Author Topic: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai  (Read 24025 times)

Sorce

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #120 on: January 15, 2014, 10:28 AM »
We spoke of the wheel before. We are not reinventing it as much as we are spinning it like a coin.

Here is what I find odd.

In previous text, and possibly another thread, it is stated that demos are done BY PROFESSIONALS, who know they wouldn't or shouldn't do that work then or to the extent it is done, on poor material.

But if a non professional does this, like JH and I here, we are criticized.

Contradictory?  Ficus the wheel! 

We have stated we are aware of the season. Also that we don't care what happens, as long as we learn. You hear the branch break by bending it. Watch a tree die by killing it. Prevent fungus by getting it. Stress a tree to aftercare.


Josh, you hit it on the head with "directionalized patience", "when the need arises, wait like a stone".
In the mean time, we learn.

I have over 75 trees. Half outside, half ficus. No Bonsai. And only 3-4 with any potential.
Those 3-4 don't receive this treatment, they receive Care based on this learning.



 The Rebellion Continues.






 

Joshua Hanzman

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Re: Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #121 on: January 15, 2014, 01:29 PM »
Ok thanks everyone!

John, just to clarify, I'm going to treat my junipers at this stage similar to Pall' s hedge method? I'll be leaving them to grow out the entire next growing season, then when I see mature foliage all over the tree which signals that the tree is responding well and is ready to take to the next stage, then I start choosing what foliage stays and what goes, pinching at the beginning of the spring after next to facilitate budding back using the energy built this growing season?

For the record, my argument is a lil different from yours Sorce, I feel I would almost never advocate rebelling against what people tell me on this forum. I have lost more than enough trees to realize that it pays to listen and if all else fails, be patient and wait another growing season. The only rebellion I have successfully done is to work on a juniper out of season, and that really was because I misunderstood the correct growing season, and I got lucky my tree didn't pay the ultimate price. I had read somewhere on the forum that another person I consider knowledgeable on the topic was working on their juniper but I was foolish to not check their climate, stage of the tree, condition of the tree, extent of the work, etc. My tree survived the major surgery, but is it in the best condition it could be, probably not. Is it more susceptible to disease or other issues, probably. From how the tree looks now, I am almost certain that any more strenuous circumstance to this tree will kill it, even a hard frost, so I'm forced to keep it in a controlled environment, which luckily I have.

My rebellion was more against the idea that working on garden material will not give any instant gratification, and I thought it was a warranted rebellion because I thoroughly enjoy buying garden centre junipers and shaping them, sometimes drastically changing them, and I wanted to protect the future of those types of discussions on this forum. But upon further reflection, I only work the top and leave the roots alone for repotting in the future, so really that doesn't fall into the magical one day bonsai creation category. FURTHERMORE, EVERY SINGLE LAST JUNIPER THAT I WORKED both foliage and roots in one sitting has died. Although there is merit in pushing the limit, it makes little sense to push a limit that has already been pushed, I believe this is what the veterans mean by reinventing the wheel. I feel my time is better spent testing things that are still unknown and controversial, and building and advancing my little bonsai shed and half acre of property.





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Jay

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #122 on: January 15, 2014, 02:27 PM »
Thanks guys for your clarification. In the end, you do what you want. Your trees will show the results of what you do.
Joshua, I can see where you are coming from and now it is more understandable as to your thoughts.

Sorce, I'm still not on the same page as you. Those professionals doing demo's at events are....putting on a show. They know that even with their degree of knowledge the tree may not survive. But, they are being paid to do  it. Some will not under any circumstance repot the day they do all the work on the top. They will not touch the roots. I didn't think you were doing this for show...

But I'm just an old guy with old ideas. No need to take what I say to seriously.

Jay
 

Sorce

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #123 on: January 15, 2014, 04:39 PM »
No Jay, I respect what everyone has to say! Even Kirby  ;)

The rebellion is not that serious!

I am a bit "off the handle".

My brainstorming rains on the physical sometimes. (damaging trees)

Sincerely

Sorce


 

John Kirby

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #124 on: January 16, 2014, 03:51 AM »
Sorce,
I wish you good luck.
 
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Owen Reich

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #125 on: January 16, 2014, 10:18 AM »
Last night, I did a demo in Florida where I styled 3 different pond cypress in about 3 hours.  All were about 3 feet tall.  During the demo, I entertained the crowd and talked most of the time about bonsai while styling the trees.  The question of if this being a good idea is easily answered.  But, as was just stated above, I get paid to do what the club says.  Could I style any of these trees better given more time?  Definitely.

At some point during any demo, I tell the club or group that demonstrations are good for more than cranking out a tree and proving I can wire quickly.  Demos can be a good time to have an open dialogue with a group of people and from my side of the fence, establish long-term contacts with the organization and individual members. 

Treating a tree with any measure of potential as disposable is not ok.  The professional working on the material can be placed in a difficult position.  Yesterday, I did not fully detail wire two of the trees.  It wasn't necessary and was better for the material. 
 

