Author Topic: Calgary Bonsai?  (Read 14525 times)

jlushious

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Calgary Bonsai?
« on: September 07, 2013, 07:19 PM »
Hi folks, just finished moving from Vancouver, BC (Canada) - zone 8b to Calgary, Alberta (Canada) - zone 4a. My collection is still in Vancouver with my trusted family until I can determine which trees will be able to move with me. Just wondering if anyone on here is from Calgary - or knows someone who is? My efforts at finding a bonsai club here are pretty fruitless at this point.

Thanks for any help!

Jodie
 

scottroxburgh

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Re: Calgary Bonsai?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2013, 04:20 AM »
I can't help you, but I am moving from Canberra, Australia to Vancouver BC.

What are your recommendations for clubs in the area?
 

jlushious

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Re: Calgary Bonsai?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2013, 11:52 AM »
It depends where you are living but there are two major clubs on the mainland:

BC Bonsai Society: http://www.bcbonsaisociety.org/BC_Bonsai_Society/Welcome.html

They are great, I was part of this club and found it to be really helpful. They have a member who has studied in Japan.

There is also the Westcoast Bonsai Society: http://westcoastbonsaisociety.ca/index.php

They meet in North Vancouver, but I do not know much about them.

The climate there is so good you can grow pretty much anything, just make sure you have good draining soil as it rains a lot.
 

leszekr

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Re: Calgary Bonsai?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2013, 10:27 PM »
Hi Jodie, there is no club in Calgary. I can't even tell you about other bonsai hobbyists here other than myself. I moved from Ontario back in 2011 and brought some trees with me. What survived is as follows: Eastern White Cedar, Larch (Tamarack), Scots Pine, Mugho Pine, Itiogawa Juniper, Blue Rug Juniper, Alberta Spruce (this one not really thriving, it is just there), Eastern Hemlock, Hinoki Cypress and Amur Maple... I lost a few trees which could not cope with Calgary's weather - freeze-thaw cycles brought on by Chinooks. Trees were brought out of dormancy or their hardiness was lowered because of warm spells and they perished. Also you mentioned 4a hardiness zone - in some sheltered areas of the city you'll get that. Otherwise it is 3b (this is where I am) or even 3a...brrr... in a summary, conifers seem to be doing ok here, most of the trees I lost were deciduous trees. If you have Japanese Maples, Tridents, Beeches, Burning Bush, Elms, Crabapples, Birches you may as well leave them in BC. I had Boxwood, Linden, Hinoki Cypress Sawara nad Korean Hornbeam that barely survived here and I had to take them to my friend's place in BC and plant them in the ground in effort to revive  them. Anyway, if you want to, please contact me so you can get a bit more info on the topic, maybe see my garden and the trees that made it.
Leszek
 

jlushious

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Re: Calgary Bonsai?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 04:27 PM »
Thanks! I have not brought any of my trees from BC. I didn't want to take any chances with them since they were fine where they are for the winter (in BC).

I do have some deciduous that I will be sad to leave behind (my tridents, my prunus and particularly my dawn redwood). I figured most of those wouldn't make it out here, just too dry with all the winds to stay hydrated enough.

I will PM you, I would be interested in seeing your collection!
 

Caine

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Re: Calgary Bonsai?
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2013, 10:53 AM »
I've wanted to get started with bonsai but have never really known where to start. I was hoping to find locals who had bonsai experience to chat with and maybe have coffee. Watching videos and reading online is just not the same as being able to learn from someone and share experiences in person.

I was wondering if you two ever got together. I'm sure there are many isolated bonsai keepers in Calgary. Maybe we just need to dig to find them all :)
 

Chrisl

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Re: Calgary Bonsai?
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2013, 11:10 AM »
Jodie, can't you provide some kind of winter shelter...garage, hoop house, shed in Calgary?  I'm pretty sure you'd be able to grow decid. trees this way.  Big culture difference b/w Calgary and Vancouver I bet too ;)
 

jlushious

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Re: Calgary Bonsai?
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2013, 11:48 AM »
We haven't gotten together yet, but have exchanged some emails. I have intentions to go check out his collection, he said he has some winter storage situation set up. Right now the few trees that I picked up here, are deciduous and I have stuck in my shed. It's on the protected side of the house, so it should function well enough for this winter (they are also in large pots - probably too big, but it should provide some protection for now).

