Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

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Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:59 pm

Ho ho ho,
I typed this long e-mail into a locked topic in the hopes of helping those who are perhaps frustrated with learning how to grow Bonsai.

Do an Informal Upright.

Forget about wiring. Work towards 30 to 40 cm as the final height.
Forget the eagle's claw for radial root distribution.
Forget the trunk's thickness.

Use - Chinese snow rose, Chinese elm, olive, celtis types, yaupon,or any tree/shrub that branches and sub-branches abundantly and easily. Any such tree or shrub from your zone is usable.

Plan for only 6 branches. 1,2,3 - make either 2 or 3 into a back branch for VOLUME.
Let 6 have 3 branchlets as the top goes.
[ a drawing or some other image helps with the memory and objective.]

The idea after the placement of branches is to develop branchlets. Just clip and grow, clip and grow...........

USE a coarse, freely draining soil mix in a container that is 30 x 30 x 30 cm or 40 x 40 x 40 cm in VOLUME, BUT keep the shape SHALLOW to 10 or 15 cm.

For example, use a large plant saucer, if need be earthenware clay [ porous ]

You should have at least 10 trees going so you learn faster.

You can restore the root distribution by airlayering or other, as you learn.
[ Also if you are drawing on Nature, many old trees have slimmer trunks than the standard Bonsai look.]

In Fine Art, we are taught how to in progressive steps.
From what I am seeing here, the many are trying to learn too many things.
Simplify.
Ease the FRUSTRATION on yourself.

If you must collect, grow on for 3 to 5 years, before coming to the forum for advice. Health takes time.

Please learn to photograph from the FRONT on, and not the Front above [ trying to make the tree/shrub more volumetric]
Hope this helps.
Khaimraj

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  my nellie on Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:35 pm

Thank you for your time, Khaimraj!
If you must collect, grow on for 3 to 5 years, before coming to the forum for advice. Health takes time.
You are implying styling advice, am I correct? But we can always come to the forum for survival advice, cannot we? Very Happy

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  Sakaki on Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:41 pm

Dear Khaimraj,

I could not understand the nature and purpose of this thread.
Is it addressed to someone or somewhere? Or should we understand as it is? Smile

Thanks in advance
Taner

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:54 pm

Alexandra,

thanks you always leave me with a warm feeling and a big smile cheers cheers cheers

Taner,

I am trying to give some folk a simple way to relax and just enjoy the growing of trees. Too much information, too quickly will often confuse and irritate the soul.

The idea behind Bonsai is to relax the mind and refresh the inner being. So when you come home from work all bothered and worn down, a simple chore such as, looking or watering will lower the blood pressure immensely.
AND your efforts do not have to be MASTERPIECES of design, as long as the effort triggers of a hopefully, pleasant memory.

It is possible to sit and contemplate a Mame' for hours.
Later.
Khaimraj [ I take payments for fortune cookies as you go out the entrance Laughing ]

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:54 pm

my nellie wrote:Thank you for your time, Khaimraj!
But we can always come to the forum for survival advice, cannot we? Very Happy


Not anymore. hehehe!


@ Khaimraj.
3 to 5 years????? my goodness LLB! Some people would even asked for design advice for a newly dug tree as in a few hour old newly dug tree? And you have to be very careful on your advice/design suggestions,,,You'll be lucky nowadays if you receive a TY for your effort to help. but most of the time now,,,what you'll get is a kick in the butt. Smile Specially if you hurt egos of the scientists.

..I'll be very busy soon my LLB with my new idealistic endeavor. PM me you FB account I'll show it to you...It is an Art gallery for all local bonsaists, open to the public for free. You take my post here now, like I did while you're away.


regards,
jun Smile



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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  Sakaki on Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:04 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Alexandra,

thanks you always leave me with a warm feeling and a big smile cheers cheers cheers

Taner,

I am trying to give some folk a simple way to relax and just enjoy the growing of trees. Too much information, too quickly will often confuse and irritate the soul.

The idea behind Bonsai is to relax the mind and refresh the inner being. So when you come home from work all bothered and worn down, a simple chore such as, looking or watering will lower the blood pressure immensely.
AND your efforts do not have to be MASTERPIECES of design, as long as the effort triggers of a hopefully, pleasant memory.

It is possible to sit and contemplate a Mame' for hours.
Later.
Khaimraj [ I take payments for fortune cookies as you go out the entrance Laughing ]


It is clear now Smile
Thank you for explanation.
Somebody is addressing some posts to someone in some forums nowadays, so I just didnt want to be included in a thread that's addressed to somebody else's lover lol!

Take care
Taner

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  Poink88 on Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:17 pm

jun wrote:...3 to 5 years????? my goodness LLB! Some people would even asked for design advice for a newly dug tree as in a few hour old newly dug tree?
Jun,
Ouch!!! That is me again! LOL

Kidding aside, isn't asking for proper pruning advise good? I mean why keep things you won't need or help the tree? Channel new growth where it is needed. I know Marcus harps on me on this and I appreciate it very much but there are species (and timing) consideration when it cannot be done (though I wish I can).

For me, styling consideration start at day one but I know I am the minority.

