Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => General Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: GBHunter on August 15, 2014, 12:33 AM

Title: too old
Post by: GBHunter on August 15, 2014, 12:33 AM
Is there a time at which point growing bonsai from a small plant is a bad idea. I mean a persons age. Im 37 so im pretty old plus have had some major health issues, should I even bother with a young tree and experimnting on them.  I do understand the human condition but mine is slightly different. I know this might sound like a ghoulish question but can one be too old for bonsai?
Title: Re: too old
Post by: John Kirby on August 15, 2014, 06:45 AM
No, though your activities may change . I have a friend in his mid Sixties who has gotten rid of most of his big trees because of surgery , he can 't carry. The question is sort of philosophical, when you do bonsai is it about you or is it about the tree? If it is about the trees, then be sure to have a succession plan so that the trees are passed in to someone who cares and knows what to do next.

I have heard that the definition of an optimist is someone who starts seeds for bonsai every year, even in their 80's and 90's.

I start seeds every year.

Title: Re: too old
Post by: Anthony on August 15, 2014, 06:54 AM

I will be over 50 years by the 1st of September, and just planted some tamarind seeds.

With age, the option to hire hands to handle big trees, or to go smaller becomes available.

Later today I will an post a tree, based on the design of elegance.
Good Day

* AND good long life/ health to you.
Eat a great variety of vegetables, at least a fist sized amount daily.
The body after 25 or so needs Minerals and Vitamins together to repair itself as well as some form of protein.

Please not though Peas / Beans are presented as filled with protein, they only have some of the amino acids the body could use for making protein.
You would still have to find the other foods that compliment [ add on the other amino acids ].

No one presently gives out that information.
Title: Re: too old
Post by: Sorce on August 15, 2014, 06:58 AM

 I fully thought you were about 16. Lol. The Avatar looks like a youngin.


I'm 34, tryin to sprout some plum pits in spring. I don't intend on seeing 75% of my trees make it to "finished".

This should help you live longer!


Title: Re: too old
Post by: Dave Murphy on August 15, 2014, 08:42 AM
If you enjoy growing things, it shouldn't matter.  For me, it's as much the journey with the tree as it is the destination...kind of trite, I know, but true.
Title: Re: too old
Post by: augustine on August 15, 2014, 09:34 AM

You're still a "young-un." The numbers change but you never have to grow old.
Title: Re: too old
Post by: Oliver Muscio on August 15, 2014, 01:58 PM
I agree with Dave Murphy--it's the journey as much as the destination.  I am 70 and still growing/chopping trees in the ground that I plan to dig and pot eventually.  Optimism? Of course--it's the only way to go!
Title: Re: too old
Post by: MatsuBonsai on August 15, 2014, 02:38 PM
There was a sweet little old lady in our club that was still collecting cuttings in her late eighties. There was a gentleman that rejoined the club at 92. I believe they've both passed now, but they both enjoyed bonsai right up until the end.

I'm just a few years younger than you and continue to grow seeds/seedlings with plans for more next year.
Title: Re: too old
Post by: M. Frary on August 16, 2014, 12:33 AM
  I'm 50 and hold the belief that I don't have time to wait for a tree to grow to proper size from seed. If I was 20 maybe but I doubt it. I was struck by lightning and it stopped my heart for a bit so I know time is short. Too short to wait for a tree to grow.
Title: Re: too old
Post by: GBHunter on August 16, 2014, 02:46 AM
Wow lightning sheesh!
At the moment I do both, I am acquiring older trees 20 yrs+, but I still keep the young ones so they can be twisted into what I like and new techniques can be utilized on these cheap trees before trying it on an expensive specimen.
Title: Re: too old
Post by: Sorce on August 16, 2014, 04:26 AM

Do you know.

Every heart only beats so many times till natural death. Mice heart fast. Tortoise slow. Same amount of beats. Hence the difference in life spans. Meditation increases life.
Smoking decreases life.

Chances are, that lighting added time to yours!

Grow a seed!

