TREE HEIGHT

Share your success stories about defoliation, bare rooting and anything else relating to maintaining healthy bonsai.
Locked
User avatar
Kyushu Danji
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 307
Joined: January 16th, 2011, 2:57 pm
Favorite Species: Ginkgo, Japanese Maple, Stewartia
Bonsai Club: CBS
Location: Canberra

Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Kyushu Danji »

Bretts wrote:
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1353101364.900830.jpg
Via PPBI Sumbawa
Bretts, I like that this tree despite being a pine has uro rather than shari. Very pleasing to look at, thank you for sharing!
GavinG
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 1927
Joined: April 26th, 2010, 11:47 pm
Favorite Species: Maple
Bonsai Age: 0
Bonsai Club: CBS
Location: Canberra
Has thanked: 124 times
Been thanked: 68 times

Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by GavinG »

Just wondering Brett - is that a pine or a tightly trimmed casuarina? Either way, not a "natural" tree, or a "rule" tree, but a very strong and imaginative design - tree as art, not scale-modelling. Very thought-provoking, thanks for posting.

Gavin
User avatar
Bretts
Bonsai Philosopher
Bonsai Philosopher
Posts: 6669
Joined: November 14th, 2008, 11:04 pm
Favorite Species: carpinus jbp
Bonsai Age: 12
Location: Jervis Bay NSW
Contact:

TREE HEIGHT

Post by Bretts »

I am delegated to the iPhone at the moment so not a great picture and not sure but first guess is casuarina
It's too bad your in such a hurry cause the stories I could tell you, Bushels and baskets of stories, hole crates full of stories. But if you can spare a moment I will tell you one story.
Graeme
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 925
Joined: December 17th, 2009, 1:31 pm
Favorite Species: Olive, ficus, azalea
Bonsai Age: 36
Location: Fraser Coast Queensland
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Graeme »

A.J. wrote:The rules are there to teach people who know nothing, and to be broken by those who understand them the most. Without them tho, literature would just be a jumble of letters, art would just be scribble on a page, and bonsais would just be out of control trees.
For the longest time I taught my students the 'Rules' and ensured they followed them pretty well to the letter. For the longest time I felt something was missing from my trees.

One day, during a study course with someone I have the utmost respect for in the Bonsai world, I styled a tree. After I finished what I considered to be a half decent result, my teacher restyled the tree, in the process breaking several of the rules earlier forced upon me. The tree ended up looking much nicer than my effort and when I questioned the broken rules, it was explained to me that I obviously knew the rules well, but it was now time to move on to the next level and impart my personality into the tree's styling'. It was explained to me that in order to design Bonsai we must first understand the rules, or guidelines, but those rules are in place simply to ensure our trees weren't simply "out of control trees" (thanks A.J. :wave: ). My trees no longer suit the eye of everyone, with a first branch sometimes maybe being a back branch (or even worse a front one), I have branches coming from the trunk on the inside of a curve, branches cross each other and yep, even in some cases the taper of a branch may be wrong. Lets not even speak of wiring! But you know what? Sometimes you have to foget rules and do bad stuff, just to make the tree look right, or have character. But I still agree that all Bonsai students must learn the rules - how else are thery going to know how to break them?
Graeme
I will forever defend your right
to disagree with my opinion
.
Emily Csato
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 33
Joined: November 11th, 2012, 10:04 pm
Bonsai Age: 0
Location: Gold Coast

Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Emily Csato »

You can't break rules until you master them. How can you change the foundation of something you don't fully understand it. That said, I don't think it's necessary to pull out a ruler and measure things. The great masters of any art form learn the "classics," not because they had to, but because once they understood what came before, they would be able to improve on it and create something new. You really think Mr. Kimura broke the boundaries successfully by having an "it looks good to me so it's okay" attitude?

I've been an amateur artist my whole life. I can draw very well, however the things I still struggle to draw is due to the fact that I skipped the basics. I started as a young child, so of course I skipped, and now I'm relearning. Guaranteed, you will produce better trees if you first do everything by the book. Fear and impatience hold us back.
Olivecrazy
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 715
Joined: March 15th, 2012, 7:54 pm
Favorite Species: Olive
Bonsai Age: 20
Bonsai Club: A realy good one :D
Location: South Australia

Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Olivecrazy »

Any one of these maples could sit on my bench :whistle: :whistle: great trees way i see it its art an like many artist they develop there own style over time . Myself i think my trees are much better then they have been in the past simply because i use basic rules but bend others :lol: :lol:

check out these maples i think a lot can be said just by looking at these trees :tu:

http://bonsaitonight.com/tag/japanese-maple/page/3/
Andrew Legg
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 1403
Joined: June 24th, 2010, 6:23 pm
Favorite Species: The ones that don't die
Bonsai Age: 15
Bonsai Club: Oyama Bonsai Kai, Ausbonsai
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Andrew Legg »

Bonsai4ever wrote:An interesting topic but one which I believe will never be answered to everyones satisfaction.
What we need to do when planning the development of a tree is to ask ourselves how we can increase it's visual appeal, and NOT how we can try to mould it to fit rules or design guidelines.
I believe that the visual appeal is increased by moulding it to our best endeavours within the design guidelines.

