"phoenix graft", any fans???

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I have this parson juniper, was thinking about phoenix grafting onto a podocarpus stump... I have never done this before mainly because, I had always for some reason kinda felt I was cheating in a way???
So, the juniper is ok... but combined with the stump, it kinda takes it into a whole new level. I just wired it to the stump for the moment, I don't currently have my die grinder to cut a groove for it... But when I get it back, the two will become one... and I need to do alot of carving on the stump. The really good thing about podocarpus, is that the wood is hard as nails...
Any thoughts??? Suggestions???
 

Colorado Slim

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I don't know what others would say, but I think with a little carving on the stump it could be beautiful... keep us up with a progression :)
 

John Ruger

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yeah, you can have some amazing results.
 

sam

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go for it stacey:

if the joining of the deadwood and juniper make a pleasing result, why not? sharing one of mine.

best wishes, sam
 

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bonsai barry

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Don't hesitate to do a Phoenix graft! I like them for three reasons:
1) It's an instant aging process.
2) All of that deadwood provides for great artistic visions
3) If you mess up on carving the dead stump, you have not lost the tree. I'm working on one now, and exploring different carving techniques that I might hesitate to try on a mature living tree.

Go for it!
 
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thanks for the comments...I appreciate it, as soon a I get my die gringer back, I will be very busy.
Sam, awesome tree... very nice work!!!
 
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Give it horns Stacy. All bonsai trees are manipulated by us to either a greater or lesser extent. If you look at the level of manipulation performed by Kimura and others at the top of the game, in my eyes it is one and the same. At the end of the day, if you don't have access or the money or fame to work on that kind of material, why should you limit yourself? I don't see the difference between creating a jin or creating a nice thick trunk. Both are manipulation to create something that was not there to start with, and I don't see why adding to a tree should be any more frowned upon than taking away from it.

Enjoy, and I think the tree has a great future with the necessary care and attention!

Cheers,

Andrew
 

Colorado Slim

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Sam, that tree is magnificent :)

Stacy, can't wait to see the result, when are you planning on doing the work?
 

october

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Hello Stacy... I like the rough composition so far. You will need to treat the wood with a good wood hardener. I believe some people actully soak the wood in a wood hardened for weeks before they use it.. I believe they lime sulfur some areas before they apply the wood hardener/preserver.

Sam, that is a beautiful graft, one of the better ones that I have seen.. This is my shohin tanuki.


Rob
 

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Attila Soos

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The thing with the Phoenix grafts, you either love them, or hate them.

You can probably guess which side I am.:rolleyes:...but that's beside the point. It's really important to create a perfect and seamless match, otherwise the point is lost.

(Sam, that's a beautiful tree, too bad that the cat's out, so I had to change my mind about offering you big bucks :)
And October, that's not too shabby either. You guys are good!)
 
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thanks everyone for the comments and ecouragements, It's interesting to see everyone elses views on this type of technique... that is one of the reasons why I put up the post. Like I have mentioned I have not really been a fan, but I have found myself asking why not, and agreeing with those that are saying that as well... If one grafts extra roots onto a plant, would that not also be a similiar manipulation of as well ??? hmmmm...
I think that if it is done right, seemlessly, and no one could tell...
both sam's and rob's are done right!!!
as far as when I will ge to this... I won't be able for another couple of weeks... but I am not in that big of a rush, kinda letting it brew for a while... and figure out how I want to do it...
 

sam

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sorry stacy:

I didnt intend to horn in on your post. thanks for the kind words, friends.

best wishes, sam
 
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not a problem... I appreciated the posting of your tree, it let's me as well as others see what can be done... and can totally understand comments posted reguarding it !!!
 

jk_lewis

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There is nothing wrong with a phoenix graft so long as you don't try to pass it off as what it isn't. I only have one. I created it in 1997. It stands 10 inches tall from the pot rim. It's probably the only one I'll ever do, though I keep on collecting deadwood . . . . :confused:

This picture is a year old, and it needed a haircut.
 

