Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => General Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Yenling83 on January 24, 2013, 01:19 PM

Title: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: Yenling83 on January 24, 2013, 01:19 PM

I'm wondering how many trees you think is too many for one person to maintain properly-give each tree the attention it deserves?  Let's say this person works full time and has a family and a life outside of Bonsai:)  Let's say these are all trees in ceramic containers and does not count anything in the ground.  I guess the trees could be in various stages of development.  Also, how many is too many for you?

 
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: MatsuBonsai on January 24, 2013, 01:26 PM
A year ago I would have said 30 was a good number. In my current state of fatherhood I'm going to have to go with 2, and that may be pushing it. ;)
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: BonsaiEngineer1493 on January 24, 2013, 01:29 PM
I think "time" is the largest factor. In other words, it all depends if you have enough "time" to devote to the #.
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: reddog on January 24, 2013, 01:37 PM
Good question.  I have thought about this over the last couple of years since I work full time and have a family.  In my opinion 16 to 20 trees is about the maximum for me. 
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: Judy on January 24, 2013, 02:36 PM
I've had as many as 75, and now have 45, working my way backwards to 25-30.  I gave away the majority of the excess 30 trees, lost a few to whatever...
 I think 75 is too many, 45 is pretty good number.  But I think if  25-30 are all potential great bonsai, that will be more than enough.  I currently have around 10 that are what I would consider near that category, and with some hard work another 5 or so that can get in there.  The rest... ? 

I think if you have a collection of mediocre trees, it's easier to have lots of them.  But if you want to concentrate your time and work on good ones, then too many will take it's toll on the trees. 
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: bwaynef on January 24, 2013, 02:47 PM
I think, too, that its important to consider species.  Having all the same species means that sometimes highly time-sensitive work will have to be done on many trees at the same time.
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: thuan L. on January 24, 2013, 03:09 PM
Whatever I can reasonably fit on to 2 benches!
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: Don Blackmond on January 24, 2013, 03:53 PM
I think if you have a collection of mediocre trees, it's easier to have lots of them.  But if you want to concentrate your time and work on good ones, then too many will take it's toll on the trees. 

I think this sums it up pretty well.

20 specimen trees is pretty ideal.  Again, it depends on the species and size of the trees.
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: Jerry Norbury on January 25, 2013, 02:47 AM
You can never have too many...keeps life interesting in spring.

Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: dre on January 25, 2013, 09:58 AM
i would say 10-20 is the limit but depends on how much time you really have to commit to your trees and how highly refined they are the more refined the more time you need to commit to your trees
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: Chrisl on January 25, 2013, 10:55 AM
I'm still working on this lol  Figure I'd like to have enough trees to have something to work on without having to overwork them LOL

And Damn Jerry!  That IS impressive!
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: geoffhobson on January 25, 2013, 12:58 PM
Interesting, I have around 90 trees, but of course not all are finished therefore maintaining them is not so much an issue. Whilst I was working I did not have so many, but it was more difficult to look after them, a friend of mine had 400 trees and he worked full time and managed to look after them. it is all a matter of time available.

Geoff
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: Dirk on January 25, 2013, 01:41 PM
I'm aiming for about five real good bonsai.
My garden is small and this time oh the year for three month there's no sun in my garden.
Since last fall I have a little patch of land (200 m2) or so.
Next spring al my priject trees will be planted there. I'm going to grow hawthorn. maple, larch,
Pine, juniper and birch. (and whatever I may stumble across.) In about 12 years time I retire from work
and will have plenty of time on hand to care for a lot more trees then i have now
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: Jay on January 25, 2013, 04:37 PM
I guess I'm not as far into my studies as I would like, I keep changing my idea on what is 'the number' that works. At this point I try not to have any tropicals .... That way my winters are free. I 'THINK' a dozen is about right, with a number of development projects around. But, the number of those projects keeps growing and I need to cut back. Plus I don't think I'm at my dozen good trees yet.

