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Post  RyanSA on Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:26 am

Here in South Africa we are gearing up for winter. Not much to do bonsai wise?
*I will cease feeding, but do I water once a month instead of weekly/bi-weekly?
*In preparing them for our below 0 temps, I have read a lot about mulch. What does it consist of? I do a bit of carpentry, so will sawdust do?
*I am planning to bring the very vulnerable ones inside, the rest I want to cover at night, open again in the mornings - what do you think?

TIA guys.
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Post  Vlad on Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:47 pm

RyanSA wrote:Here in South Africa we are gearing up for winter. Not much to do bonsai wise?  


In the late summer/early autumn use fert designed for winter preparation Low N and higher K


*I will cease feeding, but do I water once a month instead of weekly/bi-weekly?  

Common sense.  If the substrate is dry then it will need water   Cool       Native trees are well adapted for this period. It is a good practice to give the trees a good soak few weeks before expected frosts.  I try to figure out what kind of plants/substrate do you use - watering weekly or bi-weekly ?

*In preparing them for our below 0 temps, I have read a lot about mulch. What does it consist of? I do a bit of carpentry, so will sawdust do?  

http://belanmaros.blogspot.com/search?q=sawdust

*I am planning to bring the very vulnerable ones inside, the rest I want to cover at night, open again in the mornings - what do you think?  

Sounds good. No chance to give anything better not knowing the temps low in your area and what kind of very vulnerable species you have in mind.  




TIA guys.


My personal opinion:  WHAT about the local guys?  No chance to speak to them?  First they are time synchonised and second they have better information about native trees

https://www.saba.org.za/
https://www.antonysmithbonsai.com/
...
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Post  Michigander on Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:35 pm

Here in South Africa we are gearing up for winter. Nt much to do bonsai wise?
*I will cease feeding, but do I water once a month instead of weekly/bi-weekly?
*In preparing them for our below 0 temps, I have read a lot about mulch. What does it consist of? I do a bit of carpentry, so will sawdust do?


These questions need to be answered together. Should we assume that you live in the cold semi-arid region?  SA climate is alien to most of us outsiders and hard to comprehend. Local plants should spend the "winter" pretty much the same as their counterparts in the landscape.  They need some extra protection because they are in pots not sunk in the ground.  If you have "winter" then you should have concurrent leaf drop, locally.  Those leaves are probably the best mulch.  Mulches (for these purposes) are non-matting and therefore not conducting heat/cold temperatures from the surrounding air.  The pots should be placed on the ground in contact with the soil.  The mulch covers the upper edges of the pot up to the base of the tree and prevents the pots and the soil in the pots from going up or down in temperature more than the surrounding soils.  The woody parts of the local tree bonsai should have no problems with any typical local weather.  Normally, they do not need to be watered at all during the period they are under mulch.  

*I am planning to bring the very vulnerable ones inside, the rest I want to cover at night, open again in the mornings - what do you think?

This does not compute.  You need to elaborate on what kinds of trees your are protecting that might need to be covered at night.  We need to know more about your climate during this "winter".
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Post  RyanSA on Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:42 am

Vlad wrote:
RyanSA wrote:Here in South Africa we are gearing up for winter. Not much to do bonsai wise?  


In the late summer/early autumn use fert designed for winter preparation Low N and higher K

Thanks, will do didn't know that
*I will cease feeding, but do I water once a month instead of weekly/bi-weekly?  

Common sense.  If the substrate is dry then it will need water   Cool       Native trees are well adapted for this period. It is a good practice to give the trees a good soak few weeks before expected frosts.  I try to figure out what kind of plants/substrate do you use - watering weekly or bi-weekly ?

*In preparing them for our below 0 temps, I have read a lot about mulch. What does it consist of? I do a bit of carpentry, so will sawdust do?  

http://belanmaros.blogspot.com/search?q=sawdust
Thanks
*I am planning to bring the very vulnerable ones inside, the rest I want to cover at night, open again in the mornings - what do you think?  

Sounds good. No chance to give anything better not knowing the temps low in your area and what kind of very vulnerable species you have in mind.  Vulnerable ones as in...younger ones, ones still in semi cuttings stage?




TIA guys.


My personal opinion:  WHAT about the local guys?  No chance to speak to them?  First they are time synchonised and second they have better information about native trees
Yeah, the guys you mention here are from other parts in SA, I doubt they will have much knowledge wrt the temps we experience here

https://www.saba.org.za/
https://www.antonysmithbonsai.com/
...
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Post  RyanSA on Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:55 am

Michigander wrote:Here in South Africa we are gearing up for winter. Nt much to do bonsai wise?
*I will cease feeding, but do I water once a month instead of weekly/bi-weekly?
*In preparing them for our below 0 temps, I have read a lot about mulch. What does it consist of? I do a bit of carpentry, so will sawdust do?


