Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

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Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  mambo on Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:20 pm

Talking to a friend of mine today, we were discussing the subject of yamadori collection. One of the points he brought up, and that to be honest hadn't ocurred to me was the possible folly of posting photographs on forums and blogs from when we collect the material in the wild.

His reasoning was very sound. I always ask for permission from the relevant authorities when I want to collect something. To date I have never had a negative. What helps is that because I explain that it is for bonsai, they naturally assume that it is a seedling or very small tree I want to collect. That it may be 3 metres tall, unles questioned, I keep to myself.

His argument, and I felt a very valid one was that if we post these photographs, eventually the authorities will wisen up to exactly what we are doing and clamp down on all of us. It is already bad enough with collectors taking trees out in protected areas without any permission at all, but are we laying the basis for killing the goose that laid the golden eggs by shouting it out to the four winds.....?

As an example of what this type of publicity can do (and I will keep identities and species to myself for obvious reasons). At an exhibition a while back, an artist mentioned where the tree he was working on was originally collected. (That particular species is very protected in an area that collection is prohibited with huge fines and even prison sentences). An article appeared in the press and the ecologists kicked up a huge stink provoking the authorities to commence investigations that for a number of reasons were later abandoned.

Just a thought.

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:08 pm

The authorities in most cases are the owners (or legitimate curators) of the land where you would collect trees from. So they have the first say of whether they want you to collect on their land or not (even if they know about bonsai and yamadori).

Making it public should not be an issue either. Collectors like Andy Smith post trees on his site and I am guessing that he hasn't had any issues with the authorities.

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  drgonzo on Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:06 pm

I normally try very hard not to get involved with threads dealing with the ethics of Bonsai, or collecting however this post has moved me to respond.

mambo wrote:What helps is that because I explain that it is for bonsai, they naturally assume that it is a seedling or very small tree I want to collect. That it may be 3 metres tall, unles questioned, I keep to myself.

If you pulled a stunt like that on my property I quarantee you I would never give you, or anyone else for that matter, permission to collect anything from me ever again. Advocating or justifying this sort of dishonesty is in my opinion very bad form.

mambo wrote:His argument, and I felt a very valid one was that if we post these photographs, eventually the authorities will wisen up to exactly what we are doing and clamp down on all of us.

If what your doing can't be shared publicly then it may be perceived that your doing something illicit. Again this seems a prescription for collectors to act in secrecy and comes off as shady.

mambo wrote:An article appeared in the press and the ecologists kicked up a huge stink provoking the authorities to commence investigations that for a number of reasons were later abandoned.

It is those same "ecologists" kicking up of "stink" that are what keep our natural resources from being pillaged and destroyed. They should be applauded for their efforts and concerns.

In my opinion the ethics and philosophy of collecting wild material outlined in this post, are part of why yamadori hunters, or wild collecting in general, can gain such poor reputation. If deceit and secrecy are to be advocated as acceptable with regards to collecting material then in my opinion the reputation is deserved.

I hope I simply have misinterpreted what you have posted above, as I would be truly dismayed if it should turn out you actually believe what you have written.

-Jay

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  Tony on Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:32 pm

Jay you have hit the nail on the head... however I do agree with "the less publicity the better" because even with permission from landowners and when presenting written authority to ramblers 'they' still give those that dig grief, I have never had issue with the legitimate authorities.

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  JimLewis on Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:21 pm

Anyone who digs in a protected area deserves exactly what they get if caught. But then, I'm mostly of the school who would rather leave a gnarled old plant alone for others to stumble across and enjoy it in place than to rip it out so I could enjoy it all by myself. I agree with Jay 100 percent.

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  mambo on Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:17 pm


mambo wrote:What helps is that because I explain that it is for bonsai, they naturally assume that it is a seedling or very small tree I want to collect. That it may be 3 metres tall, unles questioned, I keep to myself.

If you pulled a stunt like that on my property I quarantee you I would never give you, or anyone else for that matter, permission to collect anything from me ever again. Advocating or justifying this sort of dishonesty is in my opinion very bad form.

mambo wrote:His argument, and I felt a very valid one was that if we post these photographs, eventually the authorities will wisen up to exactly what we are doing and clamp down on all of us.

If what your doing can't be shared publicly then it may be perceived that your doing something illicit. Again this seems a prescription for collectors to act in secrecy and comes off as shady.

mambo wrote:An article appeared in the press and the ecologists kicked up a huge stink provoking the authorities to commence investigations that for a number of reasons were later abandoned.

It is those same "ecologists" kicking up of "stink" that are what keep our natural resources from being pillaged and destroyed. They should be applauded for their efforts and concerns.

