Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

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Truth

Post  Guest on Sun Dec 28, 2014 1:50 pm

I've come to the conclusion that Vance Wood has it absolutely correct in his analysis of Bonsai....and starting large and cutting down.

and from all my observations over the years and viewing many, many World Class Bonsai examples it is always about the Base or Trunk of the Bonsai as much as the Foilage and Esthetic...

Its unfair in a lot of ways but that is How it is....

Anyone and everyone with a smidgeon of artistic ability can arrange several "sticks in a pot" in one afternoon and then call it Penjing or Saikei, it is extremely rewarding and appealing to do so...

But True and Truthful Bonsai is a Class all its own....

I am now going to sell off all my Sticks and Landscapes aka Penjing, Saikei and comitt my life to Truthful Bonsai, thank you Vance Wood...

Bolero

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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  Vance Wood on Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:20 pm

Holy smoke guys you'll cause my head to explode.  Honestly all that I have posted I have learned by finding out what does not work and what goes no where.  Many would say I should have taken classes and they would be right but then I would only be teaching what some other person has come up with and those, who with me were stuck without the finances to do that,  had to settle doing it by themselves or just settle.  Everything has a purpose under heaven as the proverb says.

Kevin:  This should be our, Moto stolen from you:  if it aint fun, i aint doing it. I remember right before I went to Viet Nam there was a cartoon of Marmaduke:  A really big Great Dane humping a Volks Wagon.  The caption:  If it feels good do it.  If I offended anyone I am truly sorry, just don't let anybody see you laugh and you'll be fine.

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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  kevin stoeveken on Sun Dec 28, 2014 4:31 pm

Vance Wood wrote: Kevin:  This should be our, Moto stolen from you:  if it aint fun, i aint doing it. I remember right before I went to Viet Nam there was a cartoon of Marmaduke:  A really big Great Dane humping a Volks Wagon.  The caption:  If it feels good do it.  If I offended anyone I am truly sorry, just don't let anybody see you laugh and you'll be fine.

feel free to stick it on a t-shirt, vance !

and the day that someone has to hide a laugh from others is a sad day indeed...

but we digress Wink

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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  Precarious on Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:01 pm

Joe, what are your plans for this tree pictured? Grow it in a pot? Plant it in the ground?

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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  Vance Wood on Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:45 pm

Precarious wrote:Joe, what are your plans for this tree pictured?  Grow it in a pot?  Plant it in the ground?

There are two possibilities with this tree. One is to plant it in the ground and control how it grows or cut it back really hard to get a lot of back budding and make a small sized bonsai.

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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  Vance Wood on Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:46 pm

Precarious wrote:Joe, what are your plans for this tree pictured?  Grow it in a pot?  Plant it in the ground?

There are two possibilities with this tree. One is to plant it in the ground and control how it grows or cut it back really hard to get a lot of back budding and make a small sized bonsai. The tree is not a hopeless case but it is a project no matter what you choose to do with it.

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Possibilities ?

Post  Guest on Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:42 pm

Personally I think the possibilities for this tree are endless....it can be grown as a Singular Bonsai ...in the ground or in a suitable Bonsai pot, it could be incorporated into a Saikei landscape alone or with other Shimpaku, it could be displayed in a Penjing arrangement alone or with several others...all up to you and your imagination.

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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  Vance Wood on Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:06 pm

Bolero wrote:Personally I think the possibilities for this tree are endless....it can be grown as a Singular Bonsai ...in the ground or in a suitable Bonsai pot, it could be incorporated into a Saikei landscape alone or with other Shimpaku, it could be displayed in a Penjing arrangement alone or with several others...all up to you and your imagination.

I understand what you are saying and of course you are right but everything you have pointed out needs the one thing everyone seems to want to ignore. Even though with proper bonsai techniques you can artifically add hundreds of years in an illusion of age, but you have to have something to work with first. There are many techniques and time is one of them.

