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My Story

Terry Erasmus bonsai

My earliest memories of bonsai is working in the yard of my elementary school music teacher who in fact introduced me to bonsai, for containers rather than money. Through my school life I was an avid bonsai enthusiast but this came to an end {along with my tree collection} when I traveled and lived abroad for a few years in Europe.

After graduating as an Industrial designer and while active in another business pursuit, I was able to travel to China and while there I visited some of the famous gardens where bonsai were also on display. My interest in bonsai rekindled while a student became more fervent now.

I joined the Cape Bonsai Kai and was fortunate to find myself under the guidance of many of South Africa's most respected bonsai artists including Rudi Adam, Gail and Lionel Theron, Siggy and Dorothy Franz, Isabel Hofmeyer, Carl Morrow and many others. As a result of their nurturing I was able to go on to win the South African Young Designer Competition for bonsai. Some years later I was elected to serve as club Chairman.

It was not until 2011 when I first visited Japan that bonsai began to be an important part of my life and that I truly began to understand the styling of trees better. I was accepted into the apprenticeship program at AichiEn nursery in Nagoya later that year and ever since then I have traveled to Japan at least once each year. Over these many visits I have been privileged to meet many highly skilled bonsai professionals, not only from Japan but from other parts of the world too and to learn from them.

In 2016 I took a leap of faith and closed my main business down in order to run what had until then been a hobby business for 5 years. Bonsai Tree Pty Ltd was born and I am proud of the following statistics:

  • 5 fulltime employees.
  • Hundreds of orders per month are shipped to customers all across South Africa.
  • Diverse product range of over 600 unique items.
  • Direct imports from Europe, Japan, China and Taiwan requiring several containers arriving each year.
  • Internationally recognized bonsai blog, YouTube Channel and very active social media pages including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
  • Support of multiple customers with the routine maintenance and styling of their bonsai through a consultation service.
  • Importation of Japanese and Taiwanese bonsai for customers. View the current offering here.

I am very proud of my achievements and every success is owed to my customers who have supported me; my wife; but all the glory belongs to Him who created and styled me!

Terry Erasmus is married, has a young son and lives in Somerset West, Cape Town, South Africa.