Club Meeting October 2011

by Dorothy Franz

After the usual housekeeping notices Yvonne started the evening off with some pointers about watering. This one daily function of every bonsai grower yet often done by rote and sometimes haphazardly. Little attention is paid to the species of tree e.g. pines need less water and don’t like being soaking wet all the time. She urged members to pay attention to their ground cover. Not too much moss or a thick layer of stones which can prevent the intake of water. Is your area being shaded by trees? Do you get a lot of wind? How well does your soil drain? All of these factors affect one’s watering programme.

Trevor’s ten minute talk concentrated on roots and their function. He pointed out that it is the small pinprick discs at the end of fine roots that do the intake of water and nutrients. That is why it is so important to preserve sufficient fine roots when repotting. One can easily get reverse osmosis if your intake is not enough.

Judge of the evening was Dorothy who brought up two trees, an olive belonging to Viky and one belonging to Trevor. Viky’s tree was a delightful shohin with some beautifully executed carving. Trevor’s tree basically just needed some refinement and correction with regard to the balance of the tree. This caused some controversy. Ultimately it is Trevor who has to decide which way to go with the suggestions.

In the slot “The story of my tree”, Peter brought along a large olive which he had dug up. It was a tree he had used at the workshop with Budi Solystio. It had several branches all flowing in one direction and Budi had felt it resembled a dancer so it has been named “Dancing Budi”. The tree had a very elegant flow and looked very healthy. It lacked a bit of depth which in time will be corrected.

The main talk of the evening on Olives was given by Freddie. This was a real treat. Freddie has a great love for Olives and feels they are very under utilised because they have acquired a reputation for being fickle. He brought along several trees, 2, 4 and 6 years to demonstrate the development that can be achieved. For his demonstration he had brought 2 large collected trees. Unfortunately because of time constraints he only worked on the one, a semi-cascade. After some discussion, the consensus was that he should turn the tree around. He agreed, although it was not his original intended front. He proceeded to wire the branches and put them into place. The result was most pleasing and with time will develop into an exciting tree.