Club Meeting January 2012

Yvonne welcomed our new member Johan as well as all members and wished them compliments of the season. Apologies were received from Derek, Peter, Jurie, Gail and Tony.

In the slot "Tips and Cheats", Yvonne said that she had found it very beneficial to take photographs of a tree from different angles and then print these in black and white. Printing in colour caused a distraction. She also advocated placing wedges under ones tree at different points to see if a tree could not be improved by tilting, which often was the case.

Freddie presented a power point presentation on the background and all the hard work behind the scenes for Arbor Week. This had been a collaboration between the City Council and the clubs in the western Cape. The week had been very successful with many visitors admiring large bonsai that are normally too cumbersome to transport to exhibitions. This had been made possible by the city who had provided the man power. Members of the public were encouraged to bring their trees for advice. He hoped it could be repeated this year.

In the "Story of my Tree", Terry brought along an Elm, he had bought which had been imported from China. He had chosen it purely because he liked the nebari giving no thought to branch structure. The growth of the tree was stunted and he noticed a lot of white grubs so he potted it up in a larger pot with completely new soil. He explained that although the nebari had been the initial attraction he now felt he needed to reduce the visual weight in this section. Various suggestions addressing his main concern of his back branch were put forward for Terry to consider.

Carl presented the main talk of the evening "Styling of Indigenous Trees". African Styles had been pioneered by Charles Ceronio in his book. He drew up a comparison chart of oriental styling which was with pines and needle trees in mind against African trees which generally had upward pointing branches. He felt that we should use our indigenous trees to express a more African feel, while keeping in mind bonsai principles of design. He was finding this very difficult to achieve because trees that have upward pointing branches allow very little space for the branches higher up the tree. He felt that when designing a tree one must take into account the species characteristics and use creativity and sensitivity. He was reminded of a quote by John Naka "Bonsai is a representation of nature not a mirror image". It was a very thought provoking talk which surely stimulated all present.

Yvonne the judge of the evening pointed out a beautiful tree belonging to Hennie and two belonging to Freddie.

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Distant mountain heights...

Lonely trees clinging...

In the hollow of my hand

Random Bonsai Tip

By limbering or flexing a branch or trunk you gently break the cambium layer loose and the healing process will then increase the diameter of a branch or trunk which is too thin