Bonsai is cruelity ???

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Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:04 am

Hey Folks,

yet another questionnaire.

- Bonsai is actually cruelty.-

Folk years ago, used to ask me how I could be so cruel to trees, with all the cutting of tops and roots.

My response was - so do you cut your lawn or hedges ? Lots more removal going on there.
BUT a friend sent me a post on what, mostly newbees do to trees, and got me thinking, about how
much can you do to a living thing, before you have entered the realm of cruelty.

I don't wire, like how one would restrain a J.B.Pine, because our trees grow too fast and I don't like
the scars, and frankly, I am never in that kind of a rush.
I have never scarred the trunk, beat the trunk or applied chemical irritants to get a trunk to fast
thicken.
I tried the whitewood bit on a juniper back in the 80's but it felt like I was deliberately damaging
a tree for showing off. Now I repair as best as I can, and promote health.

I guess if I didn't have healthy specimens, I probably would have given up Bonsai, as I gave up
fish in a tank, and I never kept birds, since I think they should be free to fly.

Sometimes what I read about with folk working on trees, seems so unnecessary, and yes cruel,
but then I ask, why do they have no limits. To often kill, and then just find another to kill.
All so you can show off?
Anyone have a response or two?
Khaimraj

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  my nellie on Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:45 am

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:... ...Anyone have a response or two?
Hello, my friend!
I have a response because I've given this issue some thinking the problem is I've not time to type Very Happy Don't get me wrong... Embarassed 

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  Guest on Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:10 pm

Hi Khaimraj

I have given this all a thought too...ofcourse.
I also came to this conclusion, I could not have birds in caves, and animals ( rabbits) in boxes, and fish in tanks, I have tried this...all the animals I have had for the last many years, are in the open fields, or in the house ( my dog )

When it comes to bonsai is it difrent...I WANT to do the art of bonsai, and do what I can do, to make a nice little tree grow in ballance with the crown and roots in a pot...to scar a tree or make deadwood, is a part of it.

You say..."To often kill, and then just find another to kill"....this has nothing to do with bonsai.

If I had a problem with plants in a pot, would I not make bonsai, no matter what, but insteadt enjoy the plants and trees in the nature were they belong.

What people do with hedges, lawns and potplants from the supermarket, can I not take on my shoulders...I enjoy the art of bonsaimaking, to follow a tree in a pretty pot for years, is a joy for me.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  Guest on Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:15 pm

Dear Khaimraj

From me to you Smile 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=459824910800098

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  fiona on Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:10 pm

Or maybe we're all now so used to the cuddly worlds of Disney and Pixar that we forget that Nature is really pretty cruel itself.

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:30 pm

Fiona,

[ said quietly and very, very politely ] unless we are living in 18th Century Literature.
Nature is not an entity, it is an idea. So there is no personalised woman with a big hat of fruit walking around dropping snow and boulders on defenceless trees. Gravity, wind and so on.

Nor is there a humanised goat legged creature, running around with pipes.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  coh on Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:48 pm

This topic recently came up on another forum. I note that I've had people pose the cruelty question/accusation to me at times. My response is something along these lines - is it cruel when lightning strikes a tree, or a storm breaks a trunk or branches, or a rockslide or avalanche crushes a tree, or when a seed takes root in a tiny rocky crevice on an exposed mountain slope...I don't see much of a distinction, except in one case it's being done randomly (by nature) and in the other intentionally (by man). So either both are cruel or neither are cruel...

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  M. Frary on Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:51 pm

In my line of work I've trimmed or cut down thousands of trees and I haven't any scream out in pain yet. They're plants and don't have feelings so how can it be cruel. If this were the case vegetarians who eat nothing but plants because eating delicious animals is cruel to the animal would starve.

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  fiona on Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:54 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote: So there is no personalised woman with a big hat of fruit walking around dropping snow and boulders on defenceless trees. Gravity, wind and so on. Nor is there a humanised goat legged creature, running around with pipes.
coh wrote: is it cruel when lightning strikes a tree, or a storm breaks a trunk or branches, or a rockslide or avalanche crushes a tree, or when a seed takes root in a tiny rocky crevice on an exposed mountain slope...I don't see much of a distinction, except in one case it's being done randomly (by nature) and in the other intentionally (by man).
Pretty much what I was implying but if you prefer I will spell nature with a lower case "n". Very Happy Twisted Evil  The point I am making is similar to your own; that the minute we accept gardening/horticulture - grass cutting, hedge trimming, rose pruning, topiary (especially) then we also have to accept bonsai whose techniques for the most part are the same.

The issue you raise of newbies (altho many newbies are actually quite talented) and show-offs may be different. But I still don't equate killing through ignorance as on the same level as deliberate and callous cruelty.

