Meetings and Events

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Monthly Meetings

BBS_images7Held on the second Thursday of every month at Olbrich Botanical Gardens (3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI), meetings start at 6:30 and end at 8:00 pm
(NO PUBLIC MEETING IN  JANUARY).

In addition to monthly meetings, which cover a wide range of subjects of interest to bonsai enthusiast, many special events are held. These include workshops, lectures, demonstrations, exhibitions, collecting trips and instructions on the art of bonsai. These activities ebb and flow over the years with the make up of the members. For a current list of activities see the meetings and activities list below >

Workshops

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Most workshop instructions are free, but you will be required to pay for the material you use. At times we are able to get a master or instructor for a special workshop or demonstration, and there will be a fee for those events. We try to keep the cost down so everyone can afford to join in. Typically a workshop is limited to ten people and will cost between $25-100, depending on the materials used.


2014 Meetings and Activities TBA


2013 Meetings and Activities

February 14:
The Rhizosphere

Non-Meeting Activity
•    Garden Expo Exhibit

March 14:
Pottery; pick the right pot for a bonsai

Non-Meeting Activity
•    Repotting party / repotting, root pruning and soil (Olbrich Gardens, 3.16)

April 11:
Water and nutrients

May 9:
Preparing your trees for display

Non-Meeting Activities
•    Amur Maple Forest Workshop (4.20)
•    Nursery Crawl (4.27 – Details in February Newsletter)

Annual Show:
Olbrich Gardens, Evjue Commons
May 18, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
May 19,
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

June 13:
Pests and Pathogens

Non-Meeting Activity
•    Summer workshop
(date/topic/location TBD)

July:
Club Picnic Meeting (email info@badgerbonsai.net for details)
No Public Meeting in July

August 8:
Wiring: gauge, application & removal

Non-Meeting Activity
•    Chicago Show meet-up
If you are headed to the show in Chicago, tell your fellow club members and meet up and enjoy the show together.

September 12:
Fall Show for meeting

October 10:
Preparing for Winter / end of year tasks

November 14:
Official business, elections

December 12:
Winter Celebration


Past 2012 Events:

January 12:  Time once again for the annual dinner.

February 9:  Time to start thinking about the upcoming Bonsai season.  This month we’ll overview a handful of basic equipment and discuss how to get started on the right foot.

March 8:  Time to repot.  Last year we went in-depth into our soil.  This year we’ll get back to techniques.  We’ll try to answer the how’s and the why’s.

April 5:  April will be a good month to review the different styles of bonsai.  This will be somewhat of a general overview.  The goal will be to understand how bonsai can represent “wild” trees.

May 10:  In preparation for the annual show, we will examine Bonsai judging and consider what makes a tree great.  This will build off of the April’s lecture on the styles and provide insight on how to refine a tree once it begins to take form.

May 19 and 20: Workshop

May 19 and 2o: Annual Show

June 14:  Workshop. (Bring a Tree to work on)

July:  Annual picnic meeting.

August 9:  Workshop. (Bring a Tree to work on)

September 13:  Show and tell. Club show and critique.

October 11:  Preparing for winter, as usual.

November 8:  Officer election time.

December 13:  Holiday party at Olbrich.


Past 2011 Events:

January 13:
Annual Dinner at Imperial Gardens.

As is customary, we will meet at Imperial Gardens West at 6:00 for drinks and fellowship, and then eat at 6:30.  This is a “member and guest” event.  Several small door prizes will be raffled out during the evening.

February 10:
Tools and tool care.
We will focus on the name and function of Bonsai tools and discuss and demonstrate proper care for them.   Please bring all tools to meeting.  Someone might sharpen them for you.
Feature element: Tools.

March 10:
Repotting
The focus will be on media and technique. Also a brief discussion of hydroponics and pre-bonsai is very possible.

Feature element: Maples.

April 14:
Show preparation, what makes a bonsai display complete?
Nursery Hunting part 1; introduction, the goal. We will discuss what to look for at you local garden centers, possibly plan a field trip. We will discuss growth characteristics and common suitable species.
Assignment: bring a nursery plant to the next meeting.
Feature element: Accent plants

May 12:
Nursery hunting part 2; The Trees, Choosing a style, when to repot.

We will briefly introduce and discuss our “diamonds in the rough” and consider general styling and requirements per tree.
Feature element: boxwood

May 14, 15:
Annual Show at Olbrich Gardens!