In my opinion the ethics and philosophy of collecting wild material outlined in this post, are part of why yamadori hunters, or wild collecting in general, can gain such poor reputation. If deceit and secrecy are to be advocated as acceptable with regards to collecting material then in my opinion the reputation is deserved.

I hope I simply have misinterpreted what you have posted above, as I would be truly dismayed if it should turn out you actually believe what you have written.

-Jay[/quote]


"If you pulled a stunt like that on my property I quarantee you I would never give you, or anyone else for that matter, permission to collect anything from me ever again. Advocating or justifying this sort of dishonesty is in my opinion very bad form."

There is no dishonesty here. If asked they get an honest answer, if not then why make things more difficult for myself than they already are, especially considering the amount of bureaucracy and paperwork I have to do in Spain. the last permission I requested entailed driving some 280 km and visits to three different offices.

If it is a private landowner, I point out the tree and ask permission. Only last week I was given permission to collect an at least 70 year Bouganvillea from the outside of a villa by its owner.


"If what your doing can't be shared publicly then it may be perceived that your doing something illicit. Again this seems a prescription for collectors to act in secrecy and comes off as shady."

Don't most collectors act in secrecy? In fact of those people I know who collect, I haven't met a single one who asked for permission other than of the landowner, and in Spain asking the landowner is not enough, you still have to request permission from the relevant authorities!

"It is those same "ecologists" kicking up of "stink" that are what keep our natural resources from being pillaged and destroyed. They should be applauded for their efforts and concerns.

In my opinion the ethics and philosophy of collecting wild material outlined in this post, are part of why yamadori hunters, or wild collecting in general, can gain such poor reputation. If deceit and secrecy are to be advocated as acceptable with regards to collecting material then in my opinion the reputation is deserved.

I hope I simply have misinterpreted what you have posted above, as I would be truly dismayed if it should turn out you actually believe what you have written."

I fully agree with your comment on the ecologists, and the way my comment was worded was in no way meant to put them down. In fact only last year I joined in several demonstrations with a group who were campaigning to stop a road being built through the local pine forest - we were succesfull in the end and it was re-routed.

How many people actually do collect ethically? How many collect trees only for them to die. Anybody who thinks that most yamadori collecting is not akin to illicit hunting is deluding themselves. We can argue that our trees are the healthiest or best looked after, that because of the root pruning etc they may live longer. We can even try to delude ourselves into thinking we are doing the tree a "favour". However the crude reality is that nature put them there for a reason and in some cases they have survived hundreds of years without our "help".

So back to my question, should we be publicising that we are collecting in some cases huge trees from nature. Will the authorities not wisen up even more quickly that certain areas, such as the sabinas in mainland Spain and the Ullastre olives in Mallorca (which I understand the authorities are now moving to protect) are being removed by the hundreds (no exagerration here).

I would imagine other countries have similar examples.

The bottom line is, do we want to satisfy our hunger for more amazing yamadori specimens or do we want to protect them? If the answer is the first, then in my opinion we shouldn't be going as public as we do. If the answer is the second, then we should not be collecting or purchasing yamadori at all. In fact we should be reporting sellers and collectors of yamadori. However in my case it is the first, as I am greedy for more good trees to add to my collection. My only defence and albeit a weak one, is that when I collect, I only collect for myself, and being very choosy, I do not collect very much, and I never collect for sale. However, as many other collectors/artists, I have no issue with purchasing yamadori, even if I know it is a protected species and collected where it shouldn't have been.

I hope I am being honest enough with myself.

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  drgonzo on Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:36 pm

mambo wrote: [I].. have no issue with purchasing yamadori, even if I know it is a protected species and collected where it shouldn't have been.

I can see we both have very different beliefs as to what we find acceptable in Bonsai culture.
-Jay

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  mambo on Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:43 pm

I guess we do. But if you visit any Japanese nursery or most good European collections you will find them full of yamadori material that is protected or from protected areas.....

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Collected trees.

Post  lennard on Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:08 pm

Last night I watched a program on TV of people digging gold in Alaska. They were killing hundreds of trees clearing the land and covering others up with the dirt they cleared away from the dig site. All over the world millions of trees/plants/animals etc. are destroyed for the sake of development and money.

If I get permission from a landowner to dig on his property I don't have any guilty feelings. While I am digging three to four trees(and all four will grow), the owner is using a bulldozer killing hundreds of trees because he needs to make fire breaks or to clear land for agriculture - at the same time a dam is filling up somewhere in Brazil flooding hundreds of miles of forest. (Wonder how many orchid species died in that flooding? Luckily a collector somewhere in the world collected that species many years ago!)

