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Found this little guy clinging to the leaves on a bush in the garden. First time I see one with this coloring. http://t.co/9u7rzVt2XA

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  • Terry and Gerald, thanks so much for your input and support, I really appreciate it. I am really into this art, and I'm trying my best to get hold of as many species as I can (provided I enjoy the tree). I have just recently gotten hold of a few random cuttings, consisting of a long needled pine of sorts, and a few of which I think are Cypress - about 4 or 5 of them. Thanks again for the input, I will take everything into consideration and practise. Gerald, about those trees, inbox me.
    2 days ago
  • Terry Erasmus comment on the album Juniper Chinensis
    Shayn your wiring is not actually too bad. You've made some basic mistakes such as incorrectly anchoring the wire and such but the angles of the coils are not bad at all and better than some who...
  • Terry Erasmus comment on the album Pine, but which?
    I've never grown a pine from seed but I know the seedlings are treated as cuttings at around this stage or even earlier. Stephen at Stone Lantern is growing pines and I'm pretty sure he started...
  • Terry Erasmus comment on the album Serissa Foetida
    I am no expert on this species but I have found them to be slightly temperamental. I would work cautiously on their roots, I don't think they like for them to be disturbed much. My advice would be...
  • Shayn, you have clearly been doing some reading including information about defoliating. Although this is a critically important technique to know and understand you have applied it incorrectly....
  • Gerald Randall comment on the photo Chinese Maple 2
    Shayn, if I could I would like to comment on both your maples. As you, I bought myself a young maple, shortened it and waited 20 years for it to grow. Nothing wrong with that. If I could make a...
  • Gerald Randall comment on the album Wit Stinkhout
    You are right about it. Bark colour, texture and the soft leaves. Celtis Africana. Great tree for bonsai, but vigorous growing pattern. I have one which I have had for a very long time and it...
  • Gerald Randall comment on the photo IMG_0459
    I'm not sure how many layers you have made. I will give you a bit of a heads up on how I do mine. The growing medium is critically important. Sparghum Moss. I'm sure you can source it via Terry....
  • Gerald Randall comment on the photo IMG_0459
    Shayn, that is often why I air-layer my trees. The tree in this photo is, I assume as it has grown a bit, about 15cm, including the pot. It does not come from nursery stock, it is the top of an...
  • Gerald Randall comment on the photo image
    You actually make a good point. I tend to travel about 3 days out of five in a week. This weekend I looked at my pines, but the trees I worked on were my deciduous trees and some Junipers. You are...
  • Shayn shared 4 photos in Serissa Foetida album
    Serissa Foetida Top
    Serissa Foetida 1
    Serissa Foetida 1.2
    Serissa Foetida 1.1
    This is a group of 3 serissa's. Now I simply don't know what to do with it, although I am very eager for the challenge. Should I let it grow out? Or should I chomp it down to about 7cm - 9cm?...
    View location 5 days ago
    Terry Erasmus I am no expert on this species but I have found them to be slightly temperamental. I would work cautiously on their roots, I don't think they like for them to be disturbed much. My advice would be to create a fun planting with all three. Perhaps a piece of slate or a forest type pot, perhaps some miniature grasses or ground covers, a nice stone or 3 and make a landscape or saikei. Enjoy the trees for their flowers and don't try to fit them into the conventional bonsai styles.
    4 days ago
  • Shayn comment on the photo IMG_0459
    Love this. I'm planning on air-layering my Chinese Elm soon. Would it be wise/recommended to air-layer it in four areas down the trunk? Its nursery stock and I don't just want to cut it..
  • Shayn shared 8 photos in Chinese Maples In Progress album
    Chinese Maple 2 Top
    Chinese Maple 2 Trunk
    Chinese Maple 2 Ugly Cut
    Chinese Maple 2.1 Trunk
    Chinese Maple 2.1
    Chinese Maple 2
    Chinese Maple 1.2
    Chinese Maple 1.1
    The smaller Maple was purchased at Olive Grove Bonsai Centre - Received it for Xmas. All I have done since is de-foliate it. Growth seems good so far. The bigger maple was originally a 1.2 - 1.4m...
    View location 5 days ago
    Terry Erasmus Shayn, you have clearly been doing some reading including information about defoliating. Although this is a critically important technique to know and understand you have applied it incorrectly. Defoliation is not used on trees at this stage of development. My advice would be to decide what kind of tree you want these to be one day ie how big, what type of taper do you want etc. for something big the best would either be to slightly over pot it, but if you can put it into the ground then I would strongly suggest that. If you want something smaller, like a shohin then you can cut the trunk way down and develop a new leader/trunkline.
