How the Feds see Collection

rockm

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I ran across this article in SF Gate from June. Gives some insight into how more than a few people view bonsai collection. It's why I scream bloody murder when people suggest that taking without permission isn't a big deal. The opinion is already out there that bonsaists collecting trees are "perverse." Being a "collector" who doesn't observe the rules only adds to this perception;

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/06/26/HOMQ186BP0.DTL
 
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Dwight

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The thing with cactus collectors has been going on for decades. I have a friend who used to buy bunches oc cactus from a little nursery up the road from here. He always came up with real unusual stuff and finally asked the nurseryman where he got his stock. Got no answer but a lot of evasion so he started looking into the place. Seems it had been busted a number of times for illegal collecting so the guy had resorted to collecting in Mexico and smugeling them back across the border ( real easy here fourty years ago ). This peaked my curiosity so I started talking to some parks and wildlife friends who told me they have to watch out for cactus collectors and rock hounds more than animal poachers. Kinda suprised me but I bet for every bonsai collector there are a hundred or more cactus collectors. Here its often legal and easy. Developers buy big chunks of desert land and scrape it clean. Just find a pile where it's been scraped and dig out the cactus from the trash. I landscaped my first house this way and never went more than a mile away. Almost everything lived. I've even had to run these people off the ranch when I was growing up. We were 65 miles from town and I'd find one or two a month with their cars stuck and the trunk full of cactus. ( made some spending money pulling these fools out ).

My point is that the cactus collectors have been around for a while and most never think about asking anyone. I don't think this applies to us as much for a couple of reasons. First collecting a bonsai is MUCH harder than collecting cactus and other desert suclients. Second , the idea of obtaining permission has been an intrigal part of bonsai collecting for so long it's ingrained in many folks.
 
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Wow... I always thought that whole thing about people thinking bonsai was abusive was a joke. That's just ignorance of a very high order.

Very sad...

V
 

bisjoe

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Wow... I always thought that whole thing about people thinking bonsai was abusive was a joke. That's just ignorance of a very high order.

Very sad...

V

The last time someone asked me about that I asked him if he mowed his lawn - he just stood there with a dumb look on his face.
 

rockm

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There is already a very strong bias against bonsai collection that runs deeper than most collectors realize, I think. We are associated with poachers and thought of as greedy and crass by apparently educated "naturalists."
 
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There is already a very strong bias against bonsai collection that runs deeper than most collectors realize, I think. We are associated with poachers and thought of as greedy and crass by apparently educated "naturalists."

When collectors collect without permission, leave holes in the ground, leave trash behind, collect irresponsibly, etc......they are greedy and crass.

Over the years I have been in many debates with people who justify theft in many ways, I always came out to be the bad guy, but the simple truth is that such activities harm bonsai and indirectly affect me.


On a lighter note...... http://knowledgeofbonsai.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=82



Will
 

Vance Wood

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I have been saying this for years when criticized for my use of nursery trees. One day collecting Yamadori will become illegal or severely limited. Not that I am looking for an opportunity to throw out a "See! I told you so!" Some in the bonsai community seem to think this is an inexhaustible resource that will always be there. To kind of add a bit of credibility to the concept of cultivated trees I would like to refer you to a thread on the Internet Bonsai Club Site where Taiwan bonsai are discussed and displayed. Read the article attached to this thread I think it might open a few eyes.

There is a short article on page 4 that describes the condition of Tiawan bonsai and how they are created. Take time to view the pictures and then realize that these are not collected trees.

http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/b...-exhibition-t1066.htm?highlight=tiawan+bonsai

I think there is something going on in Tiawan that we in the West really need to take a look at and make an effort to learn.
 
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Attila Soos

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I have been saying this for years when criticized for my use of nursery trees. One day collecting Yamadori will become illegal or severely limited. Not that I am looking for an opportunity to throw out a "See! I told you so!" Some in the bonsai community seem to think this is an inexhaustible resource that will always be there. To kind of add a bit of credibility to the concept of cultivated trees I would like to refer you to a thread on the Internet Bonsai Club Site where Taiwan bonsai are discussed and displayed. Read the article attached to this thread I think it might open a few eyes.

There is a short article on page 4 that describes the condition of Tiawan bonsai and how they are created. Take time to view the pictures and then realize that these are not collected trees.

http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/b...-exhibition-t1066.htm?highlight=tiawan+bonsai

I think there is something going on in Tiawan that we in the West really need to take a look at and make an effort to learn.

Thanks Vance for pointing out the thread on IBC. It is a real eye-opener. It is also inspirational for those of us who grow most of our material from scratch. Although I love yamadori and take every opportunity to acquire them, most of my material is grown in the grounds of my backyard.

