Club Meeting October 2014

by Jurie van Heerden

Jurie welcomed all members and present apologies from Terry Erasmus, Francois Voges and Yvonne Romyn. He also reminded members of the Arbour weekend Bonsai Festival and asked members to prepare their trees for the Cape Bonsai Kai Bonsai Show in Kirstenbosch gardens from the 12 to 14 December 2014.

Trees with flaws

Trevor started the discussion on inverse taper and indicated that there are various ways of hiding the flaws in bonsai trees. Trevor further indicated (tongue-in-cheek) that if you see a rock next to a tree that there is a big chance that there is a flaw with the tree.

Carl spoke about a Chinese saying that a tree is a tea drinking bonsai which means that the bonsai tree is interested and could be viewed while drinking tea. Carl displayed a Juniper probumense nana bonsai tree and asked the members what they see as possible flaws in the tree. A discussion started where members commented on the trunk of the tree and possible improvements that can be made with the tree.

Next Carl displayed a maple from Rudi Adam and spoke about possible flaws in the tree and discussed with the members what their views were. Members also discussed what the possible front of the tree could be – Carl thank all for their time and closed the discussion.

Judge's choice & group discussion

Trevor discussed a maple forest from Hennie Nel and how it could be developed into a great bonsai specimen. He then discussed a tree from Jan-Jurie indicated that some more ramification can be done to improve the bonsai tree and also discussed a root and how to possible position it better which he believes it would develop into a very good bonsai tree. Next was a Juniper Procumbens nana from Carl which Trevor discussed with the members - he lately commented that he was very impressed with the bonsai pot.

Creative thinking & bonsai guidelines

Carl gave a breakdown of guidelines and techniques and how to develop your bonsai trees. He discussed further that after a while your synthetics can come into play and sometimes supersedes the guidelines. Carl discussed a juniper that was put into a very nice visually strong pot and described that the power and beauty of pots should not over power the bonsai tree – he also discussed the juniper tree in more detail with some of the flaws of the tree. He explained that you must just enjoy and experience your bonsai trees instead of always wanting to redesign the trees. He also talked about how amazing and perfect the Japanese show bonsai trees are and he does not really want to own one as they must require lots of work. Carl also described how 2 different pots can create different experiences for one bonsai tree and by using pots you can be very creative – the members started a discussion around the options and matching pots with bonsai trees. He used a olive tree he bought at the Stellenbosch botanical auction and discussed the tree and some of the critical issues with tree – he mentioned that the tree was grown from 1992. Rudi suggest that the tree could be styled into literati. Carl then investigated the roots of the tree by removing the tree from the pot – he then used wire to bend the tree trunk using wire thus transformed the tree into a more interesting style. Carl thanked all and closed the presentation.

Jurie closed the meeting.


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If you were silent

Flight of herons on dark sky ...

Oh! Autumn snowflakes! ~ Sokan

Random Bonsai Tip

If your trunk lacks taper split the base of the trunk from below and plug the ends open with a piece of wood or a small stone.