Unsatisfied with my club

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Chumono
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So, I have been at bonsai for just about a year now and my club had its annual picinic and auction this past weekend. I didn't want to show up with nothing for the auction, so I brought one planter with two Larch that I had dug up this spring. They aren't giant, but at the moment they would be great for a group planting, or a couple seasons in the ground would do them good to thicken up.

Noone else brought any plant material that is suitable for bonsai. Other than a couple small plants that might be OK for the landscape, the Larch I brought were the only living things on the table. Other than that, a couple pots and figurines and such. Although I did fetch the highest bid ($10) woo-friggin-hoo. I would have rather kept them, but I was hoping to be able to aquire some new material while I was there.

Don't know if there is a point to my rant, but I feel like I got swindled pretty hard.

gas to get to collecting site- $40
lunch -$15
pot and soil -$5
getting taken for all your worth by the senior club members- priceless

(not to mention the effort and sweat put into collecting)

-Dave
 

TimD

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But you made an effort. Next year bring twice as many. Who knows you might just start something.
 
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Hey Grasshopper,

Let me explain to you the ways of the bonsai world. Nobody's going to donate anything that's really good to a club auction, because if it's that good they'd keep it themselves and make a masterpiece. Secondly, you should give not expecting to get something in return, but for the joy of giving.

JC
 

Ed_Merc

Seedling
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No, the club is weak. Sorry.

My club just had it's yearly picnic. At our auction we had about 7 or 8 trees that would be considered great bonsai/pre-bonsai material, about 4 that where fantastic including a japanese black pine styled by Rob Kempinski and a huge bougainvillia. The small stuff was available for the taking.

I think you should find a better club. It's not true that people keep good stuff for themselves. Good clubs always share the wealth.

Ed
 

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Chumono
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Hey Grasshopper,

Let me explain to you the ways of the bonsai world. Nobody's going to donate anything that's really good to a club auction, because if it's that good they'd keep it themselves and make a masterpiece. Secondly, you should give not expecting to get something in return, but for the joy of giving.

JC

I brought them to help out the club, but it doesn't appear that anyone else gave it that much consideration. I didn't want to part with them as they would have worked great for a forest I had planned for next spring. I guess that will have to wait. I was just hoping to be able to get my hands on a species I have not attempted as of yet, or anything other than some roses or a small burning bush cutting. Wasn't looking for great bonsai material, just something different that could be cultivated as bonsai for practice.

-Dave
 

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Chumono
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No, the club is weak. Sorry.

My club just had it's yearly picnic. At our auction we had about 7 or 8 trees that would be considered great bonsai/pre-bonsai material, about 4 that where fantastic including a japanese black pine styled by Rob Kempinski and a huge bougainvillia. The small stuff was available for the taking.

I think you should find a better club. It's not true that people keep good stuff for themselves. Good clubs always share the wealth.

Ed

Thankfully, there are other clubs within an hour to an hour and a half drive, and schedule allowing I will try to get to some of those meetings.

-Dave
 
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Hey Ed_Merc

Hey Ed,

Depending on where you live, finding another club could be difficult. Some clubs are not well established and don't have the critical mass, experience or people with money to donate material that you might like. To simply walk away from a club without trying to make it better, or getting involved and trying to make a difference cheats you and the club of a great bonsai experience. Bonsai is more than just trees, it's relationships & camaraderie.

JC
 

treebeard55

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Without knowing more about the club and its history, I hesitate to comment except to say that such is not necessarily the norm!

Our local club had its annual picnic-cum-auction two days ago, and there was a good selection of plants as well as pots. I didn't find a new pine, as I'd hoped, but I got a new serissa (try #7, I think.) Nor did everything I took sell, but I broke even, so that's OK.

A key to enjoying these events, I think, is to go for the camaraderie and the chance to spend some time with others who "speak bonsai;" and as for the buying and selling, be flexible and open to the unexpected. I wasn't looking for a new serissa, but was ready to get one. When that appeared on the radar, I went ahead. As for another pine, I'll do more purposeful shopping another time.

Hope this helps.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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I hear that frustration and understand. Our club picnic/silent auction is in a couple weeks and I don't have very high expectations...I also wasn't planning to bring anything. Thanks for your post...after reading it, now I will. And I'll bring items that will hopefully raise the bar somewhat.

I guess I can either take my ball and go home, or play long enough to change the game. I like my club and the more I go, the more the club solicits my input...maybe the game is changing!

Best,
Brian
 

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Chumono
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Thanks for the input, I brought trees because of the various reasons you all mention. ie.. helping the club, providing other members with material, being a positive force in the club, etc... But I was just disappointed that I couldn't get anything else in return. I would have bid more for the trees I brought, but I didn't know if that was couth. I would have rather bid $20 bucks to myself and given $5 back to the club. Just wish more people would have brought some material. I am quite young compared to my bonsai bretheren, so the future is still bright. Thanks again to all.

-Dave
 
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For the future, place a minimum $ amount on your offering; if that minimum isn't met or exceeded, you get your tree back no questions asked.
 

HotAction

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For the future, place a minimum $ amount on your offering; if that minimum isn't met or exceeded, you get your tree back no questions asked.


I would have, but don't have the know how to place a minimum price. Thanks for the tip.

-Dave
 

Rick Moquin

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For the future, place a minimum $ amount on your offering; if that minimum isn't met or exceeded, you get your tree back no questions asked.

You beat me to the punch Greg, that is exactly what I was going to suggest. If the reserve is not met then, you are out nothing.

This is important as Dave mentioned. It will raise the bar and folks who see good material will bid on it. If they don't you are out nothing.

As far as what is a decent price, well what is it worth to you? I have a cheap (purchase price) Cotoneaster "Coral beauty" that mimics an apple tree, it is priceless, but I can be persuaded. But I can guarantee you it wouldn't be hitting an auction table under $200.
 

rockm

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"Let me explain to you the ways of the bonsai world. Nobody's going to donate anything that's really good to a club auction, because if it's that good they'd keep it themselves and make a masterpiece."

Bull. Absolute bull. A good club auction can draw some great material. People looking to trade up, get rid of surplus trees and pots can show up at actions. I've seen excellent old bonsai go for $50 at auction, where they would retail for over $500. I've bought great trees and pots at auction over the years, as well as pots and other "stuff."

What is available at any given auction depends, however, on the typical members' abilities, temperment and what they're tired of.

As for the collected stuff, I'd say expecting to get money for newly collected trees at an auction where folks might understand those trees may not make it isn't surprising. Trees collected only a few months ago aren't really a reliable purchase. OR maybe the club members aren't familiar with collected stuff.

In any case, if you're not satisfied with the club, find a new one. I did after I found one club that was basically hidebound by many things. I am fortunate I live in an area that has almost a dozen clubs within an hour's drive, though.
 
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jonathan

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Depending on the skill level / friends at your current club and the availability of other clubs in the vicinity and actual dates when you meet, I would enlist in a 2nd/3rd club.

My current club is my old one I used to be in (before my study break) but now I'm seriously considering enlisting in a 2nd one cause in the 1st ones the skill lvl is a bit rusted (not much progression anymore but they have a lot of technical info and good basic practical info), however the new club I'm considering is 1st of all specialized in Satsuki :D and the bar is quite a bit higher.

ps: 2 auctions a year beter chances of good stuff

just my 2 cents

greets jona.
 

Bill S

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Things are typically what you make of them. Take the lead to make improvements, are you on the clubs board, if not then volunteer, at this level is where policy decisions are made, help take the club in a higher direction.
 

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