Why do the Japanese grow their stock to take very long

Njyamadori

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So I’ve been looking at how people grow their bonsai stock . I’ve noticed that Americans put their seedlings in the ground or the biggest containers ever to get maximum growth. But then I see the Japanese put their seedlings in very small containers and grow the bonsai to take 100 years other then like 10. Is this just a misconception and not the truth about the Japanese or is this what they actually do since I’ve never been to Japan to see for myself. And if they actually do why do they do this and not do the “American” way ?
 

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Njyamadori

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Bonsai Nut

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And if they actually do why do they do this and not do the “American” way ?
It is funny you have this perception. I have the exact opposite - that the majority of Japanese trees are field grown, and they are only lifted when they are ready to begin refinement. I actually believe most "Americans" move their trees to pots far too early.

And as far as the tree in that image goes - looks mostly dead to me. Don't know many deciduous pines, LOL!
 

Shogun610

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This video is misleading… there are so many methods to get good bonsai and thicker trunk by field growing , collecting and other techniques. The fact that they say oh this is a 15 y.o juniper but it’s kept in the same small pot all its life .. of course it’s not gonna be a bigger than that. Again that video is misleading and I’d take it w a grain of salt .. so many other resources and videos even from Japan that would speak otherwise.
 

Arlithrien

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So I’ve been looking at how people grow their bonsai stock . I’ve noticed that Americans put their seedlings in the ground or the biggest containers ever to get maximum growth. But then I see the Japanese put their seedlings in very small containers and grow the bonsai to take 100 years other then like 10. Is this just a misconception and not the truth about the Japanese or is this what they actually do since I’ve never been to Japan to see for myself. And if they actually do why do they do this and not do the “American” way ?
This is a generalization but in my experience the Japanese love mini versions of things. The smaller the better. Their culture also seems to value the discipline of working extremely hard to make something as close to perfection as possible.
 

Njyamadori

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It is funny you have this perception. I have the exact opposite - that the majority of Japanese trees are field grown, and they are only lifted when they are ready to begin refinement. I actually believe most "Americans" move their trees to pots far too early.

And as far as the tree in that image goes - looks mostly dead to me. Don't know many deciduous pines, LOL!
I just never seen the Japanese ground grow even though I’ve only been paying attention to bonsai for a little more than a year . I always thought the Japanese only collected or put all of their seedlings in pots like this video. Pretty funny how people’s perceptions are very different though .

And yes that tree now looks dead to me 😂
 

Njyamadori

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This video is misleading… there are so many methods to get good bonsai and thicker trunk by field growing , collecting and other techniques. The fact that they say oh this is a 15 y.o juniper but it’s kept in the same small pot all its life .. of course it’s not gonna be a bigger than that. Again that video is misleading and I’d take it w a grain of salt .. so many other resources and videos even from Japan that would speak otherwise.
Thanks I will try to get more Japanese resources to see how it actually is .
 

rockm

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So I’ve been looking at how people grow their bonsai stock . I’ve noticed that Americans put their seedlings in the ground or the biggest containers ever to get maximum growth. But then I see the Japanese put their seedlings in very small containers and grow the bonsai to take 100 years other then like 10. Is this just a misconception and not the truth about the Japanese or is this what they actually do since I’ve never been to Japan to see for myself. And if they actually do why do they do this and not do the “American” way ?
That pic of the old woman with the "15 year-old" tree is priceless. either the old chick is lying or has no conception of how bonsai works. That yellowing pine seedling in that teeny tiny pot is what passes for 'bonsai" in Japan now. "Pop," "freestyle" and kokedama bonsai are shadows of "traditional" bonsai. They involve cute widdle twees in tiny pots that have more to do with decor than horticulture and are mostly disposable. Mostly adored by J-Pop, manga fans and hipster folk who have no idea about what bonsai is.
 

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@rockm I know you have larger trees, but have you ever tried keeping something as small as mame?
 

rockm

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@rockm I know you have larger trees, but have you ever tried keeping something as small as mame?
I have a mame boxwood and some shohin sized trees as well as the larger ones. Have had them for years
 

leatherback

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That pic of the old woman with the "15 year-old" tree is priceless. either the old chick is lying or has no conception of how bonsai works.
I'd recommend watching the video. Not convinced she has no conception of bonsai, nor that she is lying.

 

Pitoon

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I have a mame boxwood and some shohin sized trees as well as the larger ones. Have had them for years
Would love to see what your mame looks like, if you care to share.
 

bwaynef

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You may also want t consider landmass and populations of both countries as well.
 

Bonsai Nut

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I'd recommend watching the video. Not convinced she has no conception of bonsai, nor that she is lying.
I have to question (having watched the video) whether process is overwhelming result.

The woman in the video, who appears to have tons of experience, also has an interest in growing seedlings in tiny tiny pots. Though I think the process is interesting, the result (a sickly, leggy tree) is not (at least to me). After all, if the goal of bonsai is to create the sense of an old tree in nature, how does growing a seedling in a tiny pot accomplish this?

You could argue... well some amazing trees in nature are amazing because they grew in very hostile environments from the moment they germinated. But I don't see the connection. You don't have to make your trees suffer adverse conditions. You just want them to LOOK like they did. This woman is spending years and years growing plants in harsh conditions... when the end result is that they look like what I could accomplish with a two year seedling and some wire. Oh and my tree would be green. If you have to TELL someone your little seedling is 25 years old, haven't you already failed?
 

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