Author Topic: Shortage(s?) of good material  (Read 7011 times)

bwaynef

  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1785
  • Thanked: 33 times
  • USDA Zone: 8a
Shortage(s?) of good material
« on: August 18, 2010, 01:57 PM »
It was recently discussed that a returnee from Japan indicated a shortage of good Japanese Maple material*.  (Apologies for the apparent straw man.)  I was surprised to hear that.

Obviously, coming back from an apprenticeship in Japan, his comments must be tempered with the understanding that he's talking about exemplary stock.  (That is an assumption on my part.)  Even so, with as popular as maples are, and for as high a price as they often go, I'm surprised there is a gap as big as he claims.

Is this declaration true?  Are there any areas in the US known for growing great Maple stock?  Are there other species that seem to be waiting on supply to catch up (presumably to demand)?  Why the disparity?



*It should be clarified that he was referring to Specimens.  The question doesn't change that much.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 02:10 PM by bwaynef »
 

shimsuki

  • Sr. Forum Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 268
  • Thanked: 2 times
Re: Shortage(s?) of good material
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2010, 06:47 PM »
I feel for the most part that this is true. From what I have seen of American bonsai there are many good shimpakus and black pines out there, but I have NOT seen numerous Japanese Maples out there of the same quality. I think mostly the nebari in this country on Japanese Maples lacks. If you look through the kokufu books for example, they have huge bases like this: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://bonsaitonight.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/ooishi-2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://bonsaitonight.com/2009/03/19/ooishi/&usg=__1Z0d-t7y_xxQg6RFJqEQFbUxrGQ=&h=531&w=800&sz=190&hl=en&start=86&sig2=PgJHuq8uu_84kP4QajhhbQ&tbnid=WiXLqDQILwuLjM:&tbnh=142&tbnw=167&ei=_WBsTKmIKoGlnQegl9ixAg&prev=/images%3Fq%3Djapanese%2Bmaple%2Bbonsai%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dsafari%26sa%3DN%26rls%3Den%26biw%3D1115%26bih%3D618%26tbs%3Disch:10%2C2491&um=1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=680&oei=8mBsTLmFLYuRnAfZsomyAg&esq=6&page=6&ndsp=17&ved=1t:429,r:7,s:86&tx=87&ty=16&biw=1115&bih=618
I have not seen bases like this in America in my experience, or at least not a lot of them. So maybe the returnee was referring to that.


Just a thought,
Shimsuki
 

JRob

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 608
  • Thanked: 3 times
Re: Shortage(s?) of good material
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2010, 07:51 PM »
From my limited experience I would have to agree. Traveling on business and pleasure, I have had the opportunity of visiting bonsai nurseries around the country and over the last couple of years and have not seen many japanese maples bonsai at all let alone ones that I would consider specimens. Very few of them had anything more than very young trees early in their development. (I did see a nice one at Nature's Way and would consider it an honor to own.) My experience tells me that this would be a great area to concentrate on.

JRob
 

MatsuBonsai

  • John Callaway
  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: Shortage(s?) of good material
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2010, 10:24 AM »
Holy long link, Batman!

There were a few online vendors from the Pacific Northwest and a few in the East Coast that had some field grown Japanese maples listed a number of years ago.  Impressively thick trunks, but not so well developed nebari.

There are some members of the local club here that have tried to "field grow" Japanese maples, tridents, etc., but never take the time necessary to sort the roots and/or build good nebari.  I think folks hear the word "field grow" and think all that is required is to stick a tree in the ground and presto!

So, how do we develop and teach others to develop good stock?  A lot has been trial and error, I would guess, which would explain why so few are willing to share their knowledge (purely an assumption on my part).  

In most recent years I think a few bonsai nurseries and growers are starting to develop some good stock.  I would guess that the cost involved yields a high asking price.  After all, the number of individuals willing to pay top dollar for good stock is far smaller in the States than elsewhere (another personal opinion).

