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Bonsai Society

2018  40th Anniversary year

Honorary President - Peter Chan

Keith’s Monthly Newsletter

Chairman’s Tips.

We all appreciated Eddie’s Pyracantha wrap around at Christmas (pictured in last month’s newsletter) so why not have a go. I also remember a conversation a few of us had last year about the mites on Arthur’s English Elm and thought you might like to hear my edited version.


The pyracantha is an evergreen shrub of the Rose family. The pyracantha has extraordinary vitality and is also noted for its beauty and abundance of berries.

At the end of May, flowers emerge on the short tips of the branches, the berries mature from autumn to winter, their red, orange and yellow colour is very showy. You can grow pyracantha with no difficulty from seed or by layering, but, due to its ease, it is recommended that you grow them from cuttings.

You can make cuttings of branches as thick as your thumb, since they root easily and grow very rapidly. The best time to make cuttings is just before budding in the spring. Always look for branches with interesting curves.

To facilitate rooting, it is very important to cut the base of the cuttings cleanly with a very sharp knife.

After rooting, the priority is clearly the shaping of new branches and the thickening of the trunk and so, in this stage, you are not interested in having them bear fruit. If it starts to bear fruit, remove the berries as soon as possible.

Pyracanthas have a tendency to grow straight up and, to correct that, repeat the pruning, both in the growing period and in the dormant period.

When the branches are well formed, it is the time to enjoy their berries.

Pyracanthas can be grown very easily. They grow well in both sun and shade, but in full sunlight they bloom and fructify more and the appearance of their foliage is more compact.

English Elm

English elms are virtually pest free, the Dutch elm disease carrying beetle, Scolitus destructor, will not bother a bonsai. I have never encountered aphids or spider mites, but leaf-hoppers can sometimes be a problem. They hide under the leaves and suck sap through tiny punctures, causing pale patches on the upper surface. Your favourite insecticide should deter the little blighters.

One pest which is immune to all known insecticides and which cause no end of concern to elm lovers is the gall mite. It is this microscopically small creature which creates those tiny red pimples that are an unmistakable feature of the English elm leaves.

Mites over winter in their thousands in the buds where they breed. Come spring they emerge in the leaves. On Bonsai they are limited to the first five or six buds. Many more may be infested on larger trees, with bigger buds. There can be several hundred on one leaf, sometimes so many that the leaf is unrecognisable as such and usually withers and dies and then falls.

The mites can wait patiently inside a bud for several years. Leaves emerging from three-year-old buds can be highly infested, suggesting that the mites may continue to reproduce for some time.

Little is known about the life cycle of elm gall mites, but it appears that around mid summer, they migrate from the galls, back down the petiole into the bud in the leaf axil. There they reproduce ready for next year. They travel from tree to tree on the wind so no elm is safe. One year you may see one or two little red pimples and think nothing of it. The following year your bonsai is covered with them.

Gall Mites The Cure

The only known way to get rid of these nuisances is to burn them! Naturally you have to remove the affected leaves from the tree first - every single one of them. Even if there is only one gall on the last leaf on the tree it has to go.

Timing is important. You must remove the infested leaves before the mites migrate back to the bud. No one seems to know exactly when this is, so don’t delay. Where only a few leaves are concerned, you can nip them off as soon as you spot trouble, but where a tree is heavily infested, almost total defoliants may be necessary, so wait until the leaves become hardened. Failure to do this will result in the same disfigured growth caused by pinching new shoots too early.

Caterpillars of the Comma butterfly may feed on elm. If your bonsai is big enough, you can leave them. They don’t eat much, and they are quite attractive, with tan tuffs of hair and orange and white bits down the sides. By high summer they will have eaten their fill and will form a suspended chrysalis under one of the branches. It is an inconspicuous affair, similar in colour to the elms bark, but with a curious metallic, mirror-like patch on each flank. After a few weeks the adult butterfly will emerge, one of the few species to metamorphosise in such a short time.


Hi all Solent Bonsai Society members and friends.

Our next meeting is on the 23rd February and is our Winter Image Show evening, this gives members a chance to show other members some of the trees that they have and discuss and get advice on their trees, so please bring them along, it's always a great evening that everyone enjoys. Don’t forget bring along family and friends, all are welcome.

25th February is the first show of the year, The Swindon Winter Image show, Solent are not showing this year as it is the turn of Eastleigh Bonsai Society, it is always a good show to start the Bonsai year with many traders selling trees, pots, etc.

The meeting on the 30th March is a repotting evening, so bring those trees along that you would like to repot at the club evening, or get some advice on.

Acadama and  Kyodama. If anyone requires Acadama or Kyodama for their repotting please let Collette know at the February meeting.

Secretary’s Report.

The January auction was great fun with plenty of laughs. Our thanks go to Clive our auctioneer who was ably assisted by Rob and a hard-working Arthur, Eddie and Richard who kept an Eagle eye on me making sure there were no mistakes during the auction on the spreadsheet.

I hope all who bought trees, tables ,etc. were happy with their purchases.

