Tips on repotting both the smallest and largest of bonsai using the Mirai methodology

milehigh_7

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For the trolls and others around here, so you can go rest peacefully tonight: I spoke to the Mirai team. I've been told that after reviewing the videos, Ryan encourages me to continue distributing my videos and explicitly mentioning Mirai Live and himself in these videos but he prefers that I don't use the word Mirai in the title/description. As per Ryan's wish, I have changed the title/description text of the necessary videos and will continue to credit within the videos the source of the methodology being Mirai, or Ryan etc as the case may be. Overall a fully positive response with a minor request for adjustment from Ryan and the Mirai team who never questioned the quality of the information and of explicitly mentioning the provenance of the information as was my intention all along. For those that never experienced Mirai Live, I strongly suggest that you subscribe (it is free for a week) to the Pro level and experience for yourself the quality of the online education provided by Mirai Live with the live chat where Ryan answers all your questions during the stream and the live and forum Q&A's every week in addition to the pro content. Multiply that by 2 years and watching every single video and several multiple times and i think that gives anyone a very solid foundation. In addition I also study in person twice a year for 3 days with Walter Pall and Jim Doyle. I am pretty sure that I have a very solid foundation of bonsai knowledge. I will continue to making my videos for the love of bonsai and of teaching and I am sure that all who watch them will learn something from them.
This is exactly what I suggested! LOL! Way to take the high ground! Now go do your thing!
 

Bonsai Nut

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Ryan is doing a multi part series on Mr.Kimura. His name is in every episode title. Sure he studied under him. But I'd call that perfectly analogous
No way. Please don't tell me you consider Ryan's experience - where he had to first get a four-year college degree in horticulture, and wrote 20-odd letters to Mr. Kimura for almost two years requesting an apprenticeship, and THEN traveled to Japan where he lived, slept and breathed bonsai for six years... analogous to watching a bunch of video streams?

Sorry, I couldn't disagree more.

However Rafael has permission to do what he's doing, and I'm cool with it. By the broadest definition, half the members of this site are students of Ryan :) I'm certainly a big fan! And I agree - Bonsai Mirai has revolutionized online bonsai instruction.
 

PiñonJ

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I am pretty sure that I have a very solid foundation of bonsai knowledge. I will continue to making my videos for the love of bonsai and of teaching and I am sure that all who watch them will learn something from them.
Rafi, I applaud your desire to spread bonsai knowledge. Ryan is all about that. The problem comes when a video bills something as a “Mirai technique,” but demonstrates very superficial, or sometimes frankly incorrect knowledge of the technique. For example, Ryan indeed talks about addressing the points of greatest limitation in potting a tree, but the first step is always setting the planting angle by sculpting the base of the root mass so that when the tree sits flat on its base, it is at the right angle. He only uses props when this isn’t possible on a first repotting. Also, he doesn’t use bamboo “bridges.” One of his several tie-down techniques is to fashion a bamboo spike for use only in a dense, established root mass. The spike is tapped into the root mass horizontally, hard side up, and the wire tied down over it. Furthermore, your video shows you anchoring steel wire to a piece of copper wire across a drainage hole. That is absolutely not a Mirai technique and could be disastrous on anything but a tiny tree. As @Adair M stated, instructional videos can be very useful, but they can’t compare to in-person interaction with the teacher and, unless you are extremely careful, it’s easy to deviate from what’s being demonstrated without realizing it - especially at the pace of Ryan’s videos! Anyway, good luck with your bonsai education, both as student and teacher.
 

leatherback

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It takes a second and you get a reply to your exact question in very little time.
THIS is the EXACT reason why I keep coming here, and keep dealing with some personalities :).
I guess this is also the part why Mirai is considered revolutionary by some. Ryan manages to create an online archive of information by him, and goes into discussion with the live audience (if they pay enough?) answering questions directly.

Just calling Mirai a videostream does not give credit to the way he has set this up, which in my opinion is brilliant, although I do not have/take the time to sit down and watch videos for hours on end. I prefer to sit in my garden, spent a weekend at one of my teachers nurseries or at workshops. Which reminds me.. Off to class for me in a second. Did I mention who my teachers are? Should I?
 
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@Bonsai Nut i agree with the general perspective in your posts

i would note however that the use of the term ‘student’ is, like you said, a question of semantics.

Cambridge University Press is publishing my monograph in 2020, which is a Heidegerrian interpretation of Homeric poetry. Although he died 12 years before i was born, i have been introduced at conferences as a student of Heidegger, and when appropriate for the context i refer to myself in that way as well. I have spent 10 years reading his work on a daily basis.

the term is also regularly used of people whose thoughts align or operate within a given lineage or school of thought. one can be a student of the Frankfurt school, for example, which is simply a school of thought. There are people who will refer to themselves as “students of dawkins” having simply read one of his books. You may disagree with the term’s use in the latter example (i myself might take it with a grain of salt), but when the term *is* used in that way you readily understand what the person means

i’m commenting only on the uses and definition of the term—it is not my place to decide who is a student of what
 

M. Frary

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I highly recommend to anyone subscribing to Mirai Live. For sure the information is out there but in my opinion Mirai Live is revolutionary.
How can it be revolutionary when he goes over everything already known.
 
