Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

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Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  gman on Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:47 pm

Hi There, I'm not trying to start any flame wars just hoping to see what other think, believe, do etc.......

I’m probably like most of the other collectors out there……we’ve all read the do’s and don’ts….”the rules of yamadori etiquette” and I’d hazard a guess that most follow them fairly closely.

How about the Philosophy of Yamadori…..does the Japanese have any fundamental ideas?...written thoughts on it? If you have any links/knowledge please chime in.

I started wondering just how big Yamadori collection is after reading many articles, checking posts on forums, watching numerous U Tube video’s of apprentices working in Japan on them….. with thousands in the background.

What I haven’t read much on or seen little on is giving back …only the taking of some of Mother Nature’s treasures……

I’m on two forums but I when I went surfing to try and see just how large Yamadori is…. I was amazed by the number of Bonsai forums that had hundreds of posts on collected stock and with a little more searching I started to see just how large the collection of wild trees around the world really is.

So my point is this – why don’t we give back…..We head out with empty back packs, wheel barrows, quads vehicles and all sorts of contraptions (OK they have tools, water, lunch, fire starter….etc), ….. SO why don’t we take some appropriate seedlings (say 5-10) and plant them where we’ve taken a prize tree?

So how big is your yamadori collection? How about a total for your club, multiply that by the clubs in the associations, associations in your country, number of countries……..etc……etc….its huge - deforestation some would argue.

Some ides and food for thought/discussion.

Cheers Graham

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  JimLewis on Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:16 pm

does the Japanese have any fundamental ideas?...written thoughts on it?

I tend to doubt it since they pretty much denuded their own mountainsides of collectible trees.

I wrote an article for the ABS Journal back in the 90s some time on "The Ethics of Collecting." It ended up being a tad controversial. Send me your e-mail address -- VIA PM PLEASE!!! -- and I can send it on to you if you have any interest.

My yamadori collection is 3 or 4 trees -- all collected from the swamp in the farm we owned in north Florida and a couple of juniper from my farm here in NC.

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  Guest on Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:31 am

gman wrote: What I haven’t read much on or seen little on is giving back …only the taking of some of Mother Nature’s treasures……

So my point is this – why don’t we give back…..We head out with empty back packs, wheel barrows, quads vehicles and all sorts of contraptions (OK they have tools, water, lunch, fire starter….etc), ….. SO why don’t we take some appropriate seedlings (say 5-10) and plant them where we’ve taken a prize tree?

So how big is your yamadori collection? How about a total for your club, multiply that by the clubs in the associations, associations in your country, number of countries……..etc……etc….its huge - deforestation some would argue.


amen.

May i add my personal opinion?
Despite all ethics thats shouted with every yamadori-post (yes i got permission, yes i took care not to harm the tree etc...) i think it is rapidly becoming, or has become, no more than a bonsai-hype, a bonsai-frenzy. According to me, there are no ethics. If you look at it like you do (and myself) you can only notice that there's only the taking-aspect, not the giving. So any individual ethics one may think they have, is irrelevant.

I have made the 'mistake' only once, myself, but you could hardly call it yamadori since it didnt come from a mountain, nor a forest, only in the sideway of a highway... The very few others i have are all urbadories and gardendories Wink.

To all 'serious' collectors, i would say, forget your personal ethics, and admit its actually only a bonsai-frenzy your giving in to. Its as simple as that, its simple greed. And its still greed if you simultanuously love nature too and can treat your trees properly.

A bit of greed makes us human so no harm there, but if you look at that yamadori-greed globally, i would be ashamed if i was part of that robbing-culture in some of nature's fines landscapes, sceneries, ecosystems (the mugo pines that live near the treeline in europe; in america same thing other pines, japan too... make a list).

And the money to be made...my dear god...some have found their way clearly...dig it up, label it 5000 dollars...done

i dont care what anyones opinion would be, to counter my opinion, it still is what is is, and i dont see reforestation programme ;-) Well in many cases reforestation would not even be a worthy replacement since we're talking about very specific ecosystems (that took very long to achieve a balance).

Should you satisfy yourself with less impressive trunks and trees then...perhaps.

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:57 pm

Yves . . . I tend to agree with you. Especially after I see proud photos here and elsewhere bragging of a truckload of dug trees after a collecting trip. I used to think that since there are so few of us that the mark we left behind as we collect was relatively minor since -- surely -- we just got one or two and that was all we could manage over the next few years. But more and more I see this mass of trees being dragged home . . .