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There is nothing wrong with a phoenix graft so long as you don't try to pass it off as what it isn't.

Hey JKL, I guess the question is: Where do we define what is real, and what is not?

Let me elaborate. Must we declare a root graft for improved nebari? Must we declare a grafted branch? In theory these are additions to a tree that were not there beforehand. This is exactly the same as popping a new trunk onto a tree is it not? I'm not really sure about this . . . a bit like editing a digital photo and what is and is not allowed to be entered into a photography competition. I guess if one wants to stick to Japanese bonsai tradition a phoenix graft is considered to be a Tanuki (I hope I'm right), but what would it be called in Chinese tradition, and is it even practiced in China? (I don't know the answer) I guess this is where the lines blur in the world of bonsai, or should I call it the world of little trees to avoid all the categorisation we seem to inherit from the Japanese?

Is passing it off as something it isn't not what we do with all bonsai trees as I doubt there is one out there that is not manipulated in some way.

I'm not really sure what the answer is, but I'm throwing it out there all the same as I feel it to be an interesting debate. :)

Cheers,

Andrew
 

Attila Soos

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Here is a similar question:

If you had a choice between these two trees:

One is 1000 years old, collected as a yamadori in the mountains, and trained for 10 years.

The other one is only 40 years old, grown from seed, and then glued and carved to a big chunk of drift-wood.

The two are very similar-looking, in size, shape, and proportion, and of the same species.


Which one would you like to have?
Would you argue that there is not much difference between the ancient metuselah, and the youngster, because they look similar, and both have bonsai training? (same could be argued for a 10 carat real diamond, and a 10 carat artificial diamond, since both look the same and have identical chemical composition.. but I doubt that they'd fetch the same price). How about a real Rembrandt and a perfect copy?
 
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Colorado Slim

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People are defined through their history, it helps us determine our future. Our minds may see the trees as the same, but our hearts know otherwise. I believe most people would choose the 1000 year old tree, even if it were not as well done as the graft simply for the story involved, all the things that this tree has experienced through it's life. There's nothing wrong with a graft, I will be working on a few starting next spring (I'm working on the deadwood now), but we are the collection of our past generations and ties to that history is invaluable.
 
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Agree with you almost 100% Attila. I am sure that the old tree would be chosen every time by almost every one of us. In my mind however that type of material is rare and not available to everyone. Take me as an example. I live in South Africa where Junipers are not indigenous, and that kind of material is very simply not available. Sure, we have some stunning old olives, but not junipers. This means that the closest I could ever dream to come to a tree with that look and feel is by means of a phoenix graft. Whilst I will quite probably not achieve the exact look of a very old tree, I can get reasonably close. The other aspect of course is that I believe that to take responsibility for such an old and rare specimen, one owes it to the tree to have a certain level of competance and commitment, so for those of us who may feel intimidated by such material, phoenix grafting is a good way to go. Finally, cost. The cost of buying an old tree is very high and they are consequently out of reach for most of us who don't have the privaledge of being able to collect them. Phoenix graft is therfore a more affordable option.

At the end of the day, I guess I have answered my own question (at least with my opinion), and my answer seems to be that whilst a phoenix graft tree will probably never replace an old tree, it is an alternative that has its place. Is it "fake"? In my opinion, not any more so than any other bonsai. I may be wrong though.

Cheers
 

rockm

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"Let me elaborate. Must we declare a root graft for improved nebari? Must we declare a grafted branch? In theory these are additions to a tree that were not there beforehand. This is exactly the same as popping a new trunk onto a tree is it not?"

No, it's not. With a phoenix graft it's not just a branch or root. It is a wholesale transfer of a separate tree onto another tree. The piece of deadwood you're transferring the whip to may be 500 years old. The new tree may be two...It is a big deal if the subject tree is being sold as a 500 year old specimen. It's not a big deal if everyone knows its a graft and it is priced accordingly.

In the art world, such a wholesale transfer profit for without public knowledge or it is called "fraud" or "forgery."
 

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