When you die, what will become of your trees? Curious who's got this planned!

Cajunrider

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On a more serious note, except for the few of us who make it their profession, for the rest of us bonsai are borrowed joy from nature. I will gladly give away my bonsai when I am no longer able to enjoy them. Hopefully, I'll be able to plan that. If not, I trust my loved ones know whom to gift them. This is the reason why I shamelessly ask for them if anyone of us here have some and don't want them anymore because for me it's just me borrowing them to enjoy and care for a time before passing them on.
 

Vance Wood

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I will ask to plant them back to the nature after my death. What taken from nature go back to nature.
You cannot arrange for someone to take care of your tree but you expect some other person to take them out into the woods are replant them? Think about this one, it is really a journey in fantasy--- sorry, but show me where I am wrong. If your trees are so good as to acquire that kind of treatment and effort for someone then it is safe to assume that they would attracxt enough interest from other collectors to have them continue their lives as bonsai.
 

bwaynef

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I was surprised to learn that my wife has a pretty well thought-out plan for a scenario such as this. If I start seeing a flurry of mail from the insurance company I might need a place to stay for a little while.
 

amatbrewer

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I was surprised to learn that my wife has a pretty well thought-out plan for a scenario such as this. If I start seeing a flurry of mail from the insurance company I might need a place to stay for a little while.
Given all the "Informative Murder Porn" (if you are not a South Park fan you might have to look it up) she watches, I suspect my wife also has a pretty well thought-out plan. But probably not for my trees, unless I "accidentally" fall and impale myself on one. hmmm, I might need to reconsider some of my jin.
 

watchndsky

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trees.JPG

ive got 30ish that id consider somewhat finished or close and another 30-40 in training or in the ground. i dont really know anyone local that could take all that. there are a few members on here that i would honestly consider "willing" them to - and im sure my family would work with them after im gone- but who is going to (or able) to drop what they are doing, take days off work, coordinate with couple of people from other states, rent uhauls, and drive hundreds of miles for some trees?

id love the idea that they would go to good people and live on after im gone -its something that i spend more time thinking about as each year passes - but i dont have a solution yet.
 

Ali Raza

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You cannot arrange for someone to take care of your tree but you expect some other person to take them out into the woods are replant them? Think about this one, it is really a journey in fantasy--- sorry, but show me where I am wrong. If your trees are so good as to acquire that kind of treatment and effort for someone then it is safe to assume that they would attracxt enough interest from other collectors to have them continue their lives as bonsai.
In my country, people don't have any taste in bonsai. They just see it as ordinary plant or tree. When someone can't realize the worth of your work, it is better to hand it over to the mother nature. Or trees will slowly succumb to the death due to negligence. I haven't met any bonsai enthusiast locally in 3 years. You could hardly see any active member in this group are from my country. Hope someday I will find someone and change my mind, until then back to nature.
 
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In my country, people don't have any taste in bonsai. They just see it as ordinary plant or tree. When someone can't realize the worth of your work, it is better to hand it over to the mother nature. Or trees will slowly succumb to the death due to negligence. I haven't met any bonsai enthusiast locally in 3 years. You could hardly see any active member in this group are from my country. Hope someday I will find someone and change my mind, until then back to nature.
@Ali Raza makes a good point. When I die, I would hope that my trees would be sold to a young bonsai enthusiast that would continue their development.

If that isn't the case, I'd want them to be planted in the ground somewhere that they could be enjoyed, like a park or something, and possibly collected by someone. I know that my girlfriend and future wife wouldn't want to keep them, neither would my now 9 year old daughter, but maybe after we have a child together, our child would want to keep them.

Whatever the case may be, as long as my trees stay alive, I will be able to rest in peace...
 

rockm

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View attachment 242539

ive got 30ish that id consider somewhat finished or close and another 30-40 in training or in the ground. i dont really know anyone local that could take all that. there are a few members on here that i would honestly consider "willing" them to - and im sure my family would work with them after im gone- but who is going to (or able) to drop what they are doing, take days off work, coordinate with couple of people from other states, rent uhauls, and drive hundreds of miles for some trees?

id love the idea that they would go to good people and live on after im gone -its something that i spend more time thinking about as each year passes - but i dont have a solution yet.
It's a nice thought, but ain't gonna happen. Honestly, after you die, all this will be a burden for your family and probably a guilt trip. You're saddling them with emotionally fraught WORK, work they will HAVE to do. "Can't let these trees die. They're the only thing I have left of [insert relatives name]." Of course if your relatives don't have experience in caring for bonsai, they will kill them--imagine having that on your conscience...just sayin'

I've been thinking about this stuff for a couple of years now after handling my parents' estate. Like it or not, just about everything in an estate is destined for the second hand store or the dump. Estate sales are nice, but those "valuable" antiques, art etc. probably aren't going to sell, or sell for 1/4 what you think they're worth.

Unfortunately, bonsai are an extremely specific thing. Even your most expensive, spectacular tree is probably destined for the dump--even if you have set up care for them after you die. that care and transfer has to take place almost immediately after you pass or the trees die too.

If you think your survivors are going to have fun selling your trees for money, you're living in a dream world. They will probably have their hands full with your funeral and your more important property--house, bank accounts, settling any number of legal issues (and they come up repeatedly, particularly for your executor --you have a will right?--if you don't --- get one ASAP) etc. Bonsai and caring for bonsai is probably going to be the last thing on their minds.