Jay
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: Don Blackmond on January 25, 2013, 06:18 PM
At this point I try not to have any tropicals ....
Jay

That comment made me laugh.  Is it like hitting a moving target?   ;D
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: Jay on January 25, 2013, 07:10 PM
Always glad to bring a smile to others...... ;)
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: Jerry Norbury on January 26, 2013, 03:49 AM
At this point I try not to have any tropicals ....
Jay

That comment made me laugh.  Is it like hitting a moving target?   ;D
They creep up on you and before you know it you've got them on your bench. Been there...
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: Jay on January 26, 2013, 05:32 AM
OK ..... It is limiting, admitted. And there are many many wonderful tropical species. It is just not something I can do here and now.

In northern Vermont the winters are long and cold and the natural light is limited. My home is kept in the very low 60's F during the day and in the mid 50's at night. I do not choose to invest in heating nor do I wish to invest in support of the power company to run supplemental lighting. Also it leaves me free to enjoy winter activities while my trees nap.

Just one mans view on the subject.

Jay
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: Anthony on January 28, 2013, 04:32 AM
Normally, when someone starts Bonsai here in the West Indies, we encourage them to grow about 300 trees, after they have or if they have survived the 6 months of keeping something alive [ and boredom for them does not set in.]
This allows the beginner to get all of the Bonsai master clipping, wiring, transplanting out of their system.

At some point 10 years down the road or so, they discover that they transplant a given number early and quickly, and another set very slowly.
A good indicator of what to get rid of.
Thus a collection begins.

There is a ratio that gives the number one can have and tend to, it is the ratio of re-growth after pruning/transplanting to the ability to tend to.

Watering if done by hand will also factor in here, but most folk seem to want to hose.

We also actively discourage folk with yournger than 13 year old children from getting into bonsai, as the children will always come first as attention and care goes. [ also dependson how independent the children are.]
Good Morning.
Anthony
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: geoffhobson on January 28, 2013, 07:35 AM
300!!!? Boy I wish I had the room to have half that number. I could have all seedlings I suppose, I thought I had a lot with what I have got, about 100. They are all sizes and states of styling from raw material to nearly finished.
In fact I only know of one person with more that many trees, oh for the room to have them,
Geoff
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: Owen Reich on January 28, 2013, 07:55 AM
If watering needs and proper maintenance keep you from enjoying bonsai, you have too many or need to enlist some help.  Pretty sure this was referenced earlier, but the adage of Peter Adams to liquidate 3 bonsai of lower quality whenever you buy a new one is a great one.  I took it to heart about 5 years or so ago and still think its great. 

If you have trees at different stages of development, I'd also say that getting your best stuff I the best pots possible should also influence your collection "ceiling".  This is something I think we can all work on.
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: Anthony on January 28, 2013, 08:04 AM
Geoff,

on our side, the folk who do bonsai tend to have fairly large yards, and remember, 300 also means cuttings, etc. not efforts in proper pots.
Additionally, it is often more a case of possession, than really caring for trees.

Hee hee, once they are watered, trees tend to look after themselves, so a hose allows for so man more.
Good Day,
Anthony.

* Closer to the equator, reflected north light can grow many trees well, especially if you have a white wall. So even "dark" areas will be able to grow trees or shrubs.
[ see the light requirements set out in Indoor bonsai by P.Liesneiwiz[spelling?] and imagine under a tropical sun.]
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: geoffhobson on January 28, 2013, 01:07 PM
Yes Anthony, of course, I was not being serious. Some of my trees are very small, and don't take up much room, or looking after too.
Geoff
Title: Re: How many is too many? Collection size
Post by: Leo in NE Illinois on February 06, 2013, 12:22 PM
It is important to have enough trees that you can let something grow out on the bench and not be frustrated for lack of something to work on. If you are feeling impatient, you need more trees. I think ideal would be 5 trees more than you have time to work on. That way you won't be tempted to over-work your trees. Many trees won't tolerate more than one major stress per year. Well, after repotting that mugo pine, what is a person to do? So having a few too many trees is the answer.