What do you think about this?

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  Randy_Davis on Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:40 am

jun wrote:If this is a bonsai. Then lets call everything smaller than the usual a bonsai. and stop criticizing if the plant we see here looks to shrubby, or a stick in a pot or an ornamental plant in a pot, as long as they are smaller than the usual trees, palms, flowers, shrubs, even grass in a pot...it must be a bonsai. We must be careful in defining what is a real bonsai, otherwise some people might think that as long as they can miniaturize a plant and put it in a pot it is enough to be called a bonsai.

...This is what goes inside the mind of some plant traders so sells potted plants, and tagged it as bonsai.

regards,
jun Smile


I agree with you that not everything can be called a bonsai. I, like most of you have seen sticks in a pot, and other things as well that aren't even in the ball park but that's another story. However, my asthetic eye is broader than some of you and it's based on the images provided by our natrual environment. It's not whether it's a "tree" or "shrub". Those terms are rather vague and generally used to very broadly catorgize plants into classes for other horticultural use like traditional lanscape. I am of the impression by the comments of some here that it's more "style" type that makes the determination and it must have branches to clip and be in that for lack of a better term "gumdrop" shape. In my mind that's too limited in scope and excludes many inspiring natural environments and plant types. I would think that a phoenix type palm and many fan type palms (washingtonia, Chamaerops, etc....) done in a miniature landscape to emulate a desert or oasis scene or in a mixed subtropical forest scene would be just as lovely to me as any of the traditional shapes and styles your refering to. Where I was raised, the Canary Island date palm was used in the lanscape as a central focal point tree and standing there majesticlly they are very astheticly pleaseing to me. Remember, If I'm not mistaken, The literal translation of the japanese word bonsai is "tree in pot". Thats pretty generalized to me and in no way limits us to those few design styles that eminate from the Chinese or Japanese art tradition. In the specific example that started this thread, I don't like the curved trunk as it adds nothing asthetically to me. In addition, I'm not sure that the tree is actually Phoenix canaryensis, it just has something about it that bothers me but it's proibably that it's just the picture. I have one of these trees that is 10 years old from seed that I'm playing with and by the looks of it, it will take another 50 years or so to be palm tree looking in its structure. None the less however I enjoy it. This has been a good discussion and one that should be discussed more to include the plants and environments of the world. If we can accept the "African pierneef, or flat-top savana, why can't we have a palm tree style?

just another tarnished 2 cents worth.

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  drgonzo on Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:57 am

What about Bamboo grove and forest plantings, Bamboo is a grass, Arundinaria is technically a cane, would we not call those Bonsai? Colin Lewis sure does.
-Jay

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  Guest on Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:32 am

This is a good discussion indeed.

If you agreed that not every thing can be called a bonsai, then only those with "broader aesthetic eye" like you can tell whether a plant in a pot is a bonsai or not.


I have some small bamboo in a pot? It looks nice and smaller than its regular cousins in the wild. Is it a bonsai because it looks nice? I doubt it. but still I like those potted bamboos.

Some palms are even classified as shrub palms and not palm trees, and those trees forced to be miniaturized becomes shrub palms.

If somebody can achieved a well proportioned looking palm tree in a pot and not a shrub looking palm in a pot then probably IMHO it will be closed to what we might expect as a bonsai palm tree. Sadly I haven't seen one.


regards,
jun Smile



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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  landerloos on Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:52 am

drgonzo wrote:What about Bamboo grove and forest plantings, Bamboo is a grass, Arundinaria is technically a cane, would we not call those Bonsai? Colin Lewis sure does.
-Jay

I call it compagnion plantings.

Peter

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  Robert Steven on Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:00 pm

jun wrote:If this is a bonsai. Then lets call everything smaller than the usual a bonsai. and stop criticizing if the plant we see here looks to shrubby, or a stick in a pot or an ornamental plant in a pot, as long as they are smaller than the usual trees, palms, flowers, shrubs, even grass in a pot...it must be a bonsai. We must be careful in defining what is a real bonsai, otherwise some people might think that as long as they can miniaturize a plant and put it in a pot it is enough to be called a bonsai.