The African black and white Rhino is being killed at an alarming rate because stupid people somewhere in the world believes it will improve their manhood - that country is doing nothing to stop the importers because the men in the "authority" is probably using it themselves. Luckily private zoos and reserves all over the world have "collected" Rhinos preserving the gene pool.

Authorities, no where in the world, is going to save the species of the world. One day, when we as humans, have achieved wisdom and want to rebuild our world, authorities will go to collectors, reserves, protected areas etc. for there will be the only places the species will be found - we here in Africa could then get some Rhinos from Europe to re-establish them here in Africa and India can get some Tigers here from private collections.

Lennard

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  JimLewis on Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:33 pm

mambo wrote:I guess we do. But if you visit any Japanese nursery or most good European collections you will find them full of yamadori material that is protected or from protected areas.....

I don't think there is a lot of RECENT yamadori in Japanese collections. They've pretty much collected up their mountains from what I hear. They are lucky, though, to have a considerable number of old yamadori to work with.

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  Guest on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:40 am

what makes me happy, is the fact that these kind of topics or ethics/question at least pop up more and more

a long way to go still, but the goal should be to make the stupid feel more and more uncomfortable

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  fiona on Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:18 am

Just a question and not in any way a loaded one or worse, an veiled accusation, but do any of you yamadori collectors ever plant a whip or a young tree to replace the old tree you have collected?






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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  Guest on Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:28 am

fiona wrote:Just a question and not in any way a loaded one or worse, an veiled accusation, but do any of you yamadori collectors ever plant a whip or a young tree to replace the old tree you have collected?






this was one of the subjects of another topic

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  fiona on Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:42 am

It was mentioned and only about three folk gave anything like an answer. It is still a pertinent question wherever it appears.

A simple yes or no response will do.

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  Guest on Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:59 am

fiona wrote:It was mentioned and only about three folk gave anything like an answer. It is still a pertinent question wherever it appears.

A simple yes or no response will do.

no, i dont, since i dont collect. And nobody asked or wanted me to plant anything in exchange of their gardendori or urbadori Smile

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  Sebastijan Sandev on Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:17 pm

Yes we should. But with caution...the location should not be recognizable on the photo.

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  JimLewis on Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:44 pm

fiona wrote:Just a question and not in any way a loaded one or worse, an veiled accusation, but do any of you yamadori collectors ever plant a whip or a young tree to replace the old tree you have collected?

It likely wouldn't be that simple. Many of the "best" trees are found growing in small pockets of soil in rocks at high elevation or other hard-to-reach areas.

In most instances the soil -- all or most of it -- is lifted with the plant, leaving nothing but an empty, dirty hole behind. (I've seen this after a hoard of collectors cleaned out an out-of-the-beaten-path location in a state park -- one of the reasons I frown on collecting. One of the "empty" holes held a left-behind beer can.)

To plant this "whip" you would have to know beforehand the kind of plant you were taking. You also would have to lug enough soil up there with you to fill the void (and it still wouldn't be the same; the original soil would have been an accumulation of leaf litter, detritus, etc. and would have been home to an almost unique ecological ecosystem of microorganisms and nutrients that you could not replicate). Because of this, and the harsh weather/climate/environmental conditions that often exist in these areas, the likelihood of survival of that whip would be very small.

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  Stan Kengai on Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:49 pm

My momma used to say: "If you have to sneak around (hide what you're doing from others), then what you're doing is probably wrong." If you proclaim that there is nothing wrong with collecting yamadori, then why should one feel the need to be secretive or deceptive? Other than keeping your stash hidden from other poachers (yes, that's what I'd term yamadori hunters), I think the reason is because, at least subconsciously, people know it is wrong to collect plants from the wild.

It's one thing to collect plants from a construction site or someone's yard, but it's a completely different thing to go out into the wilderness and remove a plant for your own personal enjoyment or economic benefit. And that thing is SELFISHNESS! Think about it, what if everyone felt it proper to remove things from the wild? Not just the bonsai community, but also gardeners, landscapers, timber companies, rock collectors, aquarium keepers, etc. What would be left? . . .

I'm sure you're thinking to yourself, "but I do it ethically." If it is truly ethical, why the need for secrecy and deception? "But I plant some seedlings in place of what I take." Why? So someone 200 years from now might see something similar to what you've taken. Even that is assuming your seedlings haven't brought along some pathogen or pest or slightly different genetics that alters the ecosystem. "But taking one isn't going to hurt anything." What about the ten people before you and countless others after you that thought the exact same way? "But the government says it's alright if I do it." Up until 1947, my government thought it was a good idea to drain the Everglades. "If I don't take it, someone else will." . . .

