Yamadori Vs Propagated Material

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Yamadori Vs Propagated Material

Post  Lee Brindley on Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:39 pm

A topic recently came up in Walter's thread which displayed Ryan Neil's collection of yamadori. Some people were suggesting that material propagated from seed and cuttings takes much more skill to turn into bonsai than yamadori does. Some even seem to think that styling yamadori consists only of a little trimming of the greenery. To my mind, the stying of yamadori has its own set of challenges, and we can only change the material so much, as we must work with what nature has already created for us. In many ways, creating bonsai from seed is easier, as we have complete control over elements such as the shape of the trunk and the posiston of the branches.

For me personally, propagated bonsai will always be inferior to yamadori as with propagated trees, I usually feel that I am looking at a tree with no 'soul'. I believe that one person's life time will never be enough to create 'world class' trees with the soul and charcter of yamadori. So if we want to create the best bonsai we can, should we really bother propagating our own material, and do we need to produce a bonsai from seed before we can call ourselves masters?

Any thoughts welcome. Very Happy

Lee.

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Re: Yamadori Vs Propagated Material

Post  Patrick_G on Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:45 pm

I think some people would look at yamadori and think, "You let nature do 90% of the work". If you look at it strictly from a perspective of the time out into the tree, I can see why one would think yamadori is easier.

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Re: Yamadori Vs Propagated Material

Post  carlos on Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:50 pm

Mr. Lee Brindley,

Seems to me that you have never been exposed to Taiwanese bonsai. With the exception of Pemphis acidula, some hibiscus, a few premna and Severina buxifolia trees, 100% of the material is cultivated. This includes juniper and pine.

regards,

Carlos

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Re: Yamadori Vs Propagated Material

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:14 pm

Lee,

the problem lies not between seed to collected tree, but the sales of the yamadori.

If you collect a yamadori for yourself with permission - fine.

If you collect yamadori to sell, and you do it properly, slowly preparing the soil/tree for removal and taking the 6 years or so that might have to pass - fine

BUT if you are just collecting for sales, and could care less - money, money, money.
[ getting something for nothing ] what are you telling others?

- go out and collect - free for all?
-okay so how come you get to collect and I can't ?
- I want an old tree, don't have to pay for it and someday I can sell it for over 1000+$$

Why do you have to have an old tree?

As to seed, I teach folk to draw an image and then use a seed /cutting to make it into reality.
A blank canvas or page.

Even in a cooler climate it can be done,

http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATfieldgrowing.htm

http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATEuropeanHornbeamProgressionSeries.htm

So we come back to why do you have to have an old tree?
Be honest please.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Yamadori Vs Propagated Material

Post  drgonzo on Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:35 pm

Lee Brindley wrote:
For me personally, propagated bonsai will always be inferior to yamadori as with propagated trees, I usually feel that I am looking at a tree with no 'soul'. I believe that one person's life time will never be enough to create 'world class' trees with the soul and charcter of yamadori.
Lee.

Lee,

Spend some time on Bill Valavanis's International Bonsai website.
http://www.internationalbonsai.com/

Take a good look at his deciduous trees (particularly his Maples) many, many of which have been grown from cuttings, seedlings or air layers (i.e. propagated) and as these trees are unquestionably "world class" I would say a strong case can be made for the quality of propagated material that can be worked over the span of one mans life.

Bill even was good enough to take the time to label some of the origins of his trees here on this thread from earlier this year.
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t9673p15-payback-time
I'm sure you'll find it most illuminating.

-Jay


Last edited by drgonzo on Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:37 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Yamadori Vs Propagated Material

Post  JimLewis on Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:32 pm

All this goes to show that generalizations can be dangerous -- or at least refutable.

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Re: Yamadori Vs Propagated Material

Post  craigw on Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:13 pm

I think you are dealing with two very different skill sets here with very different outcomes. Both techniques have their merits.
Craig Wilson

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Re: Yamadori Vs Propagated Material

Post  Lee Brindley on Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:13 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Lee,
...So we come back to why do you have to have an old tree?
Be honest please.
Later.
Khaimraj

For me this is the very essence of bonsai, to re-create the image of a mature tree, growing in nature. Who would want a sapling in a pot? Sure, we can artificially mimic the characteristics of a mature tree, but a contrived copy rarely competes with true age from what I have seen.

drgonzo wrote:
Lee Brindley wrote:
For me personally, propagated bonsai will always be inferior to yamadori as with propagated trees, I usually feel that I am looking at a tree with no 'soul'. I believe that one person's life time will never be enough to create 'world class' trees with the soul and charcter of yamadori.
Lee.