These questions need to be answered together.awesome Should we assume that you live in the cold semi-arid region?I did a bit of searching an found a map detailing South African hardiness zones - I fall in arid - steppe - cold arid  SA climate is alien to most of us outsiders and hard to comprehend. Local plants should spend the "winter" pretty much the same as their counterparts in the landscape.  They need some extra protection because they are in pots not sunk in the ground.  If you have "winter" then you should have concurrent leaf drop, locally.thanks, this makes sense  Those leaves are probably the best mulch.  Mulches (for these purposes) are non-matting and therefore not conducting heat/cold temperatures from the surrounding air.  The pots should be placed on the ground in contact with the soil.  The mulch covers the upper edges of the pot up to the base of the tree and prevents the pots and the soil in the pots from going up or down in temperature more than the surrounding soils.  The woody parts of the local tree bonsai should have no problems with any typical local weather.  Normally, they do not need to be watered at all during the period they are under mulch. Thanks, this is what i wanted to hear, but now it is frustrating - the poster above said it was common sense to water, you say they do not need water? 


*I am planning to bring the very vulnerable ones inside, the rest I want to cover at night, open again in the mornings - what do you think?

This does not compute.  You need to elaborate on what kinds of trees your are protecting that might need to be covered at night.  We need to know more about your climate during this "winter".
the younger and semi cutting ones

Many of my trees are bougainvilleas, I have seen how frost damages the mother plant, shouldn't I try to avoid that exposure totally - we have a scullery that I can put up shelving and use over the winter period
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Post  RyanSA on Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:15 am

I will take a photo later of my very small collection. I have only been active for a year or so. Still a jungen.
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Post  JanG. on Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:13 am

Hello Ryan,
in my temperate zone people sometimes use white nonwoven fabric sheets for local but vurnelable trees as the protection covering against frost. Usually for young  deciduous fruit trees.
After the leaves fall from the tree in autumn, the sheet is loosely wraped around the crown which gives a tree additional protection. It is breathable – but it also protects against cold wind. As well it is transcluent (and white), so you do not need to opean it in the morning - the tree will get enough light.

I am going to try it when I will have some local species bonsai trees (I am planning some larches and hornbeams).
If you could get something similar like nonwoven fabric, it would be a solution for upper part of your plants.
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Post  RyanSA on Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:09 am

My plants..
https://www.dropbox.com/s/uavz4o7vf598qbw/20190415_112127.jpg?dl=0


Then also I have +/- 80 cuttings under way...


Last edited by RyanSA on Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:16 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : picture & more info)
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Post  Michigander on Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:20 pm

Bougainvillea is a Equatorial plant and does not like anything below 5°C, and should be kept above 10°C.  From this point forward, you can't use general terms about your plants because you live in an area which is much more specialized and different than the rest of us.  You are probably at some elevation which exaggerates wet/dry seasons depending upon seasonal winds.  You need to first describe your seasonal weather for us.  Europeans can extrapolate Europe, Americans have good zone maps so we can talk to each other, for the most part, but we're only guessing about your zone.  Zones are not even black and white either.  You may be like Winslow, Arizona, or Flaggstaff, Arizona.
Or, more like the Tall Atlas mountains, we outsiders can't do better than guess.

Even after we know your climate, it's still a crapshoot.
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Post  RyanSA on Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:05 pm

I fall in this region.....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karoo.... I must emphasize (probably obvious), all plants/cuttings and air/ground layerings have their origin in my yard. I will in future also look for yamadori, found in my region.
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Post  Michigander on Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:11 pm

RyanSA wrote:I fall in this region.....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karoo.... I must emphasize  (probably obvious), all plants/cuttings and air/ground layerings have their origin in my yard. I will in future also look for yamadori, found in my region.

The Link doesn't work.   In order to post a link you have to go to an internet address you want to post; Copy it; highlight a word in your post here; clink on the Link Icon; Paste into the correct line; type the same words as you highlighted in your post into the second line of the Link Icon drop down window; click on "Insert".  Preview your post & try your link to make sure it works.  Then go on with your post entries if more needs to be said.

