Bonsai using sphagnum moss

A forum dedicated to bonsai, the art of growing dwarfed, ornamentally shaped trees or shrubs in small shallow containers.

Moderators: Forum_mod, Pam, taffyman, DrDuncs

Bonsai using sphagnum moss

Postby lmrk » Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:37 pm

Found these YouTube vids today whilst trawling the web:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7DhdiR7F4Q&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7DhdiR7F4Q&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTqJToakbzA&feature=related

The guy in the vids uses sphagnum moss only - no soil and no wire :shock: . Unfortunately he doesn't tell you how to care for the trees after he's planted them in the sphagnum moss (ie, how often do you need to water, what fertiliser you need to use and the amount etc). He's actually quite amusing :)

Has anyone tried this method? I thought the roots would most likely rot with this method, particularly in Melb (this guy is in Florida, so more humid).

The last vid shows some of his other trees, and although some have really interesting root development, not sure if I like the way the trees are growing (they look sort of "threadbare") Oh and REALLY don't like his hand made pots :P

The audio is really bad for the 1st 2 vids, so have your volume up high!
Does a watched bonsai ever grow?
User avatar
lmrk
Curator
 
Posts: 475
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:00 pm

Re: Bonsai using sphagnum moss

Postby imonetwo » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:48 pm

Unfortuneatly his trees mirror his growing method.

Eric
imonetwo
Head Gardener
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 10:20 pm
Location: Noble Park

Re: Bonsai using sphagnum moss

Postby taffyman » Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:27 am

imonetwo wrote:Unfortuneatly his trees mirror his growing method.
Eric


I totally agree. There isn't one tree there that I'd remotely class as a Bonsai. Shoving a stick or a seed into a pot doesn't immediately make it a Bonsai. The guy has no idea about shaping or styling trees. He said in the first video that he doesn't use wire on any of his trees - well, unless he tied that branch on the juniper down in some way or wired it, there is no way it would have grown into the 'final shape' of its own accord. All his 'trees' are leggy and badly in need of a decent prune - and a lot of them are in pots way too small for the size of the 'trees'. Growing trees just in wet sphagnum moss might be ok for something like Swamp Cypress, so I'm surprised his juniper is still alive. If that juniper had been put in a decent mix and tip pruned regularly, it would be a lot healthier and a lot more bushy than shown in the later video. Sphagnum moss has no nutrients whatsoever in it - and it takes a long time to break down, so it would be up to the grower to be continually fertilizing anything growing in it. We have juniors from eight years of age here that produce far better trees than what this guy has shown on his videos - and he's been doing it for 20 years?
That's the sort of rubbish that gives Bonsai a bad name.
Taffy
Have fun, life is way too short for anything else
User avatar
taffyman
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 2314
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:38 pm
Location: Fraser Coast Queensland

Re: Bonsai using sphagnum moss

Postby imonetwo » Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:55 pm

Taffy you couldnt be more right,I remember thinking exactly what you wrote as I was watching the video. The scarey part is that this guy is growing down south in the USA and I know what can be achieved there especially with figs and tropical trees as I created a few trees there on my last visit.
imonetwo
Head Gardener
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 10:20 pm
Location: Noble Park

Re: Bonsai using sphagnum moss

Postby oproudfoot » Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:08 pm

OK guys, let's just take a step back for a second... I too do not like the look of his plants, but obviously he does, which is really the main point... he must like the 'strained/ unkempt' look of fairly big-trunked trees bulging out of pots that to traditionalists are ‘way too small’.
Is it true ‘bonsai’… ? Maybe not.
Does what this guy is doing seem to be making him happy ? Definitely.
Is it fair/ productive/ do we achieve anything by importing a you-tube link of his videos into this forum then bagging them mercilessly (which would probably make him sad) based on our own value-systems ? Maybe not.
And I do like his attitude/ the persona he projects; he seems like a peaceful guy that I'd enjoy having a beer with, even though I don't really care for his style of growing little trees. I think it's worth bearing in mind that he didn't post in here himself, someone else posted his stuff on his behalf, then we proceeded to tear it to pieces. He doesn't seem to me to be pretending to be any sort of 'bonsai-master', he's just having fun doing stuff he likes, and recording his results on youtube in case anyone else likes the look of what he’s doing. I personally don’t, and evidently neither do the peeps who’ve responded to this post so far, but he does, so potentially that means so will some other people out there. So basically I think comparing his work to that of 8 year olds, and statements like “giving bonsai a bad name” (soz Taff’, usually I love your work) are a bit harsh/ judgemental (and dare I say, seem a bit out of character for you, Taff-meister ...?!?).
Cheers, Owen
oproudfoot
Curator
 
Posts: 288
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:59 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Bonsai using sphagnum moss

Postby imonetwo » Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:17 pm

My comments were neither harsh, nor based on his appreciation of what he believes to be "Bonsai", they were my opinions of someone who I can see is happily torturing trees because he chose to post them on the internetm, not just for a group of forum members to see,but ultimately the whole world, and then on top of that, in YouTube which is just online advertising).
In my opinion there is nothing more beautiful than a tree that is grown with understanding and respect, as it reflects the best in the tree and nature while also demonstating the designers creativity and care with living sculpture.
As I said in an earlier post, after having visited nurseries in the US and knowing the area where he is growing, I wasnt shocked at why his trees werent dying from lack of growing medium,neither was I shocked at the very lank growth because that is what you get when you default on the plants needs,not basic needs, (anyone can assimilate them),the needs Im talking about are the ones that make a potted tree a bonsai and that rarely has to do with shaping.
Besides I thought we were discussing his interpretation of bonsai,"not his love of it" as you pointed out,in which case we all agree :))
Regards
Eric
I am surprised that even to this day I meet people that although they have been in bonsai for a very long time, still think starving and restraining a tree will bring out its best potenial.
imonetwo
Head Gardener
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 10:20 pm
Location: Noble Park

Re: Bonsai using sphagnum moss

Postby Pam » Thu Jan 17, 2008 6:35 am

Owen, while I can see what you're getting at, the comments above were not made to him directly, merely an observation of what he was doing.

If a person chooses to post something on You Tube, there is always the possibility that one less experienced might come accross it and assume that because it is on the net, then the person must know what they are talking about, and take their advice. For a beginner at bonsai, in this case that could be a bad thing.
User avatar
Pam
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 14418
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2003 1:06 pm
Location: Bundaberg, Qld

Re: Bonsai using sphagnum moss

Postby oproudfoot » Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:57 pm

I guess you have a point there Pam...
oproudfoot
Curator
 
Posts: 288
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:59 pm
Location: Melbourne


Return to Bonsai

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron