South Coast Bonsai Association

The South Coast Bonsai Association is a non-profit organization, dedicated to: 1) Providing an educational atmosphere in which to study the art of Bonsai; 2) Educating and informing the public about Bonsai culture and training; 3) Providing general information about Bonsai and other related horticultural activities; and 4) Encouraging a wider appreciation of the art of Bonsai.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

SCBA Membership List

Membership As Of March 1, 2007

Amimoto, Linda Tesar
2507 Armour Lane
Redondo Beach, CA 90278

Bartosh, Blake & Carollynn
27520 Fawnskin Drive
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Brooker, Ruth
1900 Upland Street
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Chin, C. F.
16682 Carousel Lane
Huntington Beach, CA 92649

Closson, Robert
5140 Willow Wood Rd.
Rolling Hills Estates 90274

Curlee, Ed
21438 Claretta Ave.
Lakewood, CA 90715

Diggons, Chris

Donahue, Dale T.
3910 W. 238th Street #2
Torrance, CA 90505

Ellestad, Eunice & Ernest
408 Via Media
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274

Errington, Jim
409 N. Pacific Coast Highway #567
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Escallier, Jeff
385 Paseo de Gracia
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Feiger, Cay
51 Crest Road East
Rolling Hills, CA 90274

Gault, Wendy
1003 Acacia Ave.
Torrance, CA 90501

Harlow, James
2905 Via Rivera
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274

Hayashi, Helen
P.O. Box 22
Torrance, CA 90507

Hisayasu, Bruce and Yaeko
2450 Casa Grande St.
Pasadena, CA 91104

Hoxie, Elissa
632 Via Del Monte
Palos Verdes, CA 90274-1208

Hoxie, Gib
632 Via Del Monte
Palos Verdes, CA 90274-1208

Hughes, Lawrence M.
4903 Delacroix Rd.
Rancho Palos Verdes CA 90275

Krauthoff, George
160 Via La Circula
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Kushner, Patricia Sacks & Harvey
1653 Rico Place
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274

Lonjers, Lynn
1441 Brett Place, #335
San Pedro, CA 90732

Peter & Pam Major
25917-A Avocado St.
Lomita, CA 90717

Malbon, Donna
232 Angelo Walk
Long Beach, CA 90803

Manson, Dan

Marimon, Rosemary
26832 Diamondhead Lane
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Matsuoka, Aki
5801 West Crestridge Rd., A 304
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

McKelvy, Carol
4450 California Place # 131
Long Beach, CA 90803

Meagher, Joan and Thomas
24317 Alliene Ave.
Lomita, CA 90717

Moeller, Joe
718 W. 37th Street #3
San Pedro, CA 90731

Moss, Roy
923 South Meyer Street
San Pedro, CA 90731

Reid, Cindy
4603 Greenmeadows Ave.
Torrance, CA 90505

Roberts, Janice & Lasonya
2245 S. Beverly Glen Blvd.#301
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Scott, Christopher
667 West 37th Street
San Pedro, CA 90731

Silane, Barbara L.
4 Celeste Place
Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274

Slovak, Janet E.
16919 South Dalton Avenue #103
Gardena, CA 90247-5454

Spurgeon, Jinny
2521 Novato Place
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274

Srinavsan, Aparna L.
404 Hermosa Ave., Penthouse 5
Hermosa Beach, CA 90259

Stammerjohn, Carl & Lindsey
1240 W 17th St
San Pedro CA 90731

Stassi, Joe & Barbara
3132 Via la Selva
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274

Thomas, Greg
245 Bay View Drive
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Thomas, R. J.
1035 3rd St.
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Thompson, Bob
116 Coronado Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90803-2621

Tonooka, Ben
21207 S. Avalon Blvd. #72
Carson, CA 90745

Ueda, Ken
25912 Saddle View
Lomita, CA 90717

Upston, Carol
1895 262nd Street
Lomita, CA 90717

Utpadel, Jerry
4627 Greenmeadows Avenue
Torrance, CA 90505

Wagner, Andrea
4319 W. 180th Street
Torrance, Ca 90504

Wendorff, Ted & Kim
2177 Paseo Del Mar
San Pedro, CA 90732

Westall, Dan
Dan Westall
1809 W. 259th St.
Lomita, CA 90717

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

CA Junipers - Sherwin Amimoto

Inexpensive California Junipers: Collecting Your Very Own
by Sherwin Amimoto
(rev. 3-29-92 courtesy of Ted Wendorff, retyped 1/10/2007 by Gib Hoxie)

California junipers are found growing in inland deserts and mountains at the 3000 to 5000 ft. elevation. Their natural soil is often coarse, and sandy. They grow in clumps and can reach the height of 25 feet. The estimated age of these mature trees is well over several hundred years. These trees endure a very adverse and hostile environment. Through the years, the snow weighs down and breaks numerous branches. The whipping wind sand blasts the trunk and branches, creating natural jins and sharis. Disease and animals also take part in the creation of a rugged look to the trees. The hot sun and scarce summer water supply in temperatures soaring over 100° F limits and stunts the trees’ growth. But this is why California junipers are so prized for their twists, jins, shari, age and compact foliage.

The natural beauty of the California junipers was recognized early and [they] were first collected in the early 1950s near Palmdale, Tehachapi, and Palm Springs. Now, these areas have been destroyed by development if not brush fires. We are now driving further and hiking farther into rougher terrain to collect these prized specimens.

The best time to collect California junipers is about one month after the first decent rainfall, generally starting in January through June. The Trees will have sufficient water in them to recover from the dormant summer season of no rain. The rains will also soften the soil to make it easier to dig out the trees. To dig out the trees, you’ll need the following items, perseverance, and a little luck. Remember to get written permission from the land owner first. State and Federal lands also require permission even if digging is allowed. With hard work and determination, you can enjoy a lifetime of beauty of the California Juniper.

Supplies and Tools Needed:
  1. Back-pack… use one with an external frame and make sure it’s a comfortable fit. Place items 2-15 in the pack.
  2. Loppers
  3. Folding hand saw… I always take two
  4. Shovel… narrow bladed post-hole type
  5. Mattock-pick… sharpen cutting edges
  6. Moistened sphagnum moss
  7. Plastic garbage bags (5-6) to cover the root ball
  8. Twine to wrap around the plastic bag
  9. Rope to tie tree to pack or 6 bungee cords
  10. Canteen of water (min. of 1 quart)
  11. Toilet paper for yourself and to mark your way… 1 roll should be enough
  12. Band aids or first aid kit
  13. Compass (it’s mandatory if you tend to get lost easily)
  14. Appropriate clothing… dress in layers, a tee shirt, long sleeve shirt, a waterproof jacket, sweater, hat, sun glasses, heavy boots, and work gloves
  15. Lunch… You may get hungry early with the fresh air and physical activity
  16. Pickup truck, van or vehicle… use a pickup with a shell or tarp to keep the wind off the trees to prevent dehydration
  17. Sprayer with B-1 or water
    [The following handwritten items added anonymously]
  18. Wheelbarrow
  19. GPS
  20. A day laborer
Tips on Collecting California Junipers:
  1. Always remember the location of your vehicle. Use large landmarks close by as directionals. Occasionally look back from where you were and look at the landmarks. You can easily get lost if you are only looking immediately around you as you look for trees. Pair off with another person. It also makes the digging go faster with a partner.
  2. Don’t dig the first tree that catches your eye; instead, look for the masterpiece. You need to train yourself where to look. Don’t spend much time in the gullies. The trees are too large there due to the plentiful water supply. Mark your best trees with a piece of toilet paper if you wish to come back to them. If you spend your time looking for that masterpiece, you’ll fine it. Some believe that you should dig your first tree and then look for that masterpiece. I used to think this way until I noticed my collection had a number of dreadful trees. No more junk.
  3. Dig more than one tree if you can. This will increase the number of trees that will survive.
  4. Look for trees that are small enough to manage generally less than 5 inches in diameter. Larger trees take more effort to dig, are heavier to carry down, and require larger bonsai pots which are expensive.
  5. Almost all trees grow in clusters. Look at individual trees within the cluster.
  6. Upon locating a likely candidate, evaluate it for:
    a. An interesting trunk
    b. Low branches with green leaves relative to the final height of the bonsai
    c. Overall pleasing appearance
  7. Determine where its roots are. Shake the tree; if it’s loose, pass it by… it probably has only a single long tap root. If it’s firmly planted, the roots are numerous and these roots are what you need for a successful transplant.
  8. Start exploratory digging about 6-10 inches from the trunk. Circle the trunk with a small trench. Are there small dark brown roots? These should be kept since are the important feeder roots. Large roots, ¼" or larger, should be cut with the loppers. Shake the tree occasionally to ascertain where these large roots are. After digging down about 10" begin under-cutting the tree. Don’t spray water on the roots just yet – it will make a muddy mess.
  9. Finish digging around the roots. Once the tree is loose, use your gloved hands to remove almost all of the soil. The soil adds weight and tends to break off many roots as it usually falls off anyway. After the soil is removed, coarsely trim the large roots to a root ball less than 20" in diameter. Don’t cut the smaller roots, especially if they are flexible.
  10. Lift the tree onto the plastic bag. Take a sip of water and spray it forcefully onto the roots. Wrap wet sphagnum around the roots, wrap the roots with the bag, and tie the bundle with twine.
  11. Trim off the branches that aren’t needed. It takes an experienced eye to do this. No more than 75% of the foliage should be removed (leave 25%). On any one branch, there should be green foliage on the terminal end if you plan on keeping that branch alive. Better to be safe if in doubt.
  12. Tie the tree securely onto the back pack when you are ready to return back with your treasures. There is nothing like a loose tree to give you trouble as you walk down a steep slope with the wind to whip you around. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.
  13. Carry the tree back or place it under the nearest shade. You may want to dig several trees before you head for the car. But mark the shade tree before you go off looking for other trees to dig.
  14. Back at the car spray the trees with a B-1 mixture, especially the roots. Keep trees in the shade if the vehicle temperature is high.

Potting the Collected Tree

  1. The proper potting mix varies with the collector. Some use ¼" agricultural pumice. Some use straight decomposed granite (DG). Others use a mix of sand, pumice, forest humus, and Perlite. Any mix is OK if it allows free drainage of water.
  2. A plastic container is best. Remove the sphagnum moss first. Remember to pack the soil firmly around the roots. Tapping the sides of the pot and using chopsticks will do the trick. Wire or tie the tree securely to prevent the tree from moving around. Spread the used moss over the top of the soil.
  3. Place the tree in shade. A green house will also serve nicely. A little morning sun is best. Keeping the pot off the ground is also beneficial to improve drainage and to keep the ground from cooling the pot. A propagation heater to warm the roots may hasten root development.
  4. Water the tree and the foliage. On a daily basis mist the foliage and keep the soil damp. A drip sprayer system works well. Do not fertilize until the tree shows signs of growth. This may take anywhere from 1 month, 6 months, to a year. Use cottonseed meal or Miracle Grow. You may foliar feed the trees also by spraying a standard water soluble fertilizer mixture onto the foliage.
  5. In the fall move the tree into a location that has adequate air circulation and sunlight.
  6. You’d like to have the tree recover and be in good health so it can take the rigors of styling into a bonsai. Feed, water, and give as much sun as is possible once the tree has recovered from the transplanting.

Observing California Juniper Growth Habits:

  1. The tree usually will lose some foliage. These will be at first yellow, then turn brown in color. The rest will be green in color. If the tree turns a grayish green, it’s a sign of poor health. Sometimes fungicide, fertilizer or other means may be necessary to correct the problem. Use an insecticide spray if you have termites in the dead wood.
  2. The best sign of health is new green shoots on the ends or shoot tips of the foliage. Congratulations on your new tree! After a few months following the appearance of the growth, consider moving the tree to a sunnier location. Be careful for trees have been known to die from moving when their roots were still fragile
  3. After one year, the tree should be nearly completely recovered. Continue to feed and water the tree. You may style the tree. But waiting an extra year for recovery should guarantee your success.


Club field trips to collect California Junipers often rendezvous in the town of Mojave at Jerry's Restaurant 2343 Highway 58; (661) 824-2771.

Allow at least 1 hour 45 minutes for the 112 mile trip from South Coast Botanic Garden. Find your way out of the L.A. basin to the I-5 North, then take Highway 14 to Mojave, then right (East) on Highway 58. Jerry’s (open 24x7) is at that intersection.

