert. Serving utensils would be very helpful. The club will provide cold drinks, ice, plates and plastic ware.

The silent auction will begin at 2 p.m. Donations are needed– Members are asked to bring bonsai- or garden-related items such as: pre-bonsai material, pots, tools, soil or books. If anyone requests that a specific item be raffled, we can do that also.

Please bring some cash to spend, small bills if possible, checks will be accepted (no cards). This event is one of our two main fundraisers for the year and it helps us cover expenses such as facility rent, library purchases, association membership costs and our annual speaker fees. We appreciate all donations from our very generous members and volunteer workers. THANK YOU!

You may bring trees in to work on. An area will be set aside for working on your trees as well as a ‘show table’.


 Last Month

Wow! Huge thank you to Cathy Brown! We were all very impressed by your thorough demonstration on proper wiring techniques! We are so lucky to have such talented people in our group. We had beautiful weather for this outside meeting and a great turnout which included some new guests! We hope they will return again and become members!

Also everyone who attended the Bonsai Club of Central New York’s June meeting at Carl Hoffner's home had a great time admiring his backyard bonsai garden. Thank you for inviting us!


Member News

Our member Yasuko Brunner has moved to a warmer climate. Yasuko now lives with her son in Alabama — where she can work on her bonsai year-round! We wish her all the best in her new home. 


Treasurer's Report

Income: $40 (Donation)

Current club balance: $1200.87


Reminder – Please return all borrowed club library books and magazines and sign out new ones to enjoy!


Our upcoming meetings

Bonsai Study Group – The next session will be Sunday, August 6, 1-3 p.m. at D'Alessandro's Nursery. This is located at 1346 Higby Road, up the long beautiful hill just east of Albany Street, and about 10 minutes from our club meeting site.

Please confirm your plans to attend by emailing Tom or Deverie, or call 315/204-4016. There is no cost and nothing to bring. The nursery plans to promote also.

Watch for further information in the days ahead concerning this and future study group session scheduling.

Aug 12 Juniper workshop; club trees, working with Doug Whitfield and Carl Hoffner.


Other meetings and events

BCCNY July Meeting: Wednesday, July 12, 7-9 p.m. Show and tell; all our trees are growing vigorously now. Bring some in to show off. Let's see and talk about your new projects, what is working and what didn't. We can all learn something.


I Don't Need To Be A Bonsai Expert

by Doug Whitfield

The more I learn about bonsai, the more I realize don't know. Will I ever graduate from BONSAI BEGINNER to BONSAI INTERMEDIATE?

My allure with bonsai began nine years ago with a "mall bonsai," a little juniper with an "S" shaped trunk and emerald foliage. I dutifully watered and fertilized my precious little Juniperus communis until at some point I realized I was watering and fertilizing a dead plant.

I don't endeavor to be an expert bonsai artist anytime in my lifetime. My goal is more about keeping my trees alive while they're bedded down for winter. My reward is seeing the early spring emergence of tiny green buds and the satisfaction that brings to me.   

As a beginner I rely on experts to guide and teach me how to keep my little trees healthy while I try to turn them into bonsai specimens. Our club members have a collective vast knowledge of the same species I grow, and each member is anxious to share their knowledge. I've discovered this repository of knowledge and experience can answer most of my questions. I also rely on a few excellent websites that are full of bonsai savvy, including care guides, articles and videos that can answer my questions about selecting stock, repotting, wiring, shaping and seasonal care. The resources I value are aimed at growing bonsai in my growing zone.

So I don't need to be a bonsai expert. Even as a beginner, with a little help, my trees give me deep satisfaction when their tiny green buds emerge in early spring.