In all honesty and with a bit of tongue in cheek: You could take this tree out into the mountains, find a suitable place above ten-thousand feet and plant it in the ground. Wait 200 years come back and harvest the tree. When you look at the tree the way you have described it you have to first remember it is not a Shimpaku it is a Phitzer. A related tree but will not grow the same way the Shimp will. The arrangements you have described all take at least ten years to develop the tree. The only really quick path to a bonsai would be to cut it back really hard and watch the back budding as you attempt to make a Shohin bonsai of it. This process will possible take three years if you are lucky but more realistically five at the least. The only way you can make a tree jump forward in time is to work with the existing material, find a believable point and cut back to it. That believable point must give the impression of a mature tree, this particular material does not seem to have much except a FAIR, no excellent, base that could be utilized by growth closer in.


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Bonsai appreciation...

Post  Guest on Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:58 pm

Vance, appreciation of Bonsai usually lies in the perception of the viewer, be amateur or professional.
However as you have, in an earlier post, detailed.... there is Bonsai and then there are the others...

I believe your observations and commentary are based upon 50+ years of Bonsai cultivation and experience and do not necessarily fit into the context of the casual or beginner or even lightly experienced (as myself) Bonsai enthusiast.

I believe most Bonsai gardeners appreciate Early Gratification and are usually content with Pruning, Potting, Arranging and Displaying their Bonsai for themselves and others to see and also appreciate without waiting 15 or 20 years.

This gentlemens nursery Juniper fits into this category and he should appreciate and cultivate it as such...

I, OTOH, have grown into with your opinion's and advice to pursue the Truth in Bonsai and make my next Bonsai Project, most likely purchased from The Flower Market in Dundee, a Pine or Juniper with a decently ample Base or Trunk to justify a Truthful Bonsai worthy of Bonsai Gardening...

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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  Vance Wood on Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:37 pm

Bolero wrote:Vance, appreciation of Bonsai usually lies in the perception of the viewer, be amateur or professional.
However as you have, in an earlier post, detailed.... there is Bonsai and then there are the others...

I believe your observations and commentary are based upon 50+ years of Bonsai cultivation and experience and do not necessarily fit into the context of the casual or beginner or even lightly experienced (as myself) Bonsai enthusiast.

I believe most Bonsai gardeners appreciate Early Gratification and are usually content with Pruning, Potting, Arranging and Displaying their Bonsai for themselves and others to see and also appreciate without waiting 15 or 20 years.

This gentlemens nursery Juniper fits into this category and he should appreciate and cultivate it as such...

I, OTOH, have grown into with your opinion's and advice to pursue the Truth in Bonsai and make my next Bonsai Project, most likely purchased from The Flower Market in Dundee, a Pine or Juniper with a decently ample Base or Trunk to justify a Truthful Bonsai worthy of Bonsai Gardening...

My point remains the same. I understand what you are saying and know where you are coming from having been there my self, however; there is a major difference. When I was there I was without a teacher or knowledge of the concept of hack down to make bonsai. I, like you and the OP, thought you have to start with little measly trees and coax them into becoming a bonsai after many years. Funny thing is that is true too. Understanding that many of the trees I now work on have come up this way but many more, are the result of the cut, hack and slash down of larger trees, into smaller bonsai. Many of the trees you see me producing now, took all of that time mentioned in development to come to a stage where doing a couple of days of design work turns them into the kind of bonsai starting with older and larger material would have provided.

It does not take more work to cut down a tree, in fact, outside of it being fun to do, it is easier and the educational benefit is far more than just fooling around with a twig. Look at it this way. You throw some wire on a twig and then you sit there for another year and hope the tree grows out some new growth and goes somewhere. You watch it and it seems to be doing nothing you want it to do. It is growing out on the ends and away from that sort of design you had in mind. This too is the truth, this is what happens, I know, I have done this.