...This is what goes inside the mind of some plant traders so sells potted plants, and tagged it as bonsai.

regards,
jun Smile


Very sad..that's the case with many people for different excuse... like some say go to hell with your opinion about my bonsai, it's a hobby and I simply have fun with it; and I love it because it's a special XMas gift from my ex-girlfriend...or I have been growing it from seed for more than 50 years....

Jun, sometimes I please my friends by telling them that bonsai is simply like sex. Don't worry for not being good on it, it's still enjoyable... cheers



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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  Guest on Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:43 pm

Robert Steven wrote:
jun wrote:If this is a bonsai. Then lets call everything smaller than the usual a bonsai. and stop criticizing if the plant we see here looks to shrubby, or a stick in a pot or an ornamental plant in a pot, as long as they are smaller than the usual trees, palms, flowers, shrubs, even grass in a pot...it must be a bonsai. We must be careful in defining what is a real bonsai, otherwise some people might think that as long as they can miniaturize a plant and put it in a pot it is enough to be called a bonsai.

...This is what goes inside the mind of some plant traders so sells potted plants, and tagged it as bonsai.

regards,
jun Smile


Very sad..that's the case with many people for different excuse... like some say go to hell with your opinion about my bonsai, it's a hobby and I simply have fun with it; and I love it because it's a special XMas gift from my ex-girlfriend...or I have been growing it from seed for more than 50 years....

Jun, sometimes I please my friends by telling them that bonsai is simply like sex. Don't worry for not being good on it, it's still enjoyable... cheers




Hi Robert,.
I am not sure if you misunderstood my thought on the above statement, as the response you posted seems to be not connected to what I am trying to say.

I am one of the first person here in the forum trying to defend the "not so good" bonsai posted by other less experienced members (probably me included). who were usually being criticized by the other "more experienced" members...and for many times I am the first person saying to people just go what your heart and tree is trying to say to you and never mind so much of the "rules", just enjoy the hobby.

To clear my statement further, What I am trying to say is that not everything small is a bonsai.
In one of your books I remember the same explanation, about the picture of a small plant and you categorized them (Two plants in a pot pictures)-First tree " This is just a fruiting tree planted in a pot for decoration rather than a bonsai" and the second one as " This is simply a potted plant because it lacks of artistic beauty" from page 25 of the book Mission of transformation. This is my favorite- "The essence of bonsai is to transform a plant in a manner that resembles a mature or ancient tree...." The same page "This being the case, not every plant that is styled into certain shape and placed into a container can be called a bonsai; uniqueness in bonsai does not always mean beauty in artistic sense"

This is the same premise I am trying hard to work on now and trying to share with other people. If I am wrong in my understanding of the principles of what is bonsai based on your book, I will gladly just say to people that everything you put in a pot is called a bonsai.


Let me get back to the palm tree, again correct me if I am wrong in my understanding, The palm tree posted here and any miniaturized palms doesn't qualify as a bonsai based on the premise of what is a bonsai based on your books. They are in no way "resembles a mature or ancient tree (palm trees in this matter).
the same reason too why I keep on asking if anybody can post a matured looking palm tree based on what we can see on nature I'll be happy to say it is a bonsai indeed.

Cheers, Like I said before I am learning a lot from your books< every word I am trying to absorb.


regards,
jun Smile










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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  Robert Steven on Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:03 pm

Jun, I didn't misunderstand your point, in the contrary I absolutely agee with you; but this time, you misunderstood my comment. Take another 5 minutes to digest my sentence and you will get my point... cyclops

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  Guest on Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:42 pm

Robert Steven wrote:Jun, I didn't misunderstand your point, in the contrary I absolutely agee with you; but this time, you misunderstood my comment. Take another 5 minutes to digest my sentence and you will get my point... cyclops

Yup I got it now. scratch

But I find your comment to be a good excuse for me to send the message more of why a palm tree is not a bonsai, It also gave me excuse to site a very good definition of bonsai and where the lines were drawn, based on your books. study This is same reason why I openly endorsing your books, It is very useful and will help the not so expert like me understand the art more. and not be easily misled by other people trying to share different thoughts without explaining their opinion, and will just say things like The Japanese said it is... therefore it must be right and we just have to accept it.

