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Black Monkey Thorn African Bonsai for sale | Swartappiesdoring | Senegalia burkei

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Can Black Monkey Thorn be grown as a bonsai?

Black Monkey Thorn (uniquely identified by its scientific name Senegalia burkei) is a bushveld thorn tree with hooked thorns. It is a general rule that all hooked thorn trees are suitable to grow as bonsai trees. Black Monkey Thorn is known for its relatively small, twice compound leaves and corky bark, hence our decision to include it in our African Bonsai product range (#AfricanBonsai). It is a deciduous tree. As a bonsai, Senegalia burkei will bring the seasonal rhythm of Africa into your home. Its growth rate is medium, but it quickly develops a thickset trunk. The species will achieve a mature bonsai look after about 4 years. It is listed in our Thorn tree African Bonsai gallery. (Search #ThorntreeAfricanBonsai). Senegalia burkei's distribution is shown in figure 1.

Senegalia burkei distribution map_edited

Figure 1. Distribution map of Senegalia nigrescens. Courtesy Keith Coats  Palgrave 2002.

Cities per country (dots) from left to right:

Namibia  -Walvisbay


South Africa  -Cape town

                       -Gqeberha (previously Port Elizabeth)


                       -East London



Botswana   - Gaberone (hidden)

Zimbabwe  - Harare

Mozambique - Maputu

                       - Beira

Black Monkey Thorn African Bonsai shapes and size

Our size and shape information is based on observation in the bushveld, experience gained by growing Knob-thorn at our Treeshop nursery and descriptions found in authoritative handbooks.

Mature trees have ascending branches and a somewhat irregular, round crown. In its natural setting the species grow quite large, up to 30m in height. Black Monkey Thorn is browsed by elephants and giraffe. One can expect to see bonsai forms of this tree caused by elephant activity.  (Example images to follow.)

The Table below gives approximate height that Black Monkey Thorn bonsais may achieve in different containers sizes:

Container size          |  2-6 Liter  |  25 Liter  |  80 Liter  

Bonsai tree height   |     40cm    | 80cm       |   150cm  

How do I care for my Black Monkey Thorn bonsai?

Black Monkey Thorn responds well to pruning and you can easily develop a dense foliaged canopy. It is best to place the tree in full sunlight during its growing period (from just before budding up to full leaf shedding). Provide for good air circulation around the tree. We recommend that you induce leaf shedding during late autumn by cutting back on water. This will force your bonsai tree into a resting period. You can (and should) take it inside if your winter temperatures fall below zero.

Water needs depend on climatic conditions and leaf mass. The species quickly “closes” it leaves when under water stress. Generally, it requires moderate water in summer and almost nothing in winter.

Feed your Black Monkey Thorn African Bonsai with a balanced fertilizer in spring when budding is imminent, and again in mid-summer. More on this topic on our blog post. (To follow)

Black Monkey Thorn is not pest prone. The best way to control pests is to keep it in in a sunny, well-ventilated spot. Keep your tree healthy and avoid the use of pesticides.

Black MonkeyThorn African Bonsai stock for sale

African Bonsai trees stock for sale | #AfricanBonsai


To enquire, please fill out our contact form. Remember to provide stock numbers (printed in yellow on image) for the products you are interested in.

Stock available in small pots (2-6 Liter). 

Black Monkey thorn for sale | #blackmonkeythornafricanbonsai | Swartapiesdoring

Stock available in medium pots (25 Liter)

Work in Progress

Stock available in large pots (80Liter)

Work in Progress

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