It is that time of year again, well it might seem a bit late but we have yet to have a proper winter here in the South of England. It has been so mild that I have delayed taking my Baobab starter bonsai trees out of their pots for the winter during dormancy, as they didn’t appear to want to go dormant. For the majority, they had all dropped their leaves and I had let them dry out, all bar one. I ceased watering them in around November once they dropped their leaves and until the soil in which they were in dried out completely too. Finally, mid January I have removed them from their pots and have now wrapped them in newspaper. Out of the ten I had, three are still in a pot in leaf, one had rotted and the other six are various sizes and shapes and are wrapped now in newspaper. They are a very interesting tree with a strange root formation and the smaller saplings were the rooted cuttings where I cut down the parent plants. So I now know that they freely root from cuttings as easily as they grow from seed.

In my search for more information on Baobab as bonsai I also came across an article entitled ‘Out of Africa’ which was written by Louis Nel within a Bonsai magazine from January / February 2001. The late author was a well known bonsai enthusiast at the southern tip of African bonsai and the article goes on to describe the diverse range of indigenous trees that they use for bonsai. It was then fascinating to read on about the typical African styles that they use and their inspiration behind them came from John Naka. The five main styles discussed in the article are:

The Pierneef style


The Platkroon style or Flat top style


The Bushveld style

The Wild Fig style

The Kremetart style or Baobab style

and it was this one which caught my eye…

I also found a sixth style on the website for pretoria bonsai which is:

The Wonderboom style

The source of the information from the Pretoria bonsai website is based on a book called ‘Bonsai Styles of the World’, written by Charles Ceronio.

For further information visit the following links