Your number of trees

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Your number of trees

Post  Ricky Keaton on Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:56 pm

I'm a short timer here and what strikes me is, out of the blue a member will show photos of a tree and say that I got this tree out of my collection and haven't done anything to it in a few years and I styled it yesterday and they end up with a tree that is absolutely amazing. So how many sleeper trees do most of you hav in your collection any ways? seems like hundreds...

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Re: Your number of trees

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:59 pm

I dunno if they're "sleepers" or not, but I do know I have too danged many trees. Period.

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Re: Your number of trees

Post  Kev Bailey on Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:21 pm

Me too, many hundreds if you count the seedlings, cuttings, layers, liners, planted out in the ground to thicken, potted specimens for taking cuttings/stock for grafting, full sized trees that I air layer from, boxed up trees awaiting attention, ones planted in friends and relatives gardens for thickening/safe keeping etc. So many that when my watering system breaks down, it is a real trial to keep everythng watered.

My aim is always to reduce numbers and concentrate my attention on the specimens, but my love of propagating means that even though I supply the club raffle table with trees every month, I just can't seem to reduce the overall numbers.


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Re: Your number of trees

Post  Guest on Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:58 pm

Same as Kev really. 200, roughly. I need to reduce down to about 50 and thats still too many. Thinking about selling them cheaply through another site but I find it easier said than done.

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Re: Your number of trees

Post  bumblebee on Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:19 pm

I don't have that many trees as I'm much too new at this. But i do have trees and pots everywhere it seems. I don't know how to trim anything without sticking the trimmings in a pot to grow more! Just can't throw all those potential baby trees away!

Libby

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Re: Your number of trees

Post  Hawaiian77 on Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:31 pm

Howzit Ricky,

I'm just the opposite, I live in a condo and I can put only so much trees on my lanai. (Patio) I have 30 trees in all deference stages and I have five in the ground. When those are ready to dig up.... God help me!! Confused Confused

A Hui Hou,
-Tim Cool

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Re: Your number of trees

Post  irene_b on Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:51 pm

Too many as well....@400-500....

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Re: Your number of trees

Post  Guest on Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:00 am

I started to limit my collection a few years ago, and have around 80 trees counting all in. Many are shohin. That fits my needs, and I think that is what I can manage if they shall be kept well.

Regards
Morten Albek

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Soemtimes too many, sometimes, not enough...

Post  Todd Ellis on Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:02 pm

At one time, I had close to one hundred trees in bonsai pots, at various stages of development. A few of those were nice enough to display in shows. Now, I have approx fifty trees in pots and some are developed enough to put in local shows. I don't have any master pieces, yet.
I also have over a hundred (very small to very large) trees in nursery containers. These are trees which I have either propagated, collected, bought, etc., and are being trained to eventually sell, trade, use in workshops or going into pots, for my collection. I have about 20 more growing in the ground to thicken trunks and develop.
Sometimes I feel like this is too much, and sometimes, I see something which has great potential and I have to have it. lol! Salut, Todd

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Re: Your number of trees

Post  Tony on Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:32 pm

Hi Ricky, you have hit on a rather moot point with me, better to have fewer great trees than a lot of average rubbish.

I have visited gardens that have had up to 500 'trees' in various stages of development and not one ready or even close to exhibition.

As for my own collection it's approximately thus:

Trees ready for exhibition - 4
Trees being prepared for exhibition - 6
Yamadori in various stages of development from 1 year to 10 years - 25
Raw material for sale/trade (so requires little maintenance) - 80
Accent plants in accent pots 25
Three trays of juniper cuttings for grafting
Total area in garden dedicated to bonsai 38sq mtr

Less is more

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Re: Your number of trees

Post  JimLewis on Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:01 pm

Less is more

Tony might have written "Less is better."

Unless you can hire people to help you, you simply cannot do justice to an army of trees. They'll become (like my tables, currently) too crowded and therefore prone to disease and insect attack. Or they'll become overgrown and will destroy your design -- you can't just snip a tree back to its design. An overgrown tree's upper limbs get too thick, too sraight, and internodes get to far apart. You have to totally redo the tree.

It's hard not to acquire plants, but they will thank you and you will have better, more healthy, trees if you limit how many you have to those you can work on at least once a week. If it takes you longer than a week to work your way through your tables, you may have too many -- and the ones you have won't be as good as they could have been.


Last edited by JimLewis on Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Your number of trees

Post  Dustin Mann on Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:55 pm

Very well said Jim. Could not agree more. Although I grow tropicals in a 'Burger King' type greenhouse, I began to become a slave to my passion/obsession and eventually went from about 50 trees to about 175(could not count or reach many). I spent less time on some of best ones I had a long time, kept a few trees in Florida @brother-in-laws. Stuck with decision to get rid of close to half and having more fun. Dustin Mann Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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Less is Better/More...

Post  Tony on Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:09 pm

Less is Better/More... More satisfying/able to maintain, Better because you will have better trees.

I am sure that nobody has an infinite amount of time/space/money so use all of these wisely.

Everyone wants to have lovely looking bonsai in their garden and when we start we imagine that every 'tree' we purchase/find/procure will turn into a great Bonsai... no so Sad

For me there is nothing worse that going into a garden and hear the owner say of EVERY tree... "one day this will be an amazing bonsai" and the garden is full of trees 'In development' and NONE are anywhere near appearing to look finished*

For the record in the first 15 years of 'doing' bonsai I totally replaced EVERY 'bonsai' collection in my Garden three times, usually because I had been to a BIG show, read something that inspired or better tree came along.

