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cork bark elm bonsai progression

Chinese Cork Bark Elm Progression, Part 1

7 min read

In this first episode of the development of a field grown Cork Bark Elm as a bonsai tree, Terry Erasmus shares what appealed to him about the tree initially and the processes and techniques he employed during the first year of growth in a container environment.
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cork bark chinese elm cuttings bonsai

Cork bark elm cuttings the easy way

6 min read

Cuttings are a fun method of creating new bonsai. From a field grown Cork Bark Elm I recently purchased, I create 10 exciting cuttings detailing each step with text and photos for you to follow. There is also a secret which I share with you on taking cuttings of this species which will greatly enhance your chance of success.
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English elm bonsai development

Development of an English Elm Bonsai

19 min read

Follow the development of this English Elm bonsai from rooted cutting in a bag, field growing, development and then finally through refinement to exhibition.
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Hennie Nel Air layering a chinese elm bonsai tree

Hennie Nel Air Layers a Chinese Elm

3 min read

Hennie Nel decides a Cork Bark Chinese Elm bonsai in his collection can be improved by air layering. Luckily I was there at the time to document the process for you.
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Chinese elm bonsai tree makeover

Makeover of a Chinese Elm - Continued

6 min read

In this post we continue with the development of an old Chinese elm which began a remake in 2009. We pick up from where the first installment ended and show you what the tree looks like now and describe the techniques used.
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cork bark chinese elm repotting

How to build a wooden box for an elm bonsai in 1min 42sec, well almost.

9 min read

In this blog post I will show you how I construct simple wooden boxes which I used to grow collected or yamadori in, as well as to initially grow field grown tree in. For an example I will work on a field grown Cork Bark Chinese Elm; showing you the steps I take on this sort of material.

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taking cuttings for bonsai trees

Learn how to take cuttings in these 10 easy to follow steps

5 min read

Starting bonsai from cutting material is both fun and of course a cheap method of rapidly increasing the size of your collection. Want a fruit or flower bearing bonsai tree? Don't grow it from seed, take a cutting and shave off years from the wait. In these 10 easy steps you too can learn how to take cuttings.

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Field grown chinese elm bonsai tree

Progression of a Field Grown English Elm over 6 years

10 min read

Bonsai progressions are always fun to look at. It shows in a few short paragraphs of text and some images, the work and changes a bonsai tree has undergone over a number of years. What makes it fun though is that our art is as much about trees as it is about patience, so seeing all these changes condensed is like pressing fast forward on the remote.

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Chinese elm makeover

Makeover of a Chinese Elm

8 min read

This Chinese elm was purchased from a nursery, where it was originally imported from China. It was grown very quickly and displayed many faults. However the basic trunkline and structure was pleasing and over the course of 8 or so years it was remade. It was recently worked on by Francois Jeker, who gave it an extra nudge in the right direction. Read in this blog post about the process used to get it to what you see today.

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Terry Erasmus works on a chinese elm

Bush to Bonsai Chinese Elm

11 min read

This Chinese elm started out as a bag tree from a local nursery. After field growing it and developing the trunk for some years I finally lifted and began styling it in 2013. The tree is now at the stage where branch structure is being developed. In this blog post we will defoliate the elm, trim the excessive growth and style the branches with wire.

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repotting bonsai trees

Some final tips for winter

5 min read

In this blog post we cover some of the last minute tasks I would recommend for the tail end of winter. These are the tasks covered: Appropriate pruning, weeding before its too late, too much moss, select trees for repotting and preventative plant protection.

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