President's Report - February 2019

Submitted by williamdewitt on Mon, 02/11/2019 - 15:00

President’s report - Brett Simon


The year is already in full swing and the holidays feel like ages ago. Some of my trees such as Elms and Celtis are already showing signs of entering leaf drop. This may be due to our ever-changing climate. It is important that we start feeding our trees so that they can build up the reserves they need for winter dormancy. Trees such as buddleja and Olives are growing like crazy. Many other species will start there autumn push now. It is now too late to repot figs as the weather is getting cooler. 

With the winds we get this month in Cape Town I have found that wetting the En down helps to lift the humidity. This, in turn, helps the trees lose less water through transpiration. Also, make sure that trees that are top heavy are tied to the benches as they can blow over with the strong winds we expect at this time of year.

In our first meeting of the year, I discussed the decandling of pines. It is very important that the tree is strong before doing this. Russel brought a tree along and I showed why I did not feel the tree could be decandled. Not enough old needles were left on the tree when balancing the energy.
Phil then spoke to us about figs. There is such fun to be had with this species and I think way under utilised as bonsai.
Carl then showed us the Thys fig he did a major style on in a previous meeting. The bend worked well and the tree was healthy and strong. With the bend now set we looked at the tree for all possible fronts. Once this was chosen the tree was repotted and some big roots removed. The tree has come on very well but also keeping the original design in mind. it was also amazing to see how little soil the tree was actually growing in.

This month our main talk is by Freddie on buddleja and how to repot. I know for me this is going to be a huge learning curve as I have always been afraid of repotting them due to die back.
You will also have a chance to bring a tree and a few pots that you think could work for the tree. We will then discuss which pot is suited best to the tree. Please bring at least one tree to discuss. Great opportunity to get great advise from more experienced growers.
I will give a talk on removing bark from junipers. The why we do it and the how.

Hope to see you all for what is to be a greet meeting.