This is all rather harsh, but it's mostly true. The best way to make sure your trees get into a place where they will live on is BEFORE YOU DIE. Giving them away, or selling your collection BEFORE YOU DIE AND WHILE YOU'RE IN RELATIVELY GOOD HEALTH will ensure most (probably not all, and probably not for all that much $$) will make it to homes. Of course that means you won't have them while you're around...
 

Cofga

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It is very unfortunate but true that most of the public and even our families have no idea how much care our trees require. This means that it is highly likely they will die within a week or two after we pass unless it is the dead of winter and the trees are dormant. As I described in an earlier post I have asked that my trees be offered first to the arboretum here in Asheville and what they don’t want give the rest to the local bonsai club to auction off or give to club members capable of caring for them. If I do reach a point where I can no longer care for them then I will take these steps myself. Since I have my trees on an automatic watering system if I do go in a car accident or massive hear attach/stroke the trees may last long enough to fond homes. As a possible alternative I am encouraging my daughter in her interest in bonsai. We will be attending the International Shohin expo in June and we’ll see if her interest is real, or just a passing thing after that.
 
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@rockm you're underestimating the importance of passing on trees, and the difficulty that people have accessing developed material

you're on the east coast of America, not on the moon. Message me on your deathbed, ill be there to pick up your trees and pots before your eyes close. Or keep a simple note somewhere for your family to contact me. I don't mind dealing with the import documents. I'll gladly keep a little museum label under each tree saying it came from you.

i'm 3 years into the hobby, and already easily have enough friends that I think I can count on. My family and friends know to reach out to @Wilson and @Cosmos and a few local nurseries first, at least for watering!

you're not asking friends or family to start repotting and thread grafting, you're asking them to water for a couple days while they contact people on the list you've made for them. if they can't do that for you as a last wish...
 

rockm

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@rockm you're underestimating the importance of passing on trees, and the difficulty that people have accessing developed material

you're on the east coast of America, not on the moon. Message me on your deathbed, ill be there to pick up your trees and pots before your eyes close. Or keep a simple note somewhere for your family to contact me. I don't mind dealing with the import documents. I'll gladly keep a little museum label under each tree saying it came from you.

i'm 3 years into the hobby, and already easily have enough friends that I think I can count on. My family and friends know to reach out to @Wilson and @Cosmos and a few local nurseries first, at least for watering!

you're not asking friends or family to start repotting and thread grafting, you're asking them to water for a couple days while they contact people on the list you've made for them. if they can't do that for you as a last wish...
Yeah, sure dude. My family prooobably ain't gonna reach out to someone I've talked with online for obvious reasons to take trees. You are INDEED asking for your family to go above and beyond in making contact with people they don't know about your trees. It is a HUGE imposition on their grief and time and legal obligations, even if you're not asking them to do much care. don't know if you've had to deal with estate matters after a close relative dies. If you have, you know there are a million things that have to happen in the days and weeks and months afterwards. Making sure my mediocre bonsai are somehow passed on to others is probably last on the list...

Last wishes are often pipe dreams for people on death beds. They OFTEN go astray or unfulfilled because of logistics, miscommunications and misunderstandings among siblings, relatives and other well-meaning people.

I will not saddle my son and/or spouse with my obsessive hobby. It's not their duty to carry on some kind of misinformed "legacy" I have pumped myself up into believing. I can only think of a handful of people whose trees might be worth the effort. For the most part, thinking that your trees are worth your immediate family's blood sweat and tears is an ego trip and nothing else.

I plan on selling my trees through consignment with long-time bonsai friends and bonsai professionals. I will do that BEFORE I go, probably well before I go (hopefully--God willing)
 
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Yeah, sure dude. My family prooobably ain't gonna reach out to someone I've talked with online for obvious reasons to take trees. You are INDEED asking for your family to go above and beyond in making contact with people they don't know about your trees. It is a HUGE imposition on their grief and time and legal obligations, even if you're not asking them to do much care. don't know if you've had to deal with estate matters after a close relative dies. If you have, you know there are a million things that have to happen in the days and weeks and months afterwards. Making sure my mediocre bonsai are somehow passed on to others is probably last on the list...

Last wishes are often pipe dreams for people on death beds. They OFTEN go astray or unfulfilled because of logistics, miscommunications and misunderstandings among siblings, relatives and other well-meaning people.

I will not saddle my son and/or spouse with my obsessive hobby. It's not their duty to carry on some kind of misinformed "legacy" I have pumped myself up into believing. I can only think of a handful of people whose trees might be worth the effort. For the most part, thinking that your trees are worth your immediate family's blood sweat and tears is an ego trip and nothing else.

I plan on selling my trees through consignment with long-time bonsai friends and bonsai professionals. I will do that BEFORE I go, probably well before I go (hopefully--God willing)
You make an excellent point here as well, I'll likely sell all of my trees or donate them to our Bonsai Society.

If I were rich, it would be cool to have them taken care of in my burial chamber, like the Terra Cotta soldiers, but I'd just rather them go to a good home...
 
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The best is to have a few local names and phone numbers available for the ones still living. Probably best to introduce the family to those people as well so they know who they are talking to after you go to heaven. You will not get much for prized ugly looking trees or crappy pots that you paid hundreds of dollars for. Don't know about you but to me the thought of having my name tie to the trees is more important then how much the trees can go for. I will give it away to a good hands rather than sell.
 

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