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Old 10-02-2003, 04:26 AM
sam crowell
 
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Default [IBC] Juniper Bonsai life expectancy?

i just got a juniper bonsai tree and it looks fairly young maybe 2-3
years.
anyhow, i'm wondering how long can i expect this to live? lets say i
were to
care for it and repot, water, give good sunshine, feed and everything else
expected of a good master...


If you provide what the tree needs, give it proper care and first and
foremost, learn its needs, you should have a tree for many many years. I
have some three year old seedlings that I plan to give to my son someday, if
he develops an interest in bonsai (they are the same age as he is). If he
develops the interest, I am fairly sure, barring accident or lapse in care
on my part, they should outlast me.

If you are keeping it indoors, about a week.


And while this is true, it is also about the most unhelpful, discouraging
comment I have seen here in a long time.

Sam Crowell
Klamath Falls, OR

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Old 10-02-2003, 04:26 AM
Colin Lewis
 
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Default [IBC] Juniper Bonsai life expectancy?

From: MainAt
hi i just got a juniper bonsai tree and it looks fairly
young maybe 2-3 years. anyhow, i'm wondering
how long can i expect this to live?


Treat it right and it will still be going strong long afte you have left
this earth.

Colin

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Old 10-02-2003, 09:55 AM
Steve Jones
 
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Default [IBC] Juniper Bonsai life expectancy?

Colin Lewis wrote:

Treat it right and it will still be going strong long afte you have left
this earth.

Colin



Colin,

Welcome back to IBC.

When you get a chance ... gives us Brits an idea of how it goes in the "land of opportunity"

Regards

Steve


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Old 10-02-2003, 04:25 PM
Jim Lewis
 
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Default [IBC] Juniper Bonsai life expectancy?

hi i just got a juniper bonsai tree and it looks fairly
young maybe 2-3 years. anyhow, i'm wondering
how long can i expect this to live? lets say i were
to care for it and repot, water, give good sunshine,
feed and everything else expected of a good master...


I assume from the message that you are inexperienced with bonsai.

I also assume that what you have is a pre-formed,
already-in-the-pot commercially produced bonsai. We call them
Mallsai.

If both (or either, actually) of these assumptions is correct,
the answer -- unfortunately -- is "not long" unless you are lucky
and a fast learner.

You have the right attitude, through. It has a chance if you
"care for it, repot, water and give good sunshine, feed and
everything else . . ."

Maybe I can help.

1. As Iris said, it should be outdoors 24 hours a day and 7 days
a week for 52 weeks a year (unless you live where it gets REALLY,
REALLY cold where it will required some winter protection. That
does NOT mean to bring it inside the warm house. A cold frame,
unheated garage or basement, etc. is necessary to allow it
dormancy. If you have it inside now, and temps are still below
freezing in your area, keep it inside, in a sunny location, and
move it out as soon as freezing weather is over.

2. If it was a mall-bought (including Home Depot and roadside
kiosks) juniper bonsai it probably has a soil surface that is
covered with rocks the size of your thumb (or thereabouts).
Chances are these rocks are glued on the surface of the soil.
Get rid of them. Now. Replace the resulting void with a
good-quality potting soil.

3. A few words about watering: Too much water is as bad as
(maybe worse) than too little water, especially for a juniper.
ONLY water when the soil feels dry an inch or so under the
surface. How do you tell? Keep a stick jammed into the soil
about half way between the trunk and the rim of the pot. Pull it
out at the same time every day and feel the dirty end. If it is
damp, do NOT water. If it feels dry, Water. If you got a sheet
of instructions with your tree they undoubtedly said to water by
plopping the pot in a sink-full of water and let the pot soak it
up. This is not good for the soil -- especially the soil that
most Mallsai come planted in. Use a watering can and water from
the top -- like rain.

4. Feeding. Don't overdo. Any houseplant fertilizer will be
fine. Monthly is all it will need. Don't start until March or
April.

6. Rush to your nearest bookstore or garden center and purchase
the Sunset book on Bonsai.

7. Find a local bonsai club and join. The old timers there can
help easier than we can. If you write us again, please tell us
where you live. It makes giving advice easier because chances
are we have someone from your general area on the IBC.

And, 8. If this tree dies, it probably isn't your fault. Fully
half (maybe more) of all Malsai are DOA in the store, much less
the purchaser's hands. It takes weeks for a juniper to look
dead.

Good luck, and welcome to the world of bonsai.

