Blog # 15 Community outreach ... and whats been going on at Ron Anderson Bonsai

Our goal is to always have fun while doing bonsai, hence our company slogan    You know you are a bonsai freak when you ...




I am feverishly still re-potting all my deciduous trees and depending on what part of the country you live in, you are either about ready to start or just like me feverishly trying to finish re-potting all your bonsai. Now throw in getting ready for a show, accent plants, teaching, home remodel, taking care of your animals and … yes we all have busy lives. Even with 3 helpers I still have about 25 plants to go.

I will always be indebted to the Santa Cruz Bonsai Kai Club and my first teachers in that club. Before I even knew what bonsai tools looked like I received advice, guidance and purchased some of my first plants from the following people. First was the president at that time Chris Howe; Chris came to my house and looked at all my sticks in pots and told me how great they looked…I was hooked! Then these following members helped me begin and advance my bonsai journey … Gareth Shepherd, John Thompson, Katsumi Kinoshita, Don White, Maggie Brubaker, Robert Stoll and Don Hilbert. It will be 7 years this month since I won the three little trees that started me on my bonsai journey … in part thanks to these club members who keeping the spark burning. So many people join so many things in life but never finish, i am glad then club was around to keep me interested.

So for the last 4 years I have volunteered to give back to not only the club, but to the community. Because if we don’t share bonsai…it is a fine art that could slowly fade away. Here is what I posted on Facebook at the beginning of March, 2014…. Also please stop by my group on facebook

Hi Guys, for many years the Pro-build nursery has supported our club with allowing us to leave flyers for customers telling about our upcoming events. Three years ago I began giving some basic demos on bonsai at Pro-build nursery in Santa Cruz on River Street. My thought was “what a wonderful gift we have in bonsai and how sad to never share it”. Last year the Pro-build garden center donated two complete trays of about 60 beginning bonsai to our Club... Santa Cruz Bonsai Kai to give out at our annual show. As time as gone by they have coordinated, advertised and set up my upcoming Demos. Why do i tell you this? I will be giving a bonsai basic re-pot and how to turn nursery stock into bonsai Demo this Saturday The 8th of March starting at 1100. I look forward to seeing you if you are in the area.

Here are the pictures and story to go along with the pictures from this weekend.

 This demo and talk was how to turn nursery stock into bonsai


People starting to arrive, there was a very diverse group of observers with many questions


 Here i was beginning to do the talk and was explaining how to use all of the Pink Quince plant including the roots.

Since most people were new to bonsai, i also explained the tools they need some basics on pots and how I became interested in bonsai and about the Santa Cruz Bonsai Kai's upcoming show.


Here the participants are writing down the steps to re-pot a bonsai


Here i am explaining the different plant options we have to work with today...Pink quince, Orange quince and Red quince and also fielding questions


Here i am explaining why we work on the trunk of the tree first to fatten or thicken the base of the tree ... the Nabari


Here i am fielding a question about fruiting and flowering trees.


There were a few potters in the crowd who were also interested in bonsai...This gentlemen stood on a chair to get a better view


See the green watering can...(photo bomb) it was a great talk and Demo with lots of participation, I divided the plant and made two plants to work with.

one was just a formal upright with no wire and the second was a cascade were i added a little wire to give it some basic movement. We discussed trunk development,

how to add movement to a branch, how to use Dip-grow, adding mesh, wire sizes, wire and how to tie into your bonsai pot, the bonsai mix we use and why,

pest and disease control, why we use small leaf plants to make bonsai, Low NPK fertilizer, what makes a great starter plant, indoor verses outdoor bonsai,

how much roots ball to remove,, why we remove the tap root, styles of bonsai trees, how to strengthen a weak tree, how to make root over rock bonsai, and many more!!


Here are the two winners,  the First winner is Irene Jones a member of the Santa Cruz Bonsai Kai Club who won the formal upright tree in the cream pot. The second winner was Amanda Bennet who was new to bonsai, She won the little cascade Pink quince.  A special thanks goes to Pro-build and its staff for setting up everything. Pro-Build nursery also donated the plants and pots you see in the pictures. I donated my time, bonsai mix and some basic materials.


Also i want to thank everyone who showed up, asked questions, got involved and made my Demo and two hour talk lots of fun. Thank you to...Brad Sadek, Ed Kennedy, Tom, Cole, Hudson, Derek Schultz, Michelle, Sylvia Rios, Darlene, Lynn Curtin, Judy, Yiping, Charles brown, Dante Draven, Sheila and Mike, Jules, and Kelly Anderson for taking the Photos. We hope to see all of you at our up coming Annual Bonsai Show March 22nd, and 23rd, 2014 that will be held at the Museum of Art and History 705 Front Street, Santa Cruz ca here is some info...


Saturday and Sunday, March 22 & 23, 2014
10am – 5pm with a demonstration both days at 2pm by John "JT" Thompson. At The MAH—Museum of Art and History in Downtown Santa Cruz. The demo trees and many other bonsai, starts and pots will be raffled off. Bonsai, pre-bonsai, pots and accessories for sale with guidance from experienced club members. Come see our amazing collection and learn about the wonderful art of bonsai. Stop by and see me i will be in the sales area answering question and working on a Bonsai Tree!!


Ron Anderson

















Written by Ron Anderson — March 12, 2014