I would pay $20,000, sacrafice my first born, and cut off my arm

yenling83

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If someone would take me on a legitimate collecting trip in the Sierra's or in the desert.

No, not really-but that's how I feel. I would pay a lot of money to go on a good collecting trip.
I'm sure lot's of other's on this forum feel similar to me.

Few Questions:
1. Is there a way for someone like me to go on a legitimate collecting trip without knowing many people in the bonsai community? I guess REBS bonsai club offers a collecting trip, but it's limited to 8 people and filled up already.

2. How do groups like this go collecting in the Sierra's without getting in trouble? How do they go about getting permits?

3. Is there a way where if you pay hundreds you can go on a legit collecting trip?
 
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Smoke

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Before Hansen ranch closed in Mojave, all one had to do is have your club contact Harry Hirao and he would arrange for your club members and his friends to go on a trip. All you needed to do was join Kofu Kai club (10.00 a year) and pay the ten dollars fee to the land owner for as many trees as you could dig from 6AM till 1PM. Pretty cheap for collecting one of the finest trees in America, but alas that is closed to collectors now. Your about 4 years too late my friend.

Cheers, Al
 

jquast

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If someone would take me on a legitimate collecting trip in the Sierra's or in the desert.

No, not really-but I would probably pay several hundred and do something else crazy.
I'm sure lot's of other's on this forum feel similar to me.

Few Questions:
1. Is there a way for someone like me to go on a legitimate collecting trip without knowing many people in the bonsai community? I guess REBS bonsai club offers a collecting trip, but it's limited to 8 people and filled up already.

2. How do groups like this go collecting in the Sierra's without getting in trouble? How do they go about getting permits?

3. Is there a way where if you pay hundreds you can go on a legit collecting trip?

Sign up for the Lotus nursery e-mail list for next Spring. They offer an eight person trip to the Eastern Sierras in early October. I was lucky enough to be able to sign up for this years trip (next week) and without the pre-notification of being on their e-mail list I likely would have missed out on this years trip since it booked very quickly.

jeff
 

rockm

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"1. Is there a way for someone like me to go on a legitimate collecting trip without knowing many people in the bonsai community? I guess REBS bonsai club offers a collecting trip, but it's limited to 8 people and filled up already."

The short answer is "not really," or "possibly."

The longer answer is really a question-- "why would you want to do that?" Collecting is not an easy thing to do. Candidate trees are not easy to find, fewer are collectible. Having someone who knows where to look (and it's not just traipsing out into the wild and looking. You have to look in the right places and know where those places are most likely to occur to get the best trees) and knows how to dig (and this is extremely important) them. Every tree you dig will be different in circumstance, and has to be dug accordingly. Understanding what a particular tree in a particular location can stand is half the battle in collecting it. Having someone with you who can show you and explain those things is priceless.

"2. How do groups like this go collecting in the Sierra's without getting in trouble? How do they go about getting permits?"

The fastest way to find this out is to consult with a club or individual who has done it. The odds are they are collecting on Federal land (BLM, National Forest) or private land. It also depends on who you ask. The best collectors probably aren't going to show you where the best trees are-especially if you're a beginner. They will probably take you in the vicinity, but you're probably not going to walk away with some awesome specimen on your first, or fifth, outing. If you dig a spectacular tree, then kill it through inexperience, that's one tree an experienced collector won't have a shot at.

"3. Is there a way where if you pay hundreds you can go on a legit collecting trip?"

Uhh, sure. Money talks, but that's killing a fly with a howitzer...I'd take you up on the offe, but then if you were a club member and I knew you and your abilities and were comfortable that you kind of knew what you were doing bonsai-wise, I'd probably take you for free.

Experience is part of the game in collecting. It takes some hands on experience to not only successfully collect a tree, but to keep it alive. It's not something that can really be bought. If you're just set on getting a good collected tree, and are willing to pay hundreds of dollars, buy one. No shame in that. If you're looking for knowledge on how to collect trees, establishing yourself in a club or learning from a collector are invaluable ways to get knowledge --trees come later.
 

yenling83

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"1. Is there a way for someone like me to go on a legitimate collecting trip without knowing many people in the bonsai community? I guess REBS bonsai club offers a collecting trip, but it's limited to 8 people and filled up already."

The short answer is "not really," or "possibly."

The longer answer is really a question-- "why would you want to do that?"
Thank you everyone for the responses. Some great suggestions! I appreciate the feedback.

A response to Rock M's question, Why would you want to do that?

I love being out doors, hiking, camping, being in the mountains and getting exercise. On top of this hanging out with other Bonsai Folk is not bad either. I think going collecting would be a whole lot of FUN! Yes, I know that good trees are difficult to come by, but there is always that chance and if your in a good spot you never know. It's exciting, like treasure hunting. I don't care if 99 out of 100 times I don't find anything, because on that 100th's time I will.

On top of this, in terms of Bonsai someday I want to be one of the best. I believe that in order for myself to get there, I need to find amazing material and master collecting. I believe this is an important step to improve the quality of Bonsai in the U.S. Look at Walter Pall-he is smart about collecting, does it a lot and has collected trees which are to die for. With collecting so far I am 4 for 4 on survival. I am respectful, practice no trace left behind, and will ensure the best chance of survival for anything I collect.

I'll figure it out eventually and will find some amazing material. Just might take a while.
 

bonsai barry

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I've come across some nice trees in Sierra Natational Forest, but they were not very helpful regarding the permiting process. If you can secure a permit, I'll help you find the trees! (I had some possibilities geocached but my GPS broke).