Friday, August 04, 2006

South Coast Bonsai Association

Club Activities

Monthly Meetings:
Usually the 4th Sunday of each month at 10:00 AM in Classroom A, at the South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90274. Meetings include demonstrations by experts in Bonsai, workshops, field trips, access to the club’s extensive library, and the friendly exchange of ideas with others interested in Bonsai.

Monthly Newsletter:
Notification of meetings and other upcoming events, helpful hints on Bonsai, and other information of interest to Bonsai enthusiasts.

We welcome submissions to the newsletter… comments on presenters, good suppliers, photos of events and ideas for other members. E-mail ( is the best way to get stuff to us.

Opportunities to show members' trees in a non-judgmental setting and see what others are doing in this unique field of art. Our annual show is in the spring, usually the last weekend in May, at the South Coast Botanic Gardens.

Open to anyone interested in bonsai or penjin training, showing, maintenance or simply enjoyment. To apply, please complete our Membership Application Form.

South Coast Bonsai Events Calendar - 2006
Jan 21-22 – Baikoen Bonsai Kenkyukai “Winter Silhouettes” Show.
Feb 5thPot and tree shopping at Bruce and Yaeko Hisayasu’s
Feb 26th – Ken Ueda’s potting and tool-sharpening workshop. Call Carol or Lynne if you need soil. BYOL.
Mar 26thFrank Goya workshop on saikei.
Apr 23rdDavid Nguy show preparation workshop (Carol Upston accent plants and assistance)
May 20San Pu Kai Annual Spring Show at the Japanese Cultural Center, 150 Cedar Road, Vista. 10 am to 4 pm. Bonsai and suiseki. For further information see
May 27th & 28thSCBA Bonsai Show (set-up & preparation on the 26th)
Jun. 25Kaz Murai workshop
Jul. 23Mel Ikeda critique & workshop (cancelled... replaced by visit to Hoxies' collection)
Aug. 27Auction
Sep 24Fuji Bonsai Nursery visit
Oct 22Denny Roche workshop
Nov 26Harry Hirao CA Juniper workshop

South Coast Bonsai Events Calendar - 2007
Jan 28 – David Nguy - TBA
Feb 25 – Ken Ueda - Potting and tool sharpening workshop
Mar 25 – Carol Upston - Saikai and penjing workshop
Apr 25 – David Nguy - Show prep; and Carol Upston - accents workshop
May 26/27 – Annual Show & Sale
Jun 24 – Ted Matson - TBA
Jul 22 – Frank Goya - Saikei demo
Aug26 – Annual Club auction
Sep 23 – Travel - TBA - Suggestions welcomed. Maybe another road-trip to two (NOT four!) members' collections?
Oct 28 – Cheryl Manning - Demo and workshop
Nov 25 – Harry Hirao - California Juniper workshop and demo

Bonsai and Penjing Classes

SCBA conducts classes on Wednesdays from 7:00 pm to about 9:30 pm. at the South Coast Botanic Garden. Plants are often available for purchase at the class or students can bring their own plants.

Bonsai – Study bonsai history, design, tree selection, training, styling, container selection and how to care for bonsai.

Penjing – Study the Chinese form of single and landscape penjing.

Club members are encouraged to join the class or just drop in to work on their trees. New students learn a lot by watching and asking questions.

SCBA members pay $42.00 (non-members $47.00) for an 8-week session. Contact Carol Upston ( or Ken Ueda ( for further information.

SCBA Officers - 2006
- Ken Ueda (310) 530-9068
Show / Publicity Chairman & Librarian - Carol Upston (310) 534-4940
Program Chairman - Ed Curlee (562) 809-3243
Show Co-Chairmen - Ben Tonooka (310 830-5737 & Carol Upston
Newsletter Editor/Secretary - Gib & Elissa Hoxie (310) 373-2840 Home (Gib) & (Elissa)
Fund Raising Chairman & Treasurer - Lynn Lonjers (310) 714-7122
Photographer/Historian - Dan Westall
Founding President - Ben Suzuki
Past Presidents - Ed Murakami, Mickey Okamato, Thomas Meagher

Golden State Bonsai Federation

The South Coast Bonsai Association is a member of GSBF, one of the largest and most successful bonsai clubs in the world.

We urge everyone who is interested in training and maintaining bonsai trees to join the GSBF. Go to for more information.