And is bonsai any more "unnatural" or "cruel" than planting a forest of trees so closely together that their branches don't form correctly so that they can then be harvested in the name of commercial timber.

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  Twisted Trees on Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:31 pm

You have to be cruel to be kind.

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  arihato on Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:47 pm

Cruel is a human concept, nature has no concepts, nature is.
Is the lioness cruel if she lets her cubs play with a live gazelle? In my mind no.

Maybe it is cruel if we are deliberately damaging a living thing with no other motive than that 'we can' or for short term profit. But then the human is cruel not the act in itself.
I believe we tend to anthropomorphize our pets and in the same way our Bonsai, we even name them. We think the seedling we grow are precious, but a tree has thousands of seeds, there is no caring that 90% will die.
I accepted responsibility for the plants I put in pots, I have to take care of them. And I strive to make them the best Bonsai I can, while keeping them as healthy as possible.

Putting a plant in the full sun and watching it shrivel and die is not cruel it is sick, but not cruel.

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  Guest on Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:18 pm

NO!

It is nature that is cruel. It just killed 10 thousand people this week in just few hours in our country and injured millions more and devastated billions worth of human property,,,and cost so much suffering for 100 million Filipino people. Do we blame nature for her act...No.


...And oh I forgot to say. This is the same region where she (nature) just performed a little dance called earthquake at 7.2 magnitude just a month ago, where she toppled down houses and buildings and 400 hundred plus year old heritage sites and cathedrals and killed lots of people too.and the ones she killed are those who are vulnerable like old people and children.

Bonsai is so insignificantly tiny Speck of this thing we call nature. It won't mind us put some wire on a little tree.

regards,
jun Crying or Very sad

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  john jones on Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:24 am

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Hey Folks,

yet another questionnaire.

- Bonsai is actually cruelty.-

Folk years ago, used to ask me how I could be so cruel to trees, with all the cutting of tops and roots.

[...]
Anyone have a response or two?
Khaimraj
I think this cruelty argument is nothing more than excuse to personally attack fans of bonsai.

Who among these purported accusers is willing to give-up all shelter, clothing, food, and enjoyment of nature that is at the expense of plant life?

A vanishingly small minority, I'd guess.




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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:58 am

John,

I am clocking 33 years in Bonsai, and this was more for folk just starting in Bonsai, and the ideas they might face.
Hope that helps.
Khaimraj

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  john jones on Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:21 am

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:John,

I am clocking 33 years in Bonsai, and this was more for folk just starting in Bonsai, and the ideas they might face.
Hope that helps.
Khaimraj
I didn't mean that as a reflection upon you. I'm sorry if it came across that way. I was recollecting people who called me cruel for keeping trees in pots, yet had no problem cutting and burning trees for fuel and shelter, trimming hedges and mowing lawns for ornamentation.

Please forgive me for the misunderstanding.

--Jones.

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  berobinson82 on Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:53 am

cru·el·ty
ˈkro͞oəltē/Submit
noun
1.
callous indifference to or pleasure in causing pain and suffering.
"he has treated her with extreme cruelty"

No central nervous system means plants cannot feel pain. It's a plant!

Ferngully got it wrong.

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:38 am

Morning John,

no sweat.

Cruelty - knowing that wood takes 50 years to mature to be durable, some woods never become durable.
Then deliberately removing bark next to or in contact with the soil zone. No wood sealant can stop what
will come next.[ I am remarking only on areas where moisture cannot be kept off a zone on the tree ]

Cruelty - as science advances, roots of trees are able to communicate with each other and pass on responses
to insect and disease attack. This information was available back in the early 1980's. If this is true, that
old - no central nervous system - will become something we used to think.

As we advance Bonsai into the centuries to follow and more scientific information becomes available, one
will have to think deeper.

Example - when durable wood decays - it is specific in shapes to the different tree types - some trees on
our side with wood that is non-durable have no such pattern and even then not for more than a few years,
because of the massiveamount of wood being decayed.

We then come to the aspect of - it looks unnatural, even if you pull the old artistic license.
So even if you carve, it will have to be after studying deeply.
More to think about.............................
Khaimraj

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  Guest on Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:38 am

As far as I can see, is most trees carved by experienced bonsaipeople, a result of knowing about a specific trees growing habit...the knowledge on how f.eks a hawthorn grow,  can give you a a pretty and interesting tree in the future, when liveveens and rot shape the trunk and branches...a lot of this knowledge is found by studying the nature...how will this kind of tree respond, and is it possible to do  it, will the trees growinghabit owercome..and if yes, can I not see the problem.
There are Things that can be done to pines, witch you can not do to a Juniper...following theese trees growinghabits, are they not killed. the tree do what the tree can do by nature...the bonsaigrower know how NOT to force too much work on the trees at the time.
All bonsaitrees being worked on are healthy, and strong enough to grow right through without being weak, this is bonsaigrowing...one thing at the time, and then wait untill the tree is ready Again.

