This week I was blessed with two figs on my bonsai tree. They have been on the tree now for some time and I have been waiting for them to be ready to eat. Today was that day! The figs were nice, firm and very sweet. I was just lucky to get to the fruit before the birds did.
Besides eating the figs I did work on my Celtis Africana tree this week. The tree has started to drop its leaves due to the harsh weather conditions. We have had a very hot and windy summer. This has caused a lot of stress on a few of my trees especially the Celtis Africana species. They have weeping leaves after just one day. The reason for the weeping leaves on the Celtis Africana Species could be due to the fact that they all have huge canopies and they use more water than the soil mixture can hold in this weather for a day. I have been struggling to get the right soil mixture for the past two growing seasons now. I have a mixture that works well with most of my trees. I just need to adapt it slightly to work with the Celtis Africana trees. I have planted my trees in bigger pots than normal so that they have more soil in the containers thus holding more water. I think that I almost have the soil mixture right and that it will be much better next year.
Here is a few photos showing the leaves of the Celtis Africana that I trimmed back:
If you look closely at the two photos you will see that the edge of the leaves are a yellowish-brown in color. This is due to the extreme weather that these trees have to endure. You will also note that the trees canopy is not as compact as the tree has dropped a number of leaves to try and balance itself out. I decided to help the tree along with the recovery by trimming back all the long shoots on the tree.
Now that a large part of the outer canopy is removed you will see that there are a few discolored leaves left on the tree. These leaves have not received enough sunlight and most of them were completely shaded out by the outer canopy. The tree will soon shoot out new growth close to were the branches have been trimmed back. This will aid the tree in regaining its strength.
After I trimmed the tree and could see the inner canopy of the tree I noticed a mealy bug. These guys are very active in warm and humid conditions so an enclosure with a few hundred bonsai trees that receive water on a daily basis is the perfect breading ground for these pests. They are easy to control and do not cause to much damage to the tree. They suck the growth out of the branches like little vampires.
In the photo above you can see that this guy has made himself comfortable. I will be apply Oleum to my entire bonsai collection over the weekend to try and stop the spread of the infestation. In a weeks or two there should be no more pests in and among my trees.
To end of this blog I thought I would share one South Africa’s favorite trees. This tree is sold in every grocery store, supermarket and nursery to promote water wise and green gardens. The plant in question is the Spekboom (Portulacaria Afra). This tree is edible, helps filter the air around it , is water wise and can live up to 200 years. I have five (5) of these trees but I intend to grow more as they grow easily and do not require to much work.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the session provided below.