Mere "permission" to collect isn't really enough any more. A bit of restraint is also called for.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  Jason Eider on Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:56 pm

In my neck of the woods Permission to collect in the mountains granted w/ a lot of conditions! size of tree, distance from road/trail, species, very selective boundries and certain # per year per person applying.

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  gman on Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:28 pm

yves
quote"
i dont care what anyones opinion would be, to counter my opinion, it still is what is is, and i dont see reforestation programme ;-) Well in many cases reforestation would not even be a worthy replacement since we're talking about very specific ecosystems (that took very long to achieve a balance)."

Here’s where I’d like to go – it’s those rare and special ecosystems that I’m targeting and I believe that some collectors could easily replace the tree they’ve taken with a small seedling.
It could be a California juniper, or a European mugo, a hemlock up here, a larch in the USA or Europe….same goes for the Philippines or any other location.
One could get seed for seedlings, and some of the Bonsai nurseries could easily grow them or grow them from cuttings and then provide them to folks to plant.

I’m speaking of a movement within the bonsai community around the world so that we can be proud of the trees within the show but also the legacy we’ve left in the woods.


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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  rockm on Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:00 pm

Ask a forestry agent what they think of introducing different genetic material via nursery-grown saplings into natural locations. They will probably answer that it isn't worth the trouble and could present a larger danger than removing the yamadori, via possible disease, diluted genetic make up of species that developed in their local ecosystem over a very long period of time...

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  leatherback on Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:44 pm

It woudl be very dificult to get plants to go in a spot where you collect true yamadori. (Not refereing to the 10 year old stumbs you grab in a forest close by; THese are re-seeded from the trees around quite easily). But planting in harsh environments is very dificult (The environmental hardship that causes the interesting material is exactly the thing that kills most trees, which is why true yamadori asre somewhat rare.

But movements to reforest the globe are plentifull, think of www.weforest.org

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:51 pm

But movements to reforest the globe are plentiful, think of www.weforest.org


This is very true and it is a good thing from the standpoint of battling climate change. However, virtually every one of these I've looked at were very, very bad for biological diversity.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  gman on Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:55 pm

leatherback wrote:It woudl be very dificult to get plants to go in a spot where you collect true yamadori. (Not refereing to the 10 year old stumbs you grab in a forest close by; THese are re-seeded from the trees around quite easily). But planting in harsh environments is very dificult (The environmental hardship that causes the interesting material is exactly the thing that kills most trees, which is why true yamadori asre somewhat rare.

But movements to reforest the globe are plentifull, think of www.weforest.org

Hi Leatherback,
Do you have any experience planting seedlings in harsh environments? I agree that the local conditions can make survival and performance difficult but it can be done and I've done it for years, it's like most things we do in bonsai - timing and culture.
Then again if the environments are so tough (say some of the desert areas) then why would we collect at all ?...... especially if the removal of the tree wouldn't see a replacement over time?
G

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  leatherback on Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:20 pm

Isn't that exactly what is discussed earlier: Why do we even collect? We collect plants that may hav been in that sport over 100 years. Who gives us the right? I think collecting true yamadori from extreme ranges does require some thinking before deciding to dig. And taking some seedlings is a good idea. Just I think the survival rates would be low. I have not done so. I just know of a dutch inventor who has developed special water-condensation rings to support plants in their first year or so, as all other methods failed to have a decent succesrate; http://www.groasis.com/en.

As for biological diversity: Of course, if you re-forest areas, you are limited to species that one can fairly easily propagate, so for which seeds are available that germinate quickly. Only with time will the rarer species invade the forests with only 10-20 species. The question is: What is better, species-poor forests (Which create a cooler, moist micro-environment which is suitable for many insects, birds, mammals, ..) or no forests..

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:23 pm

if you re-forest areas, you are limited to species that one can fairly easily propagate,

Or, more commonly, you reforest with fast growing commercial species that can be harvested in 20 years.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  leatherback on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:27 pm

JimLewis wrote:Or, more commonly, you reforest with fast growing commercial species that can be harvested in 20 years.

Which is why I referred to WeForest, where reforestation is done from a community-based perspective using species which provide fruit, nuts etc closer to villages (See permaculture). Some firewood sections and a promise from the villagers to leave other sections alone to develop for conservation..

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  gman on Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:36 pm

leatherback wrote:
JimLewis wrote:Or, more commonly, you reforest with fast growing commercial species that can be harvested in 20 years.

