Club Meeting January 2015

by Jurie van Heerden

Jurie welcomed all members - he also thanked members of their work at the Annual Cape Bonsai Kai Show which was held from the 12 to 14 December 2014.

Shaun van Laun did the bush to bonsai slot and started by explaining to the members his vision of the design of the tree.

Jan-Jurie Loots discussed and presented the branch development in Figs. He discussed his tree and the last 10 years of development of the tree. He presented some essential information you need to develop branches in figs, like evaluating the design and get branch placement in harmony with the style of the tree. Jan-Jurie also demonstrated how the thinning out process works, how to shorten branches and how to force diversification of the structure.

He described the stages of branch development by waiting for thicker branches to develop and then to wire, removing the wire and then prune back and lastly to prune to two buds that would bud horizontally. He closed the presentation by discussing the following:

  • Stages of development,
  • The level of design,
  • The maintenance of the design,
  • Understanding the material, and
  • Techniques of how to develop and control the tree's growth and overall vigour.

Yvonne Romyn was the Judge in Judge's Choice and Group discussion. Some comments from Yvonne on the trees she picked for group discussion.

  • Yvonne discussed a Portulacaria clump of trees from Kevin Kelly and thought the clump of trees were very nice,
  • The kai members discussed the uses of the portulacaria tree and how good it is to the environment,
  • Hennie Nel mentioned that the a portulacaria won best in show in China,
  • Yvonne also discussed a Ensorcia (huil boerboon) from Vicky which she really liked,
  • Lastly, Yvonne discussed a tree from Hennie Nel called a Num-Num and she gave some advice on how to "cheat".

Trevor Venables started the next presentation on Indigenous trees and discussed the distribution of indigenous trees into seven vegetative biomes which are:

  1. Forest
  2. Thicket
  3. Savanna
  4. Grassland
  5. Nana Karoo
  6. Succulent Karoo, and
  7. Fynbos.

Trevor further discussed the Bonsai Design and requirements for indigenous trees and explained the detail of what soil, how to transplant and how to water and prune trees.

The rest of the presentation Trevor displayed a picture or live tree to describe all the indigenous trees in South Africa.

They were as follows:

  1. Acacia,
  2. Galpinii
  3. Burkei
  4. Nigrescens,
  5. Adansonia Digitata,
  6. Bauhinia Tomentosa / Natalensis,
  7. Burchellia Bubalina,
  8. Buddleja Saligna
  9. Carissa Macrocarpa,
  10. Celtis Africana,
  11. Colonema,
  12. Dalbergia Armata / Obovata,
  13. Diospyros Lycioides,
  14. Diospyros Whyteana,
  15. Dombeya Rotundifolia,
  16. Dovyalis Caffra,
  17. Ficus,
  18. Galpinia Transvaalica,
  19. Grewia Occidentalis,
  20. Heteropyxis Natalensis,
  21. Kiggelaria Africana,
  22. Olea,
  23. Portulacaria Afra,
  24. Schotia Afra / Brachypetala,
  25. Syzygium Cordatum,
  26. Bolusanthus speciosa,
  27. Erythina Lysistemon,
  28. Sideroxylon Inerme,
  29. Rhus sp,
  30. Ochna Serrulata,
  31. Cassine Peragua,
  32. Lannea Schweinfurthii,
  33. Berchemia Discolor, and
  34. Podocarpus.

Trevor thanked all for their time and closed the presentation.

Jurie closed the meeting by thanking all presenters and members for attending the meeting.

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Distant mountain heights...

Lonely trees clinging...

In the hollow of my hand

Random Bonsai Tip

To thicken thin branches make a cut just below the branch or a bud on the branch. The sugars produced in the leaves of the tree move down to the roots through the phloem, this flow of sap is interrupted by the cut and the accumulation of sugars above the cut increases the vigour as it is used by the bud, forcing it into action. As soon as the wound heals the normal sap flow resumes.