Those that have studied in Japan and returned, and those that study with good teachers are helping spread the word of the importance of starting with quality stock.  Let's hope that trend continues.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 10:39 AM by MatsuBonsai »
 

GastroGnome

  • Jr. Forum Member
  • **
  • Posts: 86
Re: Shortage(s?) of good material
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2010, 01:39 PM »
The growing grounds "Squat Pot Stumps" has great field grown palmatum stock and specimens, Some with very well developed nebari, but as noted in this thread, the prices are very high.  In addition to the cost and time frame involved in field growing stock, I think a good deal of the high prices asscociated with good Japanese Maple Stock is a matter of supply and demand.  There are far more people wanting good stock than there are growing them!
I think an even greater disparity exists for great juniper stock(we don't have the Taiwanese field growing us pseudo yamadori)
 

John Kirby

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2216
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • I really need an opposable thumb...
Re: Shortage(s?) of good material
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2010, 02:59 PM »
What is considered a high price? You want a fused Nebari, you want great branches and oh by the way you want it in a bonsai pot. It takes at least 5-10 years to get the nebari, and this is after you have made a layer or cutting and grafted more roots on, and possibly used the Ebihara techniques (See Kinbon May, 2001). So, lets say 8 years for nebari, another 5-6 to get branching (if you can graft....). Total time- 250-300 hours over 12-13 years. My understanding is that the Ebihara trees, not yet completely finished for Kokufu were about $25-30K, the higher end trees were more, and rumor is that his most "spectacular" tree sold for >$1,000,000.

Yes, that is Japan, but you can understand why Mr. Ebihara spent his time doing these trees, he made a good living. My understanding is that due to personal illness that he has discontinued his bonsai work.

Jonas Dupuich has a nice piece on Mr Ebihara on Bonsai Tonight, eard down a bit:  http://bonsaitonight.com/tag/white-pine/

John

« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 03:08 PM by John Kirby »
 

Don Blackmond

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 504
Re: Shortage(s?) of good material
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2010, 03:17 PM »
out of curiosity, how much should this tree cost?
 

Walter_Pall

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Shortage(s?) of good material
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2010, 03:34 PM »
I don't know abut your tree, but I know very well about this one. I recently had this on offer for 5,500 euro, which is US$ 7,500 for either money or trade and it was gone within one day.
 

Don Blackmond

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 504
Re: Shortage(s?) of good material
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2010, 07:05 PM »
I don't know abut your tree, but I know very well about this one. I recently had this on offer for 5,500 euro, which is US$ 7,500 for either money or trade and it was gone within one day.

$7500 is quite reasonable for your tree.  I would have paid that without hesitating.
 

Don Blackmond

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 504
Re: Shortage(s?) of good material
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2010, 07:18 PM »
There are good maples in the USA.  I have several, and a couple of them are for sale if anyone is interested.
As for growing areas, Oregon and southern Washington have ideal climates for developing stock.  Here, in Michigan, maples do really well too, but our winters are a bit to rough for unprotected field-growing.  We get too much snow and Japanese maples are brittle, so branches tend to break.  Also, we have extended periods of deep freezing and strong winds, both of which can cause branch dieback.  But, the remainder of the year is nearly perfect for them.
 

John Kirby

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2216
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • I really need an opposable thumb...
Re: Shortage(s?) of good material
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2010, 10:12 PM »
Nice base Don, with some root work/grafts to get the fine live roots to the surface the nebari would be superb. I would need to see the branch structure to suggest a value (and my suggestion probably carries little worth). You have a very good tack record for getting value for trees for sale, I tend to perhaps undervalue trees.

John
 

Don Blackmond

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 504
Re: Shortage(s?) of good material
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2010, 02:05 PM »
my suggestion probably carries little worth
John

I don't agree with that.  You have been in the mix long enough to have an opinion that is grounded in fact, and not just pure speculation.

My point in asking what its worth is more rhetorical than anything.  What people are willing to pay tends to drive the supply.  There is a lot of time, and money, wrapped up in developing a tree like that.  If the demand is there, the supply will be too, but it has to be worth doing it or the grower will focus resources on other more lucrative projects.  It is probably the case here, in the USA, that there simply are not enough people willing to spend enough money to stimulate the supply.
 

MatsuBonsai

  • John Callaway
  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: Shortage(s?) of good material
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2010, 02:17 PM »
Unfortunately, Don, I'm inclined to agree with you.  At least from what I've seen in my immediate part of the country.
 

Walter_Pall

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Shortage(s?) of good material
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2010, 03:26 PM »
This is a Japanese maple that was exhibited at Kokufu Ten a few years agol now it is in Europe. It was offered for around 12,500 euro, around 17,000 US$ for a while and later on it became part of a big trade.
 

Chrisl

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 897
Re: Shortage(s?) of good material
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2014, 10:00 AM »
John, from what I can gather, the Ebihara technique is basically slow partial branch removal?  I didn't see any info regard. root grafts.  I did see where he did some branch grafting, but strange, he grafted on on the underside of a branch.  Unfort. I don't have Kinbon.

Really beautiful maples Walter and Don!