Jan. meeting recap

Hello club members,

For those who could not make our January meeting, here is an update.  We decided to participate in the 2015 Master Gardeners Fair this spring, with the hope of  that having sufficient  trees to put on a good display. So it is not too early for members to consider what trees you might want to show.

Save the date it’s May 2 – 3, 2015.

We also discussed previous ideas about club members having a meeting/workshop to pot trees for sale , to benefit our club’s treasury. We encourage interested club members to attend our February meeting to determine if there is enough support to undertake such a project.

As for the February meeting, please bring in a tree (or 2) that you are working on or have questions about for group critique and discussion. Meanwhile, stay warm and think thoughts of spring.

Hope to see you at our next meeting, 19 February.

Len Vaglia

Bonsai Internship Opportunity


This internship will be at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the U.S. National Arboretum. The intern will be trained by the curator in the care and maintenance of the bonsai collection. Weekend work will be required. The intern may work a full time or part time schedule depending on availability. The length of the internship is 3-6 months (480 hours) with potential for an extension. The approximate start date is March 30th, 2015. The internship is paid through a stipend.

Applicants should have an active interest in the art of bonsai. The incumbent should have a basic understanding of plant care and have the ability to accurately follow instructions relating to planting, pruning, weeding and other routine garden maintenance tasks.
Applicant must be a U.S. Citizen.

Duties & Working Conditions
Duties include assisting with the day to day care of the bonsai collection. The intern will work under the direction of the museum curator. The intern will assist in a wide variety of tasks required in the maintenance of the bonsai collection as needed such as watering, repotting, trimming and wiring. Interns may have contact with visitors. In many cases work will be outdoors and may involve heavy lifting and exposure to extreme heat and humidity. Duties may also include work in the museum’s gardens.

To apply:
Please send a cover letter and resume via email to USNA.Internships@ars.usda.gov.
Closing Date: This position will remain open until February 1st, 2015 or until a suitable candidate is hired.

Questions? Contact the internship office at (202) 245-4563 or USNA.Internships@ars.usda.

Click here for the application


Tanya Zastrow

Acting Supervisory Education and Interpretive Specialist and Volunteer and Internship Program Coordinator

U.S. National Arboretum

3501 New York Ave. NE

Washington, DC 20002

Office:  (202) 245-4563

Email:  Tanya.Zastrow@ars.usda.gov

Membership renewal time!

Another new year beginning for the Cascade Bonsai Soc.   I hope all of you will return and to help persuade you I already see some great activities on the horizon.   I have received the paperwork for the MGF which will be held this year on May 2nd and 3rd.  They are only charging $2.00 more for a booth.  I will hold up on filling out the paperwork until our meeting but I need to get it in ASAP.  We need also to think of club workshops during the year and possibly having a visiting teacher give a workshop.

I’ll be collecting dues at the January meeting, $20/individual and $26/couple (same address).   If you are unable to attend the Jan. meeting on the 15th, please mail your check.

I hope all of you can make the first meeting of the year so we can discuss upcoming events and get this year off to a great start!




Bonsai Boon Fall work tips

Information  from Bonsai Boon’s website


This is an important month to continue fertilizing both deciduous and coniferous bonsai. The fertilizer that trees receive at this time of the year will help keep them strong through winter.

Deciduous trees: Reduce the amount of fertilizer deciduous trees receive when their leaves begin to change color. When most of the leaves have color, pull all of the leaves off the tree to give the weaker, interior buds more light in winter. Increased sunlight and air circulation will greatly intensify the strength with which the buds will open the following spring. For maples, pull the leaves forward with your finger or tweezers. Beech care differs slightly: use tweezers to pull the leaves backward to avoid breaking new buds. Do not wait for the dead leaves to drop off by themselves. Remove any remaining fertilizer after you remove the leaves.

Light pruning and wiring can be done after the leaves are removed. It is much easier to wire deciduous trees without leaves. But because new buds break off easily, wire your trees carefully. Do not wire trees that have gone completely dormant. This can lead to bleeding if you make a minor crack in a branch during styling. Wired trees need to be protected from freezing weather. If it is difficult for you to keep them protected, the options are to wait till late winter–early spring or wire them in later spring–early summer.

For deciduous and broad leaf evergreen bonsai use aluminum wire on smaller branches and copper wire wrapped (or larger size aluminum) with paper for larger branches. Aluminum wire is easier to apply and remove. Use copper for conifers.

Occasionally, some deciduous trees may sprout before spring arrives, especially if the region of the country where you live is subject to warm spells in winter. If this happens, just let the tree grow. New shoots can be cut off before repotting or before spring arrives.

Broadleaf evergreens: Old leaves will turn yellow and drop off. Pick off old leaves and clean the surface of the soil. Although late spring is the best time to work on broadleaf evergreens, it is okay to wire or lightly cut back broadleaf evergreens. Wait until spring to wire satsuki—the branches will be less brittle then.

Fall Wiring: Bonsai that is wired in fall needs protection from wind and cold. Bending may cause cracks in which ice can form. The expansion of ice in a small crack or fissure can damage live tissue and kill branches. If the temperature falls below 50° F, put the tree under an eve of the house or in an unheated greenhouse.

It is still too early to work on Japanese black pine the new growth is still too tender. Wait until November. By November, new needles will be hardened off. Keep more needles on the tree that you plan to wire. You will break some needles during wiring process. More needles will keep our trees stronger.

For you who live further north, it is almost time to put your trees in storage. The trees that receive some light during winter will grow stronger in spring.

For tropicals, this may be the last time to defoliate before the next growing season. Defoliate refined trees only. For trees in training, it is better to let them grow and then cut back in spring.

You can use a dormant spray in winter. It is best to do when the night temperature stay close to freezing. Use either lime-sulfur or copper spray.

Do not use dormant spray (lime-sulfur) on spruce, hemlock, azalea, tropical trees and recently wired trees. On these trees, lime-sulfur can penetrate open wounds and kill live tissue.

Suitable trees to work on this month:

  • Japanese five needle pines
  • Ponderosa pine, lodge pole pine and other high mountain pines
  • Junipers
  • Spruce and hemlock
  • Cypress and false cypress
  • Azalea
  • Broad leaf evergreen

Note: It is too early to work on Japanese black pine and red pines. You should wait till at least in the middle of October. If your deciduous trees have changed to fall colors, then you can start working on them.