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  • Writer's pictureTom Lau

Tak Shimazu the Think Tank Part 1

It felt good to see everybody after our short break during the month of August. September meeting is always been fun, because its gives us time to talk experts on how we should setup our plants for a short second growing season of the year.

Fall Season brings reflection of the year in bonsai. It gives us a time to see where our trees have been and gives us a chance plan our next moves for the coming year. It also a time where clubs reflect on the people who really served and support their activities throughout the year. This Fall we were able to give a huge "Thank You" to two special individuals for years did the dirty work without even complaining.

We like to give a shout out to Hedy Marien our fearless Newsletter Editor/Writer who has came from no editting or bonsai experience to being a great newsletter editor. I will miss Hedy candid reporting without filters and recording what she hears; just the plain and simple truth. The club gave Hedy for her hard work and dedication to the club. A $100.00 giftcard to Aaron Brothers. Yes, Lindsay made sure to put your name on it Hedy so Alex did not go spend it without you!

The other person we like to thank for your hard work is Elaine Jeche. She has been our clubs Treasurer and Raffle Barker for at least the past 5 years since I joined the club. She always had a smile and asking us help fundraise during our monthly raffle and she was always working at our yearly show. Thanks for keeping us in the BLACK Elaine. The club got you a small swivel table so you can work on your bonsai collection. Lindsay was the sub for Elaine as she was absent at the October's meeting.

Now to the main event. Tak the Think Tank! Tak suggested a workshop but ended up to be a round robin event for him; that ended with a small demo! To keep this post short, I'm going to just post the *Gold Nugget* of each participant.

Big Joe was excited to be the MC for the night! Great introduction of Tak!

Alex was the first person to jump into the hot seat with his San Jose Juniper. Tak suggested to change the angle of the tree to give the maximum girth to the trunk. It would have involved a major branch bend.

*Gold Nugget* The branch that Tak suggested is right above Tak's head. That particular branch has both live vein and shari (deadwood); it would be impossible to bend a branch that has a mixture of media without the branch phyiscally breaking off. He suggested that Alex remove the shari by a branch splitter and using jute or raffia to wrap around before bending.

Next up was Walter. He brought in a Shohin Itoigawa Shimpaku. *Gold Nugget* Tak did some basic maintance on the tree by chasing back the branches to the first or second branchlet. The goal here is get some good ramification to produce a show quality Shohin in a couple of years. He also suggested to air or ground layer the tree to the fattest part of the reverse taper.

Peter was third and he brought in a really old Japanese Black Pine. Peter had an idea for this tree but wanted to ask his Sensei personally. After some good debate, *Gold Nugget* Tak said, "Ulimately we want to show off the fattest part of the trunk and the majors branches are already in the right spots." It will give you the shortest time from nursery can to show with the best results.

Next was one of our youngest and newer member Gus. I totally understand where Gus is at in his point of his bonsai hobby. I'm proud to see he put in an effort to bring a tree in to have Tak give him a run through. Gus brought in a young Mugo Pine. It had alot of long branches with few branches on the interior.

*Gold Nugget* Tak suggested to cut to where interior buds are currently showing to force more back budding to the core of plant. Mugo are known for having a really tight compact shape that will cause die back in the shaded area of the plant. He also showed us what some japanese artist were doing to counter the legging branches. They would be snaking the branches to force a compact look. He has its not the correct way to address the issue.

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