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Treeshop's African Bonsai trees for sale

African Bonsai trees explained

With our African Bonsai product range, we strive to capture the essence of Southern Africa’s indigenous tree flora, as it exists in truly wild and un-spoilt areas: trees as they grow in their natural environment, where they face browsing by antelope, damage inflicted by elephants, drought, fire, wind and more; but also trees that succeeded to grow to magnificent examples of their species, notwithstanding their harsh and unforgiving environment.

It is evident that we do not necessarily follow the “rules” of classical bonsai art. Rather we style our bonsai trees in accordance with what we observe in the African bush.  This is the product that we brand “African Bonsai” (#AfricanBonsai)

Read more about the African Bonsai tree concept here

The following pictures were taken in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, They serve as examples of real-life growth forms for both specimen trees (#SpecimenTrees) and real-life bonsai forms (#NatureBonsai). It is this unique beauty that we aim to capture in our African Bonsai trees.

Picture 1. A specimen Jackal Berry tree (Diospyros mespiliformis). #SpecimenTrees

Specimen Jackal Berry | Jakkalsbessie | Diospyros mespiliformis C.jpg

Picture 2. Jackal Berry, much reduced in size due to adverse growing conditions and damage inflicted by elephants. Note the dramatic branch structure an leaf re-growth. (#NatureBonsai)

#NatureBonsaiJackalBerry | Diospyros mespiliformis

Picture 3. Another Jacal Berry, pushed over by elephants some time ago. The tree re-grew along its former trunk, forming a stunning raft-type African Bonsai. (#NatureBonsai)

#NatureBonsaiJackalBerry | Diospyros mespiliformis

Picture 4. A specimen Apple leaf tree (Philenoptera violacea (#SpecimenTrees)

Specimen Apple Leaf tree | Appelblaar | Philenoptera violacea

Picture 5. Apple Leaf tree, reduced by elephant browsing. (#NatureBonsai)

#NatureBonsaiAppleLeaf | Philenoptera violacea

Treeshop's African Bonsai journey

When we started in 2002 with the cultivation of trees indigenous to Southern Africa, we had the vision of growing and selling them in large pots. We argued that urban development will become denser, with smaller stands. Planting a tree in a pot limits its mature size – offering an ideal solution for the small garden.

However, we soon realised that the market was not ready to accept the idea. In addition, we had limited experience in tree cultivation, and even less so in growing them in containers. So we decided to go the conventional route, with focus on diversity of species. 

Little did we know that “reject stock”, which accumulated over many years, is actually a valuable asset and an excellent base-source for shaping them into African Bonsais. In 2020 we appointed a talented “bonsai master”, with the task to develop our African Bonsai brand. Treeshop is now bringing this product range to the market.

View a few examples of our African Bonsai collection

Picture 6. Indigenous trees in large pots at the entrance of Treeshop's African Bonsai exhibition.

Entrance to African Bonsai tree exibition area .jpg

Picture 7. All trees in this area are bonsai versions of indigenous Southern Africa trees.

African Bonsai tree exibition area1.jpg

Picture 8, Three indigenous trees often found growing in clusters in the African bush. Left to right: Silver Cluster Leaf, Jackal Berry, Marula

KNP African Bonsai cluster in large pots.jpg

This is a test video

Picture 9. Spectacular flowers of Millettia grandis (Umzimbeet) in an 80L pot. It is a forest tree endemic to Kwazulu Natal coastal and inland forests #UmzimbeetAfricanBonsai

Spectacular flowers of Millettia grandis | Umzimbeet

More about African Bonsai trees

Treeshop offers its African Bonsai trees in three basic sizes:​

Large pots, about 80L. They have drain holes at the bottom on the outside circumference (and not at the bottom). Should roots grow through side drain holes they can easily be cut, whereas roots growing through bottom holes go unnoticed, eventually causing a blockage. This may lead to the tree drowning.

Medium pots, about 30L. African Bonsai trees in this container size may be:

  • reduced and re-planted in smaller bonsai pots – amongst others aimed at the bonsai enthusiast market,

  • retained in the pot as a medium size African Bonsai tree, or

  • planted up to a larger pot, should a client desire a larger size tree.

Small pots, about 3L-10L. These products can easily be re-planted in a designer bonsai pot of the client’s choice.

Growing trees in pots require more care than when grown in open ground. Watering is particularly  important. At Treeshop we computerised this task. Feeding with fertilizer should be done twice per year. Fertilizer composition and quantity are species specific. We will discuss tree caring practices in more detail in due course. Please follow our blog posts.

How do I buy an African Bonsai Tree?

You can buy Treeshop’s African Bonsai trees from our catalogue. Tree products are listed alphabetically per genus and species name. Each product has a link to a species page where you will find unique stock codes of African Bonsai trees currently for sale. Each stock code has an associated picture of the bonsai tree and a brief summary of its main attributes.

If you are interested to purchase a bonsai tree, please contact us via the enquiry form on our home page. Remember to specify the stock code/s of the tree/s. We will then respond with a quotation.

Senegalia nigrescens

Knob thorn


Sen-nig #1




4 years



Adansonia digitata

Baobab tree


Ada-dig #1




2 years



Senegalia burkei

Black monkey thorn


Sen-bur #2




6 years




African Bonsai tree catalogue index (#AfricanBonsai)

African Bonsai tree catalogue index #AfricanBonsai

In alphabetical order per scientific name, followed by popular English and Afrikaans names

Adansonia digitata | Baobab | Kremetart

Diospyros lycioides | Bluebush Star-apple | Bloubos

Ochna serrulata | Carnival bush | Fynblaarrooihout

Senegalia mellifera | Black Thorn | Swarthaak

Senegalia burkei | Black Monkey Thorn | Swartappiesdoring

Senegalia galpinii | Monkey-thorn | Apiesdoring

Senagalia nigrescens | Knob-thorn | Knoppiesdoring

Sterculia rogersii | Star-chestnut | Sterkastaiing

Work in progress. More products to be added

African Bonsai tree galleries (work in progress)

African Bonsai tree galleries (thorntreeafricanbonsai)

Galleries below are arranged according to popular user enquiries. For example thorn trees, iconic trees of the Kruger National Park, etc. You will see the tree's stock number in yellow print on the image. Click on the image to go the species' genus page. Here you will find detail such as the species' suitability as a bonsai, how to care for it and much more.

Thorn trees African Bonsai gallery (#thorntreeAfricanBonsai) (test version)

Iconic trees of  Kruger National Park, South Africa.  (#KNPAfricanBonsai) (test version)

Kruger National Park trees (#KNPAfricanBonsai)

Trees with showy flowers.  (#FloweringAfricanBonsai) (test version)

Trees with showy flowers (FloweringAfricanBonsai)

Trees with edible wild fruit.  (EdiblewildfruitAfricanBonsai) (test version)

Trees with edible wild fruit (ediblewildfruitafricanbonsai)
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