@ Khaimraj.
When I am in my garden, all my worries are gone. It is my little paradise...though I only have sticks and stumps still. I am against the current here, been wiring, pruning my collected trees this year with plans of repotting come spring. Twisted Evil

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:23 pm

I forgot to also say -

take your extra cuttings and in the open ground [ please do something to improve the aeration / drainage in the soil ]
plant them and forget them, save for weeding, to get the bigger trunks for a later date.

I tend to start my cuttings off in a small 6 x 6 x 6cm cup, and grow until they are able to dry out the soil in the cup by lunchtime, but I am usually using full sun, if the cutting is able to take it.

Then I place into a larger container say 12 x 12 x 12 cm and then do the same as above, and then onto a 15 x 15 x 12 cm container, and then onto something bigger but not deeper if I need to. You get the idea. Coarse soil mix.
Enjoy.
Khaimraj

* Dario,

as we say on the Fine Art forums, it is your studio and you will do as you wish. Smile

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  marcus watts on Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:30 pm

nice idea, and really clearly written, but.......It is impossible to generalise so much - it is a big world.

How about this version?

discover the hobby, buy a little starter tree (chinese elm maybe) for £5.99.
keep it alive, hunger for knowledge......search out knowledge

buy a second tree - (another elm maybe?) - £30.ish

go to the normal garden center every week and buy £3 to £10 material and learn on it.....learn pruning, learn wiring, you will ruin most but learn from them along the way. Not even 1% of these trees will please you in future years, they are just a tool to reach an end goal. spend a year or two on this stage

Now you will yearn for a nice tree so you save up for months and get one - maybe jumping up 3 or 4 times what you spent on the 2nd tree.

cuttings become a pain - they take up time, space and who really wants 50 elm trees in every flower bed and space in the garden......it is a nice idea and is part of learning horticulture I guess, but field growing pre trained bonsai material is a skill that comes later, not at the begining.

Fall in love with the beauty of the hobby, understand the way the trees need you or they will die, and let your character dictate your bonsai style - neither right or wrong is scientific, zen, flambouyant, understated, simplistic or complicated - they are just ways individuals will make the hobby suit themselves.

That pretty much was my bonsai path.

Well said Dario.......
there are two very different sides to collecting - urban broadleaf shrubs are usually chopped right back to single or multi trunked stumps, then the new buds used to make the starter bonsai tree - the field cutting back is just mechanical to get it out and home - then you appraise the stump and look for a trunk line so surplus bits are better removed - this is not styling, this is just an extension to the chop back in the field. Then it needs 3 years min to recover, grow and strenghten.

Collecting an ancient conifer or evergreen would be different - you may have the branches and foliage needed to style the tree but it is best to wait for several years as wiring and bending can kill off bits very easily. It is very little use asking for styling help on a newly collected tree like this as seversal branches may die off, and others may grow, before the material can be styled

bonsai is many things to many people, just make sure you enjoy it every day.

cheers Marcus

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:12 pm

hee hee hee,
I see you have money to spend Marcus.
Though on our side we suggest, just buy 5 or so "finished" trees and let that satisfy the impatience.
As always, more than one way to skin a cat.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  Poink88 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:39 am

marcus watts wrote:Dario.......
there are two very different sides to collecting - urban broadleaf shrubs are usually chopped right back to single or multi trunked stumps, then the new buds used to make the starter bonsai tree - the field cutting back is just mechanical to get it out and home - then you appraise the stump and look for a trunk line so surplus bits are better removed - this is not styling, this is just an extension to the chop back in the field. Then it needs 3 years min to recover, grow and strenghten.
Thanks Marcus, your advise is always appreciated. I did say "styling consideration" Wink I am very much aware of possible die backs...it is the very reason why I keep more or longer than I need sometimes. The thing I am not sure is if I am causing the problem by trying to avoid it. (does this make sense?)

marcus watts wrote:bonsai is many things to many people, just make sure you enjoy it every day.
So true.

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  my nellie on Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:29 am

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:... ...As always, more than one way to skin a cat
This is also true provided that the skin remains in such a good condition that it can be as useful as the meat.

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:23 am

Alexandra,

Smile Laughing .

I am afraid time has no meaning to me, and patience is used for doing things that I do not like doing [ cleaning toilets ]
so cuttings, seeds and a backyard full of grow barrels, are taken in stride.

I have 10 stands of trees in various stages and I still water with a 1.5 US gallon watering can. I find I give personal care when I water my children.

Most of the crafty stuff I do, I learnt when I was just past 14 years of age, gives me a very different perspective on life.

Most folk start Bonsai later and there is an immense rush to show.
Probably the true motivation for collecting, that and $$$. One can always make back the money, when boredom with the hobby sets in, or you go "professional."
Anyhow, I just like growing trees and being boring zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Sleepily yours.
Khaimraj

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:23 am

Alexandra,

before I get lost on my topic. The idea here was to simply lend some of my experience to anyone wanting to do Bonsai, but not knowing where to focus.

