September 2016 Club Meeting

This was a fascinating presentation by Myles Higgins on some of his experience with several species of Brachychiton. Myles’ keen interest was stimulated some years ago when he spotted Queensland Bottle Trees in the wild on one of his cycling trips around the country, and he has fed that interest since then with collection and experimentation with a number of different species.

The presentation on the night covered, in particular, experience with the Queensland Bottle Tree (Brachychiton rupestris), the Illawarra Flame Tree (B. acerifolius), and some of the Kurrajongs (a name which is attached to several different species), including the Dwarf Kurrajong (B. bidwillii).

Myles described his searches for plants of various species, and discussed root pruning / root management challenges, finding the best places for pruning and especially shortening of straight trunks to encourage better branching, defoliation for some species, and the best sealers for the major cuts required on roots, trunks and branches of trees which have a substantial water component within the fibres.

Some pictures of the specimens discussed by Myles:

What shapes and contours can arise with Brachychitons
Brachychiton acerifolius, Illawarra Flame Tree
A range of Brachychiton species, showing shapes, branch development, and root habits
Myles with a couple of his Bottle Trtees
Myles with a couple of his Bottle Trees

Some of the other native bonsai on display on the night included:

Leptospermum scoparium "Ballerina" in flower
Leptospermum scoparium “Ballerina” in flower
Leptospermum flavescens "Cardwells Pink" flowering well
Leptospermum flavescens “Cardwells Pink” flowering well
Kunzea ericoides, Burgan
Kunzea ericoides, Burgan
Baeckea gunniana
Baeckea gunniana
Leptospermum scoparium "Rocky Rambler"
Leptospermum scoparium “Rocky Rambler”
Phyllocladus asplenifolius, Celery Top Pine, under development
Phyllocladus asplenifolius, Celery Top Pine, under development