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Cape Bonsai Kai August 2018 Newsletter

 From the President

Dear CBK Member,

 

Happy Spring week!

Congratulations to Bongani and Vanessa for participating in the club’s young designers competition held at Bishopsford Bonsai Nursery over the past weekend. The overall winner was Bongani but I am very happy that both participants will be appearing at the regional competition being held at the Cape Town bonsai Festival in October.

As with most people in South Africa, my bonsai collection is too big for the time that I have available to work on it. I have often reflected on why this is so and I suspect that the reason is that we don’t have to provide winter protection for our trees and we live in relatively large properties that can be filled with our hoarding desires. Can you imagine having to move all of your trees twice a year; from the summer benches into a cold house or garage for winter and then moving them out again when spring arrives. I regularly go through my collection trying to decide which trees are keepers and which I should part with but I always get stuck with sentimentality seeing the potential in the stock that I have collected, distilled and refined over the past 30 years.

As a result of this hoarding I often look through my trees and see beautiful canopies of green foliage but it is only when I get the tree onto the workbench that I start to see the problems: dieback inside the canopy, strong healthy foliage at the top of the tree and weak branched down below, the back of the tree becoming weak because it has not been exposed to the sun. This experience can also be applied to our club. We need to be vigilant to make sure that is not just looking good on the outside; we need to be aware of internal problems and solve them while they are still small and manageable. One of the constant difficulties we have is getting people to volunteer to help with our big events such as the Cape Town Bonsai Festival and our annual show. Please consider contributing whatever you can towards these efforts. No matter how little you do, it will mean there is a little bit less for others to do. Interestingly, since becoming president I have not received a single email from an ordinary member making a suggestion or offering advice. The first noncommittee member to send me something substantive about the club and how we are doing will get a fun oddity off my bonsai benches. The point of the club is to create a bonsai community and so we do need everyone’s thoughts to make this a success.

I would like to thank everyone that helped run last month’s meeting in my absence. The next meeting is on 20 September and has the theme “Windswept” and will feature Freddie doing the main talk with other contributions to the programme from Cindy, Gail, Brett and Terry.

The committee has agreed that I can set up a social WhatsApp group or Kai members. It will not be used for formal communications (these emails are for that) but it will be used to generate discussion and sharing of bonsai related excitement at times between the meetings. We will keep it on topic so that it is an inclusive space for any enthusiast that wants to participate. Please send your details to me at 082 964 4857 if you want to join.

See many of you on the 20th

Carl

 

CBK Newsletter August 2018.pdf

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Maple leaves turning

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Random Bonsai Tip

When creating a cascade the root-ground level must be on a horizontal plane. This imparts the stability to the whole style. Do not tilt the tree, bend the trunk.