Our trees may outlive us...

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Our trees may outlive us...

Post  EdMerc on Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:46 am

And what will happen to our trees?

I was reading another forum post where the discussion brought about the point of Japanese trees being passed on from generation to generation, each dedicating part of their life to the preservation of those trees.

It was said that we do not have that generational bonsai culture here in the West. I hope that with my children that will not be true, but let's assume that it will be. What will happen to my trees?

Not too long ago, a senior member of our bonsai club passed away. She left all her trees to the club. They are being auctioned to the members so that they may live on. I actually have one of those trees.

That seems like a pretty good alternative to me. After all, it's my club mates that helped me bring my trees along. Seems only right that they should keep them going once I'm gone.

Thoughts?

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Re: Our trees may outlive us...

Post  Tony on Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:46 am

I have on a number of occasions been asked to 'value' a bonsai collection after the keeper has passed away, on every occasion its the husband and his wife or kids have got in touch.

The family are usually of the opinion that their dear departeds' 'collection' is work a LOT OF MONEY... sadly it is not been the case so far and I have to tread carefully and tell them that 'he would have enjoyed many hours in the garden with his trees and that is where the value is'

Club Auctions are definitely the way forward with the proceeds going to the partner left behind.

On a lighter note various younger bonsai 'Friends' Suspect have already chosen what trees they will have when I kick the bucket!!!!

Tony

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Re: Our trees may outlive us...

Post  bonsai monkey on Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:26 am

This is an interesting point. I have the last remaining tree from my Father-in-law's collection, he is still with us by the way, and it would seem nice if your family or close friends will continue to care for your trees when you are gone. I'm trying to get my 2 kids interested, ages 5 & 7, and they will both have a little "tree" of their own to water and feed next year.

Tony wrote:
On a lighter note various younger bonsai 'Friends' Suspect have already chosen what trees they will have when I kick the bucket!!!! Tony

I do hope that this a looooong way off Tony.
Mind you, they say that only the good die young, the evil tend to live forever Twisted Evil

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priority calls

Post  Gæst on Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:37 am

We are three friends that made the agreement that when one of us decides to drop and enter the bonsai heaven (yes, there must be a bonsai heaven sunny ), then the other two take the collection, and no money involved. Some trees are signed to my child, and they will pass the trees to her whenever she may be ready to take care of them later.

My future wife is instructed to dial the friends-emergency-bonsai-call first, and then dial 911. (Well here it is 118, but anyway, that's the priority).

Regards
Morten

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Re: Our trees may outlive us...

Post  fiona on Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:44 am

Tony wrote: The family are usually of the opinion that their dear departeds' 'collection' is work a LOT OF MONEY... sadly it is not been the case so far .... Club Auctions are definitely the way forward with the proceeds going to the partner left behind...
This happens frequently up here and generally some sort of auction or general sale will be the means of disbursing the trees to at least people who will be able to care for them or even develop them further. But like Tony has found, on many occasions the families of the deceased have an over-ambitious idea of what the trees are worth or even how good they are. Yes, there are the occasional gems, but there are an awful lot of frogs to be kissed before such princes and princesses are found.

Up here we also have a Scottish National Collection which operates as a charitable trust and over the past few years it has become the first port of call for relatives of deceased bonsai owners (the owners are deceased, not the trees although in some cases that's been debatable). The Collection keeps the gems and the trustees have an annual auction of the remainder. Proceeds go to the upkeep and maintenance of the Collection, a process which generally is carried out by a team of volunteers from the Scottish Bonsai Association. In the hands of a decent bonsai enthusiast with a good eye for potential, a mediocre bequeathed tree can be transformed to good and even outstanding. The example below shows the progression from a straggly offering to a decent Scots Pine bonsai when given such care and attention. Thanks to fellow IBCer Peter Thorne for the pic. The work was done by Ian McDougall and the tree was reasonably well received at Bukex a couple of years ago.




Tony wrote: On a lighter note various younger bonsai 'Friends' Suspect have already chosen what trees they will have when I kick the bucket!!!! Tony
Tony, could you say to Carolyn that I tried out her sausages recipe on my relatives last weekend and it does mask the taste of cyanide quite nicely. Insurance money to her, trees to us "friends". A win-win I'd say.

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Re: Our trees may outlive us...

Post  EdMerc on Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:31 pm

morten albek wrote:"yes, there must be a bonsai heaven"

Of course. What other kind is there? Very Happy

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Re: Our trees may outlive us...

Post  Velodog2 on Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:50 pm

My fear is that the trees will be completely forgotten and neglected during the (presumed) grieving over my eventual death. I have no idea how good others may think my trees are, but I do have a number of 150+ yr old Ponderosas that would be a shame to lose simply cuz I died. I'm single and have no heirs and am not strongly affiliated with any clubs, so I've instructed the family to please immediately call the National Arboretum, as I live near DC, and ask for a contact either from there or a reasonably nearby club who can handle the trees.

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Re: Our trees may outlive us...

Post  Tony on Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:04 pm

EdMerc wrote:
morten albek wrote:"yes, there must be a bonsai heaven"

Of course. What other kind is there? Very Happy

Clearly you have not been to some 'Bonsai' Club meetings in the UK Shocked

Tony

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Re: Our trees may outlive us...