Jim Lewis - - Tallahassee, FL - Our life is
frittered away by detail . . . . Simplify! Simplify. -- Henry
David Thoreau - Walden

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Old 11-02-2003, 09:25 PM
Colin Lewis
 
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Default [IBC] Juniper Bonsai life expectancy?

From: Steve Jones

When you get a chance ... gives us Brits an idea of how it goes in the "land
of opportunity"



Well, apart from the fact that some nasty American fungus kiled my larch,
and the summer was so darn hot that one of my pines has suffered, and the
winter here is brutally cold and three times as long as in the UK....

Nah - these are teething problems. Truth is that I am far busier than i
thought possible. I have abslutely no regrets whatsoever about making this
move.

The level of enthusiasm, the desire to learn, the warmth of the people are
all at least as good as in Europe, if not better. The only downside is that
American society as considerably more regimented and conformist that in
Europe (heads down, duck the bullets!). For example, people here want to
work by calendar dates rather than by sniffing the wind and following nature
- and they seem to want to follow rigid formulae rather than be creative and
break the mould. This isn't just bonsai, but it is more prevalent in
bonsai, probably because of the way bonsai has been taught in the past.

Interestingly, once my students discover that they are allowed to do
something a little off the wall, they are delighted and nothing will stop
them.

The material in America (on the eastern side, at least) is not as good as in
Europe. There are fewer suitable species, and those that are most suitable
are conifers - jack pine, pitch pine, ponderosa pine (if you have the
patience) and some junipers (although all American junipers have a nasty
habit of producing too much juvenile foliage). Virtually all te deciduous
trees have leaves twice the size of their European counterparts. Perhaps
that explains the near obsession with Japanese and Chinese imported species.

There are some exceptions: Ilex vomitoria, which grows further south is
fantastic, really! Swamp cypress (also in the south) and some of the
fruiting species are great. Generally, the easiest material to find is in
front yards or in parking lots - yews and junipers mostly. They are
constantly pruned to little balls or flat-topped bushes, so they have lots
of inner growth. I have dug out a couple of real beauties!

Then, of course, there's Florida - where I honestly learned to appreciate
tropical species. Seeing them grown outside in a climate that suits them
was a real education for me. In fact, there are a couple of species -
noteably ficus nerifolia and bucida spinosa - that I really wish I could
grow effectively here in the north.

Soooo - there you have it

Colin

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Old 11-02-2003, 09:25 PM
Jim Lewis
 
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Default [IBC] Juniper Bonsai life expectancy?


The level of enthusiasm, the desire to learn, the warmth of the

people are
all at least as good as in Europe, if not better. The only

downside is that
American society as considerably more regimented and conformist

that in
Europe (heads down, duck the bullets!). For example, people

here want to
work by calendar dates rather than by sniffing the wind and

following nature
- and they seem to want to follow rigid formulae rather than be

creative and
break the mould. This isn't just bonsai, but it is more

prevalent in
bonsai, probably because of the way bonsai has been taught in

the past.

This, too, you can blame on the *&^%$# Puritans that you folks
sent us back in the mid to late 1500s and into the 1600s (I'm
sure you sent them over because you saw what narrow, bigoted
B-----ds they were and wanted no part of them.) :-/ The
Puritans are to blame for much that is wrong in our society
today -- including "Compassionate Conservatism."


Interestingly, once my students discover that they are allowed

to do
something a little off the wall, they are delighted and nothing

will stop
them.


Yeah. Once you show us that everything Mama taught us is isn't
gospel, we cut loose. ;-)

Jim Lewis - - Tallahassee, FL - "People,
when Columbus discovered this country, it was plum full of nuts
and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just
about all gone." -- Uncle Dave Macon, old-time musician

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Old 11-02-2003, 09:25 PM
Andy Rutledge
 
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Default [IBC] Juniper Bonsai life expectancy?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Colin Lewis"
The level of enthusiasm, the desire to learn, the warmth of the people are
all at least as good as in Europe, if not better. The only downside is

that
American society as considerably more regimented and conformist that in
Europe (heads down, duck the bullets!). For example, people here want to
work by calendar dates rather than by sniffing the wind and following

nature
- and they seem to want to follow rigid formulae rather than be creative

and
break the mould. This isn't just bonsai, but it is more prevalent in
bonsai, probably because of the way bonsai has been taught in the past.

------------

When one begins an endeavor (like bonsai), there should be one way, and only
one way, shown for how to do most of the basics. Things should be taught in
the manner that says, "this is how you do this and you do it this way every
time." There should be no room for modification, variation, exceptions,
etc... This way students get the basics down and when they've got the
basics down and are skilled in applying them, the variations, the
exceptions, the modifications will become apparent and the student can grow.
This is when the exceptions and variations can be best explored.

