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What happens when a rank beginner, regardless of years playing at bonsai, receives a very valuable advanced tree and is unable to care for it properly, and unwilling to understand that they need some help? What if they consider themselves a master because of XX years at bonsai, when they have obviously never advanced beyond the first year's learning?

How does one sit by idly and watch what might be not only a great tree, but could be a World Bonsai Contest finalist, weaken and begin to die in this person's care?
 

BigBill

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Touchy situation there Chris. Basically you can do one of two ways:

1. Basically let it die.

2. Or be honest with them. You might (probably will) get attitude but when it dies you will of been right, or they will ask for help.

Ultimately it is there tree to kill. Im sure a bunch of future masterpieces die in their prime all the time at the hands of noobies like myself, and mutiple year noobies that just never took the time to learn about that particular species.

there's my 2 cents.
 

Ashbarns

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Have you been snooping in my yard Chris? I take it this is not a hypothetical but someone you know. The chances of that person finding out what you have said could be quite high as this is a public forum.
Personally I would concentrate on my own trees in the knowledge that I would be striving for a better future for them.


Ash :confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:
 

irene_b

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A private PM would be a better way.
Mom
 

Tachigi

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I think that to much time fretting about the destiny of others peoples trees instead of our own does no good. This valuable time could be spent advancing the knowledge of this subject or at the very least be spent say, enjoying your favorite beverage. If the person considers himself a master in his own mind, why ruin the illusion for him. Means no difference to me, you, or anyone else. Everyone has there own standard of what a world class piece might be. So a label really means little.

However if it really bugs you to the core. Buy the tree from him.
 
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I think that to much time fretting about the destiny of others peoples trees instead of our own does no good. This valuable time could be spent advancing the knowledge of this subject or at the very least be spent say, enjoying your favorite beverage. If the person considers himself a master in his own mind, why ruin the illusion for him. Means no difference to me, you, or anyone else. Everyone has there own standard of what a world class piece might be. So a label really means little.
I agree, besides trying to tell them more than once just leads to hard feelings that will haunt you forever, they never forget, they don't believe you, and they will continue to justify themselves at every opportunity. It is better to let them go on believing the myth. Some people have 10 years of experince...1 years worth, 10 times.

We all lose trees, some just more than others...what was our excuse? Blaming another, climate change, wrong advice, animals, tropical storm, evil spirits?

The couple I lost was from stupidity. Sometimes we learn the hard way, that is human nature.



Will
 

Tachigi

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I just needed a chance to vent
I understand....self-therapy can be could thing sometimes....:)
 

Vance Wood

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What kind of material would you recomend for this individual?
 

Vance Wood

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No answer seems to be forthcoming, so I guess I have to put a finer point on the pencil. It was not too long ago that there was a heated discussion on choices of material. It was suggested that one interested in bonsai should obtain the best material they could get their hands on. It was, and still is, my argument that people should obtain material they are capable of artistically and have the ability to take care of (paraphrased). Now it seems that obtaining really good material is only logical if one has the ability to take care of it, which was not in the original discussion. So I have asked in the previous post: What kind of material should this individual have selected?
 

Bill S

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Vance I see your point regarding choice of materials, this is obviously not a stick in the pot, or plant it and let it thicken. We have all seen beginners who can't cut one of 50 branches off a nursery juniper, it sounds like a rank novice with money, and over thier head with a fine tree.

Unfortunately this might be one that get's watched to death.
 
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No answer seems to be forthcoming, so I guess I have to put a finer point on the pencil. It was not too long ago that there was a heated discussion on choices of material. It was suggested that one interested in bonsai should obtain the best material they could get their hands on. It was, and still is, my argument that people should obtain material they are capable of artistically and have the ability to take care of (paraphrased). Now it seems that obtaining really good material is only logical if one has the ability to take care of it, which was not in the original discussion. So I have asked in the previous post: What kind of material should this individual have selected?
Vance

You seem determined to keep that controversy alive, in spite of the fact that after weeks of back and forth, it turned out your actual views were much closer to mine than you thought or vice versa. I won't rebuild that entire debate. It has never been my position or that of any thinking person that a person should buy material they either cannot care for or will not learn. This is my last post on the subject.
 
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It is interesting that some people tell beginners not to waste their time on inferior stock and yet then are quick to accuse a beginner of acquiring stock that is too advanced for them. Doesn't this leave very mixed messages?



Will
 
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It is interesting that some people tell beginners not to waste their time on inferior stock and yet then are quick to accuse a beginner of acquiring stock that is too advanced for them. Doesn't this leave very mixed messages?



Will
And here we go again, in the absence of content to post, some still specialize in trying to gin up controversy.
 

irene_b

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I believe this is what was said!




What happens when a rank beginner, regardless of years playing at bonsai, receives a very valuable advanced tree and is unable to care for it properly, and unwilling to understand that they need some help? What if they consider themselves a master because of XX years at bonsai, when they have obviously never advanced beyond the first year's learning?