While I am interested to experiment with new ideas, my greatest concern for the concept of ignoring the basics in order to come up with some sort of new easy way to create bonsai, (especially by those who have not yet even mastered the practice of utilising the original guidelines), will eventuate in any old shrub in a pot will be a bonsai.... because I like it like that.
Hey Mate,

I'm not sure what's wrong with that. The whole point of bonsai is to create a tree in a pot that is visually pleasing. Rules have nothing to do with determining personal taste, so why should they have anything to do with creating visually pleasing trees? If I give a person with no bonsai training a tree and a pot, and let's say that they understand horticultural principles and plant physiology very well. Let's also say just for argument's sake that this person is very artistic. If this person styles their tree in a pot and it looks lovely, are you saying it can't be called a bonsai just because they are working outside the bounds of "the rules"? There are so many different forms of penjing and bonsai, and all of these have grown and developed from others. They are accepted, so why is it that as Westerners we feel obliged to avoid stepping outside the comfort zones of Naka and Koreshof?

That said, there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that the formula that such authors offer is of the highest merit, and that they are/were brilliant practitioners of the art of bonsai. There is also no doubt in my mind that people that learn the art of bonsai from these teachers will enjoy some form of success, but let's not close the door to other processes and forms of the art. :cool:

Cheers,

Andrew
Ellen
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 54
Joined: November 30th, 2009, 1:47 pm
Favorite Species: ?
Bonsai Age: 0

Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Ellen »

Hi Graeme
[quote="Graeme"control trees". My trees no longer suit the eye of everyone, with a first branch sometimes maybe being a back branch (or even worse a front one), I have branches coming from the trunk on the inside of a curve, branches cross each other and yep, even in some cases the taper of a branch may be wrong.

That sounds interesting. Do you have any pics?
Guy
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 765
Joined: February 16th, 2010, 6:29 pm
Favorite Species: juniper
Bonsai Age: 15
Location: Winkie SA
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Guy »

I reckon if you started with no knowledge of the rules and no understanding of the principles of horticulture -and you were very persistent and long lived -after three hundred years of trial and error the results would very closely resemble the bonsai created using the rules that are available now.--but it could be an interesting journey :shock:
Dario
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 974
Joined: October 13th, 2010, 6:06 pm
Favorite Species: Pines,Eng Elm,Cork Oak,Ash,Casuarina,Mels,Box..etc
Bonsai Age: 3
Location: Melbourne

Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Dario »

Not specifically about tree height but this thread is also taking about bonsai "rules" so I thought this may be of interest.

Bonsai Art of Japan episode 30 youtube video...6 mins and 30 seconds in to the video Juan Cruz who has been in Japan studying for two years as an apprentice says...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hsY-QlF ... ature=plcp
Cheers, Dario :)
Qitianlong
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 476
Joined: September 16th, 2012, 9:52 am
Favorite Species: Maple
Bonsai Age: 7
Bonsai Club: n/a
Location: NSW
Been thanked: 2 times
Contact:

Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Qitianlong »

and this link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... s--ol7hjRY#" !

long video but I think answers the majority of questions.
"Step by step walk the thousand mile path" Musashi - Book of 5 Rings
Andrew Legg
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 1403
Joined: June 24th, 2010, 6:23 pm
Favorite Species: The ones that don't die
Bonsai Age: 15
Bonsai Club: Oyama Bonsai Kai, Ausbonsai
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Andrew Legg »

Guy wrote:I reckon if you started with no knowledge of the rules and no understanding of the principles of horticulture -and you were very persistent and long lived -after three hundred years of trial and error the results would very closely resemble the bonsai created using the rules that are available now.--but it could be an interesting journey :shock:
Oi :tounge: I said that the person had a fantastic understanding of horticulture!!! :reading: :cool:

If you think about branch placement rules, all they tell us is that to thrive branches need to place their leaves in light, and that you create balance in the placement of branches and negative space in leaving them out. So, if you understand horticulture and plant physics, and you have an artistic eye, why do you need to learn the rules? Or, am I just missing something? :lost:

300 Years huh . . . . . remind me of that Queen song - Who wants to live forever . . . . . I do . . . . Pick me . . . . . . . Can you imagine the bony knees! :D
User avatar
Bonsai4ever
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 71
Joined: October 9th, 2012, 8:46 am
Bonsai Age: 38
Bonsai Club: none
Location: The Big Paddock

Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Bonsai4ever »

Hi Andrew, let me first say that I am not trying to belittle any persons beliefs or thoughts, I am simply trying to debate the issues at hand on this subject.
Rules have nothing to do with determining personal taste,
Sorry, I disagree here also, (That is if we are saying that rules are similar to guidelines), then I would suggest that our personal guidelines dictate our personal taste.