We certainly should start up a group discussion. Maybe a study group type format, where we just meet at someone's house once in a while to talk bonsai.

Definitely a very different climate than Vancouver! Colder winters, hotter summers and lots of wind. Eventually I will probably be putting together a winter structure, but seeing as we just moved into a rental house for now I can't do a ton. From what I have seen, there are a number of native deciduous trees that thrive here, just from looking at the landscaping and the foothills range land. Aspen and such seem to do fine here.

In any case, Caine I will pm you and we can connect via email as well!
 

bofobo

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Re: Calgary Bonsai?
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2013, 01:55 PM »
Greetings. I like finding threads like this because it is close to home. I am one of those Calgary bonsai keepers, more like 2 summer tree killer tho. Lol. I am a Calgary native who decided it was high time to get into bonsai a couple years ago and only had 1 of my garden collected plants survive the first winter on my patio table fully exposed. Yeah dumb but it taught me a lesson. That same tree has survived my amateurs soil mixes, totally dry roots, and over watering. I have purchased some Wally world trees ( indoor) but mostly for the pot. There is a little garden center just east of Chinook mall called garden retreat. They have no plants worth bonsai but it is the only place I have found tools pots and other essentials. I have been looking around for other bonsai enthusiast's since before I planted my first seed and have been largely unsuccessful myself, and would be very interested in meeting new people with this common interest.
 

Benedicto

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Re: Calgary Bonsai?
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2013, 12:13 AM »
Hello all, I just happened to stumble onto this thread while searching for Bonsai clubs here. I'm a SAIT student in Calgary and I'm fascinated with Bonsai but am having some troubles starting up and learning the basics; YouTube and google can only help so much. :( I was hoping to find a group that met on a regular basis where I could learn...unfortunately I have very little experience with bonsai or plants period and can use any knowledge I can get. Would be great if something started up?
 

jlushious

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Re: Calgary Bonsai?
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2013, 04:21 PM »
Awesome, another one! I sent you a PM with my info. This is great, we can start an informal group or something, even if we are all beginners we can share any knowledge we have gained so far.
 

Gaffer

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Re: Calgary Bonsai?
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2013, 07:56 PM »
Well done guys your on your way.
Why did you have to move to Calgary .so cold. Eww
Qualicum Brian
 

bofobo

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Re: Calgary Bonsai?
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2013, 10:37 AM »
I don't know what happened to the original Calgary bonsai club but I would like to. Perhaps a few members are still around. In my short experience with bonsai and people through kijiji, neighbours and while shopping around, I have heard of individuals but most seem to have been very old and getting out of the hobby. Others have lost all their trees due to one cause or another and they didn't start up again. I'm told an old friends Dad has a couple trees and I have been looking to make my way up at take a look some day. With how much the world has changed in the last 10 years ( about how long since the last Calgary bonsai club updated their web site) and in the spirit of youth this group is starting out with perhaps we can connect with more people through social media like this, I don't know about you guys but the first place I went to find a club was Facebook. It is most likely the first place a novice or person with interest is likely to look for people to connect with.  Having said that I'm of the opinion we need a FB page and I'm open to debate on name ideas. I fancy BOW CITY BONSAI. Any ideas? Could be anything really even as mundane as YYC BONSAI CLUB.   ??? Oh oh CHINOOK WINDS BONSAI CLUB. Perhaps I'm getting a little ahead of myself but then again perhaps not.
 

Gaffer

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Re: Calgary Bonsai?
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2013, 09:17 PM »
Jodie
Leave your trees in van. If you can dig them into someone's garden and just let them get fat. I know you will eventially be back in van and your trees will love it.
Qualicum Brian
 

jlushious

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Re: Calgary Bonsai?
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2013, 09:08 PM »
I think that's a great plan, we should all meet up and get acquainted first though!

It would be great to use places like this forum and facebook and such to find other like-minded people in our area. There is a club in Edmonton as well as in Lethbridge, so there HAS to be others in Calgary.

I likely will leave at least half my trees in Vancouver, my family has a big house with a huge yard and I am pretty sure my mom is already eyeballing a few for decorative purposes! Either way a few will come, but many of the more tender varieties wouldn't survive anyways!