How does one sit by idly and watch what might be not only a great tree, but could be a World Bonsai Contest finalist, weaken and begin to die in this person's care?




I am sure that we all have seen enough of the bullshyt floating around to not have it re-visited again on a different thread..
Can you 3 not go into another useless but space eating word battle?
I am sure we would all appreciate it....
Mom
 

Vance Wood

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I know I would appreciate it Irene if you would post something substantive to the subject and not in an off handed way tell me and others to shut up.

As to the subject, it is very relevant and deserves attention. Maybe it has been discussed before, and that in your view being a reason to leave it alone. If this is a guideline for posting to this forum your understanding of the situation would rule out a litany of subjects on other issues ( if you are to be consistent) that are posted over and over again either because of new people or new information. In this case it is new information, or at least a change of position that needs clarification. Shooting the messenger does not resolve it or make it more clear.

If Chris decides to not post any further replies on the issue that's his business, if other people have ideas on the theme, it is their business and they should be allowed to have something to say without you or anyone else telling them they should shut up and go away. If you can only add that we should leave it alone then maybe you should follow your own advise---leave it alone.

If you leave it alone and Chris does not reply then all that is left is for anyone else who might be interested in the apparent contradictions represented here, which all fits into the realm of selecting material for doing bonsai, it will either bring up new debate or die of neglect.
 

Tachigi

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I wonder.....could we all agree that.....advanced material in a beginners hands no matter the years in bonsai is a unproductive and potentially fatal to the tree. However, if that person is under the tutelage of a "qualified" person. That great piece of material (and most likely costly piece)would enhance that person's experience in bonsai, and move him forward by light years learning the nuances of an advanced tree?
 

Vance Wood

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There are a lot of Whats and ifs in that assumption Tom, and in light of this post whose business is it anyway? If the person in question has not listened to sound advise, assuming he has been getting it, for all these years what makes anyone think he is going to listen now when he is told his new tree is too advanced for him? Especially in view of the fact he has probably been deluged with a barrage of arguments as to why he should use better material?

There seems to be an underlying thread of elitism in this entire concept where some seem to think it is their lot in life to tell other bonsai growers what kind of material they should be using. Giving advise and passing judgements are two different things. It has now gone from one end of the spectrum where people are criticized for using material that is too young, too small, too skinny, and too cheap. We are told that if you want to get some where you should be using decent material, preferably purchased from a reputable source at as high a price as possible, but for God's sake never ever use nursery material and so on down the road, to the other end of the spectrum where finally and now we come to the grand finale of double mindedness: That material is too advanced for you.

From this comes my original question: What would be good material for this individual? It is in that tar pit of snares and pit falls all of the previous pontifications find their final resting place. Unless of course we make the jump to,--- this person should not be doing bonsai at all. I say this because it is quite obvious that good trees are too good for this person. So it is safe to assume that somewhere in that list of quasi-forbidden material there is a choice for this poor soul. Then we can all be comfortable pounding him down again for using crappy material.


Another thing that bothers me is this concept of 30 years as a beginner that seems to be a favorite mantra of a few who post around here. If you read the early part of this post you will see that mention is made of years of experience summed up as--- many years as a beginner for this person, who has obtained this wonderful tree. I am beginning to think that there are very specific things that must take place before you are allowed into the "No longer a beginner" club that have nothing to do with years of experience.

Will this person ever be ready to take on advanced material? Well I don't know and I seriously doubt that many of us know either but there is one thing for sure he will never be ready if he does not acquire some advanced material or develop what he has into advanced material, which is by the way another concept poo-pooed as a waste of time by the pre-bonsai police.

I know that this is not the intention but it is the outcome none-the-less, we criticize those who are not advancing for using less than optimum material by beating them down for doing so. But when one of them goes out and buys some good material we beat them down again because in our convoluted logic we don't think this person is worthy of such a wonderful tree. The end result is the beginner will remain a beginner not because he does not try but because some of us wont allow him to progress. No matter what choice he makes it will be wrong in some eyes, with the right credentials, and this too is wrong, and slightly immoral.

Sometimes it sounds like a cult around here.
 

Ashbarns

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This thread started off as an opinion, someone thinking aloud. It has now developed into a concept, should the less experienced have access to potentially world class stock. I see nothing at all wrong with this debate as it is challenging and has become conjecture.
If faced with this scenario I would try my best to help the individual with advice on how to care for the tree, perhaps help them style or re-style. But if the owner rejected my assistance then I would happily walk away and let them do as they wished as that is their business.

Ash
 

Tachigi

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Good morning Vance,

There are a lot of Whats and ifs in that assumption Tom, and in light of this post whose business is it anyway? If the person in question has not listened to sound advise, assuming he has been getting it, for all these years what makes anyone think he is going to listen now when he is told his new tree is too advanced for him? Especially in view of the fact he has probably been deluged with a barrage of arguments as to why he should use better material?
Respectfully your statements have a lot of "Whats and ifs" as well. We have to use what and if as this is a hypothetical discussion. There are not enough details of this situation do do anything else but make it hypothetical, and should base the conversation accordingly. One would assume that he has been getting advise. Chris is aware of him so he must be in a club or class. In that environment we all know that a person gets advise of one form or another regardless whether they want it or not ;) That is the reason for the most part a person seeks out this type of venue. I think based on Chris's opening statement that no, he's not listening. Which is fine! Sometimes you have to venture off on your own and try a new approach i.e... tree upgrade. Is this guy/girls best interest at stake here with that advise or do people just lust after that piece of material ;) We will never know.

