Visiting Old Friends

Redwood Ryan

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Several years ago I sold a large part of my collection to someone who lives down the road from me. Ever since I got back into the hobby I've found that I deeply regret letting go a lot of the trees he now owns.

I went and visited the trees today and it was great to see them again, like visiting old friends. He's a good friend of mine, but a lot of the trees were leggy and unkempt. There was one that really bugged me, a beautiful microcarpa that I used to LOVE. It's in a sad state, but since this guy is a friend of mine I don't really know how to approach the situation.

Of all the trees he has of mine, this one is the one I would love back the most. It looks like it's seen better days, as his trees just sit by a large window in the winter.

Anyone have any suggestions on approaching this and seeing if there's any way I could purchase the tree back from him? How would you go about it?
 

Firstflush

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If he is really a good friend, make an offer. Obviously, speak truth to your feelings ..i.e. got back into the hobby and really enjoyed and miss the trees you sold him.

Or, ask if you can work on a tree or two, then ask and make an offer.
 

AcerAddict

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Putting myself in this exact situation, I'd be able to speak freely about the tree(s) if I was really that close to the person. Perhaps you can just start up a conversation with them about how you're getting back into bonsai as a hobby, and you sort of miss a couple of your old trees. Just be forthcoming and straight up ask if he would be willing to sell any of them back to you right now. If he says yes, then problem solved. If he says no, then it's up to you how much you want to press the issue.

In the end, you sold the trees freely and they're now his trees. If he doesn't want to sell any of them, then you really just need to let go and move on. Life is full of regret, and I regret selling some things over the years that I wish I could have back. However, it is what it is and I move on.

I watch Peter Chan's (Heron's Bonsai) videos on YouTube all the time, and he does SO many on trees that people bought from him, mistreated, then brought back to him in an effort to save them. As a seller, he can't control what people do with the trees after they leave his care. It hurts him to see the trees mistreated, but that's just how it is sometimes.

If he won't sell, then maybe you could at least offer to take one or more of the trees for while in an effort to bring them back to health or tidy them up or whatever. You may not be able to own them again, but at least you won't have to watch them sit there unkept and neglected.
 
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BrightsideB

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Being real with the situation is best. I’ve found expressing your feelings is best. We mask them a lot. But it is our best way of connecting, speaking, and understanding. Let him know what hurts your feelings about the situation. Also allowing that you don’t want the tree’s to stand in the way of friendship. Then see if you guys can work something out. But simply speaking your feelings about the situation is best. I’ve been in situations with friends that are similar. Usually when we understand the feelings of our friends we are happy to help. But he won’t be able to be empathetic unless you express emotions and you guy’s won’t be on the same page. He could end up denying you without knowing how you really feel. That’s a bad situation. At least you know he knows how you really feel if he ends up denying you.
 

Shogun610

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Like how good of a friend is he? Bust his balls good friend, or more of a acquaintance? Just straight up say wtf are you doing , let me show you how to take care of them. Or hey I’d like to buy x tree back cause it’s going to shit
 
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