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The Yarra Valley Bonsai Society, based in the 'far east' of Melbourne, caters for bonsai enthusiasts of all skill levels, from the simply curious and absolute beginner to the advanced practitioners. 

Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at Chirnside Park Community Hub at 33 Kimberley Drive in Chirnside Park (Melway Ref 37 F3 or see map here).  Monthly meetings usually begin with a Review/Overview session at 7.30pm, followed by a short business section and then a feature event: usually a demonstrator or speaker on a topic of interest.  In addition to our monthly meetings, we hold informal workshops on the last Saturday of each month from 1-4:00 pm also at Chirnside Park Community Hub.

For membership enquiries contact info@yarravalleybonsai.org.au or download an application form and send it to the PO Box listed above.  Better yet, bring it along to the next meeting or workshop. Membership has its benefits, such as substantial discounts at selected nurseries and other businesses of interest, but visitors are always welcome. 

Club Meeting 2016 04 LATEST NEWS: World Bonsai Convention 8th to 16th October - virtual, online, no travel required! Earlybird registration now extended to 31st July!

The June Club meeting featured the long-awaited demonstration on grafting techniqies by our own Nick R, assisted by his work colleague Michael. Nick had previously presented on this topic via a Zoom demonstration during Covid lockdown, but being able to see the techniques in person was so much more effective. While not for everybody, graftng can often be a useful addition to our bonsai toolbox.

The next Club meeting on Tuesday 12th July will be the always popular Team Challenge! Members will join a team of 4 - 6 people comprising a mixture of experienced, intermediate and novice practitioners, and take on the task of creating the best bonsai possible from club-supplied trees within a tight timeframe in the night! Always a lot of fun, and a great learnig experience. Bring along your tools!

July is the middle of winter in Melbourne, so we can expect continuing cold weather, foggy or frosty mornings, and possibly even snow in some outer areas. Occasional bursts of winter sunshine will however brighten these days. We humans can enjoy open fires, hot drinks and heated house, but our bonsais are usually out in the weather. Although our climate rarely reaches zero or sub-zero temperatures, providing some protection for our trees from the winter elements may still be necessary.

Most tree species we use for bonsai in this area are hardy and able to withstand freezing conditions. However, when grown in containers they do not have the ability to bury their roots deep into the ground, which they would normally do to insulate them from the cold. Also, we need to be wary of extremely wet weather. Bonsai’s need to be kept as well drained as possible. Placing bricks or blocks of wood under the pot ensures that water escapes and allows the air to circulate around and under them. Having trees saturated for extended amounts of time may also lead to problems through rotting of the roots, which is invariably fatal.

Now is also the ideal time to carefully inspect deciduous trees. Performing wiring and pruning tasks now, will make things less hectic in Spring. Check that the correct tools are available, and that they are cleaned, sharp and ready for action. Check also the stock of pots, wire, and of course the correct soil.

Avoid the temptation to re-pot too early, wait until the buds start to swell. Due to changes in the weather patterns, some trees might even be starting to do this now - so take the lead from what they are doing, and not the calendar. Let their actions be your guide.

Our Last Saturday of the Month Workshop is on 30th July from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Visitors are always welcome - drop in to check us out, seek assistance, or watch our members at work on their trees.

We look forward to catching up with you somewhere in the "world of bonsai" in 2022.