    I will hopefully in the near future write a newsletter on field growing. If you are subscribed (free) then you will receive it. All of my trees have been field grown for at least a few years.
    4 days ago
  • Shayn shared 4 photos in Wit Stinkhout album
    Wit Stinkhout Trunk 1
    Wit Stinkhout Trunk 1.1
    Wit Stinkhout Top
    Wit Stinkhout 1
    If I am wrong about the ID of this tree then please, please correct me. Re-potted about 6-7 months ago.
    View location 5 days ago
    Terry Erasmus Gerald, that's very kind of you to offer some trees to Shayn. Thank you for doing that.
    4 days ago
  • Shayn shared 2 photos in Pine, but which? album
    Pine Top
    Pine
    As the album title says.. I found this little guy in my mothers garden a few weeks back. Anybody have a clue as to which species of pine this is? Or is it still too early to tell? Any input would...
    View location 5 days ago
    Terry Erasmus I've never grown a pine from seed but I know the seedlings are treated as cuttings at around this stage or even earlier. Stephen at Stone Lantern is growing pines and I'm pretty sure he started them from seed. Perhaps he could be more assistance to you, plus he can't be too far from you.
    4 days ago
  • Shayn shared 2 photos in Juniper Chinensis album
    Juniper Chinensis Top
    Juniper Chinensis
    This is my second juniper, (first one was stolen) and I simply don't know if this is the best possible shaping at this time. Please forgive the untidy wiring. Any and all advice/criticism/help...
    View location 5 days ago
    Terry Erasmus Shayn your wiring is not actually too bad. You've made some basic mistakes such as incorrectly anchoring the wire and such but the angles of the coils are not bad at all and better than some who should know a lot better!
    With regards to the tree itself. In my opinion a great tree starts off with a great trunk. Doing something in a literati style will probably make the most sense as the trunk is thin and without much taper. For the moment branches seem to be going in all directions with foliage only at the tips. Try to promote foliage further up the branches, however the tree should do this of its own accord if you get it nice and healthy and prune it back every now and then.
    When I am about to style a tree I try to find examples of trees which inspire me with the material I have at hand. Sometimes I can wait for several years before I see something in a tree and begin working on it. What I'm trying to say though is that don't simply start working on a tree without having an end goal in mind. You are more likely to mess it up this way. Once you have a vision of what the tree will look like in your mind then you will not be deterred by people who try to persuade you that your idea is wrong or bad. If they are true artists and you tell them what you imagine for the tree in a few years then they should provide advice which will assist you in achieving that. I've seen trees designed by popular opinion and they are not outstanding trees.
    4 days ago
  • Shayn shared 9 photos in Acacia album
    Fever Tree Match-Stick Trunk
    Acacia Galpinii 2
    Acacia Galpinii 2 Trunk
    Acacia Galpinii 1
    Acacia Galpinii 1 Trunk
    Acacia Galpinii 1 Top
    Acacia Fever Tree Top
    Acacia Fever Tree 2
    The two acacias I got in January of 2014. Pruned them back a bit in Feb, and re-potted them a month or so later (as the buds began to swell). They have grown quite a bit since. I'm not too sure if...
    View location 5 days ago
    Gerald Randall Just by the way, I typed Shayn, and my computer changed it to 'Shaun'.
    4 days ago
  • Hi guys..
    Could anyone please direct me to a South African/Western Cape Bonsai FORUM?
    I have used sabonsai a few years ago, but they seem to be down. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    5 days ago
    Terry Erasmus When I began this website there was practically nothing online locally other than Caroll's BISA magazine. Now there are many local Facebook pages and of course all the international forums. I have my thoughts on why people would rather post in overseas forums and not local ones but nevertheless I have done my best to avoid this website becoming a personal blog. However in an effort to avoid stagnation ie nobody else posting, I've had to post more than I would like to.
    Regards the stick in the pot comment. I would like to clarify on this. No forum, no Facebook page, no blog and no book is a substitute for finding like minded individuals with whom you can learn in the format of an organized club or informal group getting together. Yes we all started crawling before we began to walk but doing a decent beginners course hosted by most bonsai clubs around the country is going to go a long way in getting you on your feet rather than trying to make sense of dozens of comments. There are many growers all over this country who I am sure would be only to glad to mentor someone just starting out. This is a practical artform which is learnt over time, through experimentation and you cannot learn it simply from pushing a mouse around surfing from one site to the next. So when I see someone posting a rooted cutting as a bonsai tree for example, all I want to say to them is they should get some basic training as giving them styling advice is simply too advanced for them at that stage. I am not saying this in a boastful manner, I do not mean to offend anyone or belittle them and I believe if they are serious about bonsai they will see the sense in what I am trying to suggest.