Which is why I referred to WeForest, where reforestation is done from a community-based perspective using species which provide fruit, nuts etc closer to villages (See permaculture). Some firewood sections and a promise from the villagers to leave other sections alone to develop for conservation..
Hi
A couple of things - we all have own thoughts based on our current knowledge which is usually restricted to (but not always) to our exposure to the subject matter....so bare with me....I'll try and provide examples to show that we can provide seed for all kinds of different species.
I work for a forest company that operates on public land, where the legislation demands that we have a 10 year seed supply of ECOLOGICAL suitable species for the areas we harvest furthermore we plant up to 8 different species from 0'-5500'.
Leatherback, you'd be surprised (probably pleasently) that we've mastered the ability to propagate many many species.
Our whole province is divided into seed zones (based on decades of research) and we can only transfer seed and plant within these zones (based on elevation bands and latitude and longitude limits) .
So no.... here our future forests will not be made up of fast growing species, they may become commercial but that depends on future markets which we can't predict today….so we use an ecological based forest management approach. The species that are planted are suitable to the ecosystems where they are planted. If future generations wants to turn the land into parks then they can be rest assured that the species growing on the site are suitable to the area. We are also looking into how climate change willl effect this and reaseraching the variablity within each species to its ability to change with the predicted changes in future climatic conditions.
Cheers
G

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  Guest on Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:52 pm

I am a 'serious' collector of trees and comfortable with my own practice, the majority come from the urban environment but when I also have over 800 acres of bushland right on my doorstep that is set to be turned into housing estates over the next 10yrs... I will collect as many big stumps from this bushland as I can & experiment with lots of new species that have never been tried before & i really dont care if I end up with a lot of dead stumps to begin with. I will learn & hopefully gain success with some over the coming years and despite being 'advised' otherwise, I will share this knowledge freely with any who are also interested in yamadori hunting and the saving of local trees from the developers path.

I see alot of people being attacked for collecting truckloads of trunks & shame shame shame is always cried, they are just greeedy bonsai hunters,..Well the reality is the best spots for a holiday resort are also the best at producing prebonsai.. think about that the next time your sipping a cool drink by the pool of your luxury hotel in a beautiful natural environment.

Matt

Ps I have almost 30yrs collecting experience & had success with species that have otherwise been considered impossible &/or not worth the effort. For me they have been & will continue to be & likewise for a few other likeminded souls, as is the continuing hunt for great trees in the wild...

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  Guest on Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:01 pm

JimLewis wrote:
does the Japanese have any fundamental ideas?...written thoughts on it?

I tend to doubt it since they pretty much denuded their own mountainsides of collectible trees.

I wrote an article for the ABS Journal back in the 90s some time on "The Ethics of Collecting." It ended up being a tad controversial. Send me your e-mail address -- VIA PM PLEASE!!! -- and I can send it on to you if you have any interest.

My yamadori collection is 3 or 4 trees -- all collected from the swamp in the farm we owned in north Florida and a couple of juniper from my farm here in NC.

Jim,
I for one would be very keen to read your article & maybe the fact that it is controversial means its probably to close to the truth for comfort & therefore IMO should be aired in public for all to discuss.
Matt
Ps. It would be great to have it included here for continuity but a new thread was be just as valid. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  gman on Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:37 pm

MattA wrote:I am a 'serious' collector of trees and comfortable with my own practice, the majority come from the urban environment but when I also have over 800 acres of bushland right on my doorstep that is set to be turned into housing estates over the next 10yrs... I will collect as many big stumps from this bushland as I can & experiment with lots of new species that have never been tried before & i really dont care if I end up with a lot of dead stumps to begin with. I will learn & hopefully gain success with some over the coming years and despite being 'advised' otherwise, I will share this knowledge freely with any who are also interested in yamadori hunting and the saving of local trees from the developers path.

I see alot of people being attacked for collecting truckloads of trunks & shame shame shame is always cried, they are just greeedy bonsai hunters,..Well the reality is the best spots for a holiday resort are also the best at producing prebonsai.. think about that the next time your sipping a cool drink by the pool of your luxury hotel in a beautiful natural environment.

Matt

Ps I have almost 30yrs collecting experience & had success with species that have otherwise been considered impossible &/or not worth the effort. For me they have been & will continue to be & likewise for a few other likeminded souls, as is the continuing hunt for great trees in the wild...

Hey Matt, I understand your point on this and envy your situation.
Making a yamadori into a beautiful thing for others to enjoy has always been the driving force behind it.....like I said in the opening post I really had no idea how big it was worldwide and being a forester I just thought that giving back wouldn't be such a bad idea. We plant 2-3 ecological suitable trees for every one we cut down.
p.s. is your age on your avatar correct at 38 which means youv'e been collecting since you were 8 lol.