Stop trying to rationalize your selfishness, and conserve some of God's creations for others to enjoy and appreciate.

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  leatherback on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:22 pm

I have offered to replace a tree on puiblic property, the reply that came back: This tree is in our way anyway; Fill the hole and sow some grass instead.

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  Sebastijan Sandev on Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:04 pm

Stan Kengai wrote:My momma used to say: "If you have to sneak around (hide what you're doing from others), then what you're doing is probably wrong." If you proclaim that there is nothing wrong with collecting yamadori, then why should one feel the need to be secretive or deceptive? Other than keeping your stash hidden from other poachers (yes, that's what I'd term yamadori hunters), I think the reason is because, at least subconsciously, people know it is wrong to collect plants from the wild.

It's one thing to collect plants from a construction site or someone's yard, but it's a completely different thing to go out into the wilderness and remove a plant for your own personal enjoyment or economic benefit. And that thing is SELFISHNESS! Think about it, what if everyone felt it proper to remove things from the wild? Not just the bonsai community, but also gardeners, landscapers, timber companies, rock collectors, aquarium keepers, etc. What would be left? . . .

I'm sure you're thinking to yourself, "but I do it ethically." If it is truly ethical, why the need for secrecy and deception? "But I plant some seedlings in place of what I take." Why? So someone 200 years from now might see something similar to what you've taken. Even that is assuming your seedlings haven't brought along some pathogen or pest or slightly different genetics that alters the ecosystem. "But taking one isn't going to hurt anything." What about the ten people before you and countless others after you that thought the exact same way? "But the government says it's alright if I do it." Up until 1947, my government thought it was a good idea to drain the Everglades. "If I don't take it, someone else will." . . .

Stop trying to rationalize your selfishness, and conserve some of God's creations for others to enjoy and appreciate.

Stan Kengai,
I am not usually eager to participate in philosophycal discussions about life and death...in general...because, this one is pretty much the same, but I just feel to respond..
I don't know you but, I believe that you are a very good man, full of virtues that most of other people do not have. While I was reading your text I was asking myself some imaginary questions about you...
And I have concluded that you are probably a vegetarian...because it so wrong to kill animals and to make them suffer because our human selfishness...that you probably do not eat salat or friuts, because, if yamadori, if those thitreen and a half collectors of yamadori with their 10 trees per year rape nature...than growing fruits and vegetables is a pure plant genocide and a serial rape...must be, also, I strongly believe that you do not do skiing, because, if it's wrong to collect small and scraggy plants from nature, it must be wrong to rip the whole mountain side of trees to form a ski track for a few hundered sport adrenaline lovers so they are able to ski...and not just that, also, they should have a restaurant and bar there...and a disco club to be entertained after skiing whole day. I am not sure if you eat fish, or dive, or do you love boats or speed boats, or planes...maybe you don't travel by plane...and trains are not so good because, when train tracks were built..milions of hectars of forests were torn down to make way for transportation.
Some people eat turtle soup...just imagine, that turtle that is a long living animal was maybe 60 years old, swiming in the ocean and afterr that in someone elses belly?!? Isn't that strange how ethics and justice are always selective?
Do you have a car? Maybe a 6 zyl engine, or even 8 zyl? I have three cars. Thats terrible. Sometimes you probably use at least some kind of detergents to wash your body...maybe even to wash a car if you have one and...if it's a big car...more detergent...more polution...more dead plants and animals...but that's ok. People should wash their cars and their bodies. And their pets with shortened ears just to make them more beautiful. I assume that nobody doubts that dogs weren't made by a supreme creator with a collars around their necks in the dawn of time...
In my home town, a bicycle club asked permission to make...to mark a bicycle track down the mountain, so that bicyclers won't be in the way to mountaneers...not to bother them. You know what the answer was...that bicycle tyres are destroying forest ground and tree roots. And they forbid the track.
Two years after, they have made a track for a Snow Queen Trophy in Zagreb...cleared a wast area of woods of trees, even dug a collection pools for water so they can supply snow cannons to make artificial snow. Not even a thousand bike tracks could do that. I know. I live close to this mountain. That's my neighbourhood.
And...at the end, you know what I think...I am not a buddhist monk, I do not walk not touching the ground just not to kill an insect or a living being...that is not my choice. I am not a religious man either. I am not a saint. But I AM a nature lover and I AM yamadori collector. And I am not prepared to sacrifice that love and passion for all other to eat their turtles, drive their cars and snowboard down the hill...to show them it is wrong to do that.
I AM just a selfish bastard who collect and will always collect trees as long as I live. And if I pay the fine, I will do it again. If I get caught...when I pay all my fines, you will find me collecting. And when they kill me, when I reincarnate I will collect trees in my next life.
And..at the end, I am not eating or killing plants...I just relocate them and they live...and people are looking at them and find beauty...just think...pure eternal beauty...and inspiration...woow...what a touch of nature after they stuffed their bellys with young lamb chops and genocided salat with dressing..
I am not prepared to test my nature loving and preserving mind to show all others it is wrong to rip the hillside of trees just to ski or to stuff their belly with cooked lobsters.
That is why this text of yours is wrong...and right at the same time...because it has two faces...two faces of selective humanoid way of caring for nature and not only that...of caring of each other.
We are ugly species in many ways.
I wish that only bonsaists would destroying nature...the future will be looong and bright...and our planet would flourish.
Wish you sincerely all the best in life and in bonsai.