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Rafi, I applaud your desire to spread bonsai knowledge. Ryan is all about that. The problem comes when a video bills something as a “Mirai technique,” but demonstrates very superficial, or sometimes frankly incorrect knowledge of the technique. For example, Ryan indeed talks about addressing the points of greatest limitation in potting a tree, but the first step is always setting the planting angle by sculpting the base of the root mass so that when the tree sits flat on its base, it is at the right angle. He only uses props when this isn’t possible on a first repotting. Also, he doesn’t use bamboo “bridges.” One of his several tie-down techniques is to fashion a bamboo spike for use only in a dense, established root mass. The spike is tapped into the root mass horizontally, hard side up, and the wire tied down over it. Furthermore, your video shows you anchoring steel wire to a piece of copper wire across a drainage hole. That is absolutely not a Mirai technique and could be disastrous on anything but a tiny tree. As @Adair M stated, instructional videos can be very useful, but they can’t compare to in-person interaction with the teacher and, unless you are extremely careful, it’s easy to deviate from what’s being demonstrated without realizing it - especially at the pace of Ryan’s videos! Anyway, good luck with your bonsai education, both as student and teacher.
Hi @PiñoJ, I am glad to discuss technique. You are not correct on several issues. First, the base of the root mass on the large Thuja was the point that I left untouched as I didn't need to decrease the depth and as the point that I left untouched, I used props to hold the angle that I wanted, even if I had made a flat cut, I would have had to use props to hold that angle on such a heavy tree. Second, Ryan definitely uses bamboo bridges, I didn't invent this. He also uses bamboo stakes but the root mass in this case was too tiny for that. Third, I have never seen Ryan use the piece of copper across the drainage to hold wires, that is definitely not something I learned from him, who know where I've seen it or if I invented it, I don't care frankly. I would use that only on pots with a single drainage hole on which I don't want to drill additional holes. I find it hard to imagine why that could be disastrous on a larger tree. Please tell me. Lastly, I am not comparing instructional videos to in-person instruction, I think there is a place for both.
 

M. Frary

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Third, I have never seen Ryan use the piece of copper across the drainage to hold wires
A short piece of steel works better.
Or a piece of dowel.
They wont bend when you cinch the copper or aluminum wire used to hold down trees.
It's a very old technique.
Like I said.
Ryan nor you invented any of this stuff.
It's been in use for a long time.
It's on this site even.
Never bore extra holes into a pot.
It let's moisture in so when they freeze they crack.
Especually on glazed pots.
 

Anthony

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Mottie

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A short piece of steel works better.
Or a piece of dowel.
They wont bend when you cinch the copper or aluminum wire used to hold down trees.
It's a very old technique.
Like I said.
Ryan nor you invented any of this stuff.
It's been in use for a long time.
It's on this site even.
Never bore extra holes into a pot.
It let's moisture in so when they freeze they crack.
Especually on glazed pots.
Yes, true it could bend, a gauge proportional to the size would be required. In any case, it is hard to find pots with a single drainage bigger than say some 10 inches, so a piece an inch long of copper gauge 6 or 4 that is already hardened would probably hold its shape. I've seen several including Ryan drill new holes in ceramics. As far as I understand, if done properly will not crack the glaze and if it is good quality ceramics it will resist freeze/thaw without issues.
 

Fabledabel

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How can it be revolutionary when he goes over everything already known.
It being revolutionary doesn't have to involve you. It brings an art to interested people in a completely new way for starters.
 

PiñonJ

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A short piece of steel works better.
Or a piece of dowel.
I use a piece of bamboo, hard side down, with the tie-down wire wrapped around it a couple of times. It’s extremely stiff and durable. Drilling holes in a good clay body is not a problem, but there is a technique to it so that you don’t blow out the back side of the hole.
 

sorce

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I use a piece of bamboo, hard side down, with the tie-down wire wrapped around it a couple of times. It’s extremely stiff and durable. Drilling holes in a good clay body is not a problem, but there is a technique to it so that you don’t blow out the back side of the hole.
World record "that's what she said".

Sorce
 

M. Frary

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it will resist freeze/thaw without issues
Not here.
There's freezing and then theres freezing.
The slightest crack or opening to the glaze on a pot and they're done.
And this is also something to remember.
What works for some may not work for others.
Out where you guys live you get winter but its mild.
Where I live its brutal.
I don't even look at glazed pots anymore.
 

M. Frary

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;)
Choose not to, as I respect the people I learn from. I do not want to have my mistakes / error to reflect bad upon those who have earned respect in the field.
Wise,very wise.
 

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