The guy may be happy with his tree but that does not mean that as a group we should not address the issues created by this kind of thinking. I guess I am stuck. Somehow in my ignorance I seem to have come to believe that most people getting into bonsai did not get into bonsai after looking at a stick in a pot. What led you into bonsai? A stick in a pot or one of these beautiful Centurion trees you see in the books and cultivated trees you see in the shows. This leads me to believe that being shown a better way to get the kind of results that led them to bonsai in the first place would be grabbed onto like a life preserver to a drowning man.

One of the most telling quotes from your above statement defending the idea of cultivating one of these sticks in pots: Without waiting 15 or 20 years as the reason. Did you think about this when you said it? Waiting 15 to 20 years is exactly what this thinking will cost the OP. When you have to grow up a tree into a bonsai, which is what you are suggesting is OK, there is one thing you cannot add and that is the illusion of age. Simply put, this tree will always look like a young tree waiting to get old. On the other hand cutting down a larger tree will in essence impart the illusion of age by providing some branch structure, some foliage pads, some fatness to the trunk.

With two or three years of development you will have a tree that may look hundreds of years old. Two or three years with a stick in a pot you may wind up looking at a tree that is nowhere closer to a bonsai than it was when you put it in the pot in the first place. I certainly don't mean to harp on the same old thing and if I didn't care I would simply sit back and chuckle as you guys struggled through the next several years till you figure out that I was right or you gave up bonsai in frustration.

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Point...

Post  Guest on Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:55 pm

Vance, your point is well taken and I agree...

A young undeveloped specimen will for many, many years look like a undeveloped specimen....

OTOH a well developed, mature Bonsai will look exactly like a well developed, mature Bonsai...

I like and enjoy all of it as Bonsai Gardening....

but I really Admire, Respect and Appreciate the Old, Mature, True Bonsai, to me they are Wonderments...

thanks for your commentary and thoughts throughout...


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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:15 pm

hhhmmmmmm scratch

wonder why the original poster hasnt replied... ?

hey joe webb !
you out there ?



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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  Vance Wood on Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:14 pm

beer city snake wrote:hhhmmmmmm scratch

wonder why the original poster hasnt replied... ?

hey joe webb !
you out there ?



I probably scared htm off, or pissed him off or both. I have the tendency to do that with people.I hope he listened and I hope he comes back.

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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  Precarious on Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:38 pm

Vance Wood wrote:
I probably scared htm off, or pissed him off or both. I have the tendency to do that with people.I hope he listened and I hope he comes back.

37 sometimes testy and vigorous replies uuuuuusually remotely related to a very simple question. What's not to come back to??? Suspect

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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  Vance Wood on Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:29 pm

Precarious wrote:
Vance Wood wrote:
I probably scared htm off, or pissed him off or both.  I have the tendency to do that with people.I hope he listened and I hope he comes back.

37 sometimes testy and vigorous replies uuuuuusually remotely related to a very simple question.  What's not to come back to??? Suspect

I am not sure what you mean about testy or remotely related to the question.  Sometimes questions are not so simple and concerning this one, the initial question as to whether this tree is acceptable for bonsai is really not such an easy question to answer honestly.  I don't think anything posted on this thread is unrelated to the core of this thread.  It really has come down to a question of perceptions and judgements.

It really comes down to the point of understanding what level the poster understands what he wants to accomplish, what he has and what he expects in some sort of reasonable time.  His drawing shows what he expects of the material he has.  He has demonstrated that he has a degree of artistic ability but an inability to comprehend  an idea of how to get there with this tree.  Now I am sure if someone was to offer a method that would make that happen sooner rather than latter he would be glad to know it.  It is that choice we have been talking about.

Now if it is a question of who chased off the OP I take full responsibility.

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Wrong thinking...

Post  Guest on Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:33 pm

He has demonstrated that he has a degree of artistic ability but an inability to comprehend an idea of how to get there with this tree. Now I am sure if someone was to offer a method that would make that happen sooner rather than latter he would be glad to know it. It is that choice we have been talking about.


