Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => General Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Michael T on January 18, 2015, 09:25 AM

Title: My Taxus Project
Post by: Michael T on January 18, 2015, 09:25 AM
So a buddy of mine has a massive taxus he wanted to pull out of his yard. He asked me if I wanted it but it had to go today.

We pulled it with an excavator so we were able to get a pretty big rootball. The rootball is about 4ft. x 2.5 ft x 20 inches deep.

The average temperatures outside have been 0-30f over the past couple weeks. However, today it was 53f and tomorrow is going to be 43f. It won't freeze again here until mid-week.

Trunk diameter is 15-20 inches. Branching starts 15 inches from the roots.

It was lifted previously about three years ago. The root ball rooted in place at that time. So the rootball shown in the pic came out pretty easily.

There were some thinner anchor roots and some feeder roots at the end of those, but otherwise the rootball lifted without much effort.

The tree is big and with the field dirt its very very very heavy. Had to wench it off the trailer. I used boards to keep the wench strap from compressing the live veins.

It's sitting in the place it fell off the trailer right now.

I'm going to buy some topsoil in the morning and bury it as is. Too heavy to move anywhere right now and I figure there's enough feeder roots in the remaining rootball that it should be ok overnight. Taxus typically develop dense feeder roots around the trunks and this one appears to have many in to remaining rootball.

Was it worth the effort? Any other thoughts on after care? I'm thinking when spring rolls around that the field dirt should be gently removed retaining as many feeder roots as possible. I see little point in leaving it in field dirt come spring. Unless someone thinks otherwise.

And then transplanting into one of my 4ft x 8ft shallow planter boxes. The boxes have heavy rock content in them so they are pretty free draining.
Title: Re: My Taxus Project
Post by: Owen Reich on January 18, 2015, 09:57 PM
I've done that before.  Cut canopy back by half in Spring and left in ground two years.  Started as an 8' x 4' landscape plant.  Repotted annually for years 3,4, and 5 into smaller and smaller containers as live veins were killed on purpose.  Will post a pic or two soon.
Title: Re: My Taxus Project
Post by: DorianJF on January 19, 2015, 04:29 AM
No Advice can be given

But wow, I would love to see where this goes.  Keep on updating.
Title: Re: My Taxus Project
Post by: SHIMA1 on January 19, 2015, 04:08 PM
Wondering if this could be ground-layered at soil level just as the roots enter the soil. That's all I do with large old trees these days so I'm spoiled.
Title: Re: My Taxus Project
Post by: Owen Reich on January 19, 2015, 07:31 PM
First pic from 2011. 
Second from 2014. 

Deadwood work not finished as I'm allowing parts of it to rot on purpose.  As stated above, this one looked similar to the one this thread is focused on in 2006 when I dug it with a back-hoe......

The kicker with large trunk yews is you have to delete almost everything then rebuild everything.  I wish I had 50.

Title: Re: My Taxus Project
Post by: Michael T on January 19, 2015, 10:28 PM
Thanks for posting.  That's an impressive tree. 

I've tried this once before with similar stock, but I never could get it to back bud on the lower trunk.  Always budded at the cut.  Even tried pricking the trunk in places and so on. 

The only reason I pulled this one is because the old wood had several adventitious buds.  Leads me to believe it'll produce sufficient back budding with a hard prune?

When you lifted yours, did you clean all the field soil out of it right away, or did you wait for it to recover and then do it?
Title: Re: My Taxus Project
Post by: Owen Reich on January 20, 2015, 06:13 PM
First two years I planted it in the ground and occasionally dumped a 5 gallon bucket of water on it.  I took a Sawzall to the root system after initial dig and flattened rootball to 1' tall and about 3' wide.  No soil from the area around the trunk removed.   Year 3 it went into a 45 gallon squat container and was partially bare-rooted.  Year 4, a 7 gallon squat pot (fully bare-rooted) and year 5, a bonsai container (fully bare-rooted).  It hasn't been repotted for about 4 years and it's been in a bad mix of turface, granite, and peat moss  :-\.  It will be repotted this coming Spring with new planting angle and front with good mix of lava, pumice, high-fired akadama and some charcoal. 
Title: Re: My Taxus Project
Post by: Brian Van Fleet on January 20, 2015, 11:25 PM
Nice yew Owen.  They're among my favorites; wish they did better here.