*bonsai are never finished... but that's another tread Rolling Eyes


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Tony Tickle.. "that's not your real name is it?"

‎"Study me as much as you like, you will never know me, for I differ a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes, and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see." — Rumi

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Re: Your number of trees

Post  jjbacoomba on Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:28 pm

irene_b wrote:Too many as well....@400-500....
Wow!! I have 11 total. Actually 10, I think I am losing a trident to heat ,possible over watering.Did an emergency repot and found the soil to be rather wet. Hope it comes back. Sad

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Re: Your number of trees

Post  Rob Kempinski on Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:38 pm

It's not polite to ask how old someone is and how many trees they have. Very Happy

If one is willing to put in the effort to maintain the trees it doesn't really matter how many.
I know I have exceeded my ability to take care of all my trees.
I have been slowly thinning out my collection for the past year or so. But then I probably have over 200 and most in bonsai pots and at least 100 showable.

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Re: Your number of trees

Post  Mike Jones on Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:39 pm

Just 20 large trees for me. Over almost three decades I have kept those that mean the absolute most to me. I may have maybe a couple of new one just to have a change, but perhaps not, all depends on locating teh right raw material.

My 40' X 20' display house cannot take anymore anyway. There are several accent plantings and a few large Maples for further relief. I am now retired and it is more than enough for me.

Mike

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Re: Your number of trees

Post  Joao Santos on Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:43 pm

I think Tony is absolutely right, it's prefereble less and good ones than much and rubish. But it is also true that happends with almost everyone that starts bonsai to pick up every little thing that hand and wallet can reach.

In my case, I've started 2 years ago and begined with supermarket bad little chinese bonsai and cuttings of almost everything. (much of them have died since).

Today I have a few promissing yamadoris in early stages but nothing showable yet.

When most of you have much to do in your trees, I spend a lot o time just looking and imaging what to do when the right time comes Very Happy

Less is good

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Re: Your number of trees

Post  mike page on Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:03 am

Not enough good trees. Too many bad trees Sad

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Re: Your number of trees

Post  irene_b on Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:31 am

mike page wrote:Not enough good trees. Too many bad trees Sad


Mike you can just send me all those bad trees ThumbsUp

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Re: Your number of trees

Post  Ricky Keaton on Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:41 am

Rob Kempinski wrote:It's not polite to ask how old someone is and how many trees they have. Very Happy

If one is willing to put in the effort to maintain the trees it doesn't really matter how many.
I know I have exceeded my ability to take care of all my trees.
I have been slowly thinning out my collection for the past year or so. But then I probably have over 200 and most in bonsai pots and at least 100 showable.

Hmmm, i thought it wasnt polite to ask how old someone is or how old their bonsai tree is.
but what do i know about that.

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your number of trees

Post  john5555leonard on Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:09 am

i agree less is better , when i moved here i had to start again , not only with new trees but with totally different species , but i am very selective in what i buy cos i only really like yamadori and a lot of the trees here are field grown ficus from china and not my thing but the local bonsai club can,t understand why i hav,nt got 30/40 trees . i,v got about 12 trees but all with big dramatic trunks and i find it more satisfying, but i,v been doing bonsai for 40 yrs and like to think that as you progress quality is more important than quantity . john

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your number of trees

Post  Ka Pabling on Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:56 am

I use to have an inventory of my trees and quantity for each specie but when the total reached 500, all in bonsai pots I stopped counting.
With our climate, you need to water your trees three times a day so watering alone is a tremendous job. Its good mother nature did something . Last October 2009 super typhoon Undoy visited my garden so now I have only about 300 left.

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Re: Your number of trees

Post  NeilDellinger on Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:06 pm

I've got about 30 trees that I will not part with yet & 15-20 that will stay with me for the long haul. I also keep separate small collection of trees that I sell or trade. Those are a source of income & material that feed my personal collection of trees, sundry items & supplies I need. Its taken a few years but the concept of my passion paying its own way is now working.

Quality over quantity is the way to go. I think this is something that evolves in us over time as we see more trees and work on more trees. Some reach that point sooner some never do. At one time I reached about 200 then I began getting rid of trees I was simply watering and that did not really excite me. My benches look better now.

If you can water 300 decent quality trees and keep them in proper shape that's awesome. Maybe when my boys are old enough to help Very Happy

Neil

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Re: Your number of trees

Post  David Vanoirbeek on Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:07 pm

If everybody would count only the real 'bonsai', you would never get high numbers.
To be honoust, if you have over 100 trees, i can't believe they are all great material.
If you have over 100 bonsai it's a full time job and you would need to have people help you with maintaining, otherwise the health and quality will go down. I know a lot of people that collect/buy everything they see with the idea to make something of it 'one day', but it's better not to do that because in most cases that day will never come. Look only for real good material or trees.
I am reducing my collection for a few years, trying to get always higher and better quality. I have only around 16 bonsai left (i come from 50), around 10 finished trees, including some masterpieces, and a few in training. All of them are yamadori because, like i read from john5555leonard, those give me also the most satisfaction.

You can't give all trees the same and good attention (this is why i also lost some last year) and i know it depends on the stage they are in, but i find it for me important i am still impressed by my trees and not just walk by and always go to look at the same tree(s).

regards
David


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Re: Your number of trees

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:47 pm

Ahh, David . . . I wish I could do that.

I do periodically get rid of large numbers of trees, but for me the Joy of Bonsai is in the making, and not so much in the having. I seem to need to always have a few "works in progress" on my tables -- which is why they're so damned crowded now.

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Re: Your number of trees

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