Don't know how much I like this?

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You're right--this is tough to see. It's hard to imagine there are people out there who only see trees in this way, but I'm afraid that's the way most see them :eek: Really makes you wonder why people heap so much criticism on those who collect trees with the idea in mind of keeping them alive :confused::confused::confused:
 

milehigh_7

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Oh crap that made me throw up a little. :( Reminds me of those nature shows where they arrest elephant poachers with truckloads of tusks. Would you cry if you knew that hundreds of miles of RMJ trunks are fence posts all over Colorado?
 

grouper52

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Well, that answers some questions Dan and I have had when out collecting. We'd be out in the absolute middle of nowhere up on some practically inaccessible skree slope or something, and here was this big, ancient juniper out on a ledge with a flat, weathered saw cut at the base of what must have been a 3-6" branch. We'd wonder, "What for?" Obviously not fire wood (which was lying all around), obviously nothing special that couldn't be found on trees that were much easier to reach. I now suppose the answer is that the curly branch was especially appealing to someone visually, either to carve, or to sell to someone else to carve.

Thanks for posting this. It answers that question for me. But I am, perhaps, not in the majority here who are outraged or sickened by someone having done this, nor am I disturbed by the act of collecting yamadori done skillfully and conscientiously. My only reaction looking at those stacks of branches, quite frankly, is why in the world a business would have so many of these things, as if they expect this to be a big seller requiring a huge inventory.

The American West is vast beyond the ability of most people to comprehend. Fires wipe out entire mountain ranges from time to time, and diseases and pests will go on a rampage periodically and almost obliterate a species from enormously large areas. With no other commercial value, no one is clear cutting junipers - they are everywhere they can grow, in numbers beyond belief. Branches die on them all the time. The trees die all the time.

When I've gone collecting with Dan for a three or four day trip, we will drive past many millions of junipers within visual range, with untold numbers out of view. We may stop in three, maybe up to five, locations along the way to collect where the conditions are favorable for gnarly trunks as well as good survival chances: these two conditions are actually quite rare. We will climb around in those spots, and perhaps, if lucky, find several worth collecting in each spot. For the trip, we may come back with six to eight between us. Since the optimal season for successful collecting is quite limited, we won't go collecting junipers again until the next season.

The math concerning the impact we are likely to cause to the environment, or the aesthetic "damage" we are likely to cause to a few locations almost no one would have the interest or gumption or conditioning to ever get to anyway, makes me simply shake my head at self-righteous objections to our activities. Having actually seen the scars on a few remote trees where such juniper branches have been harvested caused me puzzlement, but no overly romanticized revulsion at the "suffering" of the tree, or the loss of the beauty of the tree or the area, or any absurd notion about cataclysmic environmental disaster.

Probably not a popular response here. So be it. Anyone out there not using any wood or wood products in their life, please feel free to respond.
 

Jason

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I think it's sub populations of trees we are concerned about (the ones that live in niche environments). You said it best yourself:

"We may stop in three, maybe up to five, locations along the way to collect where the conditions are favorable for gnarly trunks as well as good survival chances: these two conditions are actually quite rare. We will climb around in those spots, and perhaps, if lucky, find several worth collecting in each spot."

If both of you are looking for that same subpopulation of gnarly trunks and he just cuts them all down while you need to worry about the semantics of collecting them and keeping them alive your odds get worse each year.

P.S....I only wear clothes made of recycled materials (it's rough on the skin) and I eat only soy that wanted to be harvested. ;) Jumps right onto my plate
 

milehigh_7

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Well, that answers some questions Dan and I have had when out collecting. We'd be out in the absolute middle of nowhere up on some practically inaccessible skree slope or something, and here was this big, ancient juniper out on a ledge with a flat, weathered saw cut at the base of what must have been a 3-6" branch. We'd wonder, "What for?" Obviously not fire wood (which was lying all around), obviously nothing special that couldn't be found on trees that were much easier to reach. I now suppose the answer is that the curly branch was especially appealing to someone visually, either to carve, or to sell to someone else to carve.

Thanks for posting this. It answers that question for me. But I am, perhaps, not in the majority here who are outraged or sickened by someone having done this, nor am I disturbed by the act of collecting yamadori done skillfully and conscientiously. My only reaction looking at those stacks of branches, quite frankly, is why in the world a business would have so many of these things, as if they expect this to be a big seller requiring a huge inventory.

The American West is vast beyond the ability of most people to comprehend. Fires wipe out entire mountain ranges from time to time, and diseases and pests will go on a rampage periodically and almost obliterate a species from enormously large areas. With no other commercial value, no one is clear cutting junipers - they are everywhere they can grow, in numbers beyond belief. Branches die on them all the time. The trees die all the time.

When I've gone collecting with Dan for a three or four day trip, we will drive past many millions of junipers within visual range, with untold numbers out of view. We may stop in three, maybe up to five, locations along the way to collect where the conditions are favorable for gnarly trunks as well as good survival chances: these two conditions are actually quite rare. We will climb around in those spots, and perhaps, if lucky, find several worth collecting in each spot. For the trip, we may come back with six to eight between us. Since the optimal season for successful collecting is quite limited, we won't go collecting junipers again until the next season.

The math concerning the impact we are likely to cause to the environment, or the aesthetic "damage" we are likely to cause to a few locations almost no one would have the interest or gumption or conditioning to ever get to anyway, makes me simply shake my head at self-righteous objections to our activities. Having actually seen the scars on a few remote trees where such juniper branches have been harvested caused me puzzlement, but no overly romanticized revulsion at the "suffering" of the tree, or the loss of the beauty of the tree or the area, or any absurd notion about cataclysmic environmental disaster.

Probably not a popular response here. So be it. Anyone out there not using any wood or wood products in their life, please feel free to respond.


I suppose thinking big picture you are right Will. Maybe just the visual shock. Thanks for the dose of moderation and logic.
 

Jason

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"The math concerning the impact we are likely to cause to the environment, or the aesthetic "damage" we are likely to cause to a few locations almost no one would have the interest or gumption or conditioning to ever get to anyway, makes me simply shake my head at self-righteous objections to our activities. Having actually seen the scars on a few remote trees where such juniper branches have been harvested caused me puzzlement, but no overly romanticized revulsion at the "suffering" of the tree, or the loss of the beauty of the tree or the area, or any absurd notion about cataclysmic environmental disaster."

I think it's all about balance. Anyone have any luck hunting buffalo or passenger pigeons lately?:p
 

Brian Underwood

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Well said Grouper. You could buy one of those bad boys and make a serious Tanuki in 6-10 years; a highly under appreciated form of bonsai... Also, many collectors have dozens of entire trees that never recovered and died from the collection process just sitting around that look very similar to these, but with huge trunks. Just something to think about...
 

Bill S

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I like what Grouper added, throw in there are folks that think we ought to be strung up for torturing our poor little trees.

Bonsai isn't the end all, for many more than we.
 

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