Newsletters · March 2016

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Roots, Shoots & Tips

• NEW MEMBERBruce Hubbell, from Clinton, NY, joined MVBC after finding and enjoying our website. Bruce has had a long-time interest in bonsai and has been reading extensively. Now he is anxious to give it a try and he wants to participate in our upcoming programs. There are a few other newbies in the group to keep him company. WELCOME!

• Iris Cohen is recovering from a recent stroke and is recovering in a Syracuse area home. We sent a card from the club and hope to have a further update soon.

• Before we discuss our March program, and since there was no meeting in February, we should give this treasurer’s report:
Bank balance at the end of 2015:  $1205.19
Income from membership dues: (D. Whitfield, J. Alexander, B. Hubbell) $75.00
Expenses: (donation to National Bonsai Federation) $50.00
                 (purchase of book for club library [Nick Lenz] $38.91
                 (annual membership/magazine – International Bonsai) $40.00
                 (workshop supplies – 25 one-gallon plastic pots) $35.00
Current bank balance: $1116.28

Note – Additional workshop supplies not yet billed include the 100 seedling trees from Wm. N. Valavanis/International Bonsai, bonsai soil from Bill Jones/North Country Bonsai Soil, plastic mesh and zip-ties.


NEXT MEETING – the one we’ve been waiting for – CABIN FEVER RELIEVER – Saturday, March 12 at the U-U Church, 10 Higby Road, just off Genesee Street in South Utica. We will dispense of any business discussions in order to devote our full 2 hours to the special program. Please be there on time! We want to begin at 1 p.m. sharp. Return all borrowed library books to Nancy Knapp.

Creating a clump-style bonsai using multiple seedlings of European beech from Wm. N. Valavanis. A clump-style bonsai uses three or more trunks that are joined at the base and they fuse together over time.

Although the workshop title is ‘clump-style’, participants have the option of creating a clump or individual trees for a forest style. Bill Valavanis recommends the group be started using 3-7 saplings in a gallon container of bonsai soil. We have ordered 100 trees. Depending on participation, people may want to try two containers. Be prepared - you MAY lose a tree the first year but it can be replaced next year. Your new sapling must be kept moist, they should be held at 35-45F in winter as they cannot freeze!

Here is more information on European beech: Fagus sylvatica:



The saplings cost $4 each; the club is paying half, so each tree will cost participants $2.  1-gallon plastic pots will be available at $1.50 each.  Bonsai soil is $6 per gallon.  A group of 5 trees plus pot and soil would be $17.50.  The club provides plastic mesh, wire and ties. Cash and checks will be accepted.

For planning purposes, please let me know at ASAP if you are going to participate and approximately how many trees you want.


COMING SOON – future programs for MVBC

April 9 – Root pruning/re-potting

May 14 – Air layering demonstration 

June 11 – All day shohin demo and workshop with Mark Arpag, details to follow