Ye Old “Chicken & Egg” Problem

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Ye Old “Chicken & Egg” Problem

Post  bonsai monkey on Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:31 am

I am now finding myself at a crossroads in my Bonsai journey being above average in ability (if not intelligence) and am looking to take the next big step. Unfortunately, being the parent of 2 kids under 10 years old Ye Ole Bonsai Budget is a bit limited to what should I put my pennies towards next – a good piece of material or tuition? Sounds like a no brainer really but if I go down the tuition route, if I work on lesser material is it a waste of my ever decreasing years left in the hobby or if I get the tree will it be time lost before I can work it? I’m in the process of weeding out the wheat from the chaff and hopefully this will give the funds a bit of a kick-start.

It would be interesting to know the thoughts of my more esteemed colleagues as well as members in a similar position to me. And before you ask, no, I can’t do both!!!

Ook, Ook,
Simon

bonsai monkey
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Re: Ye Old “Chicken & Egg” Problem

Post  Guest on Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:30 pm

Dear Simon

Use your well deserved pennies on material. There are so many talented people around that surely will be able to advice you in what to do before it´s too late, and for free probably. I believe there are very good teachers around that will pass on knowledge and inspiration. Some times one can hurry too much working on material, so a good time span is not a problem unless you let it grow totally unchecked. I know you do not. Very Happy And much even good material deserves some extra growth before it is styled. A lot of time can be used for just enhancing new back budding i.e.
This would be my personal choice. Hopefully a good one. But it is your needs you need to listen too.

Regards
Morten

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Re: Ye Old “Chicken & Egg” Problem

Post  Loke Emil on Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:59 pm

Hi Simon

Taking things one step further in your case does only involve one major issue...breaking your own waves, making your trees personal. Styling good material is worthwhile given the ever fewer years left to our disposal. I believe you know your horticultural techniques enough to succeed with better material...

Raising kids is very time consuming and expensive - next to being the most meaningfull purpose in life. That is another reason why you are ready to go for quality material, rather than spending time and money on tuition. My son is one and half years old...talk about fun, yet little time for bonsai ;-) That is why I like to collect trees at the moment...They have to recover fully and gives me something to look forward to as my son grows more independant.

You are at a crossroads - oh..come to think of Rober Frost: " you can allways return, but you can never come back"

/Loke Emil

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Re: Ye Old “Chicken & Egg” Problem

Post  JimLewis on Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:11 pm

Assuming that you belong to a club with experienced members who can guide you though any problems you have, I'd spend your money on decent material.

If you are on your own, with no tutors or mentors available, it might be wiser to spend your money on a course in bonsai to learn the techniques you will need when you get better material.

If you still are in the small children mode, you do have time that those of us with great grandchildren don't have.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Ye Old “Chicken & Egg” Problem

Post  wabashene on Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:02 am

There's a few pro's here who probably sell you a great tree and chuck in some tuition with it as part of the service

:-)

TimR

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re ye old chicken and egg problem

Post  john5555leonard on Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:42 am

hi simon, i came to that crossroads a long time ago, better to have fewer trees but good quality , it wastes your time , why bother to try and make a tree out of poor material, its easier with good stuff, if you get great material you will probably find you don,t need too much tuition . regards john

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Re: Ye Old “Chicken & Egg” Problem

Post  bonsai monkey on Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:36 am

Hi Everyone,
Thank you all for your input. I had a feeling that material would be the way to go!!
Although I am a Club member my main mentor has deserted the wood in pursuit of all things clay (although he’s still involved and very much a supporter) so I was looking at another avenue to explore. I’ve been told by someone I admire and respect that I’ve got a few good workshop trees which made me think that tuition might be the first port of call but I’m open minded to prospect of getting a new baby!! I’ve now got a mental picture of the trees I want to work, and with whom, so I’ll write to Santa and keep me eye out for “that piece” of raw material. No topiary this time but a real tree. It might take some time but they do say that “good things come to those who wait”.

Ook, Ook,
Simn

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Re: Ye Old “Chicken & Egg” Problem

Post  marcus watts on Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:35 pm

good choice !

the bonsai hobby is definitely a cycle -1) first tree - 2) garden center practice trees (practically all evergreen) - next thing your overrun with trees in black plastic pots!, 3) then the big clearout - you sell a few, give a load away at the club, plant a few out, make a couple of big forests ! and then you realise its the few good trees that give you the most satisfaction 4) then the collection very slowly grows with nicer trees........15 years on and you clear out the worst of the nicer trees ! , but this time by trading them you end up with a few grand to put into a really really nice tree Very Happy - and the never ending merrry go round continues.

when i look back over the last 24 years i had 1, then about 75 (only 2 or 3 OK ones tho), then right down to 10, it crept up to 30 and now back down to 18 - of these, only 3 were part of the original 75 !

its worth sitting on your good workshop material and keep improving it but keep the options open all the time - within the club year there can be many times when a demonstrator is invited to do a group demo, and if you just happen to have a perfect piece of material or two it can kill two birds with one stone.

looking at where you are based Lee would be right on the top of my list for very nice material as very realistic prices

good luck with the hunt - its the best bit !

marcus

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Re: Ye Old “Chicken & Egg” Problem

Post  bonsai monkey on Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:00 pm

Thanks one and all for your input and advice. The “cull” of my collection began at our Club Auction a couple of weeks ago and the trees seem to have gone to happy new owners – which is pleasing. Hopefully it won’t be long before I’m down to the required number and can use my proceeds to get that “special piece”.

I’ve got a few irons in the fire regarding supply and I’ll post the result if I’m lucky enough for something to come my way!!

Regards,
Simon

Marcus
I know what you mean about Lee although I'm looking for something a bit less nursery and a native.
Maybe Willowbog in March Wink

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