Author Topic: Old Old Oak  (Read 5073 times)

Jeff Lahr

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Old Old Oak
« on: September 09, 2009, 12:37 AM »
I've grown up around oaks of all types (about 20 species in CA). This is one of the oldest I've seen. It's on my brother-in-law's property. I get jealous every time I visit. Hope one of you finds it inspiring.
 

King Kong

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Re: Old Old Oak
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2009, 06:22 AM »
Looks to me there is a trunk chop addict on the loose in your neighborhood. Laurifolia or live oak?

__gary
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Old Old Oak
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2009, 10:17 AM »
1 of my southern live oaks
 

King Kong

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Re: Old Old Oak
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2009, 11:27 AM »
Very nice Don!

__gary
 

rockm

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Re: Old Old Oak
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2009, 11:39 AM »
Very Nice Don.

Don't see many of these around, much less of this quality.

I have one, but it's a Texas "fusiformis" variety. 

Did you dig this yourself?
 

mcpesq817

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Re: Old Old Oak
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2009, 12:44 PM »
Wow, very nice tree Don!  Thanks for sharing.
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Old Old Oak
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2009, 02:43 PM »
Very Nice Don.

Don't see many of these around, much less of this quality.

I have one, but it's a Texas "fusiformis" variety. 

Did you dig this yourself?

This one was dug by a friend.  Its been bonsai for 21 years now.
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Old Old Oak
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2009, 11:48 AM »
This is a white oak.  You don't see them as bonsai every day.  Starting to show signs of Fall.
 

JTGJr25

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Re: Old Old Oak
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2009, 12:14 PM »
Wow that is an impressive white oak very nice.  I'm seeing a lot of willow oaks here at college and its making me want to give them a try.  I've heard that they can make good bonsai.  Thanks for the inspiration.

Tom
 

rockm

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Re: Old Old Oak
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2009, 01:39 PM »
Wow. Another nice oak. Any details on how these trees were collected, or about care?

I've had my eye on a nice sizeable white oak trunk in the woods near me for years.

Thanks
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Old Old Oak
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2009, 02:33 PM »
Any details on how these trees were collected, or about care?

Oaks are not easy to collect.  Typically, they have a huge tap root and thick sprawling radial roots.  Its best to find a site with sandy soil like an old river bed or embankment.  Oaks usually don't like excessive water and the roots will stay closer to the surface in those conditions.  Plus its easier to dig in loose, sandy soil.  You will still have to saw large roots, one which will be directly below the trunk. 

I have better success digging oaks if I move them from the dig site to the ground at my house, then after a year or two, into a large growing container.  Its easier to reduce the roots that way and the success rate is higher.  For me Spring digging is best.  I know some people like to do it in the Fall.  If you put the tree in the ground then Fall is fine.

I always use fine grit as soil to keep the dampness low.  Southern oaks can handle more moisture than northern oaks so you can have more organics in your mix. 

Oaks don't rot and heal slowly so any big cuts will be there for a long time.
 

rockm

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Re: Old Old Oak
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2009, 09:33 AM »
Don, thanks for the info.

There is a school of thought from oak collectors in the UK that digging them in summer can yield a higher success rate, as they're more actively growing then. This practice sprang from many unsuccessful attempts at traditional spring and fall collection.

Ever tried summer collection with an oak?

Also what's your experience been with leaf reduction and ramification with the White Oak?
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Old Old Oak
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2009, 11:16 AM »
Rock.
I have several white oaks that I am growing.  I have never had success digging during mid-Summer.  It may just be me, but Spring works best here in Michigan.  The leaf size can vary considerably from tree to tree.  Lots of sun will yield smaller leaves.  Internode spacing is not tight.  Couple that with leaf size, even when reduced, and I find white oak need to be larger in stature to create the proper appearance.  The one in my photos was dug in the south and has smaller leaves.  It is a big tree and that helps compensate for the leaf size.  I happen to like that tree a lot, mainly because it is uncommon to see one as bonsai yet they are very common in the ground here, and also it looks very natural for a bonsai.

Pin oak is another that makes good bonsai.  Smaller leaves and good growth habits.  Unfortunately, they grow slowly and you can get die back.
 

mcpesq817

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Re: Old Old Oak
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2009, 01:57 PM »
I'll give a third "wow"!  Nice white oak Don - thanks for sharing.
 

rockm

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Re: Old Old Oak
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2009, 02:05 PM »
Thanks again Don.

I've tried white oak before, but it was years ago. I managed to kill the one I dug after a few years--the soil was wrong.

I've been looking for more experience to help me get another out of the ground and into a container. The particular tree I want has a trunk more like your Live oak's--longer and a little sinuous...Your tree is definitely a rarity. I have never seen a white oak of that size and quality in a pot. How much does it weigh? :D

Down here in Va. willow oak (quecus phellos) is another great candidate for bonsai. It has shallower root system and tap root. Leaves are capable of significant reduction also.

Goes to show that there are oak species outside of California that make excellent material also.