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Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
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It was 80 F yesterday and, based on the extended forecast, spring seems to be here to stay. I was out in the garden this morning and decided to take some pictures since everything is popping right now. It was a hard winter for my collection. The oak tree that fell last December flat out killed what may have been my best tree and damaged many more, broke some expensive pots, as well as destroying or damaging most of my benches. The upside down weather we've had in February and March took it's toll as well... lost my sweet shohin gogi berry semi cascade and all of the cuttings I started from it, and I'm currently watching one of my collected Rocky Mountain junipers suffer a slow death (moved it out of turface and into Clay King and a better pot health wise a year ago and it grew well last year- go figure). My 18 year old daughter was an infant the last time I lost trees of this quality and it nearly made me quit the hobby. Here's the deal, though... you can't play this game and not expect to take some losses from time to time. Anyway, the pay back is on a day like today when I can see the upside to this hobby. The benches are rebuilt and most of my trees are growing well and enjoying the warm weather. Most are long term projects... losing the red pine and gogi berry hurts because they were my most show ready trees. Still, I'm in this for the long term and really enjoy the process... it's the journey, right;).IMG_0776.jpgIMG_0775.jpgIMG_0767.jpgIMG_0762.jpgIMG_0763.jpgIMG_0764.jpgIMG_0765.jpg
 
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M. Frary

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Here's the deal, though... you can't play this game and not expect to take some losses from time to time.
So true.
A tree here and there dieing from heavy handedness happens to everyone.
It's the big losses that make you think sometimes all this isn't worth it. But this is also what separates the people that have bonsai in their veins. These people suck it up and move forward.
Hats off Dave! Your story should be an inspiration to a lot here. Big losses,keep going,never stop.
 

Random User

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@Dav4

"It was 80 F yesterday and, based on the extended forecast, spring seems to be here to stay."

I'll make a weak attempt to lift your spirits... it was -5C overnight and has not cracked +7C as a daytime high yet this spring. At times it seemed Winter moved in to stay. However, there is a bright side to this in that we don't typically have to shuffle (native) trees in and out of cover for days and weeks on end, when Spring hits, it usually comes overnight.

Last year we had an unusually deep snow pack and when spring hit, the shifting snow and ice took it's toll on many of mine... and, the deep snow pack allowed for a favourable environment for the mice to ravage anything underneath and out of sight. The lil beggars not only ate the trunks of my cherry trees, but followed the roots down into the pots and ate all of the largish roots... not a one survived. Any of the maples that they didn't ring the bark all the way around the base managed to survive, (and some of them even thrived) but I lost some that had too much damage.

I think it's fair to say we all take our knocks (or are bound to), and there are advantages and disadvantages to living in any particular part of the world... resiliency, is that "gooey stuff" that keeps us moving forward after loosing all the time, effort, knowledge and money that is represented in any tree.

Bonsai are like digging boogers in that sense... oftentimes, it's difficult to pin-point when the process started, but just try and stop before you've completed the task; man, thats a challenge!

(BTW, I really like your bald cypress... a totally unrealistic tree for this zone though.)
 

Cadillactaste

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I knew you were hit hard when that tree fell...but hearing your losses...I still ended up gasping out loud reading your losses. Licking wounds...and seeing the blessings still on the bench. Is what it's about.

But it does cause an ache deep when you lose the good ones. When I lost the exposed root raft maple...dang...it hurt. I pondered why I did bonsai when something's are out of our control. My husband said...the pride while it was on my bench is what I need not let go of...even though short lived. Those trees will always hold fond memories...I am glad you have that. Showing the goji...very prideful moment for sure...dang...so sorry you lost it and the red pine.

Your benches look great...and a lot of neagari projects under way. So glad to see that not all use pumice in their projects. I have the two projects going now in larger substrate...but ordered pumice for my next projects for the training of roots to go down. Some neat neagari there on your benches...and those clumps catch my eye. But hearing the losses...remind us...dang gone it...it happens. But we will overcome!!!

Again...so sorry to hear of the below the belt hits you took this year.
 

Dav4

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Okay. :cool:

Now that is done, @Dav4, what's next? :rolleyes:

Shiner time?
Well, today’s been another busy one. I’m taking my son to his driver’s ed class right now, and I took my daughter to her friend’s funeral earlier... if watching someone else bury their 22 year old daughter doesn’t put things in perspective, nothing will. I’m going to pick up some tomato plants on the way home, get them planted before the storms get here, crack a cold one and enjoy the view off my deck?.
 

Cadillactaste

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Well, today’s been another busy one. I’m taking my son to his driver’s ed class right now, and I took my daughter to her friend’s funeral earlier... if watching someone else bury their 22 year old daughter doesn’t put things in perspective, nothing will. I’m going to pick up some tomato plants on the way home, get them planted before the storms get here, crack a cold one and enjoy the view off my deck?.
Sure puts things into perspective. My youngest son...got his permit today...should have gotten them last year. But a kid he has gone all through school with...was a passenger in the back seat of a head on...he has tramatic brain injury. It's made my son gun ahy to say the least to see that young man struggle to just run a comb through his hair...but there was a time he couldn't move his arms without assistance. Baby steps become milestones. He's scared of the other driver. On our way home...I was almost hit head on by a motorcycle. You just have to try not to be distracted and be defensive of a driver.
Its hard burying one who hasn't had a real chance to live...been there to many times. Prayers for your daughter and those who will feel the loss of their friend/daughter/sister/granddaughter...the list of how many effected are on and on.
 

Carol 83

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Well, today’s been another busy one. I’m taking my son to his driver’s ed class right now, and I took my daughter to her friend’s funeral earlier... if watching someone else bury their 22 year old daughter doesn’t put things in perspective, nothing will. I’m going to pick up some tomato plants on the way home, get them planted before the storms get here, crack a cold one and enjoy the view off my deck?.
I will just say, there is nothing worse than losing a child. You can always buy/grow another tree. Not meaning to minimize the loss of your trees, though.
 

Dav4

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I will just say, there is nothing worse than losing a child. You can always buy/grow another tree. Not meaning to minimize the loss of your trees, though.
Exactly! I posted this thread earlier today with a bit of a heavy heart, knowing I would be going to the funeral. My daughter's friend was beautiful, accomplished, funny, clever and I feel worse for the world losing her then I ever could for a lost tree. Spring is about rebirth and the anticipation of something better and seeing the trees in my yard growing so well after a crummy winter lifted my spirits on what I knew would be a difficult day.
 
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