Here is what should happen here in the US: there is a great need for reasonably priced field-grown material. The availability of such material would be a great boost to popularize bonsai in this country. Right now, most of what I see in the vendor section of any large convention, is the extremes: highly priced yamadori, and cheap material with little character. There is very little in between. So one either has to dish out serious money, or spend over a decade working on bonsai material.

The problem is that developing field-grown bonsai is an art in itself, and almost nobody has a clue how to do it. There are countless books on how-to-create-bonsai, but there is NOTHING on how to grow bonsai stock in the field, beyond a paragraph or two included in these books. Creating bonsai and cultivating bonsai stock in the field are entirely different - often requiring totally opposing techniques. That's because the main purpose of field-growing is to create character along with speeding up growth, while creating bonsai is about putting the character to use, and often restricting growth.
It's time that American bonsaists become expert in field-growing, and that a separate branch of bonsai develops, with the goal of producing these trees. We need teachers who can teach this.
I have been learning the art of field-growing for over a decade now, and there is something new that I learn every year. I wish I had the chance to learn all this in the first few years, so that I wouldn't have to waste decades, reinventing the wheel.

Field growing on a large scale can also be much more profitable than trading in collected material - due to the much higher volume traded.

Taiwan can show us the way, we just need to travel and learn from them.
 
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Klytus

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Uprooting the Cacti is the behaviour of evil-doers,digging stunted trees is risky.

Rocks?

It's a rock,most of the planet is rock or the rock of the future.

They fall from space.
 

Attila Soos

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About two years ago I was hiking in the Las Vegas area, on a popular trail to the Spring Mountains. As always, I carry with me my geologists' pick.

I carry it mostly for "unforeseen events" (such as an unlikely cougar attack, or hostile humans, you never know). It's just part of my survival kit.

All of a sudden another hiker passes me by, in the opposite direction. As we pass each other, he says to me: "enjoying yourself, taking rocks off the mountain, a&&hole!!"

I was so shocked at the insult, that I dind't know what to say. I just kept going and did nothing. I kept thinking about what should I have said. After awhile, I was seething with anger that I just let him get away, imagining all kind of scenarios of revenge, such as pushing him off the trail, kicking his ass, etc.:)

Then I thought that his intentions were good: protecting nature from vandalism. But he insulted ME, who loves nature just as much as he does.

The point is, that you may be attacked for doing nothing. It was a very frustrating experience. Needless to say, this idiot just proved my point about why I like to carry such a tool, in case I encounter someone like him.
 

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Lee

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Thanks Vance for pointing out the thread on IBC. It is a real eye-opener. It is also inspirational for those of us who grow most of our material from scratch. Although I love yamadori and take every opportunity to acquire them, most of my material is grown in the grounds of my backyard.

Here is what should happen here in the US: there is a great need for reasonably priced field-grown material. The availability of such material would be a great boost to popularize bonsai in this country. Right now, most of what I see in the vendor section of any large convention, is the extremes: highly priced yamadori, and cheap material with little character. There is very little in between. So one either has to dish out serious money, or spend over a decade working on bonsai material.

The problem is that developing field-grown bonsai is an art in itself, and almost nobody has a clue how to do it. There are countless books on how-to-create-bonsai, but there is NOTHING on how to grow bonsai stock in the field, beyond a paragraph or two included in these books. Creating bonsai and cultivating bonsai stock in the field are entirely different - often requiring totally opposing techniques. That's because the main purpose of field-growing is to create character along with speeding up growth, while creating bonsai is about putting the character to use, and often restricting growth.
It's time that American bonsaists become expert in field-growing, and that a separate branch of bonsai develops, with the goal of producing these trees. We need teachers who can teach this.
I have been learning the art of field-growing for over a decade now, and there is something new that I learn every year. I wish I had the chance to learn all this in the first few years, so that I wouldn't have to waste decades, reinventing the wheel.

Field growing on a large scale can also be much more profitable than trading in collected material - due to the much higher volume traded.

Taiwan can show us the way, we just need to travel and learn from them.


