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Heinrich Kohne

Heinrich Kohne_edited.jpg

I was born in the old Western Cape and grew up in George. In 1989 I briefly spent some time learning about bonsai in Bloemfontein, and my interest was reignited in 1996 when Bloemfontein hosted the National Convention. In 2000 I moved back to Bloemfontein from Harrismith and I’ve been hosting our club’s monthly meetings since 2001. I’ve learned from the likes of Tannie Dot Henegan, Vian Herbst and Denis Krige, as well as Louis Nel and Charles Ceronio, both of whom visited us regularly. I have served on the Kai Committee in various capacities for most of the last 23 years. I also served, together with Vian Herbst and Mari Hanton, on the 2005/6 SABA committee as newsletter editor. Attending conventions in those early days, as well as participating in workshops with figures such as Walter Pall, was a wonderful opportunity to quickly gain knowledge and insight.


Having studied Horticulture at the old SA Technicon, I particularly enjoy how trees mature and become horticulturally susceptible to our techniques. By leaning on art principles, we can make a bridge with the traditional form of a tree in order to create an aesthetically pleasing design. I believe we should increasingly apply this to our indigenous species. Though we have an abundance of wild olives in the central part of the country, I lean more towards the Ficus species and have had some success with Ficus burtt-davyii. I had no idea, or information, how to cultivate Japanese black pine in 1999, but I was lucky and am glad that some have survived and are maturing well. The big bonsai shows around the world have proven that the regular display of trees not only promotes bonsai, but also improves the standard and quality of trees.

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