Author Topic: Collecting pine growing in red clay  (Read 7655 times)

bwaynef

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Collecting pine growing in red clay
« on: January 20, 2010, 01:34 PM »
I just happened across a handful of pines growing in red clay.  One particular one has about a 5" trunk, but looks fairly young.  There is excellent movement, and a handful of low branches.  (The other trees either have little movement or are smaller.)

1.) What are the chances of a pine having a decent root mass in red clay.
2.) Would it need to be bare-rooted before repotting?
3.) What is a recommended soil mix for this situation?
4.) What are you doing this Saturday? :)

Pictures tomorrow ...or the first workday thereafter that its not raining.
 

bonsaikc

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Re: Collecting pine growing in red clay
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2010, 02:28 PM »
I just happened across a handful of pines growing in red clay.  One particular one has about a 5" trunk, but looks fairly young.  There is excellent movement, and a handful of low branches.  (The other trees either have little movement or are smaller.)

1.) What are the chances of a pine having a decent root mass in red clay.
2.) Would it need to be bare-rooted before repotting?
3.) What is a recommended soil mix for this situation?
4.) What are you doing this Saturday? :)

Pictures tomorrow ...or the first workday thereafter that its not raining.

I'd guess perhaps a little better than one growing in loam, but I've made the mistake of not following roots out to their end and just cutting them off, so make sure you get enough. You can develop a good root mass over time if you get enough feeder roots at the beginning. I would NOT bare-root, except for half of the root ball. Do the next half next repot. Boon mix is always recommended. As usual, I will be grinding it out here on the asphalt.
 

Steven

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Re: Collecting pine growing in red clay
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2010, 06:48 PM »
Wayne, if ya remember those pines I collected in Spartanburg county off I-26 those were in red clay. Now from what I concluded as to their demise was I did not get enough of the roots/rootball. I found that I had to dig deeper than I thought I needed to to get to the roots. Some I dug down at least a foot before I uncovered any roots coming off the trunk/base. As far as how far to dig away from the trunk I was in the 14 to 20 inch range and I never came across any mass amount of feeder roots. All the pines were 4 feet or shorter in height with most trunks rangin from 4" to 2" thick. After they had died on me I pondered if I had the time over a couple of years to have just cut the roots with a tile spade while they were in the ground to get them to grow roots closer to the trunk. If ya have the time I would do exploratory digging. See how far down ya have to dig to hit any roots and then see how far away from the trunk ya have to go to find any good feeder roots.

My take on a pine with a 5" trunk, depending on the species, I'd give an estimate age of about 5-7 yrs. I give this estimate based on some pines where I work. I began workin there in June 2005. The area the pines are growin was bush-hogged back in August 2005. It has not been touched since. These pines are now on average 10 feet tall(except for the one that got snapped by a powerline truck a couple of yrs ago). They have trunk bases around 5" or so.

Hope this helps Wayne. Best of luck bud :)
 

bwaynef

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Re: Collecting pine growing in red clay
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2010, 10:38 AM »
As it was starting to rain, I took these pictures.  They don't show the tree to best advantage, but I'll include an outline of the trunk.

I believe this to be P. virginiana.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Collecting pine growing in red clay
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2010, 10:15 AM »
Wayne,
I guess I would ask- Why collect these trees? No taper, nothing really interesting about them, Personally, I would keep looking, find some that have been bush-hogged or trampled, etc. Check the rocky side hills over road cuts, etc. I have collected trees like this in the past, they all ended up in landscapes or on the burn pile when I realized what I had.

John
 

bwaynef

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Re: Collecting pine growing in red clay
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2010, 11:22 AM »
John you make interesting points.  I'll grant you that there isn't any much taper, but there is more movement than the pictures show.  (I hate when folks hide behind the "poor photography" excuse, but I wasn't going to subject my camera and lens to the rain so I took the pictures in haste.)

I am trying to figure out if *this* movement, on *this* trunk, is worth the effort its going to take to get *this* trunk out and have it survive.
 

JTGJr25

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Re: Collecting pine growing in red clay
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 12:52 AM »
I'd say its not worth it.  The branching is too thick and too high on the trunk, none of it is really usable.  The trunk has no taper which will make it impossible to even make the curve in the trunk a feature.  You want to collect trees with interesting trunk lines with taper and visual interest.  You also want something that you know you can reduce if need be.  This is no more than a nursery tree that you can buy at any store.  Find something unique with more character.

Tom
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Collecting pine growing in red clay
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2010, 09:03 AM »
if its the only one and you really want to do it, then do it and have fun.  there is no substitute for experience and fun is always rewarding.  look around awhile longer before diving into that one.  it would not be difficult to find a better candidate.  John's advice is good, and I'd mirror what he says.  I've collected a lot of trees that I later wished I had never spent the time and energy on.  If you only have a few trees and few options for collecting, then it can be good experience.  However, if you have lots of trees or better collection options, then your time is better spent on something else.  That's just my opinion, though.
 

donmaple

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Re: Collecting pine growing in red clay
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2010, 07:32 PM »
Wayne, this can be a great technique and knowledge building opportunity for you. The tree has no cost for you (minus your time) and you can learn valuable skills with pines if you collect this tree. From the pictures John, Tom, and Don are right about the tree...no outstanding specimen. But for me that is a plus as there is no pressure from killing a potential masterpiece. If you kill it there is no great loss. You obviously see something in this tree that appeals to you. Use the advice from Steven and Bonsaikc and go get yourself a pine. The worse thing is you kill a free tree, the best thing is you have a collected pine that may or may not turn out to be a Bonsai. Either way you will learn from this collecting experience. And when you do find a truly magnificent specimen you will have the skill set to collect it and keep it alive! Oh, and of course you will post it for all of us to oggle over. Happy collecting....Don.   
 

steve

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Re: Collecting pine growing in red clay
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2010, 10:55 PM »
I know I'm a couple weeks behind on this but I'm betting you'll have to go five feet out to find feeder roots on that tree. A live tree in the wild is better than a dead tree at home. John's reccomendation for rocky spots is the way to go.