Author Topic: To dig or not to dig?  (Read 9839 times)

izk_zero

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To dig or not to dig?
« on: May 05, 2014, 10:13 PM »
Potential Bonsai in Nature

  • I’m starting a post where I can upload images of some potential bonsai I have access to. I would like feedback on which trees (if any) would be worthwhile to collect. So far I have only collected a couple of older plants and both have done well, but I question whether or not they will make good bonsai in the long run.
  • I would also like to see what other BonsaiStudyGroup members are scouting or have collected and what steps they did take or wished they would have taken to make their collecting easier or more successful.

Feel free to flood this post with images and feedback. I will be adding many photos soon.  8)
 

izk_zero

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Re: To dig or not to dig?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2014, 10:32 PM »
The first plant I collected was a 20+ year old azalea from my mother's house (had to be pulled out with the help of a rope and truck hitch) and the second is a maple that was growing around a fence (and in a pile of boulders) at my father's farm.
 

Sorce

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Re: To dig or not to dig?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2014, 05:15 AM »
Love em both, looks like they are pretty well established?

The maple's movement is great, possible ground layer for a new nebari?

The azalea is stunning..except...that one crossing trunk, and the fact they are quite uniform in size. I would also reduce them by at least half, seem to have buds down there already!

 ???I would like to know a PRO plan for changing the trunks thicknesses? ??? Time frame?

I just leave more foilage on big take off more to keep some small, but these are young trees, how about a plan for this old beast?

Tools. Bring two of each, and a all steel shovel. Always bring water, i went to a house to dig and the water was shut off.....sucked.

There is a saw from Baer Grills at walmart. A pull wire. @ 3$ buy a few. ( broke mine) they cut clean, and you can slip it under a root without much digging. And they fit in your pocket.

Have a pot,box, or garden spot, and soil already prepared!
 

bwaynef

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Re: To dig or not to dig?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2014, 09:57 AM »
I too like the movement of the maple.  I'd go ahead and get wire on it to set what looks like the first branch, and might consider reducing that trunk now to force more growth into the lower parts, unless you want to allow the top to run and thicken the trunk.

I'm not sure how I'd go about reigning in that Azalea.  It has pretty flowers and can be appreciated just for that, ...but its clear that as-is, its not presentable as anything more than something with pretty flowers.  The trunks are all pretty uniform in size ...and there's the crossing trunk(s?).  I guess I'd start by reducing the outer trunks significantly and less so with the interior trunks. 
 

Owen Reich

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Re: To dig or not to dig?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2014, 08:53 PM »
The azalea can be improved by different pad sizes; the trunks aren't going to change much and I wouldn't cut them back more.  Where are you located?  It matters and will help others understand what's going on. 
 

izk_zero

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Re: To dig or not to dig?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2014, 08:18 AM »
Thanks so much for the feedback. I’ll look for that saw at walmart and I live in central Arkansas so I’m surrounded by them.

Maple: I will definitely be planning on some sort of layering to develop interesting nerabi. I’m not sure which should be the 1st branch, or if either are in a good position, branch selection may have to wait for the nerabi? Either way I just dug the tree a few weeks ago but Its already pushing lots of new growth. I'll probably wait until after the leaves drop this fall to reduce the trunk height.

Azalea: I don’t know that I could thicken one of the trunks enough for there to be more variety in trunk size. I would like to space them apart a little more though so the trunks aren’t so congested and it would make them different heights also. I drew some pictures last night when my internet was on the fritz. I actually repotted the azalea this year and removed all of the left over clay soil so I probably won’t cram 2X4s in between the trunks until this fall.

These are my plans as of now, and here is another tree I have been playing with that is still in the ground. Its a big holly stump.
 

izk_zero

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Re: To dig or not to dig?
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2014, 12:36 AM »
Here are a couple of trees with slight bends in the bases. I'm not sure what they are. I included a picture of the foliage.
 

izk_zero

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Re: To dig or not to dig?
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2014, 12:40 AM »
This is a maple I decided to put some movement in. We'll see how it turns out.
 

izk_zero

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Re: To dig or not to dig?
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2014, 12:45 AM »
One last tree for now. I don't know that I could ever get this sucker out but its interesting none-the-less. Little brother for scale.
 

izk_zero

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Re: To dig or not to dig?
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2014, 01:00 AM »
This is the last one for now. The tree has backbuds about 3 feet up the trunk and I think it might backbud if i chop it just below the lowest real branch. Or I may try to graft some JBP around the base. What do you think?

This is the last one for now. I marked other plants this past winter but I wasn't wearing proper attire for walking along the river.
 

Leo in NE Illinois

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Re: To dig or not to dig?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2014, 03:55 PM »
Just noticed this thread.

The tree with the simple leaves, and the alligator checked bark might be American Persimmon - Diospyros virginiana. The leaves are large, but will reduce, they make excellent bonsai for autumn or winter display, usually shown with fruit hanging. If this tree is female, it is definitely worth thinking about collecting. See whether it has fruit this autumn, Persimmon have separate male and female trees. The males have nice flowers in spring, but they are not very showy, and the leaves tend to be large so most prefer to use the female trees.



the pine in your last post is a bit large to collect, those epicormic sprouts near the base are not strong enough. They will not support the roots if you harvest without a couple years of prep work. If you want to harvest this tree, this year cut about half of the foliage off the top of the tree. Next year, cut the remainder of the upper foliage in half. This means that by the end of the summer of 2015 the upper part of the tree will be about 1/4 the mass it was. The epicormic sprouts should take off and grow the summers of 2015 and 2016. If they develop a lot of mass, you might be able to chop the top and dig the tree summer of 2017, but it may take to 2018 or later to have enough low foliage to support the roots.

Make sure when you chop the top back in 2014 and 2015 you leave a healthy branch on each side of the trunk to keep as many of the sap lines active and roots all around active. There tends to be a branch to root connection in pines, so you want one branches all around the trunk still viable to support roots all around the trunk. Cut too much on one side only and you can loose half the root system, and have a trunk dead on one side.

Looks like it might be virginia pine or pitch pine, they are both noted for being able to bud back on old wood, like your photo. Could be short needle pine too. They are all closely related.

I'm not sure I would be willing to do the work to collect this, but if you take the time, it could be done.
 

Leo in NE Illinois

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Re: To dig or not to dig?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2014, 03:59 PM »
By the way, I actually like the irregular placement of trunks of the azalea as it currently is better than the trunk placement you have in your drawing. Of your recent collections this azalea will become the most "show worthy" the quickest of the bunch.

You can thicken the trunks of the azalea at different rates - to get more variation in size of trunks by allowing the trunks you want to thicken carry more foliage - extra "sacrifice" branches. The more foliage a trunk supports the quicker it will thicken. Later once you have the differences in size you want you can thin out the amount of branches and foliage.

Do I have it right Owen?, you know more about azaleas than I, please chime in if I have it wrong. Also about the others too.
 

Potawatomi13

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Re: To dig or not to dig?
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2016, 02:37 AM »
Pine with epicormic sprouts needs no grafting.  If able to collect with survivable root system.  Blank mind cannot remember species but should be great Bonsai subject on its own.  On second thought believe is Pinus resinosa/ Pitch Pine ;).
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 02:41 AM by Potawatomi13 »