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  1. The competitions are open to any person who is a registered member of South African Bonsai Association (SABA), registered through an affiliated Bonsai club or as an individual member.

  2. The winning entry will be based on the quality of the tree and not the photograph. This is a Bonsai tree competition. The photograph is the only way to enter the competition. 

  3.  For the MONTHLY PHOTOGRAPH BONSAI COMPETITION, either indigenous and/or exotic material can be used.

  4. The Planting/bonsai can be any bonsai form, size or style of a single tree, groups or saikei.

  5. The photographic image must not be older than six (6) months.

  6. The photographic image may not be artificially enhanced, by having features, such as leaves, branches, flowers, fruits, etc., removed, added, or changed in any way.

  7. The photographic image may be cropped and resized.

  8. Photographic editing must be restricted to the items that are not related to the structure and characteristics of the tree and its container, such as lighting and the removal of non-essential background items.

  9. The planting/bonsai may be presented on a suitable stand or table.

  10. Entry must be in a .jpeg format of no less than 500kb and no more than 5Mb.

  11. All entries must be submitted via the website.  The entry form can be downloaded, completed and emailed to 

  12. The form/email which must be completed by the owner, with complete information requested about the tree, such as species, height, years of training, a brief history of the tree and/or owner and/or artist, contact details or any information on the tree, i.e. origin of pot, original designer, etc., for the write up of the winner on the SABA Blog.

  13. The original photographic image must be retained and submitted on request for a period of at least 12 months after the award.

  14. No more than two (2) entries per month are permitted from each artist (not photographer), but each entry needs to be submitted on a separate entry form.

  15. Previous First Placed trees are NOT eligible to enter competitions for five (5) years after which time a NEW photo of the same tree may be entered.

  16. The MONTHLY PHOTOGRAPHIC BONSAI COMPETITION, Entries open on the last Saturday of the Month and the close on the second Saturday of the following month at 23h59.  No late entries will be considered, nor carried over, but entries may be resubmitted the next month. The winners of the MONTHLY PHOTOGRAPHIC BONSAI COMPETITION will be announced in the monthly newsletter.

  17. The monthly winners will be notified by email.

  18. By entering any of the SABA competitions, you give consent for the photographs submitted to be used by SABA.  SABA retains the right to publish entries in newsletters, magazines and/or social media platforms and website use, as well as use the best photographs for the annual SABA calendar without compensation.  Entries will not be returned or removed when published on any media.

  19. Entries will be placed on the SABA MONTHLY PHOTOGRAPHIC BONSAI COMPETITION page as well as all other SABA social media platforms, where the public may participate in the vote for the best tree.  

  20. The judging committee will consist of the SABA EXCO members, the regional Presidents/Chairpersons and any SABA members seconded to be on the judging committee.

  21. If an EXCO member is also the President/Chairperson of the region, he or she can nominate somebody else from the region to stand in.

  22. The public score will be determined by the ranking score by non-registered club members on SABA social platforms.  The public vote will count as 1 (one) vote.

  23. The final score will be determined based on the total of the judge’s votes. No correspondence will be entered into. 

  24. The owner of the planting/bonsai will be given the award, not the photographer.  The photographer will however be given credit for their work in the form of their name being associated with the image.

  25. If one of the SABA judges wishes to enter the competition, they must recuse themselves from the vote in that category.

  26. If noted that the photo submitted was tampered with, the photo will be held back, and the member informed.

  27. When all the votes have been added up and there is a draw for first place, the final vote will be with the SABA President.

  28. For the SABA INDIGENOUS BONSAI COMPETITION, material used must be an INDIGENOUS SOUTH AFRICAN species. This is an annual competition made up from the monthly competition winners in the indigenous category.

  29. For the SABA EXOTIC BONSAI COMPETITION, material used must be any EXOTIC species. This is an annual competition made up from the monthly competition winners in the exotic category.

  30. The winner of the annual competition will be announced at the SABA convention which is held each year.

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©2022 by South African Bonsai Association

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