Author Topic: Keeping Bonsai Records  (Read 4373 times)

DorianJF

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Keeping Bonsai Records
« on: December 10, 2014, 02:04 AM »
Hi All

With reading up on bonsai on the net, I have noticed that some people keep blogs regarding their bonsai etc.  This got me thinking as to how most people keep track of their bonsai and the day to day work that gets done on them ie. - fertilising, re-potting, pruning etc etc etc. 

I used to only post pictures on my facebook account but recently came to realise that I would have to do more to ensure that I remember what I had done and when.

Therefore I started a facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/KirakuBonsai) to assist me in this.  I find that after the initial setup of the page, it is fairly easy to keep updated by just posting pics to albums and then putting in everything that I had just done.  When the images are uploaded, I make sure that I include the date that the image was taken.  This has allowed me to keep a fairly detailed record of what I have done and when.  It also allows people who are genuinely interested in what I do to follow the page.

If anybody keeps record differently, I would love to hear about it and why it works for you. 

Have a great day all

Doz
 

Anthony

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Re: Keeping Bonsai Records
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2014, 05:45 AM »
Doz,

before the Internet, and still continued today, notebook, with real photographs. Have to, as not all of the trees are repotted yearly, or have something to develop that takes less than a year.
Additionally, no electromic back-up needed - ha ha.
Good Day
Anthony

* All the trees are grown in the backyard, and thus zero interest in really showing to anyone, only old friends of x years come by. Facebook stuff is very slight, and will with time lead to serious loneliness, studies are already showing folk having fewer real friends.
 

DorianJF

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Re: Keeping Bonsai Records
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2014, 05:57 AM »
Hey Anthony

You must of have boxes full of notes.

Definitely agree on with what you said about Facebook.  Social media is the most unsocial thing one can do.  It was also the reason why I started a page as I just felt the your "friends" on facebook could not actually give a dam about most of the things that you post on your personal page. 

With a page, I can record my records, notes etc and it just works for me. 
 

JoesBonsai

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Re: Keeping Bonsai Records
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2014, 08:27 AM »
Hi Doz,

I keep my records on my Ipad and Iphone  ;)
Here  is a link to the App I use

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bonsai-album-track-your-bonsai/id465021382?mt=8

 

DorianJF

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Re: Keeping Bonsai Records
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2014, 09:08 AM »
Hi Joe

I have looked at that app before but never purchased it.

How does it work for you?  Are you happy with it?
 

J.Kent

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Re: Keeping Bonsai Records
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2014, 10:08 AM »
Word processor and space on my hard drive.  Pictures as early as I remember to take them, and updated when I do something to them (again if I remember), then pictures before shows, etc.

Most of the pics are on my drive only.  But a few are in a notebook covered with scribbles.
 

Anthony

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Re: Keeping Bonsai Records
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2014, 10:22 AM »
Doz,

no only two black covered, blank page 5 x 7 " art note books, and 1 half drawing book dedicated to drawn Design. Also a photo album.

Before I say more, the advice we got back in the early 80's was simply -

Health above all, and don't keep your trees in an Exhibition state, or you could kill them.
_______________________________________________________________________________

So we hold the trees in an average state, with 2 or 3 years to boost to exhibition state, when that rarely happens down here.

The early pages are written in tiny handwriting and fill the pages, today just jottings.
Though there is a more intense J.B.pine section.

One you can keep them healthy, the design drawings take over and get modified as time passes. They are in pencil and an eraser handles the rest.
Good Day
Anthony
 

jlushious

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Re: Keeping Bonsai Records
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2014, 10:55 AM »
Someone on here last year recommended this http://otetsudaiqt.sourceforge.net/index.html

I am a digital kind of girl all the way and geeked out over this database system. I really like it, you can create records for all your trees, link them back to mother trees (if it's a cutting for example), record your pots and which trees are in which pots (or which pots they have been in the past), repotting dates, pruning work etc.

Not for everybody though because the photo upload process takes time and to create all the records takes time. But once it's all made then it's easy to maintain - although I only have about 50 trees tracked in there, some people with HUGE collections might be daunted with a program like this!

Jodie
 

DorianJF

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Re: Keeping Bonsai Records
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2014, 12:33 PM »
Before I say more, the advice we got back in the early 80's was simply -

Health above all, and don't keep your trees in an Exhibition state, or you could kill them.