Jeff
 

rockm

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"On top of this, in terms of Bonsai someday I want to be one of the best. I believe that in order for myself to get there, I need to find amazing material and master collecting. I believe this is an important step to improve the quality of Bonsai in the U.S. Look at Walter Pall-he is smart about collecting, does it a lot and has collected trees which are to die for. With collecting so far I am 4 for 4 on survival. I am respectful, practice no trace left behind, and will ensure the best chance of survival for anything I collect."

Very ambitious and laudable goals. I also believe collecting material offers far more than just a way to get a free tree :D. Excellent collected material is indeed, vital to advancing the art here in the US and Walter does have excellent collected material, as do many long-time bonsaiists with access to such material.

Walter and other "big names" don't necessarily collect all their own trees, however. They acquire them a number of ways-trade, purchase, ect. They've also been doing it for a very long time. Amassing a collection like Mr. Palls also takes some financial wherewithal.

I don't want to rain on the parade, and your four for four ain't bad. In my collecting years, however, I've found out that there are more than a few unseen hurdles to cross, like how long have you had those four trees? Survival of collected stock beyond five years is another important measure of success--

How many different species have you worked with?

How many trees have you had to trouble shoot to get them to survive--sometimes success is worse than failure, as it doesn't teach you as much...
 

yenling83

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I don't want to rain on the parade, and your four for four ain't bad. In my collecting years, however, I've found out that there are more than a few unseen hurdles to cross, like how long have you had those four trees? Survival of collected stock beyond five years is another important measure of success--

How many different species have you worked with?

How many trees have you had to trouble shoot to get them to survive--sometimes success is worse than failure, as it doesn't teach you as much...
Rock I completely agree with you and am no way saying I'm a pro or an expert or novice. I'm a newbie by all means. But, at some point even the greatest of the great were newbies. I have to learn one way or another and I am at the point in my Bonsai career where it is time for me to start exploring collecting more in depth. I will always be seeking knowledge and information from more experienced like you. I am also currently taking Boon's intensives-Learning from Boon gives me much more confidence. Thank you for the feedback.
 
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rockm

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Yenling,

Didn't doubt your intention.

Just hinting that goals are terrific and there are many paths up the mountain.
 
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Rock I completely agree with you and am no way saying I'm a pro or an expert or novice. I'm a newbie by all means. But, at some point even the greatest of the great were newbies. I have to learn one way or another and I am at the point in my Bonsai career where it is time for me to start exploring collecting more in depth. I will always be seeking knowledge and information from more experienced like you. I am also currently taking Boon's intensives-Learning from Boon gives me much more confidence. Thank you for the feedback.
Just curious did you ever start end up collecting any trees.
 

Adair M

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I’ll say! That “Coffin Tree” he collected won at the Nationals last year! I was lucky to see him work it a couple times, and even helped at one of the repotting!

However...

I wonder about how he feels about that “first born”??? She’s pretty cute! I doubt he’d give her up now! lol!!!!

Jeremiah, you rock!
 

JudyB

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I’ll say! That “Coffin Tree” he collected won at the Nationals last year! I was lucky to see him work it a couple times, and even helped at one of the repotting!

However...

I wonder about how he feels about that “first born”??? She’s pretty cute! I doubt he’d give her up now! lol!!!!

Jeremiah, you rock!
That's true, shes astonishingly cute. Didn't he just have a son? Maybe could give that one up...
 

bwaynef

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That's true, shes astonishingly cute. Didn't he just have a son? Maybe could give that one up...
Quick! Before he's too attached.

Granted, he's one of the ones with the experience to be guiding collecting trips now, so I suppose his first- AND second-born are safe.

I'm glad this got dredged back up. What a testimony!
 

sorce

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Yeah...glad you didn't have to make those sacrifices!

Sorce
 

yenling83

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Wow, thanks for digging this one up-about 10 years old now @Kyleboldy2003 :) Well... I pretend to be hardcore when it comes to Bonsai, but I could not actually sacrifice my first born because she's too cute and it turns out I love her too much. Shortly after posting this I did go on one of my first real collecting trips and really fell in love with being in the mountains. Shout out to @Eric Schrader, Larry White, Boon and Peter Tea for giving me many tips on how to get started. I guess this thread is evidence that if you want something badly enough, you can make it happen!

Attached are some highlights/trees I've collected. I'm still very passionate about Bonsai and am in this for the long run.

Thank you @Adair M you rock my friend! Thanks @JudyB I just had a son last week, less time for collecting in the short term, but hopefully I can teach the kids a love for the mountains, when are you going to sell me your Silver berry;) Thank you @bwaynef @sorce & @kouyou you guys are too kind, really appreciate it:)
 

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bonsaichile

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Thank you everyone for the responses. Some great suggestions! I appreciate the feedback.

A response to Rock M's question, Why would you want to do that?

I love being out doors, hiking, camping, being in the mountains and getting exercise. On top of this hanging out with other Bonsai Folk is not bad either. I think going collecting would be a whole lot of FUN! Yes, I know that good trees are difficult to come by, but there is always that chance and if your in a good spot you never know. It's exciting, like treasure hunting. I don't care if 99 out of 100 times I don't find anything, because on that 100th's time I will.

On top of this, in terms of Bonsai someday I want to be one of the best. I believe that in order for myself to get there, I need to find amazing material and master collecting. I believe this is an important step to improve the quality of Bonsai in the U.S. Look at Walter Pall-he is smart about collecting, does it a lot and has collected trees which are to die for. With collecting so far I am 4 for 4 on survival. I am respectful, practice no trace left behind, and will ensure the best chance of survival for anything I collect.

I'll figure it out eventually and will find some amazing material. Just might take a while.
if you want to be one of the best, then invest that money in finding a good master to learn from, instead of collecting.
 
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