Newsletters · November 2016

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Roots, Shoots & Tips


WELCOME NEW MEMBERS Tony & Phyllis D’Alessandro of Frankfort, Phil & Cat D’Alessandro also from Frankfort, and Ralph Pope from New Hartford; they all joined MVBC at our October 8th meeting at the nursery. More about that below.

OUR NEXT MEETING is Saturday November 12, 1 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Utica, 10 Higby Road – just off Genesee Street. Bill Jones will lead a workshop on Juniperus chinensus ‘shimpaku’ in the windswept style for shohin (small bonsai) for development. The cost for participants will be $20 which includes material and instruction. Club wire will be available. Please bring a plastic tub or dishpan to work in and your own tools (share responsibly with neighbors as necessary).

For planning purposes it would be very helpful to know how many will participate in this workshop. Please send an RSVP reply by e-mail to or call Tom or Art at 315/204-4016 by Wednesday Nov. 9.

Participants will draw numbers to select their workshop tree. We need to set-up and begin the program promptly with time constraints and will forego the usual business portion of the meeting. We’ll need a few clean-up volunteers. If there is sufficient time at the end of the program we will socialize as we wish.

Club library books and magazines will be available. Please return any that you have outstanding and borrow new ones — but be sure to check them with our librarian, Nancy Knapp.

CONGRATULATIONS PAULINE AND MYRON MUTH! Fifty years and still going strong. October 22 was their anniversary day.

Please continue to visit Pauline’s site and see all the great programs and events promoting bonsai and pushing your abilities and techniques to the next level.


OCTOBER INCOME - $161.00, (membership dues $95, raffle $66)

EXPENSES - $95.00 (small mugo for raffle $25, 2 junipers for future program $35 each/$70) All purchases were from D’Alessandro’s.


Mohawk Valley Bonsai Club wishes to thank our October 8 hosts – D’Alessandro’s Landscaping Nursery for providing us with a warm and cozy greenhouse on a drizzly fall afternoon in which to hold our demo program and for the wonderful refreshments. Thanks, also, to member Doug Whitfield for giving the demonstration. It must be noted that Doug took the time to prepare the program by sketching out the vision that he had for future growth and development of the little pre-bonsai material.

The demo concluded with the customary raffle. It raised $66 and was won by Ralph Pope, a loyal customer of the nursery, and now the newest member of our club! Ralph has had a long interest in bonsai and when he heard that D’Alessandro’s was getting into sales of bonsai materials and supplies he just had to rush in and get involved! Congratulations!!

A headcount showed that we had 20 plus observers for Doug’s demonstration. While the weather was not the best for exploring the vast nursery grounds on the day of the event we encourage our members to stop back and look things over at your convenience. They will be open until around Thanksgiving for this season. The address and phone number are – 1346 Higby Road (about 5 miles east of our church meeting site) 315/738-0434.

We are cordially invited back for another proposed event in the spring.  There will be more planning in the upcoming weeks.

REMINDERCheck out the photos from our October demonstration, and please note that our Facebook page settings now allow your comments and questions. Show your interest and enthusiasm — explore the links to other bonsai clubs and organizations on our site and check out the Mohawk Valley Bonsai Club Facebook page. Bring a friend or family member to a club meeting!

Timely TIPS Winter has not yet descended upon us but leaves are dropping and soon our little trees will enter dormancy. November is a good time to get to work on some of your bonsai.  Bare branches offer the opportunity to wire more easily than when the leaves get in the way. Do your wiring now before the brutal cold and snow arrive. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Place all branches in your desired position keeping in mind how the oldest branches get the most lowering and twisting movement to represent years of rigorous wind, weather, and ‘snow-load’, while younger branches still reach for the sky and sunlight.

With the onset of dormancy we can also do some heavy work on junipers and other evergreen material as long as we do not disturb the roots. Heavy branch and trunk splitting, wiring, and jinning can be safely accomplished.

We are considering a future (winter) program using 2 junipers that the club purchased recently. Stay tuned for details about this ‘COMING SOON’ event.


At the beginning of 2016 we decided to have the club start a group-wide project whereas all members would begin development of at least one shohin bonsai. We kicked off with a special shohin program with Mark Arpag. Along the way many of us acquired additional smaller-sized bonsai material and we look forward to the time when we can assemble a ‘team-effort’ display of some of our shohin trees at future bonsai exhibitions. Soon we hope to try this team effort approach on larger tree programs — possibly using individual trees.

BCCNY next meeting is Nov. 97 to 9 p.m., at Pritcher Hill Community Church, 605 Bailey Rd, North Syracuse, NY.
Cathy Brown will share photos and experiences of her travels in Japan with a group of bonsai enthusiasts led by Bjorn Bjorholm. Highlights include the Gafu-ten shohin exhibition, the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, the Fujikawa Kouka-en bonsai nursery, Masahiko Kimura's and Kunio Kobayashi's gardens, and her having lessons in a bonsai nursery.