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Collecting Japanese Maples- A Lifelong Love, Addiction, and Avocation

Each year during the cold and bleakness of winter I often reflect on what brought me to this place of great satisfaction in immersing myself into the world of Japanese Maples. What makes these trees so special? Why am I drawn to them?  What makes the attraction to these trees so irresistible for me and a diverse small group of  others.

Many folks have hobbies. Many folks love to garden and grow things. And many become attracted to specific plants especially flowers like Day Lilies and Iris etc. But Japanese Maples seem to be different. Their draw is much more like an addiction. A life long journey into something that is yes, beautiful, but so much more. For some, if they are a social sort, it becomes an avocation and something they want to share with others. But for others, who don’t much take to being around other folk, it can just as easily become a secret pleasure .

No sirree Bob, Japanese Maples are definitely different and extra special. There are just so many different ones and so many facets that come into play growing them. Each one has its own special traits albeit sometimes very subtle. These special traits are often only visible to those who have an eye for such detail. As you start growing them, you learn their secrets and see their individuality. If you have that “eye” you will quickly realize how special they are, compared with most any other plant or tree. And you will be amazed that so few others can really see or understand them. Your friends, kids, wife, husband, lover, and or relatives will think you are plum crazy… completely nuts. They will want to lock you away, or at least keep you away from the credit card or check book. But the money and time you spend on Japanese Maple trees , well, you could just as easily spend it on useless and/or harmful junk products that others, especially those who want to lock ya away, spend money on every single day. But you, on the other hand, are spending  both money and time on something that grows with you, lives with you and becomes a part of your life. You have, often inadvertently, joined a special “club” that is ever growing but still a very small piece of the gardening community. You meet assholes, know it all’s, scientists (with little or no critical double blind studies to back up their blabbermouth statements) and some really good folks who just love Japanese Maples. But overall you will have a very special activity that you can immerse yourself into at no harm to others.

So maybe that is the real draw. Once you start down the road of growing and collecting Japanese Maple cultivars you become special yourself just like the JM’s you grow. You grow something unique and it transforms you into something unique and you grow uniquely along with it. And as I stated before you can share that individuality with others or keep it to yourself. But either way you are transformed into a more unique person rather than just “one of a crowd”.

I bring this perspective on growing and collecting Japanese Maples to my business every minute of every day. This is much much different than 99.9% of other “sellers” who have their first interest in making lots of money ( good luck with that btw ;>) ) These other sellers  see Japanese Maples as just another product to sell and cash in on and thus treat their customers just about as “un-special as they treat their JM’s. I never want my business to become like that, distorting and taking over the pleasure I get from Japanese Maples and becoming “just a business”. If that ever happens I will hang up my spurs and thus “I’m out of here”!! . My philosophy concerning selling Japanese Maples is: “I sure don’t want to lose money but I ain’t in it for the money either”. I have 35 years of retailing experience running my own successful business. And I can tell ya that not many of those days were truly pleasurable. Certainly none as pleasurable as I have had over the past few years with Japanese Maples. And I want to keep this as a totally pleasurable endeavor. I don’t want the running of my business to destroy my passion for these special trees. I know from experience, business is apt to not mix well at all with most pleasurable activities.

I hope some of my enthusiasm and love for these trees rubs off on all I come in contact with. And I hope that if you do business with me, you do it for the “right” reasons so our journey can be productive useful and pleasurable for both of us. There are plenty of folks out there to buy Japanese Maples from if you are just buying a tree, and if that is your basic goal I suggest seeking them out. But there is only one place to buy something a lot more than a mere product and that’s right here at Davidsan’s. At Davidsan’s you are not buying a tree you are entering a beautiful new world.

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