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Club Meeting July 2012

by Terry Erasmus

It's my responsibility to nominate someone to do the meeting review, however I forgot last time, just engrossed in the talks I guess. So I will attempt to do justice to those who spoke on the evening, from memory.

Phil developed an illness and was unable to deliver his talk on pests, however Yvonne was rearing to go in her slot on root systems. Instead of the traditional method of delivering information ie. I speak and you listen, Yvonne prepared her talk around audience participation. After dividing the members in attendance into small groups and passing out questionnaires, she used a series of PowerPoint slides to prompt discussion around examples of bonsai with a focus on their nebari. The audience appeared to enjoy the exercise and I am sure are wiser when it comes to roots systems now.

Everyone knows that Dorothy is a very enthusiastic collector and aficionado of viewing stones, so who better to talk on the subject than her. Dorothy gave us some very interesting facts about the strict rules surrounding the collection, care and display of viewing stones in China. What was also interesting was some of the legends and myth surrounding this otherwise very 'odd' fascination and its place in eastern religion. Dorothy showed us some of her stones and told us a little about each one, where she had collected them and what she saw in them. Surely now when you next go for a walk in the mountains or along a river somewhere you will pay more attention to what you are walking over, you may just find your first viewing stone.

Carl and Viky together gave us a demonstration of winter pruning, Viky on a Celtis forest and Carl on a Chinese Quince. The importance of winter pruning and its role in the development of your bonsai trees cannot be exaggerated. If you would like to get those fine twigs in your branches, otherwise known as ramification, then you best master winter pruning.

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Haiku

Right at my feet -

and when did you get here,

snail? ~ Issa

Random Bonsai Tip

Use vinegar and water to remove moss but it is not as effective as using Limestone Ammonium Nitrate (LAN) and water. Be very careful not to spill any of the LAN on the roots of the bonsai tree as it may burn them and may in the worst case cause the tree to die. Carefully paint the LAN and water mix on the trunk of the bonsai tree and within days you should see the moss turn brown and die.