Creating bonsai from stumps.


How to start a bonsai tree from just a stump. There are many ways to start a bonsai. You do not have to start from a seed as most people think. Here are a few ways you can start a bonsai:
  1. From a seed.
  2. From a cutting.
  3. Using a stump you dug up or bought
  4. From nursery stock
  5. Buy pre-bonsai stock from a specialized bonsai nursery
  6. Buy a developed tree.

Each one of the above mentioned points have pro’s and con’s. I listed them from one to six. One taking the longest and six being the fastest and easiest way to get started with bonsai. I have to say using the first two methods is very time consuming. When using the first two methods, use big pots or grow it in the open ground. After that you can plant it into bonsai pots. This will speed up the process.


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Cascades & Phoenix grafts at our monthly meeting


Yesterday was our monthly club meeting as always there where great topics to discuss. The chosen topic for the day was cascades. We covered both cascade styles, Kengai (full cascade) & Han-kengai (semi cascade). It was interesting how everyone in the club had they own interpretation of the two styles. We had an in-depth discussion on tree species that are suitable to grow as cascade bonsai. The two tree species that was mentioned by most of the members were Junipers and Cotoneasters.

We took trees along for discussion. Always difficult as you need to be open for feedback. With that said you can choose weather you want to take the advice or if you want to continue the tree by using your own interpretation. Bonsai is an art form and if all of us use these rule or as I like to look at them guidelines to the “T” all…

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Staying with cascades: How to avoid sitting with a trees that has no potential.


Here is a tree that I have been busy with for almost five years now. Its been a struggle as you can see in the photo above. When I bought this tree I did not have the slightest idea how to work with Junipers. I just wanted a Juniper as everyone in the bonsai community said that they were the king of bonsai trees and that you needed to have at least one in your collection. I decided to write this blog to address the two major mistakes I made and to help others avoid them.

I would like to urge new bonsai artist out there to keep their collection as small as possible. Rather test multiple techniques on one tree and get comfortable with one species before moving to the next. When in dought ask a bonsai artist in your region for advice. I know nothing gets the blood…

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Taking another look at my Australian Bush Cherry.


This is one of two trees that I bought from a local nursery a few years back. I spend 800 bucks on the two trees. The top part of the trees were dying so I got them at a good price. After I got home I reduced the tree to a third of its height. This tree cough my eye as it had a beautiful deadwood feature. All I needed to do was grow in branches… to frame the feature.

I left the tree to grow and placed branches as they appeared. I also worked on the deadwood. If you take a good look at the close up of the tree you will see that there are two places that I work on the deadwood. I only carve small piece of wood away at times when I work on the tree. I learned a big lesson after I burned one…

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How to use regular trimming to create great bonsai trees.


I have read and wrote a few articles now. I feel that it is time that someone explains how trimming a bonsai tree works. A lot of advice have been given on what branches to remove and when to work on you tree but I feel there is not enough said on trimming and how to do this. I know when I started my bonsai career there was not a lot of though put into trimming and planning a tree. Trimming is one of the things that when done right results in good foliage pads and awesome ramification. By trimming your bonsai tree regularly you can also direct growth where you want it by choosing to trim branches or buds off that grows in unwanted places.

In this blog I will be covering the following:

  1. Tools and techniques.
  2. Different reasons of trimming.
  3. Projects that I worked on.

Tools and Techniques.

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Finding inspiration in nature.


Yesterday I was very busy. Not with bonsai but busy helping my sister move. As I was driving I wondered what I will be bloging about today. I knew I would not get any work done on my trees today after the move. We loaded the truck twice and drove around for about three hours.

I took photos as I was driving and when I looked at these photos I decided to share them with you. In Cape Town the area where my sister is moving to there are a lot of gailforce winds and trees get forced to grow towards one side. In bonsai we call this style a windswept style.

This is something that we strive hard to achieve but I for one have not mastered this style as trees tend to grow in there own natural style.

This is the first photo of trees planted on an…

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Oyama Bonsai Kai Show April 2018


I visited Oyama Bonsai Kai’s show at the Kirstenbosch Botanical gardens today. It was a very nice show. the lay out was amazing and the trees on show were some of the best I have seen in a long while. There was a lot of work put into this show and I would like to thank all of the member of Oyama Bonsai Kai for their effort and time they spend in preparing this spectacular event.

The photo above was the first tree you saw as you entered the exhibition hall. As you walk through the door and turn right you were welcomed with a beautiful Japanese garden in the middle of the venue.


The trees on display were inspirational and very captivating. The favorite part of the show for me was the Shohin/ Mame bonsai display.


Here are a few close up shots I took of the trees and…

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Sunday bonsai nursery hunting.


Today I visited a nursery in Betty’s Bay at the Harold Porter National Botanical gardens. They had a sale on some of their plants and trees from friday till tomorrow. It’s quite a drive from where I live. Took me one hour forthy five minutes to drive there.

I told myself that I was not going to buy any unnecessary plants and that if I find nothing I would just walk away. At first glance I could not see anything that drew my attention. After walking through the sales area the second time I spotted two Celtis Africana trees at the back of a few other trees. I went on my knees so say a prayer. Just kidding I bend over to have a closer look at the trees.

I loaded the two trees on a small trolley a Made my way to the exit to pay for the trees…

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