regards,
jun Wink

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  Randy_Davis on Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:40 am

jun wrote:
Robert Steven wrote:Jun, I didn't misunderstand your point, in the contrary I absolutely agee with you; but this time, you misunderstood my comment. Take another 5 minutes to digest my sentence and you will get my point... cyclops

Yup I got it now. scratch

But I find your comment to be a good excuse for me to send the message more of why a palm tree is not a bonsai, It also gave me excuse to site a very good definition of bonsai and where the lines were drawn, based on your books. study This is same reason why I openly endorsing your books, It is very useful and will help the not so expert like me understand the art more. and not be easily misled by other people trying to share different thoughts without explaining their opinion, and will just say things like The Japanese said it is... therefore it must be right and we just have to accept it.

regards,
jun Wink

Jun and Robert,

I for one would kike to get educated on why a Palm tree could not be considered a bonsai in your estimation. There are few if any exampes of these types of trees in the world. I understand the reason, that being that to do them properly one has to start with seed and grow them for 25 years at a minimum and probably more like 40 years to truely reflect a mature old specimen in nature that has the "asthetic beauty" you refer to which is really only in the eye of the beholder and no one else. I would doubt, that there will ever be a good example of these types of trees only because it would have to be a multi-generational endavor which is highly unlikely in todays world. For me personally, I think that a mature Palm tree (Phoenix) is a thing of beauty to behold and is worthy of the time and effort to create one. From a horticultural perspective, you can't create one from a collected specimen as they get to large to quickly to be of any use. The techniques used in their development are not the traditional branch training, pruning for ramification, etc.. but rather the more dificult and time consuming evaluation of growing techniques to control root production without killing the tree, the more significant process of understanding what makes the fronds reduce in size so that proportions are correct and just the shear time involved in getting a 2 foot trunk that looks realistic and mature. In this particular case, "design" in the traditional bonsai sense is irrelevant to achieving the asthetic beauty of maturity and age but no less important in the end result. I would like to hear some speficics, rather than generalizations.

In the example that started this thread I don't consider it a realistic example of a mature Canary Island date palm. It is rather, a tree that has been grown most likely by some nurseryman somewhere that always kept it in a container and thought it would be intresting to twist the trunk for some reason or another. I"m sure it was never grown as a "bonsai". I would like to know if David has any historical information on the tree. I would venture to say that this tree is at a minimum 40 to 50 years of age and probably more.

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  Robert Steven on Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:03 am

Bonsai was started from China called Penjing, then being called Bijitsu Bonsai (artistic plant in pot) in Japan before shorten to be bonsai. As there are many kinds of penjing including Shanshui Penjing without plants, so the so called bonsai in Japan is called "Shujuang Penjing" which means "Tree" in Pot. From this basic philosophy, "bonsai" should not be literally translated to "Plant in pot", but should be " Artistic tree in pot".
What we do in bonsai or Shujuang penjing is to resemble mature "tree" in nature in artistic presentation, sometimes we may use certain shrubs as long as they can depict or resemble mature "trees" in nature.

Many people have misunderstood of what a tree is. Palm, succulents are not "tree". A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance.
On top of that, not even every tree can be made into bonsai.

There are many nurseries in Indonesia and Thailand, for business reason, they try to "fool" people with mini coconut trees in pot and wired trained adenium as bonsai. They can be very nice as potted plants, but never been bonsai.

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  Guest on Sun Dec 11, 2011 3:12 am

Hi Randy,
Please don't get my message negatively. I too would love to get a miniature palm tree in it's perfect form. And I am dreaming to have a penjing with coconut trees.

Something like this...