I agree with most of what you say here,but you then have to agree with this,people are not prepared to compensate the growers of these tree's so it then becomes economically unviable to grow them.
Taiwanese junipers on import to europe are expensive,and rightly so someone has spent between 10-40 yrs creating them they could fool you into believing they are yamadori,will americans pay from 1000 pound 1600 dollars up to 18000 pounds,approx 30000 dollars for raw material? Very few europeans will and if you look at this thread on the ibc there would be no point in you spending years field growing(a art in itself)http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/bonsai-questions-f7/shimpaku-value-t1036.htm
 

Vance Wood

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I agree with most of what you say here,but you then have to agree with this,people are not prepared to compensate the growers of these tree's so it then becomes economically unviable to grow them.
Taiwanese junipers on import to europe are expensive,and rightly so someone has spent between 10-40 yrs creating them they could fool you into believing they are yamadori,will americans pay from 1000 pound 1600 dollars up to 18000 pounds,approx 30000 dollars for raw material? Very few europeans will and if you look at this thread on the ibc there would be no point in you spending years field growing(a art in itself)http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/bonsai-questions-f7/shimpaku-value-t1036.htm

I think you might be missing the point a little bit. If the day comes, and I believe it will, when you cannot harvest Yamadori trees for bonsai then you will have only two sources left to you. Buy nursery material or cultivated material. Can you do this yourself? Yes, I believe you can and I don't think it will take forty years, with the right kind of attention and the proper technique. Even if I am wrong what choices do you have left?
 

rockm

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I don't know if yamadori will become "off limits" completely. There is always private land and some private land holdings are vast. Understanding landowners' concerns and working hard to prevent misunderstanding and outright theft on private property is very important. I think private land is already the primary source for collectors here in the East. National Forests here on the Right Coast have long been closed to collection.

As for growing out choice bonsai material, I don't think that will ever happen here in the U.S. There simply isn't a demand for it and it takes an inordinate amount of time and resources. The Taiwanese have an important export market for their stock and have worked to build the relationships in Japan to sustain it. We have no reputation for such work here in the West. To get that rep would require decades of work to get, along with the initial; investment in land and time of the grower--all for a long-delayed payoff.

Our strength in the U.S. is yamadori. It is basically unmatched in Japan and even in Europe (given that the US is roughly twice the size of that region--pile on Alaska and Hawaii and it's almost three times as big.) The supply of collectible material isn't bottomless, but it's pretty big--. Working to maintain the access to that material is very important.
 

Vance Wood

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I don't know if yamadori will become "off limits" completely. There is always private land and some private land holdings are vast. Understanding landowners' concerns and working hard to prevent misunderstanding and outright theft on private property is very important. I think private land is already the primary source for collectors here in the East. National Forests here on the Right Coast have long been closed to collection.

As for growing out choice bonsai material, I don't think that will ever happen here in the U.S. There simply isn't a demand for it and it takes an inordinate amount of time and resources. The Taiwanese have an important export market for their stock and have worked to build the relationships in Japan to sustain it. We have no reputation for such work here in the West. To get that rep would require decades of work to get, along with the initial; investment in land and time of the grower--all for a long-delayed payoff.

Our strength in the U.S. is yamadori. It is basically unmatched in Japan and even in Europe (given that the US is roughly twice the size of that region--pile on Alaska and Hawaii and it's almost three times as big.) The supply of collectible material isn't bottomless, but it's pretty big--. Working to maintain the access to that material is very important.

You are still missing a point. There are political powers that want to limit if not totally curtail access to remaining perceived wilderness areas in this country. My family and I used to go camping along the Manistee River here in Michigan. There were quite a few camp sites along the river that were within ten yards of the river. Then one year we came to our favorite camp site and found that it was closed along with all the camp sites along the river. If you wanted to camp there you had to find an officially designated camp site that was fifty to one-hundred yards from the river. Things like this are happening all over the country. The simple fact at least here in Michigan, is if they cannot police the area, because of personnel cut backs, they just close them down.

As to cultivating material locally. I know that this may not seem a viable market but who do you know who is trying it? I believe that it can be a viable market as long as people continue to have an interest in bonsai and want better material to work with.
 

rockm

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Public access has greatly different meanings when it comes to Federal lands. For instance, Bureau of Land Management lands have a looser set of rules than National Parks. BLM lands have no public improvements (camping sites, etc.) --are much more open to use of natural resources and have them in greater quantities than national parks.

The bureau's mandate is to provide resources to the public. Unless the government does away with BLM (and I've heard nothing to indicate they're going to) public access to public land isn't going away. Given they facilitate stuff like mining and logging, I don't think bonsai collectors make a big impact on their decisions:

http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en.html

The problem is, most of that land is in the Western US and not available to a large portion of the population (which probably isn't a bad thing)...

As for professional bonsai stock growers, there already is a pretty good source for alot of stock. Florida, here on the East coast, for instance, is home to dozens of landscape nurseries. They grow billions of dollars worth of landscape trees--sometimes for decades...I know professional bonsai growers who have built relationships with those nurseries and buy top quality bonsaiable stock from them. They have educated the growers on what they're looking for in trees. Not the optimal situation, but it can produce some great trees every once in a while.
 

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