1 January 2019

Bonsai Things to do in Cape Town - January

     JANUARY 

Month
Mean Rainfall mm
Rel.  Humidity %
Daily Sun­shine Hrs
Temp. Max Celcius
Temp. Min Celcius
Jan
11,6
70
11,1
26
15,7

POSITION
Long, hot, windy days, trees need protection & must not be allowed to dry out.
WATERING
Humidity is low, mist and place containers of water between trees to increase humidity. Trees that dry out may suffer leaf burn and die if left dry for too long. Watch watering carefully.
FERTILISING
Some trees, such as maples suffer from a combination of drying wind and build up of sodium in the soil which makes it difficult for them to take up moisture. Try sprinkling a small amount of gypsum on the soil and water well. All the watering causes’ nutrients to leach out of the soil so fertilise regularly. Fertilise flowering plants with 3:1:5. 
DISEASE CONTROL
If trees are stressed use Superthrive in small doses to help them cope. Pests and diseases may be slightly less prevalent during these low humidity days but watch for them anyway and spray as necessary.
PRUNING
Maintenance pruning and nipping needs to be kept up and wiring may be done but watch lest branches thicken and cause wire scars. Strong growing and healthy deciduous bonsai may be de-foliated early this month to encourage a second growth season and to reduce leaf size.
POTTING
Figs may be potted now but it is too hot for most species to be potted.
REMARKS
A nice time of the year to get out and about, collect stones and rocks and even compost and gravel for mixing soils. Mosses mostly look unhappy during this time of year due to low humidity. Try to mist spray bonsai often. 

28 December 2018

Telephone problems

Unfortunately we are still being let down by cellular connectivity in our area.  We are available via Facebook messenger on the Bonsai at Bishopsford South Africa page or email bishopsfordbonsai(at)gmail.com  We are open 7 days a week from 9am to 4.30pm except New Year's Day 1 January 2019.

16 December 2018

Christmas trading hours


We are closed on Christmas Day, day of Goodwill and New Years Day but open on the Day of Reconciliation public holiday and every other day of the year from 9am to 4.30pm. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas, enjoy this special time with your families and friends.

Avoid the chaotic shops and parking areas and shop for Christmas in our beautiful tranquil Bonsai garden. Buy a ready made Bonsai from R125, starter kits from R55 and a wide selection of Bonsai related products.

How to care for bonsai


Years of loving care have gone into creating a bonsai. With a few minutes of daily attention it will develop, improve and give you a great deal of pleasure for many years.

If you have acquired a healthy and well established bonsai there are six golden rules for maintaining it; 

POSITION 

OUTDOORS
·    Bonsai are easier to care for if kept outdoors and they do better outside.
·    The tree should receive 3 to 4 hours of morning sun.
·    Bonsai may be brought indoors in the evenings or for a few days in order to display them.  If returning them outdoors after a few days inside, put them in the shade initially.
INDOORS
·    Wild figs, brush cherry, Chinese snow rose are some of those making excellent indoor bonsai.
·    Bonsai should be placed where they receive maximum light but not directly against the window allow 30 centimeters from the glass.



WATERING  

Incorrect watering is the commonest cause of the demise of bonsai. Good sound common sense is needed. Trees should not remain bone dry for longer than 8 hours, equally well, soil should not remain sodden. 

OUTDOORS
In summer daily watering is required.
Trees must be thoroughly watered.   Water should be allowed to run out of  the drainage holes.
Occasionally trees may be dunked in deep water, for a few minutes.
In the winter rainfall region:
Trees do not use as much water in winter as in summer.
If there is no rain, water 2 or 3 times per week.  
INDOORS
Water 3 to 4 times per week depending on the temperature of the room.
Create a humid environment by placing the bonsai pot on a tray filled with pebbles, water running through the drainage holes will dissipate between pebbles and create humidity. N. B. On no account should the pot stand in water for any length of time.
Keep foliage dust free with hose or mist spray.      


FERTILISING 

Feed deciduous trees once a month in growing season with Hortisol, take a break in mid winter for a few months.
Fertilise evergreen trees once a month throughout the year.

Flowering and fruiting trees; August to June once a month with Hortisol or 
3:1:5.

Follow instructions on package carefully in order not to damage bonsai. Do not fertilise ailing trees.  The dilution ratio for Hortisol is on the wrap around lable on the bottle which you need to peel off.

DISEASE AND PEST CONTROL  

Scale, red spider mite, mealy bug, black spot etc. are frequently not detected until the tree is seriously debilitated.  For spider and other mites use Seizer 100EC + SK Eco oil spray

For scale, thrips, bugs, aphids and insect pests use No More Insects ready to use or Koinor (Koinor is systemic so only needs to be used 6 monthly).

Fungus infections use Orius 250EWS Systemic, Odeon 720 broad spectrum, or Rose Protector Ready to Use.  

Follow instructions on package carefully, many of the products have instructions on the wrap around lable which you need to peel off the bottle.  

PRUNING 

Due to the fact that you are supplying the tree with all its requirements viz. light, water and fertilizer it will periodically grow and this new growth should be trimmed to keep the tree in pleasing shape. 