    4 days ago
  • Terry Erasmus comment on the photo image
    Yes Gerald, my confidence levels with pines have improved dramatically since I began traveling to Japan and learning at AichiEn. I have been permitted to work on many pines there from styling rough...
  • Gerald Randall comment on the photo image
    Thanks. I know only the basics of pines, so my question was merely to gauge what can be done to correct undesirable Nebari on pines in general. The Nebari on this tree works as it does provide...
  • Shayn comment on the photo Nice Serissa don't you think?
    Yeah figured it would mainly be in china, as one of the aka's are Chinese Snow Rose. Such beautiful specimens. Unfortunately I have allowed my first Serissa to dry out too much.. But recently got...
  • It sure is. Not commonly seen in Japan. Much more common in China. Notice the bags of fertilizer, this is the nursery in Japan where I am fortunate enough to go to for training each year, but it is...
  • Terry Erasmus comment on the photo image
    Gerald, sorry. Just remember one can layer pines. I've never done it and have never been taught to do it either. However I'm not about to practice on an imported tree. For now I am going to leave...
  • Terry Erasmus comment on the photo image
    Gerald, thanks. I can always count on you to point out my errors! :) It must have been a comment made after a night of little sleep (Theo is almost 5 months old now). There is as you say a lot of...
  • Gerald Randall comment on the photo image
    Haha. Ok, so westerners actually read from left to right. I agree with you with the front you chose. I looked throught the branch and can see plenty of movement in the trunk. Also, a lot of...
  • Hi guys, new to the forum/site. Loving everything I see. Had to move all my trees to the backyard yesterday, as there is a thief in the area. Got hold of my little ginseng and my Juniper Horizontalis.
    Anyway on a better note, they seem to be happier in the back anyway with a few extra hours sun.
    less than a minute ago
    Terry Erasmus Welcome Shayn and sorry to hear about the tree thief in your are. Seems this is becoming a problem as it's not the first time I hear of something like this.
    If you like the content please be sure to sign up to my newsletter as you will then receive a lot of relevant information, tips, notices of specials on bonsai merchandise and more. You can sign up on the bottom of this page, all that's needed is your email address.
    Enjoy your hobby!
    less than a minute ago
  • Shayn comment on the photo Nice Serissa don't you think?
    wow, thats a great looking Serissa!
  • Hi im new to the forum I have been going mad trying to find a soil mix to make as I stay in Johannesburg what can I get because the culttera bonsai mix hold too much water
    1 week ago
    Terry Erasmus The right shadecloth to use will depend on several factors I think. Most of all the species you are growing. Deciduous trees are definately going to benefit from more shade. The evergreens like more. Your growing medium and the rate of drying will also play a role but as you have said you cannot water during the day I would assume you are using a relatively moisture retentive mix. I have never used a moisture meter but this might work for you in the beginning. Problem is that different trees will require water at different rates ie a tree which has been defoliated will require little water vs a tree with a full canopy which will require a lot. Do you have white walls close to your trees? These reflect sunlight and radiate heat. Do you have stone in the ground, a ground cover or other? Stone retains heat and releases it later, groundcover retains some moisture in the soil and will increase ambient humidity.
    So that said, this is my suggestion, bearing in mind I don't know your garden. I would use 50% shadecloth and if possible fix it to wooden frames which can be removed during times of low sun. I would suggest watering in the morning rather than evening. Nighttime is when snails and slugs are active and they love wet conditions, same as fungi. If your trees are on ground make basic benches or something to lift them. Then plant groundcovers or something underneath the benches. Use groundcovers or grass to cover bare soil if possible.
    Hope this helps.
    4 days ago
  • Hi to all and a Happy Bonsai New Year......After a lot of TLC my Fukien Tea Tree is in full bloom...Thank to all for advice...If anyone is having problems I think ive been thru it all..will be glad to help...Keep up great web site....
    1 week ago
  • Terry Erasmus comment on the photo image
    Westerners read right to left. Movement often feels more comfortable to us then when moving right to left. This makes me feel a little uneasy. Its hard to be definitive on something like this, but...
  • Kobus comment on the photo image
    Terry, why not this as the front. This view shows the flow of the trunk better for me.
    Nice tree though.
  • Thank you Gerald, a compliment from you means a lot. Yes a lot of effort but I enjoyed the process. As I did everything myself I was able to contain a lot of the cost. Everything has been cemented...
  • Terry, I'm assuming you are never selling your house. Looking at these great benches, the effort and expense, I hope you have made them mobile. We recently sold our house and we will have to take...

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