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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  Guest on Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:13 pm

fiona wrote:It was mentioned and only about three folk gave anything like an answer. It is still a pertinent question wherever it appears.

A simple yes or no response will do.

Yes

Maybe this will qualify as a Yes! In a way,,, We have a tree planting project of Phempis acidula in a remote area where Phempis use to thrive, It was collected to extinction even before I was into bonsai. The remote district area was even called in Filipino " Barangay Bantigue" (Phempis acidula) but the irony is that there is no more phempis in the area due to coal farming and bonsai hunting. I think I posted it here several years ago in one of my travelogs.



regards,
jun Smile


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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  lennard on Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:40 pm

fiona wrote:Just a question and not in any way a loaded one or worse, an veiled accusation, but do any of you yamadori collectors ever plant a whip or a young tree to replace the old tree you have collected?

No.

On the farms where I dig the farmer will never let me come and dig again if I replace the dug tree. They welcome the removal of the trees because it opens up the farm for grass to grow for game and cattle to graze.

When digging trees I always put back the soil but there is always a little depression left where rainwater collect- ideal for seeds lying there waiting for sunlight to germinate. When we dig Buddleja, hundreds of cut roots send out suckers and replace the tree I have dug also fresh young growth for whatever wants to eat it.

I will never dig in a conservation area or on some private owners land without his permission and for personal use only.

I have a problem with people connecting ethics to an issue like this. When I am digging an indigenous tree on a private persons land I am breaking the law because I don't always have all the paperwork done and I do not always follow the correct channels. Following the authorities decisions and laws are not always ethical also:

If you visit the Kruger National Park here in South Africa the law states clearly that you may not get out of your car and assist any animal in whatever way - I have broken that law a few times picking up tortoises and chameleons from the road and putting them back into the veld. If not they are killed by other visitors cars not seeing the smaller things in life.

Is that unethical of me?

If I know that development is going to take place in a "protected" area I will sneak in there and dig as many trees as I can without thinking twice......that would be very unethical of me to do that?

Lennard

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  Guest on Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:59 pm

fiona wrote:Just a question and not in any way a loaded one or worse, an veiled accusation, but do any of you yamadori collectors ever plant a whip or a young tree to replace the old tree you have collected?








On the lighter side of things...

I think it was 2010, when I revisited the site for the tree planting projects, two groups of coastal trees were planted, the one on the left side are mangrove seedlings, the right side right after the beach is a delta where Phempis seedlings are thriving after the reforestration from 2007 to 2009





The planted mangrove...




The delta where pockets of Phempis forest are still living although the big ones and old ones are gone now, and nobody no matter how you cried out can bring them back... Only some little action can ease the suffering.






Some parts of the seashore where the mangrove and Phempis used to thrive...still part of the rehabilitation site. Might be back there next summer for the program.



Im telling you there are some very nice yamadori in this area...but it is now guarded by the local fishing community as part of the rehab program.



So relax guys,,,,enjoy bonsai. and start to contribute in some little ways you can and enjoy the scenery while doing it. Stop arguing here and there, we are all part of it. lift your fingers from the keypad and start planting or organized a planting group if you really cares... cheer up!


regards,
jun Smile


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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  Guest on Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:13 pm

YES we can...

are you yes or no? its really not a question, its how you act upon it.

the path to change can only be forced by confronting. its happening, slowly.

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Re: Should we be posting photos of trees as we collect them in the wild?

Post  lennard on Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:24 pm

Stan Kengai wrote:

Stop trying to rationalize your selfishness, and conserve some of God's creations for others to enjoy and appreciate.

I am very glad to see that there are still people in the world walking where they want to go and not making use of any transport relying on fossil fuel burning.

........the definition of ethics stands on it's own - don't try and fit it to something if you are guilty off another!

Lennard

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