June 9:
Ficus or Schefflera root over rock demo.

Two tropical species that are great for beginners and have fairly hardy roots.
Feature element:
Ficus

July:
Picnic Meeting

(no public meeting in July)

August 11:
Bring a tree workday.

Get advice and/or a fresh perspective. Having trouble deciding what direction to take with a tree?  Maybe we can help, any tree, any style, bring it.
Feature element: Pines

September 8:
Natal Plum Part 2; further development

Bring in you Natal Plum from last year. Be prepared to talk about it and get advice for the next year. Don’t have one? Start a new one.
Feature element: Natal Plum

October 13:
Winter preparation and indoor environments
Oh, winter.  Let’s discuss techniques we can use to help our trees survive in Wisconsin.  Let’s also talk about the indoor trees and artificial environments.
Feature element: Autumn colors

November 10:
Officer elections and other club politics
Feature element: Junipers

December 8:
Holiday snacks and fun!

Feature element: Your best holiday treat to share.


Past 2010 Events:

January 14th
“Annual Members-Dinner”

February 11th
“Drawing Your Bonsai Attitude
What is Your Bonsai Attitude? Drawing while keeping styling in mind. How does the tree grow? The roots, trunk, branches and foliage masses. Pay attention to balance of the tree – whole presentation. (by Mark)

March 11th
“Wiring Techniques
Wrapping copper or aluminum wire around branches and trunks allows the bonsai designer to create the desired general form and make detailed branch and leaf placements. Slide show presentation and hands on. (by Tim)

April 8th
“Repotting Techniques
Bonsai are repotted and root-pruned at intervals dictated by the vigor and age of each tree. They are often repotted while in development, and less often as they become more mature. Learn the basics to ensure a healthy tree. If you are participating in the Burning Bush workshop on May 13th, now is a good time to pick your tree and repot it. (by Ron)

April 25th
“Forest Planting Workshop
This will be a paid participation event held at Olbrich Gardens from 1 p.m. – 3p.m. We will keep the cost below $25 for the plants and pots. Limited to members only. (or those who signed up on March 11th). Contact info@badgerbonsai.net for more information.

May 13th
“Burning Bush Workshop pt. 1 of 2 and show preparation

Burning Bush(aka Winged Euonymus or Spindle Tree) Euonymus alata “Compactus” Trees will cost $25

May 15-16th
“Annual Public Show” Olbrich 9 am – 4 pm

All members should bring at least one example from their collection. Attendance is free, donations are welcome. Demonstrations will be held both days at 10 am and 1 pm.
More information is available in the 2010 Annual Show page.

June 10th
“Phoenix Graft (Tanuki) Demo
In Japanese folklore, tanuki (狸?, alternatively タヌキ), the Japanese raccoon dog, are shape-changing tricksters.

Tanuki bonsai are sometimes known as Phoenix Grafts in the West. In Tanuki bonsai, a very young tree is taken, and put into an interesting piece of deadwood, that has had a groove carved into it. The sapling (which is usually a juniper) is affixed to the deadwood, until the young tree has grown into the deadwood. Then the nail, screw, or other affixing device is removed, and then the tree is grown with typical bonsai techniques.

Many Westerners consider Tanuki a true bonsai technique, however in Japan it is not considered as such. Japanese do make Tanuki bonsai, but they are not considered true bonsai, and would never be seen at a Japanese bonsai show. (by Ron and Devon)

July 8th
“Yearly Picnic Meeting”
OPEN TO MEMBERS ONLY – Private invitations to be emailed to members.

Location to be determined. It WILL NOT be held at Olbrich Gardens

August 12th
“Private Club Show and Critique”
This is a new event we are trying this year. Members only participation. The public is welcome to attend but entering trees and providing critique will be limited to members only.

September 9th
This month, we will have a natal plum workshop (Carissa). Ten to 12 plants in pots will be available first to members and then leftovers to whomever would like them.  Exact amounts, prices, and availability are still being figured out.  We are thinking around $20, but that is not an exact figure. More information can be found in the September newsletter >

October 14th
“Fall Clean Up and Winter Preparation
Leaves are falling all around… clean up your bonsai and get ready for winter. Being ready for winter storage and dormancy by Thanksgiving should be your goal. The larger your bonsai collection, the earlier you should start.