Lee,

Spend some time on Bill Valavanis's International Bonsai website.
http://www.internationalbonsai.com/

Take a good look at his deciduous trees (particularly his Maples) many, many of which have been grown from cuttings, seedlings or air layers (i.e. propagated) and as these trees are unquestionably "world class" I would say a strong case can be made for the quality of propagated material that can be worked over the span of one mans life.

Bill even was good enough to take the time to label some of the origins of his trees here on this thread from earlier this year.
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t9673p15-payback-time
I'm sure you'll find it most illuminating.

-Jay

Hi Jay.
There is no doubting the hard work and talent that goes into creating trees such as those being produced by Mr Valavanis. However, I guess my point is that for me personally, bonsai is about the appreciation of the beauty of nature... to style a wild, old tree and show its struggle through time, and to bring it to its full aesthetic potential by way of artistic and horticultural skill.

Not that I am saying my own trees compete with anybody's - I am really a beginner. This is just how I view the art of bonsai at its highest level, and what I will aim for. I am interested to hear others' oppinions and so far, it looks like nobody else sees things as I do. Laughing That's fine. Cool

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bonsai as art should create an emotional impact in the viewer

Post  Leo Schordje on Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:24 pm

A mature bonsai, regardless of origin should draw an emotional response from the viewer. The best of cultivated stock and yamadori do this. These are the show winners. The trees people drive many miles to see when they are shown.

Bill Valvanis is a good example, he has many cultivated trees that truly have this impact. Yamadori, well done can do this also.

With this deciduous trees, growth and maturity are rapid enough that I would hazard to say there is no big distinction between the collected and the cultivated when it comes to the show circuit.

With conifers, particularly pines, hemlocks & spruces, their natural growth is slow, such that nursery material will look young for the first century or so of the tree's life. With these species, sometime the best way to evoke the illusion of a century old tree in a pot is start with one that is 2 or 3 centuries old. When you look at the Kofukuten winners, whether the stock is from nursery material or yamadori, the one thing these trees have in common is generations worth of skilled care by a succession of talented bonsai artists, each contributing and then when the time comes, passing it on to the next bonsai artist. Yamadori fresh from the forests or mountains just don't win in the Kofukuten. 50 or 100 years or more of careful cultivation are required to bring the full maturity to the tree.

Working with yamadori is a different skill set, I celebrate the interest coming from the west coast increasing the interest in using the wonderful yamadori available in our mountainous west. There are some really cool trees coming out of the movement. This push has also sparked an interest in quality yamadori in the rest of the country. In the more urban areas of the country, the value of old home landscape plantings is finally on the consciousness of more bonsai growers.

So there really shouldn't be a debate. As long as the collecting is done legally and with some consciousness of preserving habitats and scenic areas, I see no problem with it. I see no problem with people like Andy Smith who only harvests trees from areas that are slated for timber harvesting.

So this debate is just making an issue, where one doesn't really exist. Done well both cultivated and yamadori can attain the pinnacle of bonsai, both can become 'Art'.

And the technical skills and artistic talent required is equal to achieve the goal of creating 'Art'.

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Re: Yamadori Vs Propagated Material

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:02 am

Lee,

I caught a bit on the interview Andy Rutledge had with Mr.Valavanis and the idea / philosophy of Bonsai as he / the Japanese saw it. If I can refind the address, I will leave here for you to read. You might find it interesting.

Leo,

I would offer the images seen of a thirty something year old grown from seed Japanese Black Pine, for you to assess. The article deals with growing from seed at a fairly rapid rate. It would interesting to hear your opinion.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Yamadori Vs Propagated Material

Post  Guest on Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:07 pm

Lee Brindley wrote:..... Some people were suggesting that material propagated from seed and cuttings takes much more skill to turn into bonsai than yamadori does. .....
Any thoughts welcome.
Lee.

Are they saying that the chances are greater to succeed with one or the other or just that it is more difficult to succeed with one than the other?


Seeds and cuttings suggest an immature tree. So, on the surface, comparing those with yamadori is like comparing apples with oranges. Time alone requires "additional skill", so to speak.

If we accept the notion that only mature trees can make exquisite bonsai then we're snookered with seeds and cuttings right from the start.

If, on the other hand, we're talking about acquiring mature potensai and starting with that then there is no answer to your question because nature produces just as many unsuitable pontensai as man does.

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Re: Yamadori Vs Propagated Material

Post  JimLewis on Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:01 pm

Depends on what kind of bonsai you want to make from the grown-from-seed plant.

It certainly can take longer.

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