But probably I'll end up with something like this... at most. but most likely something worse.



regards,
jun Smile

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  marcus watts on Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:42 am

hi Jun, if you make a slab pot 8 meters long, put it right at the back of the garden.........plant your coconuts and stand back a long way to take the pictures Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy.....or better still build the slab around a real tree, then you wont need to water hahahaha

for me if a plant doesnt have a trunk and branches that can ramify into a mature tree image it isnt ever going to be a bonsai - its just a house or garden plant stuck in a pot. but you do see a fair few of those.................... Twisted Evil

best wishes

Marcus

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  Randy_Davis on Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:20 pm

Robert

I think those are pretty weak reasons on why a Palm tree should not be considered. I would agree with you on all of the dwarf palms, however, the tree palms occupy the same environmental space as all other trees in the world and just because they don't have branches that can be trimmed into that now so boreing shape gumdrop shape should be no reason to reject them. There are many trees in the world, bonsai is spreading to all corners of the earth and to think that the status quoe of bonsai will remain static in the future is unrealistic. I am a firm beliver that if someone can dream about it, it's acceptable. I agree with you however that there are "x-mas gifts", shister nurserymen and all othe others that produce garbage but we know some of the bonsai nurserymen are guilty of selling crap into the system. I would submit that there is the possibility to do an excellent replication if one has the time and puts in the effort. Remember, we are the recipients of future bonsai artists, who have either bought or received one of those shister bonsais and cought the bug. It's just the way things work. We should be using the term trees in the venacular rather than in the horticultural sense as there are many plants that we use that have been accepted as bonsai that are not in the class of "woody shrubs and trees", wisteria for example. I would very much like to see the bonsai hobby expand and develop some Western traditions, we are seeing some of that in South afririca and Australia where they are making use of their native plant materal and infusing some of their cultural, spiritual, and personal maning into their works. I for one am glad to see it.

Jun,
I think you should go for your Palm tree penjing! You'll never see it done in your lifetime but your Grandchild may and wouldn't that be a nice thing to leave behind. I am working on one fan palm and one date palm and will be very picky about who I leave them with. It certainly will be someone with an open mind and heart about plant art! and good taste I might add! lol

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  landerloos on Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:15 pm

Randy_Davis wrote:Robert

I think those are pretty weak reasons on why a Palm tree should not be considered. I would agree with you on all of the dwarf palms, however, the tree palms occupy the same environmental space as all other trees in the world and just because they don't have branches that can be trimmed into that now so boreing shape gumdrop shape should be no reason to reject them. There are many trees in the world, bonsai is spreading to all corners of the earth and to think that the status quoe of bonsai will remain static in the future is unrealistic. I am a firm beliver that if someone can dream about it, it's acceptable. I agree with you however that there are "x-mas gifts", shister nurserymen and all othe others that produce garbage but we know some of the bonsai nurserymen are guilty of selling crap into the system. I would submit that there is the possibility to do an excellent replication if one has the time and puts in the effort. Remember, we are the recipients of future bonsai artists, who have either bought or received one of those shister bonsais and cought the bug. It's just the way things work. We should be using the term trees in the venacular rather than in the horticultural sense as there are many plants that we use that have been accepted as bonsai that are not in the class of "woody shrubs and trees", wisteria for example. I would very much like to see the bonsai hobby expand and develop some Western traditions, we are seeing some of that in South afririca and Australia where they are making use of their native plant materal and infusing some of their cultural, spiritual, and personal maning into their works. I for one am glad to see it.

Jun,
I think you should go for your Palm tree penjing! You'll never see it done in your lifetime but your Grandchild may and wouldn't that be a nice thing to leave behind. I am working on one fan palm and one date palm and will be very picky about who I leave them with. It certainly will be someone with an open mind and heart about plant art! and good taste I might add! lol

Wisteria, is a woody vein and can be treelike, palms do not.

Peter

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  Randy_Davis on Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:55 pm

[quote="landerloosWisteria, is a woody vein and can be treelike, palms do not.

Peter[/quote]

Still a weak reason! What is it about branches?

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  landerloos on Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:42 pm

Randy_Davis wrote:[quote="landerloosWisteria, is a woody vein and can be treelike, palms do not.

Peter

Still a weak reason! What is it about branches? [/quote]

You mean Wisteria have no branches?

