Star-chestnut African Bonsai for sale | Sterkastaiing | Sterculia rogersii
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Can Star-chestnut be grown as a bonsai?
We selected Star-chestnut (uniquely identified by its scientific name Sterculia rogersii) for our African Bonsai product range (#AfricanBonsai) because of its decorative, thick-set trunk. Star-chestnut buds in mid spring and sheds its leaves in early autumn. It is therefor leafless for several months. During this time you can enjoy the species' impressive trunk and branch structure. Such a bare tree is typical of the mid-winter scenery in South Africa's bushveld. Sterculia rogersii bears smallish but striking flowers on old wood and young branches. This show happens before leaf sprouting. All the above add to the species' attractiveness as an African Bonsai tree. It will achieve a mature bonsai look after about 6 years. Star-chestnut is one of the of trees of the Kruger National Park that can also be grown as a bonsai. It is included it in our Kruger Park bonsai gallery. (Search #KNPAfricanBonsai). Figure 1 shows the distribution map for Star-chestnut
Star-chestnut tree in winter. Image taken at Tshanga lookout, Kruger National Park
Figure 1. Distribution map of Star-chestnut. Courtesy Keith Coates Palgrave 2002.
Cities per country (dots) from left to right:
South Africa -Cape town
-Gqeberha (prev Port Elizabeth)
Botswana - Gaberone
Zimbabwe - Harare
Mozambique - Maputu
Star-chestnut's patchy, thickset, multi-trunk and irregular branch structure. Image taken in Olifants camp, Kruger National Park
Star-chestnut African Bonsai shapes and size
Our size and shape information is based on observation in nature, experience gained by growing Star-chestnut at our Treeshop nursery and descriptions found in authoritative handbooks.
Observed that Star-chestnut is low-branching with spreading, irregular, swollen branches, extending to form a pointed, round canopy. The tree's height is often less than the diameter of its canopy. (See images above.) Sterculia rogersii's natural shape, as illustrated in the images, will make for an interesting and very unique bonsai.
The Table below gives approximate height that Star-chestnut bonsais may achieve in different containers sizes:
Container size | 2-6 Liter | 25 Liter | 80 Liter
Bonsai tree height | 20cm | 40cm | 80cm
How do I care for my Star-chestnut African Bonsai?
Star-chestnut is a slow grower and must be pruned with care. It takes time for the tree to develop its characteristic swollen trunk and branches. Place it in full sunlight during the growing period (from just before flowering up to late autumn). Provide for good air circulation around the tree. We recommend that you reduce watering in autumn to force it into rest. You can (and should) take it inside if your winter temperature falls below zero. It is not frost tolerant.
Water needs depend on climatic conditions and leaf mass. The species is very water wise. Generally, it requires moderate water in summer and almost nothing in winter.
Feed your Star-chestnut African Bonsai with a flower stimulating fertilizer in late winter, at least 4 weeks before leaf budding, and again in mid-summer. More on this topic on our blog post. (To follow)
Star-chestnut 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.
Star-chestnut African Bonsai stock for sale
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. Please note stock tagged as "Bonsai in training" is currently not for sale.
Stock available in small pots (2-6 Liter)
Stock available in medium pots (25 Liter)
Work in Progress
Stock available in large pots (80Liter)
Work in Progress