President's Report - March 2019

Submitted by williamdewitt on Mon, 03/11/2019 - 15:00

President’s report - Brett Simon

Firstly I would like to, on behalf of Oyama, convey our condolences to Faried who’s wife passed away last month. Our thoughts and prayers are with you through this difficult time.

The weather is starting to cool down and some of my trees have started to lose their leaves. As I have said before this is the most important time of year to feed your trees. The energy that is stored now is used for the new growth the following spring. By feeding your trees now you help them to be able to store food so that you have good growth the following season.

Viky and I have just got back from a fantastic weekend in Richards Bay where we were the headliners for their first bonsai convention. The enthusiasm in the club and the hunger for information was refreshing. They have many members that have just started bonsai. Viky and I got to work on some great trees and besides the heat enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.

At our last club meeting, we started with how to clean up the live vein on Junipers. The main reason this is done is to check for a 3mm pest called a borer. They get under the flaky bark and are impossible to see. There are no known poisons that kill them so the only way to remove them is to find them. Early signs are dust collecting on the surface of the soil. They can eventually ring bark a branch or even the main trunk.
There have been posts by the Cape Town municipality over social media saying that borer are becoming a huge problem in our region so I urge you to start this before it is too late.

Next up we had Freddie giving us a demo and talk on repotting a buddleja. I think this is one of the most under utilised species we have available to us. What was very important was the timing. This is best done between the end of November through to end of February. The main reason for this is they love the heat. Freddie showed us how he “chops” off the lower third to half of the root mass. This can be done by slicing. He used an electric saw, slicing off the bottom part of the root mass. He then showed us a hand saw or a paint scraper can also be used. He then found the main roots on the surface and carefully cleaned in between them. Lastly, the flat surface that was left on the bottom was gently scraped so that the roots became loose. This allows them to inter-grate into the new soil. Buddleja like a free draining soil mix but don't like to be dry. Also, like to be fed well. 

I know I am going to get my hands on more stock of Buddleja.

Next meeting on the 13th is going to be great. We have Viky talking about the first styling of a yamadori. Next up will be me talking about Pine autumn work to follow on from we learned in January about decandling.

Next will be how to wedge cut a pine.

Hope to see you all there.