Shows in 2018

Swindon Winter Image Show 2018

Swindon Winter Image show is on 25th February 2018, one of the best shows of the year at:-

 Grange Leisure Centre, Grange Drive, Stratton St. Margaret, Swindon, Wiltshire. SN3 4JY

It is a good opportunity to buy those elusive pots, trees etc. as there are many traders at the show.

More information can be found on their website . www.swindon-bonsai.co.uk

Sutton Bonsai Club Show 24th & 25th March 2018 Saturday & Sunday

Wisley Gardens, Wisley Lane, Wisley, Surrey. GU23 6QB

You pay £12.60 adult, children £6.30, to enter Wisley gardens and the Bonsai Show is free to enter.

Expo Bonsai UK 2018

Expo Bonsai UK  8th April 2018 at:-

The Harlington sports centre, Pinkwell Lane, Harlington, Middlesex. UB3 1PB

The show open to public 1000-1600, Admission £5. The event will consist of a display of approximately 100 show quality trees along with support from a number of well known bonsai traders.

Further details to follow. If you are interested in submitting a tree for consideration please contact ebuk@gmail.com . for more details see the website www.expobonsaiuk.weebly.com

Wessex Bonsai Show

Solent have been invited to show at the Wessex Bonsai Show on Sunday 6th May (please note this is a change of date from January newsletter due to incorrect information on their internet site last month)

itis held at the Kinson Community Centre, Pelhams Park, Millais Road, Kinson, Bournemouth. BH10 7LH

The show starts at 10:30am to 5pm, the entrance fee is £3.50, Solent Bonsai Society will be represented plus numerous other societies and traders, it should be a very good show and worth the trip to Bournemouth. Wessex , Eastleigh and Solent will also be taking part in the Bellinger trophy which is held yearly between the clubs.

Solent Bonsai Society

Sunday 3th June 2018, Club summer show, 10am to 4 pm,  Entrance Free.

Wallington Village Hall, Broadcut, Fareham. PO16 8ST

Please don’t forget bring along family and friends, all are welcome.

Eastbourne & Wealdon Show 2018

Solent will be exhibiting at the Eastbourne & Wealdon Bonsai Club show on Sunday 10th June 2018

it is held at:- Herstmonceux Village Hall, Hails ham Road, Herstmonceux. BN27 4JX

Admission: £2.50 1000-1600.hrs

Details can be found at the following Internet site    www.eandwbonsaiclub.co.uk

Salisbury Bonsai 30th Anniversary Show 2018

Solent will be exhibiting at the Salisbury Bonsai 30th Anniversary Show 1st July 2018

Salisbury Auction Centre, Netherhampton Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire. SP2 8RH

Admission: tba, Time 1000-1700 hrs

Details can be found at the following Internet site  www.salisburybonsaisociety.co.uk

Chichester Bonsai Club Show 2018

Solent will be exhibiting, 7 th & 8th July 2018 at Manor Nursery, Pagham Road, Runcron, Chichester. PO20 1LJ

Free Admission 1000-1700.hrs Saturday, 1000-1500.hrs Sunday

Great Sunday lunch (you have to book).

This is a great show and is a good opportunity to show your trees as there is a very large display area for each club. If you would like to show a tree/trees please let Rob or I know, have a go.

29th July 2018 Sunday Staverton Bonsai Table Top Sale

There is a bonsai car boot sale on 29th July at Staverton Club the address is

39 Staverton, Trowbridge, Wiltshire. BA14 6PA which will have many trees, pots, etc for sale.

Community Woodfair Show on Saturday 1st September 2018

Solent and Eastleigh Bonsai Society's have been invited to bring some indigenous bonsai to the show.

The show is not a bonsai show but a show that promotes woodcrafts etc. and should be worth a visit in September, it is held at:- Zionshill Copse, Local nature reserve, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh. SO53 4SJ

The Heathrow Bonsai Show 21st October 2018

Solent’s last bonsai show of the year is The Heathrow Bonsai Show on 21st October 2018, it is held at:-

The Harlington sports centre, Pinkwell Lane, Harlington, Middlesex. UB3 1PB

The show open to public 1000-1600, Entrance fees are, adults £3, children under 12 go Free.

This is an excellent show and well worth attending, there are 38 clubs exhibiting bonsai and viewing stones, 25 traders. All Day Refreshments available.

More information can be found at www.heathrowbonsai.weebly.com

Other Local Club Meetings in our area.

Eastleigh Bonsai Society meets on second Monday of the month start at 7:30pm, the next meeting is on Monday 12th March 2018 and is a Workshop – Bring your trees and tools.

Chichester Bonsai Society meet on second Thursday of the month start 7:30pm, the next meeting is on Thursday 8th March 2018 and is Re-potting – including demo & talk by Society Committee members. Bring your trees along for help and advice.  www.chichesterbonsai.co.uk

All the clubs in the area support each other. If anyone would like more information on other local clubs please let me know.

Look forward to seeing you all on Friday 23rd February

at our Winter Image show.

Keith Hartley

Secretary Solent Bonsai Society


Tree of the Month

January TotM results

1st Enid Jones with a Pine Saikei (landscape).

2nd Keith Hartley with a Hornbeam Group.

3rd Kathryn Ling with a  Chinese Elm informal upright.