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:48 pm

Tony wrote:
EdMerc wrote:
morten albek wrote:"yes, there must be a bonsai heaven"

Of course. What other kind is there? Very Happy

Clearly you have not been to some 'Bonsai' Club meetings in the UK Shocked

Tony

The concept of "there must be an opposition in all things", would indicate if there is a bonsai heaven, there must also be a bonsai hell. Twisted Evil Possibly, the state of bonsai meetings in the UK may be providing clues as to where one of them might reside! (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)

As for me, I have three children, all growed up, none of them are interested. Well my daughter figures, since she is the only child with a working fireplace, she should get the trees! affraid

With any luck one of the 4 + grandkids will take an interest.

Jay

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Re: Our trees may outlive us...

Post  Tony on Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:06 pm

If ever their was a case for having bonsai buddies THIS is it. The Association of British Bonsai Artists have a 'scheme' where upon the passing of a member all trees are removed as soon as possible to other members gardens and eventually auctioned. This happened when dear old Dave Joyce left us. One week of neglect in the height of summer could result in the demise of classic bonsai. EVERYONE should have a succession strategy (to use a business term) in place to ensure that their 'work' is saved for future generations.

Jay... that's EXACTLY what I meant... the state of SOME bonsai club meetings... not ALL.

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Re: Our trees may outlive us...

Post  fiona on Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:12 pm

Jay Gaydosh wrote: The concept of "there must be an opposition in all things", would indicate if there is a bonsai heaven, there must also be a bonsai hell... Possibly, the state of bonsai meetings in the UK may be providing clues as to where one of them might reside! (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)
No apology necesary - there is a significant number of us on here who will say you have hit the nail on the head.

The good news, however, is that your "opposition in all things" concept is obvious on this very forum in the bonsai heaven shape of the Bonwllyn Dragons and (I certainly would include them) the Wirral club and other little pockets across the land whose approach is more pro-active. But by and large those of us who are "getting on with bonsai" are increasingly doing so as small groups of like-minded bonsai friends/acquaintances/enthusiasts who live in the same neighbourhood - delete as appropriate. Tony refers to these as study groups, which is a grand and somewhat formal title IMHO, but one which does go part way to summing up the "if you want something to happen, make it happen yourself" approach that is very necessary over here just now.

Gosh, that was heavy!

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Re: Our trees may outlive us...

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:49 pm

Holy Smokes, Fiona! After reading that I felt the need for a NAP! (Wait, it's noon here. At this time I always feel the need for a nap!)

Our club is very informative, but somewhat disconnected outside of the meetings. At least that is how it feels to me. I have one local contact that a "Bonsai First Responder" connection could be made. I will have to bring this up at the next meeting to see how they feel about it.

Great idea!

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Study Groups

Post  Tony on Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:34 pm

I am not bemoaning the demise of Clubs per say on the contrary, Clubs offer an interaction that this forum simply cannot offer, and Richard D. Brown sums up Clubs perfectly.

“We come from all the divisions, ranks and classes of society… to teach and to be taught in our turn. While we mingle together in these pursuits, we shall learn to know each other more intimately; we shall remove many of the prejudices which ignorance or partial acquaintance with each other has fostered…. In the parties and sects into which we are divided, we sometimes learn to love our brother at the expense of him whom we do not in so many respects regard as a brother… we may return to our homes and firesides with kindlier feelings toward one another, because we have learned to know one another better”

The interaction at Burrs between the Intellect (Kev) and a lesser mortal (Lee) is a sight to behold Twisted Evil

Note: In Denmark ‘study groups’ are called…. ‘Hard Core’ so I am told

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Re: Our trees may outlive us...

Post  Kev Bailey on Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:41 pm

Embarassed Oh Tony, shut up, you'll start a Wirral Wales War! Laughing

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Re: Our trees may outlive us...

Post  JimLewis on Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:18 pm

And then, there are places where there's just ONE bonsai grower within a 40 mile radius -- me. I am a "study group" of one. The Blue Ridge Bonsai Society meets almost 50 miles from here, but I go almost every month. Our programs need a transfusion, though, so a couple of us actually volunteered to do something about it. (I swore I'd never, ever volunteer for any club duty again! Dang!)

I'm planning to try a deal with a local nursery next early spring, though, to do a bonsai demo and offer some lessons, so maybe I'll get a few neophytes to pitter-patter after me here in the bonsai wasteland.

On leaving your trees behind . . . Neither of my kids show any interest in continuing what I've started. They like my trees and exclaim politely when I show them something that has progressed since they last saw it, but that's it.

Grandkids (3):

a. Live in the near tropics so all my trees would die if they went down there.
b. Are much more interested in fish than they are in trees, and
c. have the attention span of gnats anyway.

I have a very few trees that I plan to offer to the NC Arboretum (GOTTA talk to AJ about that, soon.); the rest I've told Jackie should be offered to the BRBS for whatever they want to do with them.

I'd like to think that my tiny trees -- the ones I spend most effort on and like the best -- would have a future, but the Arboretum wouldn't have any use for little ones that can disappear off a shelf into someone's pocket, and most of my fellow club members don't have the experience to care for them, and live so high in the mountains that caring for them would be tough anyway. So . . . That's life -- or death.

And then there are the pots . . .

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Re: Our trees may outlive us...

Post  fiona on Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:51 pm

Tony wrote: Note: In Denmark ‘study groups’ are called…. ‘Hard Core’ so I am told
Right. So that's why you went dancing down your road clicking your heels and shouting "Yippee" when Peter invited you over a couple of months back!

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Re: Our trees may outlive us...

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