Don't feel bad, every blog does it differently. Cool
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Post  RyanSA on Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:47 am

Like this
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Post  Michigander on Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:42 pm

Very good. Now for advice. There are local things that would be like Sagebrush, Mesquite, Desert Cassia of SW USA, that are woody and might look like crap in the local environment, plus succulents of every description, that do what all Xeric residents do: grow like wildfire when water is available in their growing season. I think you could develop an enviable collection of great bonsai by collecting plants from the whole Karoo and the surrounding foothills to it where water is more available. Those plants are all going to be either used to or adaptable to your photo-periods/intensity/seasons/heat/cold. All you have to do is provide water on a more plant-friendly schedule, and they will grow well. When the season evolves to the quiescent period, stop watering and they will sit there until the next season when you jump start them again. The very best thing about local flora is volume: you can screw up something over, and over, and over, and eventually overcome your shortcomings and have a nice plant that nobody else has and all will envy. Put your snake boots on and start walking around. Look for candidates that have classic architecture: low 1st, 2nd, & 3rd branches; thick trunk, short over-all; healthy (as compared to surrounding brothers), etc. You can also have tropicals to occupy yourself in the winter season, and they will grow very well, too, but they need 10°C, just like you! Laughing
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Post  RyanSA on Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:12 pm

Thanks Michigander, I really appreciate your reply. One plant that comes to mind immediately, is the Camel thorn tree.
Like you say, may look like crap here, because it is all over, but will make for a nice Bonsai for someone in say... the city. And like you say, I can screw up and accidentally cause it's death, but there are hundreds in a mile radius. Eventually I might master it with a few, that will be envied.
Once I get there, I will certainly make contact with you again and send you one.
Once again. I am much obliged to tap into your knowledge.


Last edited by RyanSA on Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:27 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : mixed up words)
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Post  Michigander on Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:31 pm

Very Happy Yes!  But it gets better.  You are in the catbird's seat because you are privy to seeds for plants that guys like me and maybe a few hundred others would be pleased to trade for seeds from our areas.  Seeds that are rare in the trade.  Especially those like this Camel Thorn.  I'm going to put my thinking cap on and dream up something I can supply in trade that you can grow there... Cool

Here are a couple Links that may be useful:  African Trees  and University of Florida
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Post  RyanSA on Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:16 am

Excellent idea! Here we also have Jacaranda and Pepper trees aplenty, so lemme know when we can start to trade seeds.
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Post  Michigander on Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:59 am

I have Peltophorum pterocarpum (commonly known as Copperpod, Yellow-Flamboyant (2013, but still OK, I just planted some and at least one germinated so far); ( all others here are 2018 crops) Cercis Canadensis, Eastern Redbud; Albizia julibrissin, Mimosa; Laburnum anagryroides, Golden Chaintree; Acer ginnala, Amur Flame; Acer matsumurae and several varieties of Acer palmatum which are all OP (open pollinated) so they won't come true. I have some 2017 Fagus syvatica purpurea, Copper Beech.

You need to research individual species to determine whether or not they would be too difficult in your climate. Thin leafed trees could be really challenging, but that's part of the fun.
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Post  RyanSA on Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:45 pm

Wow! All harvested from your stock? You are quite green fingered. I will do thorough research and see which will survive our arid conditions, perhaps have some indoor all the time. I am particularly drawn to the Acer species, partly because I have some seeds (Japanese maple) stratifying in the fridge and partly because I am an assistant IT techy and Acer is certainly one of the better makes , imho. Smile

As I am a relatively young Bonsaist or rather, Bonsai enthusiast, I have a very limited supply. I will in short due course send you a few names of what I can bring to the table and then we see from there.

PS :
There is a FB group I was given access to this week after what felt like ages of waiting, and you were the first person I thought of that might enjoy it. There are of course many FB groups where guys strut their stuff, but on this one they just auction Bonsai related things all the time, with a maximum of $75 on an item. You might enjoy it, I do, although I must multiply any price by 15 to get the Rand value, then add roughly $50 for shipping fees, but take a look-> just search 99 Cent Bonsai.
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Post  Michigander on Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:39 am

My stock is from many sources. I go to Florida periodically, and collect locally from wherever I find good subjects. thumbs up It varies wildly by year, many trees have bumper crops every other year, or even 5, 10 of or years apart, so don't be surprised if you find the tree of your splendid dreams and get nothing. Go back next year... I have planted most of what I will this season, so what I have is left over and available. If you haven't already tried to find cohorts in your regions, you should. Nothing is better as a learning tool than having someone you can talk to when you hit the wall. Online is good, a local club is better. If you can't find one, start one. It only takes two people to start with and you can meet at member's houses' in rotation. That's almost better than a separate church, school, nursery, whatever as a meeting place.

If you can find local cohorts you can share expenses for importing seeds and materials. Tell me privately what seeds you want and your address and I'll send them to you. Eventually, you'll be able to reciprocate. santa
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