Vance, who made you Chief in Charge of what is Bonsai and what isn't...???

It has been stated, in these many post's, that Bonsai is largely Perception and where you are Rigidly Exacting others are more Liberal in their Perceptions.

In reality Joe has a decent Pre-Bonsai Juniper that is suitable for Bonsai training, he knows what and where he is going and is simply asking a suitable question....

You need to lighten up Vance...IMO

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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  Vance Wood on Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:51 pm

Bolero wrote:He has demonstrated that he has a degree of artistic ability but an inability to comprehend  an idea of how to get there with this tree.  Now I am sure if someone was to offer a method that would make that happen sooner rather than latter he would be glad to know it.  It is that choice we have been talking about.


Vance, who made you Chief in Charge of what is Bonsai and what isn't...???

That's kind of an unkind remark totally inappropriate and the answer is no one except logic.  When it comes to cultivating Junipers I think I know just a little bit.

It has been stated, in these many post's, that Bonsai is largely Perception and where you are Rigidly Exacting others are more Liberal in their Perceptions.

Others are more liberal in their perceptions?   By the words of some of these Liberal posters, and by some of their own admissions are not much farther along in their bonsai development than Joe is in his.  So this question is from what point of view? How do you justify the posting of your assesment?   I am trying to tell Joe, as my father used to say; how the cow eats the cabbage.  I think the tree is doable but if he goes with your advise, which is to understand he can do a number of things with no advise as how to do them, he is still locked in to spending at least ten years at doing something mostly unproductive.

In reality Joe has a decent Pre-Bonsai Juniper-----(as I stated earlier, I would not consider this a decent pre-Bonsai Juniper and I have dealt with hundreds of them) that is suitable for Bonsai training, he knows what and where he is going and is simply asking a suitable question....
Why would he ask a question that he does not expect the honest truth? I should have asked if he wanted me to BS him, maybe that would be better???

You need to lighten up Vance...IMO
 

When is telling the truth being unjust, unkind  and wrong?????  When is telling the truth being too heavy??

When I first started doing bonsai I wish someone would have had this discussion with me.

The original poster did not say to only tell him the stuff that is all covered with sugar and syrup.  He did not say he did not want to hear the truth----maybe I should have asked first if it was OK with all of you that I reveal the secrets of doing bonsai.

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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  Guest on Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:00 am

Vance you just keep digging the hole a little deeper with your Almighty Pontificating....Give it a break will ya...

Its just Bonsai Gardening and Joe has a good applicant for Bonsai, a Juniper he can work with now...

I've been In and Out of Bonsai Gardening for over 50 years and have met many Bonsai snobs and I am beginning to think you might qualify.

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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  Vance Wood on Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:54 am

Bolero wrote:Vance you just keep digging the hole a little deeper with your Almighty Pontificating....Give it a break will ya...

Its just Bonsai Gardening and Joe has a good applicant for Bonsai, a Juniper he can work with now...

I've been In and Out of Bonsai Gardening for over 50 years and have met many Bonsai snobs and I am beginning to think you might qualify.

Knowledge is pontification? What have I said that was wrong or in error that you find it necessary to exchange insults? If I were a snob I would have stopped talking to you about three posts ago. So have it your way, I wont respond to you any longer but if someone else asks something can I respond-----Please?

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Silence speaks volumes

Post  Guest on Tue Dec 30, 2014 2:05 am

Vance thank you for backing off on the critical commentary of Joe's Juniper, the silence speaks volumes...

It may even be a redeeming value...???

No response is necessary.


Last edited by Bolero on Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:25 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  Richard S on Tue Dec 30, 2014 2:27 am

Many years ago when I was an engineering apprentice I was taught to weld.

This involved a small amount of class room theory, some demonstration by a tutor and a lot of hands on practice in the training workshop.