If so a wisteria can be trained to have branches, by keeping the crawling veins cut back, I started a biiig one last year.
C’ mmon a palmtree is nothing more then a flowering plant and should be treated like that, a dwarf or dwarfed palmtree will be great as an accent in native countrys.
I get the feeling some just have to be right, thats why this is my last post on the subject.
But still convinced that palmtrees are not bonsai because of lack of branches aso.

Kind regards
Peter

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  marcus watts on Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:01 pm

i agree with you on those points totally Peter,

A trained wisteria has branches, plenty of them, and a trunk, and back buds, A palm is not a bonsai tree, its a plant in a pot, either trained or not. - they'll be claiming tree ferns are bonsai next !!

regards Marcus


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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:44 pm

Palms are NOT trees. Trees are Dicots. Palms are Monocots (Monocotyledoneaea). Close relations include grass, lillies, yucca, etc.

The do not develop growth rings and their "trunks" (more properly called stems) are morphologically different than those of dicotyledons. They do not have woody trunks and branches and do not add bulk to their trunks year to year. Their trunks are fibrous and pithy, through which water is transported in clusters of phloem and zylem. They grow ONLY at the tip of the stem. Cut the tip and they usually die.

If you put one in a pot, could you call it "bonsai." Sure. Call it what you want. Will standard bonsai techniques work? No. You can't prune it. The trunk is too fibrous to wire. There are no real branches. Will a "standard" size palm miniaturize? No.

So, IS it bonsai? Only if you are very liberal.

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  Randy_Davis on Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:23 pm

JimLewis wrote:If you put one in a pot, could you call it "bonsai." Sure. Call it what you want. Will standard bonsai techniques work? No. You can't prune it. The trunk is too fibrous to wire. There are no real branches. Will a "standard" size palm miniaturize? No.

So, IS it bonsai? Only if you are very liberal.

Well, I guess I'm very liveral! no suprize there at all!!!! And Jim, yes they do miniaturize. At least the Canary Island date palm does. I've been able to get the fronds down to 8 inches in length from their normal 15-20 feet. I have also been successful in reducing the fan size of the california fan palm (washingtonia filifera) down to 12 inches from their normal 6 feet across. They are damn slow but if your patient it works. Tree or not, Branches or not, I still believe that a grouping in an oasis setting would be stunning!!! No one has ever seen one to my knowledge so how do you know in the end what it might become. One never finishes a journey without takeing the first step forward.

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  Guest on Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:15 am

.


Last edited by David Cortizas on Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:50 pm



Damn you David! Twisted Evil

I thought that thing looked fake the whole time. Canary Island date palms are so massive, I just knew this couldn't be real.

Good one!

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  Randy_Davis on Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:22 pm

Russell Coker wrote:

Damn you David! Twisted Evil

I thought that thing looked fake the whole time. Canary Island date palms are so massive, I just knew this couldn't be real.

Good one!


Ahhhhh, the truth comes out!!! I knew there was something about those leaves that just didn't look right to me! Now, let's see a real one. Mine will be ready in 2039, I'll be 90 years old if I'm still kick'n and if not I'll be taking submissions for a new caretaker. Please submit your bonsai resume's, certified images of your material, and be prepared to sign a legal contract on your responsibility to keep it alive.

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  rock on Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:06 pm

Randy_Davis wrote:[ I'll be 90 years old if I'm still kick'n and if not I'll be ...

You already look 90
affraid

this was a fun thread we got hoodwinked

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  Randy_Davis on Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:59 pm

rock wrote:
Randy_Davis wrote:[ I'll be 90 years old if I'm still kick'n and if not I'll be ...

You already look 90
affraid

this was a fun thread we got hoodwinked

Rock,

You should see what I look like on a bad day! Sometimes I feel like 110. I agree, this was a fun thread and David should be gett'n spanked a good one!

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Re: What do you think about this?

Post  landerloos on Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:24 pm

Randy_Davis wrote:
rock wrote:
Randy_Davis wrote:[ I'll be 90 years old if I'm still kick'n and if not I'll be ...

You already look 90
affraid

this was a fun thread we got hoodwinked
I agree, this was a fun thread and David should be gett'n spanked a good one!

That we at least agree on Twisted Evil damn where is that spanking smiley lol!

Peter

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Re: What do you think about this?

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