Wiring requires a given amount of technical skill and the reason one uses copper wire, after it has been annealed, is simply because the metal has the ability to lock itself into a given shape after a % of being manipulated. So if the wire is thick enough, you would have to nip it off in pieces, if you didn't wire correctly, additionally, a % of the outer skin of the tree will separate from the internal dead wood.
You could just end up with a dead branch, an area that is dead or dropping leaves and so on.

Aluminium wire does not quite have copper's physical properties, and often has to be thicker in diameter to do the same job.

As someone once remarked to me on another list, I am one of the lazy one's since I use clip and grow Laughing or grow and clip as you wish or simply Directional pruning.

You can also kill or damage the trunk of the tree with wiring, hence the raffia and so on.

So you try to remove the more technical stuff and give a person a chance to adapt to growing Bonsai, until the experience is there to move on.

If you need to clip, go out and buy, for example a 1 to 3 gallon potted Ilex yaupon, and you can also use the same eye for a found plant, save there is a safety rope in that you don't have to touch the roots. Same for junipers.

After the horticultural aspect is fulfilled [ normally 3 to 5 years, if you haven't ever grown anything successfully for a period of time - years ] next comes the Design.
I always suggest a year or two or three of art/sculpture.

Apologies, I love to read and be educated, so learning comes easily and naturally to me.

It is the design work that will most likely keep one really doing Bonsai, the challenge, can I design/draw a tree and then grow it into reality.
And it does not have to be a dead-on copy.

With every new species, I find down here and there is potential, though I tend to moan about our Amazonian 3'[1m] leaves, the challenge to learn how to Bonsai starts over and I renew the joy [ researcher in me ]

It is hoped that others will catch this and spend the rest of their lives enjoying the same.

I normally start with a sapling or cutting, but never an old plant.
The idea is to learn about the tree / shrub with new eyes and birth new ideas.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  my nellie on Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:35 am

I can understand your posts more and more every time, my friend.
But, we must admit the era we are going through isn't lazy, cannot slow down...
That's enough with my philosophical considerations!

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  Poink88 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:29 pm

my nellie wrote:I can understand your posts more and more every time, my friend.
But, we must admit the era we are going through isn't lazy, cannot slow down...
That's enough with my philosophical considerations!
The old mantra "Bonsai is a marathon not a sprint" which I agree...but it is still a race and I want to finish as fast as I can. Am I lazy? I don't think so...I work very hard for each of my trees but this is my own strategy...the one I employ in MY shop. Wink

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  my nellie on Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:02 pm

Dario, I know what you mean. You have told me again in the near past.
Don't pay any attention to me... just philosophical rumbling as I said before... Smile
The important thing is to enjoy either the marathon or the sprint.

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  Sakaki on Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:12 pm

One point is not clear in my mind:
You can enjoy a marathon or you can choose a hundred meter dash, but what if your tree cannot run a hundred meter dash? And if it dies due to a heart attack? Smile
We cannot run faster than our trees, huh?

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  leatherback on Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:32 pm

Sakaki wrote:One point is not clear in my mind:
You can enjoy a marathon or you can choose a hundred meter dash, but what if your tree cannot run a hundred meter dash? And if it dies due to a heart attack? Smile
We cannot run faster than our trees, huh?

Good point. The question naturally is.. How fast can your tree run? I think that is what Dario is trying to find out. I just hope he does not forget that each species is different. One may be very happy to have the 100 meter hurdles thrown at it before breakfast. Others like to sit doen first, put on their sneakers and do a little warming up!

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  fiona on Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:44 pm

I have often found that when trying to "race" against Nature, Nature usually wins. Wink

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:49 pm

Sorry Guys / gals,

fast trees, slow trees, marathon against yourself, fast world and so on. Laughing
Enjoy the poem -
Later,
Khaimraj

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!


Rudyard Kipling [ 30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay ]

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  my nellie on Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:54 pm

Thanks for reminding Kipling to me.
Let's count Men and manly Women, now.


(Edit by Fiona at My Nellie's request:
Alexandra has asked me to point out that the Greek phrase from which she translated "manly women" does not mean anything at all derogatory to women such as implying they are butch and unfeminine. It simply means they have the better qualities of the male of the species as outlined in Mr Kipling's poem.

Funny how he doesn't mention putting toilet seats back down though. Wink )

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  Poink88 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:04 pm

fiona wrote:I have often found that when trying to "race" against Nature, Nature usually wins. Wink
Agreed, I actually yield to nature...my trees set the pace, I just try to match it closely and not lag far behind (at least that is my intent but I could be mistaken).

Just FYI, I have trees that are "tinkered" regularly...some never touched just because it is not ready. As always, my take is observe & listen to the trees. They are all different (even same variety, collected from the same spot, on the same day) and should be treated on a case by case basis. That is why I don't like generalization.

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:17 pm

Adding some more.

Cuttings.

Read up and see if a cutting can be taken from a root.
Often roots will have tons more personality than the parent, as movement goes.

Elms will often give very large trunked roots, that develop quickly and nicely into trees. Ixora's as shown by Jun, can also do the same. As will azaleas.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Frustration with Bonsai and how to maybe deal with it.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:26 pm

Roots in action -
Khaimraj

shown 11/2/2011 Chinese type Snow Rose



Around May 2012




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