There seems to be an underlying thread of elitism in this entire concept where some seem to think it is their lot in life to tell other bonsai growers what kind of material they should be using. Giving advise and passing judgements are two different things. It has now gone from one end of the spectrum where people are criticized for using material that is too young, too small, too skinny, and too cheap. We are told that if you want to get some where you should be using decent material, preferably purchased from a reputable source at as high a price as possible, but for God's sake never ever use nursery material and so on down the road, to the other end of the spectrum where finally and now we come to the grand finale of double mindedness: That material is too advanced for you.
I agree with you on your first two sentences. As far as the spectrum thing, at least in this circumstance, we don't know enough details. As far as people being criticized? I will go out on a limb and assume that I know where that came from. It is my own personal feeling that it wasn't so much as a criticism, more of a strong belief in what that person feels. I respect that as I respect your feelings on the issue. My personal stance is that material grown for bonsai is a quicker means to and end. By the nature of the beast it has to be, that is what it was grown for. I will never rule out other sources though. That would be like slapping common sense in the face. I have my fair share of nursery material. In fact on the way to go collecting today. Taylor and I are going to do a nursery crawl. Which I can assure you I will enjoy more than humping it up the mountain tools in hand to a meadow that I want to collect in. The "grand finale" say it ain't so. Once again not enough details to know the true intention of that statement.

What would be good material for this individual?
Anything that floats his boat and inspires him.

Another thing that bothers me is this concept of 30 years as a beginner that seems to be a favorite mantra of a few who post around here. If you read the early part of this post you will see that mention is made of years of experience summed up as--- many years as a beginner for this person, who has obtained this wonderful tree. I am beginning to think that there are very specific things that must take place before you are allowed into the "No longer a beginner" club that have nothing to do with years of experience.
I personally think that if you can't display certain skills or techniques no matter what length of tenure you have in bonsai. You will have the stigma of being a beginner. I think you could be politically correct and say that the person is an advanced beginner or a beginner with a lot of years under his belt. We are all tested in one thing or another in life. Being humans we label and categorize in order to make sense of things. If a person can't or doesn't have the knowledge to demonstrate basic skills required to advance a tree (no matter what its origin or cost). They will always be doomed with that label from their peers. I cite a recent example on one of the other forums. A person I know with a fair amount of years under his belt asked if he could do a shari on a tree and remove "all" the bark. I ask you, is that a question that anything else but a beginner would ask. Wonder where this person was in biology class ;)

Will this person ever be ready to take on advanced material? Well I don't know and I seriously doubt that many of us know either but there is one thing for sure he will never be ready if he does not acquire some advanced material or develop what he has into advanced material, which is by the way another concept poo-pooed as a waste of time by the pre-bonsai police.
To your first sentence....we will find out if we ever get a chance to see the finished product or trees from his past experience. As to the rest of the paragraph. I don't get it, knowing your feelings on nursery and "developed material".

I know that this is not the intention but it is the outcome none-the-less, we criticize those who are not advancing for using less than optimum material by beating them down for doing so. But when one of them goes out and buys some good material we beat them down again because in our convoluted logic we don't think this person is worthy of such a wonderful tree. The end result is the beginner will remain a beginner not because he does not try but because some of us wont allow him to progress. No matter what choice he makes it will be wrong in some eyes, with the right credentials, and this too is wrong, and slightly immoral.
You are partially right from my point of view. Once again we don't know enough in this one particular situation. I think you would agree that a person needs to should be able to demonstrate to himself and to a lesser degree others that he can take a tree from point A to point B in a reasonably logical way. If he can't then he will suffer the slings and arrows of his peers, for whatever there reason. It will happen here on the boards and in real life. Unfortunately this mentality is perpetuated by people wanting to make a buck. I was at the National Arboretum a few years back at an auction. I witnessed this guy bidding huge amounts of money on trees, were talking about thousands here. While at the same time he was asking people how to care for them. All the while his well known master/teacher was egging him on. Would I consider him a beginner? Yes! Did he have years under his belt? He claimed to, as did his teacher. Why do I consider him a beginner? Yes, if for nothing else, he was at the genesis of learning about a variety of trees that he was buying with reckless abandon. Did the group at the auction think the same? Yes, and they told him so all 100 or so of them. Did the staff at the bonsai museum say so. Yes, to the point of blocking one of his bids on a very old and valuable wisteria. Was his teacher responsible,.....ABSOLUTLY.....he/she obviously had other agendas than the well fair of the tree or advancing the students knowledge.
 
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