Club Meeting April 2013

by Pieter Loots

Good day dear members, hope you are all doing well and are enjoying the bright colors of autumn. We had quite a pleasant club meeting this month.

First off we had DJ Visser who spoke about White and Black fly, both can thrive when weather is hot, left unchecked and no pest control are in place. So please look under your leaves especially olives if you see any white fly.

Then Terry gave a very informative talk about building stands, giving us an easy guide to building a cheap yet sturdy and effective bonsai stand.

Next up we had a lucky draw with some nice tools from Japan, there were a pair of scissors, a branch cutter and a large concave cutter up for grabs – all this for R10 a ticket per item and you could buy as many as you want. There will be more lucky draws over the next few months, prizes include more tools, bonsai trees, pots and more. Be sure to bring some money with to the next meeting.

Feedback on the New Talent Competition 2013 which took place at Kirstenbosch over Easter: our club had 3 entries, Amith who came second, Jan-Jurie who came third and DJ Visser. The competition was won by Alex Rodewald from Boland Bonsai Kai.

Congratulations to all who took part!

At last we had Francois who spoke on Cedars. The sub species mostly used for bonsai is Lebani, Atlantica and Deodar. Francois brought with a very nice large Cedar Deodar which was styled in an African style. In nature cedars grow top heavy and quite often have multiple trunks. He suggested that we, as South African growers, should focus more on indigenous styles. He quoted Kimura saying bonsai growers should use species and styles from there home countries to specialize our art more. Cedars like well draining soil, Francois uses river sand and compost, and he told us they love high nitrogen feeding. He also recommends using Koinor every 3 months. When he repots he removes old roots but always leaves at least one third of the roots. Francois also suggests whenever removing a branch rather leave it as a jin, as this specie grows quite heavy calluses. When you wire branches check them regularly and keep out of full sun when wired. He prunes his branches when they reach 10 centimeters. He also mentioned that they take quite well to air layering.

The meeting was very informative and quite exciting with the lucky draw, thank you for all who attended. I hope to see more faces next month.