Bur Oak pontesia

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Bur Oak pontesia

Post  thatboy5454 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:17 am

i put a post on here about a white oak i collected back east, got some feed back did a little research and came up with a solution. I'm currently in Colorado and it was suggested that i look into trying to figure out another type of oak to get other than white because of the species preferences of environment. it was said that the white oak probably wouldn't make it this far west, almost a coast to coast difference. so with my searching and looking into what oaks would be best suited for my environment i didn't find much, i was kind of stuck with live oaks (which look like olive plants in my opinion), and a coastal oak, which I've noticed are very expensive. i wanted and oak that no one would have question about when it came to what kind of tree it was, due to the leaf pattern. so i kind of gave up on looking for one. well i was at the nursery last week and i was looking at their stock to see what they may have, because i haven't been there in a while and they get new things in with the season or have percentage off deals around this time and came across this tree they had in the very back of the nursery. it was kinda of neglected and had mounds of moss growing on the trunk and most of the small tree was covered with weeds. i noticed that it was an oak by leaf pattern right away but wasn't sure if it was something i would be interested in due to the local nurseries purchasing trees that were out of heat and hardy zones due to their popularity and the trees dying and them making a profit off of unsuspecting people because they would probably buy the same tree next season thinking they did something wrong and caused the trees demise. well anyways...i pulled all of the weed out of the pot, inspected the root ball and checked the trunk, then i called over and attendant and asked how much the tree was m(because it had no price), she said it was about 80$ but wasn't sure. i was shocked, over priced i thought. due to the tree being severely neglected and with half or more of the tree missing, and what i mean by that is that the nursery normally stocks full size trees, 7' or better maybe a few small shrubs here and there. so i knew something was fishy about the tree. so she called over who i assume was a manager and asked the price, he said 99$, stumped again. so i asked him where was the rest of the tree, he replied that it died back last season due to improper over wintering. so i asked again how much was the tree, he said 99$. i replied that with another question of course, i asked him how would he sell the tree for full price if more than half of it is missing? he chuckled a little bit and said he would give it to me for 35 bucks. i asked him what kind of tree was it and he said it was a bur oak, i said ok ill do my research and get back with him. so i went home and found out this is just the type of tree I'm looking for as far as species, native to most Midwest, said to be one of the most drought tolerant of all the oaks (which in turns means to me pretty heat resistant), and also is hardy down to zones 2-3. so i went back a day later and bought the tree. its a scraggly little tree, but I'm sure i can turn it into something worth calling a bonsai.....i think...













the sissors ar about 4" long.

















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Re: Bur Oak pontesia

Post  Chuck-815 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:28 am

I purchased a tree from a big box store that had leaves exactly like your tree. It was labled a Northern Red Oak. When I got it home I looked up my new little tree and realized it was mislabeled. What I had was and English Oak Columnar. I am by far no expert but looking at your trees pictures I think yours may be an English Oak Columnar also.. I could be and probably am wrong but thought I'd point out my observation. To me the leaves in your pictures don't quite match Bur Oak that I have seen.

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Re: Bur Oak pontesia

Post  drgonzo on Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:44 am

I agree I doubt that is Bur Oak.

The other thing you have to ask is; Why did the top die back? Was it really improper winter storage, if so can you provide better winter storage then the nursery. Or could it be this really is Quercus robur 'Fastigiata' and as such is only hardy to zone 5?

A major part of the canopy dying back over winter is a warning sign! I have passed over killer Maple Bonsai because something "died back" or "didn't make it through the winter" because I know better.

Also shady that the price kept changing ....

Don't get me wrong man I'm with you, I'm hunting down an Oak as well, but the combination of all the above would have started ringing my warning bells....