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  Guest on Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:59 am

Nothing personal Gman but the problem with foresters is you only see a few of the myriad species in an ecosystem & only replace the few you harvest, what about those you dont see or replace that get destroyed each time an area is logged.

Yes my age is 38 & I dug my first tree, a 25yr old camellia in my parents front garden when I was 9 Exclamation

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  Guest on Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:55 am

MattA wrote:what about those you dont see or replace that get destroyed each time an area is logged.

And referring also to your first post (in reply to mine and gman's).

Matt, dont let internet trap your mind. If you wanted to know, i work for a government agency into protecting nature-forest, since 2002.
So I think i do have a clear view of the wider problem; and I think i did know what i was saying. But since this is a bonsai-forum and the question was bonsai-related, i tend not to discuss about the holiday-resort-problem or other eco-disasters. Its just, I discuss about the larger picture, daily within my job. It's a sure income you know, i have more and more work, a neverending story ;-).

To change anything, takes courage. It comes down to accepting that you could do with less than you have now. Who is prepared to let go, and do with less, ha? Who first? surely the ones who have least, because the ones who have most loose the most, so the will to change is the smallest with the people who have most. Not necessarily bonsai Very Happy


Last edited by yves71277 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:44 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : text + contents)

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  gman on Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:56 pm

MattA wrote:Nothing personal Gman but the problem with foresters is you only see a few of the myriad species in an ecosystem & only replace the few you harvest, what about those you dont see or replace that get destroyed each time an area is logged.

Yes my age is 38 & I dug my first tree, a 25yr old camellia in my parents front garden when I was 9 Exclamation

Hey Matt,
Is your judgment of me being a forester (and my problems) based on your experience in your own country or have you explored my arena and profession?
The trees you say we don’t see is purely untrue, often we rely on them and incorporate them into and as part of our plans to only harvest a few trees (its called selective harvest or high retention harvest).
I understand that you might not have any exposure to the forestry management style that we practice or have you been to Vancouver Island BC Canada and seen the variable retention harvesting that we practice?
It would take more than a simply post for me to explain and explore what we do and have accomplished since the environmental "war in the woods" back in the 80/90's....as they say "we've come a long way baby".
Our forest management system is ecologically based and the public forest lands on our Island has been split up into 3 zones, enhanced = where the focus is on the production of saw logs but we still have to protect all kinds or resource values with large reserves of originally forest which will never be harvested. The second zone is general - a basic split between production and preservation and the last one is Special management zones where the primary objective is not harvesting but the protection of the specified resource (caves, old growth, marbled murrlet habitat, rare ecosystems, watersheds, ungulate winter ranges etc), any clearcut area much be smaller than 5 hectares (13 ac.) and on top of the entire area we've protected over 13% of the forested land base (forever).
If you'd like any more info please pm me.
Cheers Graham

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  SamC on Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:24 pm

An odd wrinkle to collecting is when a species in an area is being targeted for elimination.

Here in Oregon there are ranchers and government agencies are eradicating junipers from acres of land. The reasons given are that they out-compete Ponderosa Pine, whose historical ranges have shrunk, and that it contributes to desertification. The facts are in, the removal of a few acres can restore historically noted seasonal streams that have been dry for decades. ( I do note that Ponderosa Pine is a valued timber crop, and that restoring groundwater is of benefit to cattle operations. I am not naive enough to think this is just about "re-balancing nature".

In such a situation, with land-owner approval I really don't see an issue with collection, as the typical removal process is bulldozer and burn-piles.

I know this is a rather extreme situation, but it does exist and should be noted. Not all yamadori come from "just off the hiking trail in pristine nature".

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  leatherback on Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:12 am

SamC wrote:An odd wrinkle to collecting is when a species in an area is being targeted for elimination.

Absolutely; I think everyone will agree. When an area is 'clear for clearing' then rather collect than let them be buldozed away.

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  Guest on Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:48 pm

MattA wrote:Nothing personal Gman but the problem with foresters is you only see a few of the myriad species in an ecosystem & only replace the few you harvest, what about those you dont see or replace that get destroyed each time an area is logged.

Yes my age is 38 & I dug my first tree, a 25yr old camellia in my parents front garden when I was 9 Exclamation


Wow! Since 9 year old??? Really?