It is all about healthy trees, and the art of bonsai.

Talking about cruelty.. is question I some times have from a person, who is not into bonsai...often a person who buy a cheap potplant in the supermarket, and then leave it do die in the southwindow at home...I never have this question from people who actuly take care of their potplants...they know they are cared for, or will very quikly understand, when explained a trees natural growinghabit is only being used on a healthy tree  

kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:18 am

Oh dear - cruelty - not cruelity - will my spelling ever improve - Humble Apologies to all Embarassed 

Okay, seen in my nephew's Biology book -

******* Bonsai are starved.*******

Okay this one is difficult for me as some growers use inorganic mixes and do not follow up with the composted balls.
The composted balls immediately start to return the mix to essentially compost and inorganic material.
As far as I am concerned - 6 of one and half a dozen of another.

I have experience with - hyroponics - which is plants grown in an inert support and flushed with nutrients by the clock.
The vegetables produced this way have low shelf life on our side, tomatoes that collapse under their own weight , flavour is off.

I expect a tree grown in that way to be even worse off. There is an evolved situation and then there is man's way.
How do we test for this situation?
Will these trees have shorter lifespans, be more more inclined to fungal and insect attacks?
Hydroponic sheds are supposed to be kept sterile, too many of one type in close growth, not supposed to be good for plants. Cell structure formation - watery - weak and so on.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  Jur on Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:38 am

It seems to me those who talk about the cruelty of bonsai need to be logical, they should not eat carrots and other vegetables, apples and other fruits - the kids of these plants, do not have to trim trees and shrubs in their gardens and do not have to keep the plants in apartments where these plants survive, but do not live Smile 

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:48 am

There is no cruelty. It is the misguided perception of some who are ignorant of the astonishing levels of care that our little trees are given. Most bonsai are truly pampered, compared to the negligence that many houseplants suffer! Well cared for bonsai should outlive their counterparts in nature as they don't ever achieve that overgrown stage where their own weight starts causing damage and ultimately hollowing out. As has already been stated, it is no more cruel than cutting a lawn or hedge, trimming a shrub or topiary, pruning an apple tree or rose bush. All gardening is humanity imposing its will on nature but, if done responsibly, nothing should suffer and there can be many mutual benefits. Habitat creation, species conservation, healthy leisure pursuits, beneficial relaxation, mental welfare benefits, environmental awareness and those are just the first few that spring to mind.

Bonsai are not starved. Well grown bonsai are well fed, ensuring the healthy growth that the grower requires.

I do wish that this myth could be stamped out for once and for all, as it is trotted out by some surprisingly high profile gardeners occasionally and they really should know better.

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  Guest on Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:07 pm

I do wish that this myth could be stamped out for once and for all, as it is trotted out by some surprisingly high profile gardeners occasionally and they really should know better.

Amen, and thank you...I will proceed to the " stop watching the topic" button

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:54 pm

Yvonne,

try and understand, that this information is being placed here for those young to Bonsai or with questions.
It is no meant to be taken personally.

The IBC has an archive for folk to research, a high grade - library.
Stay well.
Khaimraj

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  Guest on Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:06 pm

OK...I see, and understand

But to be honest do I not think many new to bonsai have learned a lot from this topic...only maybe to give answers to people who do not like, or know anything about bonsai, and will ask theese questions.

All new to bonsai has some years, were they some times do Things wrong...and this is OK, we have all been there...Theese days can new people learn from bonsaiclubs and the internet, and they do...they dont need to hear they are cruel...but as I can understand, was it not your intension.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Bonsai is cruelity ???

Post  md4958 on Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:58 pm

Kev Bailey wrote:There is no cruelty. It is the misguided perception of some who are ignorant of the astonishing levels of care that our little trees are given. Most bonsai are truly pampered, compared to the negligence that many houseplants suffer! Well cared for bonsai should outlive their counterparts in nature as they don't ever achieve that overgrown stage where their own weight starts causing damage and ultimately hollowing out. As has already been stated, it is no more cruel than cutting a lawn or hedge, trimming a shrub or topiary, pruning an apple tree or rose bush. All gardening is humanity imposing its will on nature but, if done responsibly, nothing should suffer and there can be many mutual benefits. Habitat creation, species conservation, healthy leisure pursuits, beneficial relaxation, mental welfare benefits, environmental awareness and those are just the first few that spring to mind.

Bonsai are not starved. Well grown bonsai are well fed, ensuring the healthy growth that the grower requires.

I do wish that this myth could be stamped out for once and for all, as it is trotted out by some surprisingly high profile gardeners occasionally and they really should know better.
Well said ThumbsUp 

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