Sorce

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #126 on: January 17, 2014, 09:39 AM »
Thanks All,

  I am absolutely not rebelling against what veterans say here, but I am about to open a can of worm castings!

  Styling garden centre material does give instant gratification (the start).
By no means an instant Bonsai.

My rebellion is against mallsai, and the way it kills the industry for professionals with proffessionalisms.
I estimate 3 of 5 lurkers to be lurking because their half dead cutting in an indoor pot said "bonsai" so they googled it and got here.
They won't or can't simply jump into $$real trees$$. But they can spend the same $25 and ACTUALLY have some fun and learn by doing the same thing Josh and I are doing, which stands a better chance of creating a future customer for said professionals.

 No offense, but some of you have been immersed in real Bonsai so long that you lost sight of the fact that mass produced crap is killing A Good Bonsai Future. Walgreens didn't sell "bonsai" when you began, they sold sodas, and food at Wags. (remember?)

People like myself, Josh, Jlush, Bonsaiteen, BonsaiEngineer, are the other 2 of five, who actually made it out of that stage. (i guessish)

I'm not advocating WRONG. I am advocating activities and small investments that keep newbies entertained, learning, and excited. To have the confidence they  need to buy JK's trees, and OR's services.

Taking mallsaiers to prebonsaiers is my fight. Not prebonsaiers to tree killers. We already researched enough to know right from wrong, just can't shake the pruning bug, the want to "work". And this thread definitely helps that.


My proof lies here, http://bonsaistudygroup.com/tropical-bonsai-discussion/golden-gate-ficus/msg21704/#msg21704
, you see. No one answers. But we expect Advancement in good Bonsai.


if I had trees or services to sell, I would consider this. I don't, what I have is respect for the dedicated pros who do. So I think about it.
Share cause I care.  If pros do not think about it, the industry and their finances will remain stagnant. If they address it, as Owen's previous idea has suggested, we will progress.

I don't believe in luck.
Good Skill.

Sorce
 

Anthony

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #127 on: January 18, 2014, 03:11 AM »
Sorce,

ficus, can be a bit of a confusing tree to train. The Chinese, focus on the decorative roots and their interaction with the trunk, the leaves are just to show the tree is alive.

So that shape in the example you gave, would eventually be dressed with roots or stones or other.

Ficus is easy to keep alive, down here we use it as the tree to get someone's feet wet, but that is for the," see if you can keep it alive for over 6 months."
However, it will in the branches/branchlets outgrow the designs very rapidly.Becoming coarse and not too attractive.

Additionally, this group seems to be more focused on warm temperate or cold sub-tropicals. Perhaps not much interest in Tropicals, mind you some of those ficus plants are really warm sub-tropicals.See Southern China.

Those mallsai, are probably rejected growing material. Sent in bulk to the masses of the West. However, a few years of ground growing will correct the problems or good airlayer choices.
There are many, many acres in China dedicated to growing plants for shipping.
Good Day
Anthony
 

Sorce

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #128 on: January 18, 2014, 08:16 AM »
Thanks Anthony.

  That brings up another excellent point.
Most of the crap they sell is ficus, which IMO is VERY demanding in this climate, in Bonsai culture.

And it seems any of the bent over juniper cuttings hit the fire pit long before a photo can be snapped. (mine did, from Walgreens!)

I have addictive tendencies, a deep love for nature, and great respect for culture, so I was bound to get past this stage.

I want to know what it will take us, to keep more people involved so we can see improvement. But here I am speaking with a fellow from another country in regards to American Bonsai progression.

300 trees you say...  we need to adopt these types of traditions and understandings.

We lack the ability to steep ourselves so deeply in dedication.  Video games and fast food again!

Excellent Day!
Sorce
 

Joshua Hanzman

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #129 on: January 24, 2014, 02:27 PM »
what the HE double hockey sticks Sorce! you have betrayed the rebellion... And just when we almost reached Obi-wan :(
 

Sorce

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #130 on: January 25, 2014, 08:02 AM »
  :o.   

I really don't want to be unprofessional. And confuse folks.  ???

One has to read it all to understand, and a lot of folks only get the "wrong" part.   >:(

The Rebellion continues, however....

With my boxwood growing well. Roots too...it seems more right than rebellious.

The only reason my "new years resolutions" list is so short, I can not expose the true rebellion to the masses!   ;)

When you know wrong, you can do no wrong.
When recorded, it becomes educational.

Ooooobbbiiii.






 

Leo in NE Illinois

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #131 on: February 23, 2014, 10:40 PM »
@ Joshua -  a couple thoughts. One may be a terminology issue, regarding pinching versus pruning a juniper. Michael Hagedorn had a nice article on his site a while back, echo'd here in several threads, the point was "no more pinching" of junipers. Pruning and pinching are not synonymous. Pinching is only at final stages of development, just prior to shows. Pruning is done once, maybe twice during the growing season. Again, as stated earlier, new growth is allowed to extend and then later is cut back to wood. In terms of after care, I think it would be best to not prune your juniper until sometime in 2015.  You need to let it recover, and you need the juvenile foliage extend if you want it to revert back to adult foliage.

