2017 December AGM and Azalea Discussion

It was close to a full house as BSV members met for the final meeting of 2017.  First on the Agenda was the Annual General Meeting of the Society followed by Trevor talking about azaleas.  The evening finished with a great supper provided by members.

Brief reports were provided covering the years activities.  These included the continuing healthy membership, extensive communications with members via Newsletter, Web site and Facebook, an extensive program of demonstrations and workshops,  Masterclass and Novice sessions, a very successful Annual Bonsai Exhibition, Welcome packs for new members, a successful Sales Day and several community events.   Finances remain sound with further investments in member benefits and a small surplus recorded for the year.  Membership fees will remain unchanged for 2018.

The Frank Hocking Award for 2017 was awarded to Robert R. for his many valuable and ongoing contributions to the Society.

Following a recommendation from the Committee, the meeting agreed to award Life Membership to Gerard S. in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the Society over many years.  Gerard also won the tree display raffle with his Lemon Scented Gum displayed earlier in the year.

Many thanks were extended to the Committee and members for their hard work during the year to create opportunities for members to develop and extend their bonsai art capabilities.

Following the annual reports, elections for next years office bearers were conducted by Howard W..  Victor, Chris and Neil continue as President, Treasurer and Committee member. The Society welcomes new Committee members Melissa as Secretary together with John H., Victor L., Andre N., Kim B. and Colin B..

Special thanks were extended to the retiring Committee members Kevin, Rob and Lyn for their contributions during this and past years.

The Committee looks forward to your continuing involvement in the Society during 2018.

Satsuki in flower
Satsuki in flower

Following the AGM, Trevor from Bonsai Art Nursery talked about azaleas; some of which are displayed above.  Trevor focussed on the Satsuki variety in his talk.

  • The correct pronunciation of Satsuki can be challenging with the “u” being silent in Japanese.  Trevor has a long habit of using the phonetic pronunciation for many years and finds it difficult to change.
  • Azaleas are part of the Rhododendron genus and the common indica, kurume and satsuki cultivars have been intensely cultivated over hundreds of years.
  • Satsuki azaleas are good for bonsai.  They have small leaves, they flower in late spring/early summer and have new growth before flowering.  They have been bred in Japan over hundreds of years to be used in bonsai.  There are thousands of species with an extensive range of flower colours and shapes.  Different colours and shapes can be found on the same plant and they can change over time.
  • Indica and kurume varieties can be used for bonsai but are generally not preferred. Indica have large leaves and flowers and kurume require more work than satsuki.
  • Trevor discussing the finer points of growing Azaleas.
    Trevor discussing the finer points of growing Azaleas.
  • Satsuki enjoy being a bit pot bound and are suitable for many bonsai styles.
  • Soil needs to be well draining and watering is best applied after the surface layer dries out.  Pots may need to be a bit deeper to help the plants cope with the drier conditions in Australia.
  • Satsuki in bloom are great indoors for short periods but avoid watering the flowers to extend their life.  Soak the pot.
  • Satsuki are not apical dominant so be very careful when trimming the apex.
  • Time in the ground can help develop nebari.
  • The lace bug is the most common pest and will need a systemic insecticide to control.
  • And many other helpful hints which I am sure Trevor will be happy to share when you visit his nursery.
  • Victor thanking Trevor.
    Victor thanking Trevor.


    Display trees including azaleas are included below.

Chinese Elm
Chinese Elm
Azalea "Kazan"
Azalea “Kazan”
Shore Pine - Pinus contorta
Shore Pine – Pinus contorta
Satsuki "Nanatu Boshi"
Satsuki “Nanatu Boshi”
Coastal Tea Tree
Coastal Tea Tree