Here in the U.S., too many are immediately concerned with the exceptions to
the rule, the variations on the basics, and these distracting irrelevancies
prevent most from ever concentrating on the "right," basic way of doing
things that they never get a grasp of the basics. Meanwhile, everyone has
artistic license, everyone is an innovator, everyone tries to do everyting
they can think of far too soon and the results are that those who want to
teach have no great skill and all that they can teach is basics, basics,
basics - and they do it rather poorly and hold it to be the dogma instead of
foundation. This is so because they've never had the experience of building
a firm foundation and discovering how and when it is advantageous to break
with the norm, break from the "rule."

When a teacher does have the right background and they rightly begin
teaching the basics, most American students get bored and say, "All he wants
to teach is the basic junk. I want the exciting stuff!" and they soon quit
being a student and become an "artist" or most certainly an "innovator."

I am not merely speaking of bonsai, but many of the foreign arts and
endeavors. Those who do behave as students while they're in trainng as
students do learn the foundation and then learn the rest of the stuff will
certainly find both the preoccupation with "rules" to the exclusion of all
elese, or the ridiculous and weak efforts at innovation, to be odd and
disappointing.

Kind regards,
Andy Rutledge
zone 8, Texas

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Old 11-02-2003, 10:25 PM
Colin Lewis
 
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Default [IBC] Juniper Bonsai life expectancy?

From: "Andy Rutledge"


Colin Lewis wrote:
The only downside is that American society as considerably more
regimented and conformist that in Europe ....


Andy repied:
When one begins an endeavor (like bonsai), there should be one way, and only
one way, shown for how to do most of the basics. Things should be taught in
the manner that says, "this is how you do this and you do it this way every
time." There should be no room for modification, variation, exceptions,
etc...


QED

Colin Lewis wrote:
This isn't just bonsai, but it is more prevalent in
bonsai, probably because of the way bonsai has been
taught in the past.


When a teacher does have the right background and they rightly begin
teaching the basics, most American students get bored and say, "All he wants
to teach is the basic junk. I want the exciting stuff!" and they soon quit
being a student and become an "artist" or most certainly an "innovator."


QED again

I am not merely speaking of bonsai, but many of the foreign arts and
endeavors. Those who do behave as students while they're in trainng as
students do learn the foundation, and then learn the rest of the stuff will
certainly find both the preoccupation with "rules" to the exclusion of all
else, or the ridiculous and weak efforts at innovation, to be odd and
disappointing.


Either one is preoccupied with "rules" or one attempts innovation - it's
hard to see how one can do both.

Art, Andy, is a creative endeavour by definition. Sure, one must learn
techniques - and the better thechnique is taught, the better it will be
learned. The better technique is learned, the better it an be applied. But
without the freedom of thought, the desire to innovate, the determination to
express one's own emotions and make one's own ceative statements, any
endeavour will remain, at best, at the level of craft, and will never
achieve the status of art.

Viva lka revolición!

Colin

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Old 11-02-2003, 10:25 PM
Neal Ross
 
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Default [IBC] Juniper Bonsai life expectancy?

Being a born and raised American who has traveled the world extensively I
can see the thinking on both sides of this conversation. America is a great
place, full of innovators. But it also has become a country that has lost
its patience. Instant messaging, fast foods, all those things among others
have caused us to want/expect results in short order. Andy is right, too
many folks get bored and give up when we have to sit through boring basic
techniques. I was one of those who wanted instant results and I lost 3 years
worth of time figuring it out! Having been in Europe and Asia I have seen
people just relaxing and watching the time pass by. I know that has nothing
to do with bonsai, but the experience was quite different from watching
Americans pass their time. We seem to be on a faster track than others. I,
myself, am finally learning that bonsai, above all, is an art that requires
infinite patience. That seems to be one trait that the American lifestyle
has eroded. In that aspect bonsai should/could be a good endeavor for all of
us. How goes the old saying' 'patience is a virtue'?

Just some off the wall ramblings.