I have given many Bonsai students (with no training) a tree in a pot and asked them to ‘go for it and create a bonsai’ and in the majority of instances I have found that fifteen minutes later, they are still looking and looking and not knowing where to start or what to do. I do this in our first class to show the importance of the guidelines (rules). In most cases, I have found that after we have discussed the guidelines, they are more able to begin to style a tree.
, so why is it that as Westerners we feel obliged to avoid stepping outside the comfort zones of Naka and Koreshof?
So why is it that as Westerners we feel obliged to ignore the principals of experience and decide that we can do it better some other way?

This is not to say that there have been, and will continue to be, new and exciting methods to achieve faster results, but first we must learn where to start.
why do you need to learn the rules? Or, am I just missing something?
Perhaps!

Oh! and by the way, I love Queen also.

Cheers
Last edited by Bonsai4ever on November 19th, 2012, 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Guy
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 765
Joined: February 16th, 2010, 6:29 pm
Favorite Species: juniper
Bonsai Age: 15
Location: Winkie SA
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Guy »

Andrew Legg wrote:
Guy wrote:I reckon if you started with no knowledge of the rules and no understanding of the principles of horticulture -and you were very persistent and long lived -after three hundred years of trial and error the results would very closely resemble the bonsai created using the rules that are available now.--but it could be an interesting journey :shock:
Oi :tounge: I said that the person had a fantastic understanding of horticulture!!! :reading: :cool:

If you think about branch placement rules, all they tell us is that to thrive branches need to place their leaves in light, and that you create balance in the placement of branches and negative space in leaving them out. So, if you understand horticulture and plant physics, and you have an artistic eye, why do you need to learn the rules? Or, am I just missing something? :lost:

300 Years huh . . . . . remind me of that Queen song - Who wants to live forever . . . . . I do . . . . Pick me . . . . . . . Can you imagine the bony knees! :D
Hello Andrew------your right I didn't read your post before posting mine--so mine was a stand alone comment-300 years was possibly a bit arbitrary and could easily have been 1000 years-( really really bad Knees :tu: )-but surely "if you understand horticulture and plant physics,and you have an artistic eye" you don't need to learn the rules --- because you already have.-----but perhaps in all this we probably should just substitute the word ,"rules" for the word "Knowledge"
Andrew Legg
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Aussie Bonsai Fan
Posts: 1403
Joined: June 24th, 2010, 6:23 pm
Favorite Species: The ones that don't die
Bonsai Age: 15
Bonsai Club: Oyama Bonsai Kai, Ausbonsai
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: TREE HEIGHT

Post by Andrew Legg »

Bonsai4ever wrote:Hi Andrew, let me first say that I am not trying to belittle any persons beliefs or thoughts, I am simply trying to debate the issues at hand on this subject.
Rules have nothing to do with determining personal taste,
Sorry, I disagree here also, (That is if we are saying that rules are similar to guidelines), then I would suggest that our personal guidelines dictate our personal taste.

I have given many Bonsai students (with no training) a tree in a pot and asked them to ‘go for it and create a bonsai’ and in the majority of instances I have found that fifteen minutes later, they are still looking and looking and not knowing where to start or what to do. I do this in our first class to show the importance of the guidelines (rules). In most cases, I have found that after we have discussed the guidelines, they are more able to begin to style a tree.
, so why is it that as Westerners we feel obliged to avoid stepping outside the comfort zones of Naka and Koreshof?
So why is it that as Westerners we feel obliged to ignore the principals of experience and decide that we can do it better some other way?

This is not to say that there have been, and will continue to be, new and exciting methods to achieve faster results, but first we must learn where to start.
why do you need to learn the rules? Or, am I just missing something?
Perhaps!

Oh! and by the way, I love Queen also.

Cheers
Hey Mate,

No offence taken at all. We all have opinions and there's no reason for us to get upset if they are different to those of others! :cool:

I guess what I'm getting at is that I think (and I say "think" as I have no experience teaching formal courses) that if we teach people about how trees grow and rely on their artistic ability to do the design, this should not present a problem. I'd have to agree that with the more artistically challenged of us (me included) there is definite advantage to guidance in the form of the "rules".

How much of the bonsai that we learn from the Japanese and Chinese origins is actually on styles and forms, and how much of it is on horticultural practices? Just like in the West, Japanese and Chinese tastes change and bonsai undergoes changes in what is considered acceptable. Just look at the work of Kimura. Some years back he was disparagingly referred to as "The Technician" in a little veiled insult to his extreme deadwood trees. Now he is pretty much globally thought of as a bonsai design icon. I'm under no illusion that there is not a great deal that can be learnt from the Japanese and traditional bonsai practitioners, but at the end of the day, art is art and with horticultural requirements as the possible exception, the application of design to trees should be limited only by the artist.

Cheers,

Andrew
Locked

Return to “Tips, Techniques, Maintenance and Advice”