You must have some very old and nice collection by now. I hope I can see more older bonsai.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Let me play as the devil's advocate here Evil or Very Mad
Collecting is not bad Per se, People collecting trees should be aware on what they will do to the materials they are collecting. Otherwise, No matter how good your material is it will eventually turn into waste or trash if you are not going to use it properly/Or DO NOT KNOW how to use it...worse you'll kill it, and there you have contributed to the demise of mother nature.
There's nothing we could do about people trying to collect trees from nature, come on!, can you do something about it? believe me I've been on that track before, and no body could stop me then but my self then and I did after a few years, I don't have any club then and learning by myself, I just go with some coal(made from trees) farmers, and would you believe Huge and twisted Phempis acidula were the prime target of coal farmers here, Phempis acidula's coal are one of the best in the world, ouch!...I am not saying I am good (because I am not hehehe), but once a person/bonsaist learned to make simple materials into something worthy to be called bonsai He won't need to collect the much older species as rampant as before, maybe occasionally but not as ravaging as before. He'll learn to respect nature, and he'll be very picky on what he is getting because he has developed a very keen and good eye for useful materials.
A very good lesson I learned from the past- Secure your bonsai fundamentals first before you go on a hunting trip. Do not go in the forest like a wild bonsai person going to war with pick on the right hand and shovel on the other hand with pack of rations on the back,,, unless you are 90% sure that the trees you'll be getting will just be TRANSFER eventually in a different location (a pot).
If you are one of the persons here who are asking for help on how to take care certain species, and asking for tips on how to collect....Do not collect trees YET and learn the fundamentals first.
But then again, who can stop anybody from collecting. I know some folks here lurker and active who were already been caught fined or jailed due to this offense but still collecting trees up to now... pirat pirat hehehe.

On the bright side:
I hope Master Lo MinHsuan could share an input here, because his group/workers in Taiwan has just finished designing young junipers in a several acres of commercial plantation with thousand of trees. It took his "army of bonsaists" more than a week to do the initial twisting and styling. In Indonesia, they have plantation of Casuarinas in an island. In the Philippines, certain groups are doing Phempis reforestration program...and we are teaching coal farmers to replant different species of trees.
How about on your side of the world? What are you doing there?
...

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  gman on Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:38 am

SamC wrote:An odd wrinkle to collecting is when a species in an area is being targeted for elimination.

Here in Oregon there are ranchers and government agencies are eradicating junipers from acres of land. The reasons given are that they out-compete Ponderosa Pine, whose historical ranges have shrunk, and that it contributes to desertification. The facts are in, the removal of a few acres can restore historically noted seasonal streams that have been dry for decades. ( I do note that Ponderosa Pine is a valued timber crop, and that restoring groundwater is of benefit to cattle operations. I am not naive enough to think this is just about "re-balancing nature".

In such a situation, with land-owner approval I really don't see an issue with collection, as the typical removal process is bulldozer and burn-piles.

I know this is a rather extreme situation, but it does exist and should be noted. Not all yamadori come from "just off the hiking trail in pristine nature".

Hey Sam,
RE-BALANCING NATURE.....funny isn't it that we think we can do better than nature or help her out somehow......dont get me wrong I do believe that we can make a big difference and should do something especially for the rare and endangered ecosystems. We have many up here in the more private land sections......urbanization has reduced them to postage stamp units without any connection, isloating them, they become vunerable to alien species and soon many of the native plants dissapear).
Up here 95% of the land is public and collectors are surposed to get a letter from the local ministry of forests (which is good for two years) and they have some restrictions on what can be collected and where, you also have to keep records in case they audit you.

One of my points is that many collectors that come to this area do not get a permit and dont even try and some of the areas that do get collected are in sub-alpine ecosystems, these zones have very specific ways of regeneration and some of the anicent ones (that were here before we europeans showed up)..... and I think that some of them not matter how great they would be in a pot...should be left alone.
Cheers Grahan

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Re: Yamadori - Etiquette and Philosophy.

Post  gman on Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:50 am

Hey Jun,
You play the devil.......NOOOOOOO way Twisted Evil
IT'S LIKE REAL ESTATE location, location, location.... I guess, each country/province, county...etc has its own regulations about public land, whereas things are a lot different on and within private land.
You are correct we can't stop folks from collecting but at one point we should stop to consider whether the tree should be taken, what will replace, can we take it and keep it alive.
In the general area (province) I live in we dont have anyone with fields of bonsai like Master Lo MinHsuan whereas we do have many ancient ecosystems were collection is being carried out.
Good discussion....now back to trees?
bounce

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