November 11th
“End of Year Business/Officer Elections
This is the yearly business meeting for the club. We hold nominations/elections for officer seats. We will also begin mapping out the 2011 activities calendar.

December 9th
“End of Year Wrap Up”

Wrap up any unfinished club business, the next year’s events and of course Holiday Cheer


Past 2009 Events:

January 8th
“Annual Members-Dinner”

February 12th
“Carving Techniques”
Ron showed club members various carving techniques using hand and power tools.

March 12th
“Soil and Repotting”

At the March meeting we will focus on repotting your trees and the different soil make-ups for different types of trees. We will also discuss the benefits of proper fertilization, and the components that make up common plant fertilizer.

April 9th
“Bring what’s thawed out”
As spring starts to pop, some trees are ready for attention. Bring in your tree(s) to work on in a group setting. Ask questions, get advice & have fun. We will also discuss proper dressing of cuts/wounds and the benefits of cut paste and wound sealer.

May 14th
“Propagation Techniques; focus on air layering”

Air Layering is a time honored form of plant propagation. Ron, club president, will give a demonstration on one of his Japanese Maples. Also, as we get ready for our annual show on May 16th and 17th, we will discuss proper display for bonsai shows, how to clean your pots and any last minute business before the weekend show

May 16–17th (Annual Show)
On May 16th and 17th the club members will be displaying their best trees. Demonstrations by club members will be held at 11 am and pm both days. All visitors will be offered the opportunity to vote on their favorite tree. Results will appear here. Admission to the show is free; however, we do accept donations. More Information…

June 11th
“Hands-on Workshop”

The club will hold a workshop this evening that will run until 9 pm. Participants can purchase plant material to work on – either Kingsville Boxwood (Buxus microphylla compacta) or Shimpaku Juniper (Juniperus chinesis).  The event will be open to the public, but club members have priority seating. If you are not working on a tree, this is still a wonderful opportunity to watch others as they prune, style and wire trees. However, it’s also a chance to get your hands on mature bonsai material. The boxwoods have an estimated age of 15-20 years old and the boxwoods are about 5-10 years old. The trees were lovingly brought up as potential bonsai at Brussel’s Bonsai Nursery in Olive Branch, MS. These are not shrubs that you’d want to put in the ground, they have been given extra special attention to their pruning from the time they were seedlings in order to send them on their way to becoming bonsai masterpieces.

Please contact info@badgerbonsai.net if you are interested. Materials can be bought on site, the cost for trees is $80 each – SUPPLIES ARE LIMITED.

Note:This workshop will be focusing on pruning and styling only. We will not be repotting (that is recommended for March or April). There will be a follow-up meeting early next spring when we will repot these trees into proper bonsai containers

July – no meeting

August 13th
“State Fair Field Trip”
For August, the club will be taking a group trip to the WI State Fair in Milwaukee. The state fair has a bonsai display in the Horticulture Building with approximately 20-30 show quality trees. MEETING AGENDA: View and critique the Bonsai on display, observe the judges critiques and try to see what the judges saw. Hope to see you there!

September 10th
“Work on your own tree(s)”
Please bring in your own tree(s) to work on. With fall just around the corner, September can be a good time to do some last minute pruning, wiring and winter preparation. Remove wire before it cuts the bark, remove undesirable branches to conserve energy next spring. All club members are encouraged to bring at least one tree to work on and visitors are welcome to bring in a tree and ask for advice. This is a great opportunity for novices to pick up new skills and information.

October 8th
“Discuss Winter Preparation”

Bring in your own tree(s). Leaves are falling so the cold is coming! In October, we will discuss overwintering techniques for WI bonsai. What might work in California just won’t keep a bonsai alive through a Wisconsin Winter. And remember, next moth is officer elections. October is a good time to put your name in the hat for next month.

November 12th
“Officer Election/Year End Business/Plan 2010 Events”

This is the yearly business meeting for the club. We hold nominations/elections for officer seats. Our club president is stepping down from his post after 2009, creating a unique opportunity for someone to fill the roll. We will also begin mapping out the 2010 activities calendar.

December 10th
“o Tannenbaum”

Join us as we take in the holiday cheer and try to shake off the cold. If you haven’t offered your bonsai protection from the WI winter, do not delay any longer! As most things are frozen solid in Wisconsin during December, we bonsai enthusiasts are left to do things like eat cookies and talk about next spring. Sure, there’s tropical plants to work on, but who wants to risk the elements?*