Bonsai continue to grow and should improve for the first few hundred years of their lives. 

An important aspect of their development is the formation of a fine network of small branchlets. This is called ramification. In order to achieve this ramification the soft new growth needs to be frequently nipped back. Through this nipping back of the tips of branchlets the development of new and maybe, even extra little branchlets are encouraged. 

Due to this process reduction of leaf size will also occur. On a number of species of trees the first leaf on a new branchlet is smaller than the subsequent ones, therefore, that if the branchlet is cut off after this little leaf, subsequent leaves will be even smaller.
The top of the tree (apex) and the end of branches grow faster than others. If these ends are not continuously controlled by nipping or pruning there will be thicker branches at the top than at the bottom of the tree, instead of the other way around which would be correct. It is vitally important that the top of the tree is meticulously controlled and maintained. In addition the upper branch networks should be thinned out and/or removed to prevent lower branches being deprived of light, a lack of which will cause them to weaken. 

Branches that emerge from the trunk of the tree are called primary branches. Those that emerge from the primary branches are secondary branches, those that emerge from the secondary branches are tertiary - the entire structure is referred to as the branch network. 

When branch networks are viewed from above they should conform – broadly speaking to the overall shape of the tree when it is viewed from the front. This means that those secondary branches nearer the trunk should be longer than those at the end of the primary branch – they should be progressively shorter.

As a rough guide; branches growing directly upwards or downwards should be wired laterally or radically shortened. Generally there should be spaces between branch networks. See the section in the manual; CREATE YOUR OWN BONSAI by Lionel Théron, which refers to branch placement and shapes of branch networks (pages 26 – 29).  The manual is available for purchase in the nursery. 

RE-POTTING 

When you purchase your tree from us you are given a care sheet with a repotting date, the time of year for repotting is limited to certain seasons or months, so if you miss your approximate time you need to wait until the following year.

1 December 2018

Bonsai things to do in Cape Town - December


DECEMBER                                     
         
Month
Mean Rainfall mm
Rel.  Humidity %
Daily Sun­shine Hrs
Temp. Max Celsius
Temp. Min Celsius
Dec
13,9
70
10,8
25,1
14,9

POSITION
The sun is high and the days are long, humidity is very low so trees may have to be moved to partial shade. It is kind to most bonsai if the ambient humidity could be increased by placing dishes or water around or by keeping ground under the benches damp. Misting is an ideal way of increasing moisture in the air.
WATERING
Frequent south-east winds blow during December drying bonsai out. A few hours of totally dry roots is enough to kill a tree, so this watering is a vital daily task.
FERTILISING
Constant watering leaches nutrients out of the soil and they need to be replaced. Do not feed totally dry trees, water them before applying fertilisers.
DISEASE CONTROL
Watch for insect pests and diseases, they do not take holidays, use appropriate measures. Remember it is normally inadvisable to mix pesticides together due to possible chemical reactions. Mix only as much pesticide or fetiliser as you can use at once, many chemicals, once mixed oxidise and may become harmful.
PRUNING
Maintenance pruning and nipping should be carried out this month. Some design pruning and wiring may also be done.
POTTING
The only trees that may be potted are wild figs. If very little root disturbance is required trees may be transferred to other pots.
REMARKS
This is show time and holidays. Enjoy both and visit bonsai friends. And give the gift of a Bonsai, it will be enjoyed for a lifetime.

1 November 2018

Bonsai Things to do in Cape Town - November


NOVEMBER   



Month
Mean Rainfall mm
Rel.  Humidity %
Daily Sun­shine Hrs
Temp. Max Celsius
Temp. Min Celsius
November
13,7
70
10,3
23,6
13,0

POSITION
The start of hot dry summer weather may be experienced, some trees may need to be moved to less sunny spots or, if necessary, put up shade cloth. Remember, trees need very bright light for photosynthesis to operate so if shade cloth is used do not use types that cut out excess light.
WATERING
If the trees are outdoors daily watering is required unless it rains.
FERTILISING
Continue fertilising and feed flowering and fruiting bonsai with a fertiliser which is high in potassium such as 3: 1: 5.
DISEASE CONTROL
Pests are always around and a wary eye has to be kept out for them.
PRUNING
The frantic growth of spring may have slowed down a bit but it is still necessary to nip and perhaps a critical eye may be used to revise and update designs of trees. Look very carefully to ensure that top branches are not becoming too heavy and so on. Sort out secondary branches and the fine networks of branchlets so that they do not become an entangled mess.
POTTING
There is still time to pot many evergreens, watch the buds.

REMARKS
Visit other bonsai growers' collections and nurseries for inspiration. There is time for seed sowing and propagating by cuttings and air-layering.
Clean-up, erect new benches... Do not be impatient but relax and enjoy everything you do as you do it.

25 May 2018

Mame pots for sale


Beautiful selection of Mame pots just unpacked. Most of them are Japanese and collected by Lionel and Gail on their many trips to the Far East over the last 45 years. Priced from R100.