Anthony - Very very valid and a lesson I have only just learnt whilst going though Walter Palls Blog.  One of my biggest mistakes has always been trying to keep a bonsai looking perfect at all times.  I think this has been to the detriment of some of my bonsai.

Jodie - Very interesting program.  Like all things, starting records and trying to get everything up to date can be a total nightmare.

J - I am too scared to save anything for too long on my hard drive.  Maybe just paranoid but I tend to keep minimum items on my hard drive.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 12:38 PM by DorianJF »
 

Jerry Norbury

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Re: Keeping Bonsai Records
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2014, 03:50 PM »
Microsoft word to hold notes about purchase prices, last repot date etc

Masses of photos on flickr of each tree.

When you've got a lot of trees, it's hard to keep track, mind you.
 

DorianJF

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Re: Keeping Bonsai Records
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2014, 11:38 PM »
Hi Jerry. Very hard to keep track with many trees. I really do not know how some people get it right.

I am slowly but surely trying to load all my trees onto my FB page. Will be taking so leave shortly so will take a day or 2 to try and update it properly
 

Leo in NE Illinois

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Re: Keeping Bonsai Records
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2014, 12:24 PM »
At some point I decided my priority is to enjoy the growing of bonsai, not book keeping about bonsai. So my records are haphazard, partial, & incomplete. I do take pictures when I have time or a "need" to document a technique, but for all but my best trees for the current year I have not bothered with specific records.

I have a large orchid collection, and I have a simple spreadsheet in my computer on my own hard drive (and a back up external drive) that keeps a list of some 1200 orchids I am watering. Very bare bones, mostly used to keep me from buying something I already have, and knowing when something has grown well enough that I have divisions to trade or sell.

My habit with the orchids, is when I down load pictures to my laptop, I label the images with the inventory number of that particular orchid and the date. Then store them in file folders labelled for genus. One could keep a fairly well organized photographic history of a bonsai by simply storing images in file folders labelled for each tree.

So my record keep improves when I have down time, becomes really haphazard when I am busy. Never saw a grave stone saying "Should have kept better records"  ::)
 

DorianJF

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Re: Keeping Bonsai Records
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2014, 01:31 PM »
Hi Leo.

That is really interesting.  I think I reach the polar opposite of you when I decided that I had better start some sort of record keeping to help me improve my knowledge of bonsai.

Now about those orchids. Wow. 1200. That is loads. I love orchids and have 5 that I am trying to keep alive (I have a very low success rate on this). My uncle was a orchid lover and he grew hundreds of them for as long as I can remember before he passed away.  During my honeymoon in Thailand I just loved going to nurseries and could spend hours just walking around looking at the different orchids.

I definitely have a better success rate with my bonsai and my airplant collection.
 

Leo in NE Illinois

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Re: Keeping Bonsai Records
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2014, 01:49 PM »
Hi Leo.

That is really interesting.  I think I reach the polar opposite of you when I decided that I had better start some sort of record keeping to help me improve my knowledge of bonsai.

Now about those orchids. Wow. 1200. That is loads. I love orchids and have 5 that I am trying to keep alive (I have a very low success rate on this). My uncle was a orchid lover and he grew hundreds of them for as long as I can remember before he passed away.  During my honeymoon in Thailand I just loved going to nurseries and could spend hours just walking around looking at the different orchids.

I definitely have a better success rate with my bonsai and my airplant collection.

Thanks - orchids are addicting. If you are keeping bonsai and air plants (bromeliads) alive, you have all the intuitive skills needed for orchids, they really are "easy". Mostly a matter of finding the right "spot" for them. Shady locations for some, sun for others. Overwatering is as much a problem as underwatering. By and large most forgive a lot of errors.

Actually - I say I am haphazard, but most photo embed data when they are taken, usually date, sometimes location too. So file folders labeled in a way to identify which tree the images are of, really does make a good "record". All you have to do to find out when a photo was taken is look at image properties and the embedded info is available. I dislike "cloud based" databases, because to date there is always the recurring costs, and or the issue of security with cloud based products. I hate the idea of having to pay up to get to my records. A little thought into file structure goes a long way toward good records.
 

Anthony

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Re: Keeping Bonsai Records
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2014, 11:16 AM »
In the beginning the search for knowledge was intense.
I got permission to show you the write up on the first Tamarind - 1983 November.
The drawings are actual studies from nature.
Looking through the 5.5 x 8.5 " black drawing book was a real memory trip.
Good Day
Anthony