Early on in this process we were not expected to produce anything of great merit. In fact, the material we worked with was literally scrap. Scrap when we started and most definitely scrap when we were finished! No one would have thought it sensible to set a bunch of first year apprentices to work on a complex or valuable job for some fairly obvious reasons.

Of course this was not because the tutors believed that we would never progress beyond this point or because they were encouraging mediocrity. It was just a way of allowing us to practice basic techniques in a cheap and unintimidating manner. I've no doubt that those techniques could have been taught using more complex and expensive material but I do doubt that this would have helped us much AT THAT STAGE in our development. 

Having said that, it is also true that this stage did not persist for long. It was most definitely a means to an end, not an end in itself. Before long we were expected to show that we had actually learned something and were required to produce work to a much higher standard.

Now I realise that this is not an exact analogy for bonsai and I'm certainly not trying to argue that Vance is fundamentally wrong in what he says. He's not, he's most definitely right. I just think that for most people most of the time there is merit in learning to walk before you try to run.

Messing about with" idy, bidy little sticks in pots" is one way of learning some basic bonsai skills. Just one way, not the only way and perhaps not even the best way but it is one way. A means to an end! If you are happy with the results then that's great. Unlike with my welding you will not be required to pass a nerve wracking test in order to progress (and if you'd seen my welding you know why I was nervous Laughing ). 

On the other hand, if after turning your stick in a pot into a twisty, bendy, "bonsai" shaped stick in a pot you decide that you do want to progress beyond that level (and most of us who've been there did) then you can do that too!

Anyway, I see that this thread has developed a slightly antagonist tone and I've no desire to get involved in that particular bun fight so I'll leave it there.

Regards

Richard

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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  Precarious on Tue Dec 30, 2014 2:37 am

Well stated, Richard.

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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  GaryWood on Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:11 am

Richard, what a thoughtful, insightful, wonderful reply that covers all the aspects of learning, understanding bonsai. Good Job!

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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  M. Frary on Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:24 am

Sticks in pots! Yeah that's what we want.
When I first saw a picture of a bonsai for the first time it was in a National Geographic almost 30 years ago. Ancient trees not sticks in pots. Which is what this will be. Vance is giving out the best information on this tree and what to do with it. And it's all correct.
It is young,tall and thin. It will take a long time to be a bonsai. Unless you are of the camp that take anything shoved into a pot to be a bonsai.
What about 6" of height for every inch of diameter at the trunk? In order to pull this off the poor little juniper will have to be about 4" tall. This thing needs to grow,grow,grow. Maybe 10 years then cut it back to make a believable bonsai. Or use it as it is and have a home made mallsai.
Start with something bigger. Junipers of appropriate size at nurseries are not so expensive. Heck those ones were probably 10 feet from where this was found.

Oh yeah. Vance does know what he's talking about. 100% right.
He's probably not being silent on Boleros posts. He's just out seeing trees that fit the description of bonsai in every way. In his back yard.

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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

Post  leatherback on Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:41 am

M. Frary wrote:
Oh yeah. Vance does know what he's talking about. 100% right.
He's probably not being silent on Boleros posts. He's just out seeing trees that fit the description of bonsai in every way. In his back yard.

With the risk of stirring in a pot of * and getting the * posted out of me..

Is Vance right in his assessment of the quality and future of the posted plant? Yes, I would agree. This will take a lifetime to get to something remotely decent.

However, I would say that as a learning plant it would be better than a 100$ 15ft plant. For many starting enthousiasts, just keeping a plant alive is a challenge. Trimming, reducing roots and wiring are a step up from that. But after one or two years of playing, one should take a decision and either be happy with 'granny home-made mallsai' or move into better stock.

Just to think about.. Yamadori arguably make the best bonsai; Would you recommend a novice to use a 15000$ yamadori to practice on?

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Re: Juniperus Pfitzeriana Aurea Material Suitability

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