-Jay

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Re: Bur Oak pontesia

Post  thatboy5454 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:19 am

Well like I said I did my research about the tree before I bought it. I took pictures of the leaves bark and trunk. The bur oak is known to grow in a shrub form which is like the oak I have. Also the leaves on the English oak columnar are less lobed than the tree I have. The lobed points on the tree that I have are more lateral on the points where as on a columnar they are more angled. More like a 65 degree and from the center of the leaf outward. The tops of the lobe parts of the tree leaves that I have are closely at a 90 degree angle from the center. The base that I live on have mature bur oaks. How I know that the tree is a but oak for sure is that I went to the office a while back and that is in charge of every tree type and upkeep on the federal installation. They told me that it was a bur that I was inquiring about when it came to the tree that I was asking about. Which I then in turn compared the leaves of once I got the tree home. Not an exact match but the number and shape are the same. As far as the die back....cant really say as far as that goes. I'm sure if there is anything left to inspect for health the roots are my next best bet. I'm no expert on identification but I try to make sure I keep from making myself look like an idiot by researching heavily. Just a real coincidence that we have several mature bur oak trees on post here. Also I read that oaks are broken down in too two types because there are supposed to be 6-800 types due to how easily they cross pollinate and they are red and white oaks. Bur oaks it was said to fall under white which may be why the leaves closely resemble oaks that are considered white oaks. Just what I've read in a book called the encyclopedia of garden plants by the American horticultual society.

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Re: Bur Oak pontesia

Post  Leo Schordje on Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:01 am

The leaves could be bur oak, they are native in my area, and I do see a range of leaf types. The next time you are shopping bur oaks, look for one with corky wings on the young 1st and 2nd year branches. These seem to have a rougher, more fissured bark than the bur oaks that don't have much in the way of corky wings on the branches.

for inspiration, a big bur oak near Columbus MO, in person it is "ginormous", awe inspiring huge.


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Re: Bur Oak pontesia

Post  thatboy5454 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:51 pm

mature bur oak left, my tree right. second year branch, both. my leaf i cut off a couple of days back which is why it looks a little dry.






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Re: Bur Oak pontesia

Post  drgonzo on Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:16 pm

That looks a bit better, now that I can see a mature leaf I would tend to agree with you.

Also I just did a google search on "Bur Oak Leaf" and it's amazing to see the variation in the leaves that are all presented as examples of Bur Oak....They're all over the place. Reminds me of Hawthorns and how hard they are to ID from leaves alone.

-Jay

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Re: Bur Oak pontesia

Post  thatboy5454 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:40 pm

Yea. I made sure that I wasn't buying something I had at least the slightest idea about. I didn't know much about bur oaks but I did my research on them as thoroughly as I could before I ran out of time for buying the tree. I mean it's not in the best shape but I see alot of potential. At least 5-10 years before it can be considered a bonsai, but that's what it's all about right? Learning and patience. I do plan on trying something on the tree I've never done before on any other tree, uro. It has plenty of chopped branch wounds on the main trunk. Plus the trunk itself gives me this kind of trolls home look to it. I might photo shop the tree into what I envision for a future outcome of a finished tree for the style, type and natural estetics of the tree. Should be interesting

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Re: Bur Oak pontesia

Post  marcus watts on Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:40 pm

hi.
nice trunk, loads of potential - do the leaves reduce down properly though? they seem absolutely huge compared to the trunk. Our oaks reduce a bit with lots of hard work building some ramification into the branches, but still need a 3ft++ tree to work out really.

nice find though - i'd have bought it too just for the knarly trunk Very Happy

cheers Marcus

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Re: Bur Oak pontesia

Post  thatboy5454 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:51 pm

Thanks, and from what I've read about oaks they done reduce well. Which is why I'm sure with working on the trunk, roots and leaves its sure to be a 5-10 maybe even 15 year hob in order to get it to what is to be considered a bonsai. But I have seen examples of finished oak bonsai that have very good leaf reduction. But keep in mind also that most people I've read short cut the actual time I'm assuming it would take to reduce the leaves by finding trees that already meet the height/leaf ratio in ramification of the leaves. With all oaks I've read about I've noticed a trend, that they make great trees for bonsai but they usually need a lot of work or either not much at all. Just my opinion from compiling what I've read about the trees as bonsai.

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Re: Bur Oak pontesia

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:03 pm

There was a university somewhere that had a street lined with Oaks. As part of their training in DNA testing of plants the students took samples of all the trees. Every tree had a different DNA, none were perfectly true to the species. Conclusion, most/all Oaks are really hybrids to some degree.

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Re: Bur Oak pontesia

Post  thatboy5454 on Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:07 am

yes i totally agree with all of the reaseasrch ive been doing on oaks lately. they seem to kind of mesh together readily. they say that oak trees preffer pollen from far away trees verses trees that are neighboring to them. they also say that there are hybridized versions of the bur oak as well as others. i recall reaing that there are 14 known hybridized versions of the bur oak, dont quote me on that one though, but i recall thats the number.

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