Title: Re: too old
Post by: M. Frary on August 16, 2014, 06:07 AM
  Actually an American elm seeded just about every bucket, pot or collander I have. So I guess I am growing some trees from seed. About 70 in all. They grow like mad in Napa Floor Dri.
  As for my heart it went into atrial fibrillation. That means it didn't beat in a regular rythym. It was so bad it would stop long enough it would set the alarm off on the EKG machines like a flat line and then beat real fast. They used electricity to stop and restart it in an attempt to get the thing back into rythym 3 different times but it wouldn't stay. Finally went to a specialist who burned out extra nerve pathways my heart built to heal itself and it finally beats like everyone else's. They couldn't fix the heart from being cold and black though!
  Seriously. What happened to me only reinforced in me just how short life is. A different perspective like they say. I feel time pushing down on me. So to plant a seed in hopes someday I will be able to make a bonsai out of it seems like a waste of precious time.
  I was playing my electric guitar and the lightning struck the house and dropped in via the houses electrical lines. It burned the
guts out of my Les Paul too. I was playing Motorbreath by Metallica. I rode the lightning!
Title: Re: too old
Post by: GBHunter on August 16, 2014, 07:52 AM
WOW who would have thought getting hit by lightning could possibly have a silver lining but this guy Lol. You sir seem like an optimist.
Title: Re: too old
Post by: BonsaiEngineer1493 on August 16, 2014, 09:30 AM
I disagree, your not pretty old. There is no age limit on changing your course or to live a life that makes you proud. I'm sure many of us know many successful individuals with physical and mental disabilities who refuse to let their circumstances hold them back. I'm only 21, I still haven't found a person my age -or early 20s - who shares the same interest for bonsai.
Title: Re: too old
Post by: Leo in NE Illinois on August 19, 2014, 02:29 PM
I am 59, and have every intention of being able to continue bonsai into my 90's.

However, I look at what I do, and I enjoy several different aspects of bonsai. My favorite activity is the care and watering of the plants, and the "nurseryman's" activities. I love starting interesting trees from seed. I am learning to do grafting. I enjoy these tasks for their own sake. I do like to exhibit, but it is only a secondary goal for me. I don't expect my seedlings to be the trees I exhibit. I do expect to be able to exhibit my older trees. I am setting aside money for a tree purchase down the road of stock that might be exhibit worthy in less than 5 years. One does not preclude the other.

You can scale up or scale down the bonsai hobby depending on your health. If you are planning ahead, think Shohin
Title: Re: too old
Post by: coh on August 19, 2014, 02:48 PM
37! I wish I was only 37, or at least had started bonsai when I was 37 (52 now). Actually, I did start experimenting with bonsai in my 30s...but then we had to move and a whole bunch of trees got left behind in the ground, then I got busy for a few years, then stumbled onto a local bonsai show and the rest is history. Now I have way too many trees of all sizes, including seedlings.

M. Frary, I came very close to being struck by lightning...a bunch of us got caught in a storm when hiking in Colorado about 20 years ago. We were on flat-top mountain (aptly named, flat with no shelter at all), above tree line when the storm broke. The first bolt struck somewhere behind me, I only saw the flash and have no idea how far away it was. But it either knocked me to the ground, or I instinctively dove, still not sure to this day. I wasn't struck, there were no after-effects, but it was an incredibly scary experience.

Title: Re: too old
Post by: Dirk on August 20, 2014, 08:08 AM
I heard someone say: I am not going to grow bonsai from seed. I'm 50 years old by the time my seedlings are 10 years old I'll be 60.
So I asked the guy: How old are you in ten years if you don't grow bonsai from seed?
Title: Re: too old
Post by: bwaynef on August 20, 2014, 09:27 AM
So I asked the guy: How old are you in ten years if you don't grow bonsai from seed?

I like the way you think! 
Title: Re: too old
Post by: PaulH on August 20, 2014, 10:05 AM
A few years ago I was invited to collect California junipers with Harry Hirao. I believe he was 92 at the time. I was 59. He hiked up and down the mountain with more energy than any of the rest of us.
I went suiseki hunting 20 years ago with bonsai friend and mentor George yamasaki when he was 88, He was still collecting trees and stones every chance he got and was still starting cuttings and making grafts for the future. He just passed away a couple of years ago.
Title: Re: too old
Post by: DougB on August 20, 2014, 12:05 PM
I'm in my 70's.  I have reduced the 2-man, 1-strongman trees, but other than that continue right along with many Pre-pre-bonsais.  I am privileged to belong to a strong club and am confident that as others before me, my club will care for my trees and ensure they go to good homes where their bonsai journey will continue. 

Is there a stopping age or disabilities -- NO only when the brain or heart stops working and we move to the promised life with our God.  So just keep on - keeping on.