Another thought, high praise for actually doing! In my 4 decades of doing bonsai, I have been a novice for at least 3 decades, because I tend to spend too much time reading, or noodling around on the net and not actually sitting down with a tree in front of me trying out things I have read, seen or learned about. Only when I finally joined a club, and began more systematic taking of classes and workshops did my skills finally take a leap forward. I'm still learning, intermediate at best in my design skills. But I am trying to learn, even if I've already become an old dog.

One of several teaching heuristics is:
See one
Do one
Teach one

There can be the temptation to over emphasize the seeing, and not get enough doing in. (at least this is one of MY shortcomings) Teaching, well, there are issues with that, but this is one place study groups are really good. In a study group there is no one 'teacher', just a small, usually pretty informal group of people agree to get together to work on their own trees. What ever schedule the group mutually agrees on. Usually less than 8 people to the group. Study Groups within the Milwaukee Bonsai Society tend to meet twice a month, with Dec & Jan off. At these study groups, the "teach one" can come in, as you explain to the fellow members of your group what you are doing. And you can learn tricks from your fellow group members when they explain what they are doing.

So I applaud the fact you and Source got your hands on a tree and did something. The technique looks good. My New Years resolution was to physically do something to my trees (other than watering and basic horticulture) at least once a week, with Sunday being my target "bonsai day". So far I have spent one day only in 2014, on bonsai technique, and February is almost over. I spend way too much time reading and posting in forums, not enough time doing.

One design point I noticed, and figure it probably was noticed by you and you were likely to correct it on your own in 2015. There is a "vertical bar" of foliage from the lowest point to the 'apex' it looks rather flat and linear. When I tried to trace the main branches there in the photos, it looks like they actually have bends and movement, so it should be easy to fix the next time the tree is styled and pruned. For its stage in development, I am quite happy with what you have done. I do agree with Bill Valvanis' after care suggestions, keep it above freezing (but not too warm) and give it enough light it can grow a little.

@ Source, I am usually at a loss with boxwoods, so it is hard for me to see what they can become. I'm in the far northern Chicago suburbs, and I find them very slow growing. Perhaps this is because the only boxwood I have is a 40+ year old urban yamadori. Chops just don't seem to ever heal and smooth out the way a maple or other species would. Our growing season almost too short for this species. I also treat my boxwood as a zone 5 hardy shrub, I never winter it in a greenhouse. It is outside under a bench right now, buried in a foot of snow. Looking at the clump of trunks on yours, I would pick three, and eliminate the rest. I would choose three that were the most different in diameter. Keep a couple low branches for 'sacrifice branches' to thicken the trunks, and then work the tree from there. I like the trunk with the knothole (uro) it would likely be one I would keep. As the articles on Evergreen Gardenworks suggest, grow out each trunk segment from the ground up.

I'm always delighted when those new to bonsai develop the passion that the two of you show. keep it going.

Now I need to stop typing, and go downstairs to the unheated well house door, and see if there is a tree that it would be appropriate for me to do something to. Wire, what ever.
 

Joshua Hanzman

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #132 on: February 24, 2014, 12:50 AM »
Thank you Leo, I really liked the adage- see one, do one, teach one, and I appreciate the warmth in your response, it did not fall on deaf ears how you skillfully worded your advice to not sound condescending or offensive. I would imagine you are a very kind and patient person. I am starting to see something similar to what you mentioned develop in my life, where I read, research and live vicariously through others' doing, and I too mean to stop that. I really do have a passion for bonsai though, I can safely say I have never felt such a burning desire/infatuation/passion for anything else (except maybe for a few girls here and there) other than for bonsai. In fact, I seldom crane my neck while in a car or a train for anything other than a pretty girl or a gnarled old tree.

But I need to develop more patience, I chomp at the bit to do bonsai, I chomp at the bit to make money, and I'm only now starting to realize that the sprinters don't make it in this race called life, it's the marathon runners.

As far as that tree, I agree with you on that linear part, I did notice that but didn't want to over-work it, I have no idea how that tree is doing, I had to unfortunately move it out of the protection it was in, and with the snows and weather the way its been, I would not be surprised if I killed the tree by over-working it out of season.
 

Sorce

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #133 on: February 24, 2014, 07:17 AM »
Thanks too Leo. Josh nailed it on the head. Kind words on fox ears!

I have whacked the section of 3 tiny trunks, ( too straight- only part not growing) will likely cut down the uro one to the next branch down. It is at least the main. And one of the 2 that are the same size will go too.

It is growing well still, and will be outside forever after spring.

I hope my kids can see it to a pot!

Happy Sundays! 
 

Sorce

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Re: Need help expanding my knowledge in Bonsai
« Reply #134 on: April 04, 2014, 08:35 PM »
Dan and Chris. I never saw that Juniper foilage reply, thanks for that.

And thanks again Leo. Your posts are always excellent.

The box. It has been healthy, almost ready to go outside again. I am going to put it on its path, now that it has told me what it wants!

The before.