--I crucified my hate and
held the world within my hands--
Neal Ross-Marysville CA


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Old 11-02-2003, 11:55 PM
Andy Rutledge
 
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Default [IBC] Juniper Bonsai life expectancy?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Colin Lewis"
QED
QED again
--------------

:-) Colin thinks I'm making his point for him.
--------------

Either one is preoccupied with "rules" or one attempts innovation - it's
hard to see how one can do both.
--------------

Very simply. One first learns "the rules." (I hate that term) and then one
uses them as reference points from which to be creative, somewhat created,
wildly creative or cubist.
--------------

Art, Andy, is a creative endeavour by definition.
--------------

Thank you, Colin. ;-)
--------------

Sure, one must learn
techniques - and the better thechnique is taught, the better it will be
learned. The better technique is learned, the better it an be applied. But
without the freedom of thought, the desire to innovate, the determination to
express one's own emotions and make one's own ceative statements, any
endeavour will remain, at best, at the level of craft, and will never
achieve the status of art.
Viva lka revolición!
Colin
-------------

One must first learn the craft, then one can create the art. What you're
observing here in the States is the constant need to revisit the basics (the
dogma, the rules, whatever) because few learn them well enough the first 2
or 3 or 6 times around. That's all.

Kind regards,
Andy Rutledge
zone 8, Texas

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Old 11-02-2003, 11:55 PM
Craig Cowing
 
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Default [IBC] Juniper Bonsai life expectancy?

Jim Lewis wrote:

snip

This, too, you can blame on the *&^%$# Puritans that you folks
sent us back in the mid to late 1500s and into the 1600s (I'm
sure you sent them over because you saw what narrow, bigoted
B-----ds they were and wanted no part of them.) :-/ The
Puritans are to blame for much that is wrong in our society
today -- including "Compassionate Conservatism."


Hey--these are my ancestors you're dissing. Don't forget they also laid the
foundations for modern democracy and higher education on this continent. Awful
people.

snip

Jim Lewis - - Tallahassee, FL


Craig Cowing
NY
Zone 5b/6a

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Old 12-02-2003, 12:25 AM
Jim Lewis
 
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Default [IBC] Juniper Bonsai life expectancy?



Jim Lewis wrote:

snip

This, too, you can blame on the *&^%$# Puritans that you

folks
sent us back in the mid to late 1500s and into the 1600s (I'm
sure you sent them over because you saw what narrow, bigoted
B-----ds they were and wanted no part of them.) :-/ The
Puritans are to blame for much that is wrong in our society
today -- including "Compassionate Conservatism."


Hey--these are my ancestors you're dissing. Don't forget they

also laid the
foundations for modern democracy and higher education on this

continent. Awful
people.


Well, one can't pick one's ancestors. We just have to live with
them (or their legacy).

However, the American version of Democracy, at least, came from
another -- much more liberal (in the 16th century Renaissance
sense) -- school of thought much further south than Massachusetts
Bay Colony -- where the First Amendment would _never_ have come
up for discussion ;-).

Jim Lewis - - Tallahassee, FL - Our life is
frittered away by detail . . . . Simplify! Simplify. -- Henry
David Thoreau - Walden

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Old 12-02-2003, 01:55 AM
Neal Ross
 
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Default [IBC] Juniper Bonsai life expectancy?

Instead of saying rules why don't we say tools, or methods?

--I crucified my hate and
held the world within my hands--
Neal Ross-Marysville CA


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Old 12-02-2003, 01:55 AM
Andy Rutledge
 
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Default [IBC] Juniper Bonsai life expectancy?

---- Original Message -----
From: "Neal Ross"
Instead of saying rules why don't we say tools, or methods?
Neal Ross-Marysville CA

------------

Why not "basics?" They're nothing more than basic conventions - training
wheels for beginner artists and dogma for the artistically challenged.

Kind regards,
Andy Rutledge
zone 8, Texas

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Old 12-02-2003, 01:55 AM
Colin Lewis
 
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Default [IBC] Juniper Bonsai life expectancy?

From: Andy Rutledge

One must first learn the craft, then one can create the art. What you're
observing here in the States is the constant need to revisit the basics (the
dogma, the rules, whatever) because few learn them well enough the first 2
or 3 or 6 times around. That's all.


That's true almost everywhere, Andy. The point I was trying to make is that
here an inordinate umber of people WANT things formularised. They want to
know the axact date to put trees away for winter or bring them out in
spring; they want to knoe the precise proportions for soil to first branch
to apex; they want to know how to pronounce bonsai...

During the last year I have spent a lot of my time trying to get people to
understand that you need to let the plant you are dealing with "speak" to
you. You need to allow things like gut reaction, emotion, visual pleasure
etc. influence design decisions. You need to look at the state of the
vegetation to know when it is time to hibernate a plant. You need to forget
about "left branch, right branch. back branch" when dealing with collected
trees that don't have them.

Now, who the heck was it who got me into this mess in the first place? Some
darn Brit I think?

Colin

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