Are "sucker stumps" actually bonsai?

Mike Corazzi

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Pls discuss. I'm noticing a trend to digging up huge stumps and putting them in pots and rejoicing when tendrils come out of them.

I've seen a few that came out okay, but by and large they don't really "transport" me to a visual place.
I may be way off here, but I really like the little trees that suggest real ones.

What do you guys think?
:confused:
 

Mike Corazzi

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Like everything else in the hobby, some are done well and some poorly. It is likely the ones that are successful you don't even realize were formed using that technique.

Could you give some examples via photos to start the discussion?
Not without repercussions. I think most know what I'm talking about.

:)
 

Gene Deci

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I find it hard to get excited by a tree with a visible chop. Even when it is in the back, you can usually tell and it is a turn off for me. I have seen some excellent carving and other solutions that I liked but it seems that in those cases what I liked is that you can't tell for sure that it was chopped. That is totally subjective though. Like all posts about "eye of the beholder" topics you will get a lot of responses, some heated, but there is no right or wrong.
 

Mike Corazzi

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Not at all. That very closely resembles a fine big redwood. :p
 

Acer palNATEum

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I think we all know what you are referring to but like all things, some are much better done than others.

So basically you are saying you like flawless trunks with even taper. Don't we all? Many don't have time or the skill to achieve this from a seed/seedling/whip...or maybe they just haven't been in the hobby for the requisite 15-20 years yet.

If someone heals a big chop, would you still not like it? Are you saying that both below are equally as bad and you would be devoid of enjoyment for either one of these in 10 years? Or do you think one is worse than the other? (Apologies in advance for my quick/crude/bad drawing).
IMG_9527.jpgIMG_9527.jpg
 

Mike Hennigan

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I feel like @Sandevbonsai could show you a few hornbeams that could change your mind. Or check out his YouTube channel:

I know not everyone is into the European style of carving wounds and chops on deciduous to create features. But to me this is the key to making a “stumpy” tree work. Why bother trying to hide or heal scars that won’t ever heal or won’t heal well. You have to own the scars on a stumpy tree, show them off even. Let it be what it is. Scarless deciduous in japan are always grown from seed or cuttings basically, but they are grown over a long period of time and scars can be managed much easier as the tree grows.
 

Cadillactaste

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I find it hard to get excited by a tree with a visible chop. Even when it is in the back, you can usually tell and it is a turn off for me. I have seen some excellent carving and other solutions that I liked but it seems that in those cases what I liked is that you can't tell for sure that it was chopped. That is totally subjective though. Like all posts about "eye of the beholder" topics you will get a lot of responses, some heated, but there is no right or wrong.
When a tree has a front and a back...a scar hidden on the back side does not concern me. I have OCD...so that is surprising. But to grasp it offers taper and movement trumps the scar in my opinion. Honestly...to have not the scar...this tree would not have the movement in the trunk. If it bothers you...what sort of tree on your bench...to compare to what you're saying? I want to further understand the quality of said trunk with no scars.
ginkgo in pot virt.jpg
 

Cadillactaste

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Not without repercussions. I think most know what I'm talking about.

:)
So, was this a tree from another group...or one found here in another thread. If it was here...and you felt the need to bring it up. Why not share the tree. It makes no sense. If "most" know what you're talking about. Wait...is this winter blues...setting in? I sort of felt...A bit, persnickety today. I mean...my hobby is tiny trees in pots. Do others see trees...or a branch from a tree stuck into a pot? (Stick in pot) I think we all should attempt to add character to ones bench. Not all trees should be bonsai...I told that to myself early on. Which is why I have a small head count and still a handful I could add and not yet reached 25 bonsai...in five and a half years.

I have an odd...olive. When I bought it, it just had tiny buds popping out. I was roasted by a few on FB groups over the material. Months go by...And I post a photo of it with young growth all over it...and suddenly. Nothing...ill stated at all. Majority liked it. Sometimes...You have to see the vision within. Some don't see it...Others can't see it. Some material has it...some never will. But, at the end of the day...No one has to see my material from their backyard. Lucky them!
 

Joe Dupre'

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It's a bonsai in the same way a house is still a house even though the walls aren't painted, the floors aren't installed and the bath fixtures not in yet. Not a finished house, but a house none the less.
 

Cadillactaste

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It's a bonsai in the same way a house is still a house even though the walls aren't painted, the floors aren't installed and the bath fixtures not in yet. Not a finished house, but a house none the less.
No, that's construction. lol even have to carry different insurance on it. Construction insurance. Technically a house...but...I see it as a construction project until complete. Though my husband is a general. So...it's a job until done. But, sure it's a house to some.

In bonsai...you have rough stock, pre-bonsai, specimen pre-bonsai...and then bonsai...and then specimen bonsai. Rough stock isn't bonsai...but has potential. But, hey...that's my take...everyone has their own way of looking at things.
 

coh

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So, was this a tree from another group...or one found here in another thread. If it was here...and you felt the need to bring it up. Why not share the tree. It makes no sense. If "most" know what you're talking about. Wait...is this winter blues...setting in?
Pretty obvious to me what/who he is talking about. Many of the trees are in the early stages of development. Just sounds like sour grapes to me.
 

Cadillactaste

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Pretty obvious to me what/who he is talking about. Many of the trees are in the early stages of development. Just sounds like sour grapes to me.
I've not been on lately...So, no...I am clueless. I guess I'm out in left field.
 
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