Harvesting Urbadory Oak

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Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  leatherback on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:27 pm

Today I got preliminary permission to dig up a quercus robur from one of the town fields. This tree is only a good meter tall, but at the base it is roughly 15cm thick. Somehow this tree is naturally slow growing, and I thought it would be ideal for bonsai.

Anyway.. Who has experience with harvesting such a tree, that he would like to share? Post dig care, time of year etc.

Considering it's location, I would have to go in, dig it out and take it with me; In the middle of a city block anything else would draw too much attention to the tree, with potential of some joker stopping by and breaking the tree up.

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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  Guest on Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:35 pm

leatherback wrote:Today I got preliminary permission to dig up a quercus robur from one of the town fields. This tree is only a good meter tall, but at the base it is roughly 15cm thick. Somehow this tree is naturally slow growing, and I thought it would be ideal for bonsai.

Anyway.. Who has experience with harvesting such a tree, that he would like to share? Post dig care, time of year etc.

Considering it's location, I would have to go in, dig it out and take it with me; In the middle of a city block anything else would draw too much attention to the tree, with potential of some joker stopping by and breaking the tree up.

urbadory, i kinda like that, its similar to the gardendori definition in a reply in another topic here Smile. Yeah nice 15cm 1 meter, i would be tempted too, elas no picture. Problem here would be, i suppose, that you cant leave a big hole and collect the 'clump' Very Happy I would if i could, dont matter 'too much' if you could just get that clump with it. THen only water with some rooting stimulant and get at the real rootwork next year. Safest. If you really have to do it the wrong way, that is bare root it or only take away some earth surrounding the roots...high risk, i would then do it in late spring-presummer. That may sound impossible but sure some (or many?) of you will have read up on this. Aftercare needed offcourse, special attention to decent watering etc. I've only done what you could call bare rooting on younger oaks (in autumn and spring), but nog collecting a urbadory or yamadori piece like that you are aiming at. Only fieldrow experience too, much more controlled. And i dont have a clue how old and settled this tree is.

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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  leatherback on Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:42 pm

hm.. I have two 45L bags of soil in my car. So leaving a hole won't be the problem (But, indeed, I promised I would leave everything nicely rakes, and with grass sown-in). So I would be able to grab a big lump of soil. The main problem would be it is growing close to a streetlight, so I might run into some cabling..

As for being established.. I think that is 'a very much so'. In the five years or so that I know the tree, it has not grown much. So I gues it is a tree of 20+ years, considering how young oak trees change a lot when they normally are left to grow 5 years.

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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  Guest on Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:46 pm

leatherback wrote:hm.. I have two 45L bags of soil in my car. So leaving a hole won't be the problem (But, indeed, I promised I would leave everything nicely rakes, and with grass sown-in). So I would be able to grab a big lump of soil. The main problem would be it is growing close to a streetlight, so I might run into some cabling..

As for being established.. I think that is 'a very much so'. In the five years or so that I know the tree, it has not grown much. So I gues it is a tree of 20+ years, considering how young oak trees change a lot when they normally are left to grow 5 years.

not grown much in five years, weird. Means you could be lucky by which i mean: its close to a streetlight so possibly concrete or stoning in the ground, and the oaks roots cant penetrate the soil good? maybe you have a good compact rootwork there... otherwise i would not really know why it does not grow much, young(er) oaks tend to grow quite strong. maybe its a cultivar, but i dont know of many and i suppose your talking about Quercus Robur.

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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  leatherback on Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:06 pm

Yeah, which is also why I am keen on getting this one. If it is a 'freak of nature'; cool. If it is limited by some obstruction in the gound: Also cool. In either case: It would make a nice tree. I think indeed it is robur. It is one of the native species, and robur is most common..

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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  Just Mike on Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:46 pm

my experience with oaks is from living in california...and the prevelant oaks here are california live oak and scrub oak...im sure there is some difference considering the climates they grow in.

with that said, where i come from when someone says "oak" 2 things immediately come to mind...tap root and hardpan...now, i know this isnt the case with your oak, but my hunch would be that if it has been struggling for quite some time (good possiblity due to the inhibited growth), then i would bet that the roots stretch pretty far and pretty deep with very few feeder roots...in short, you may not have much of a rootball to work with...i know that the oaks around here dont like their roots being messed with too much...it may be best to dig a little to see if you got anything in the way of roots that can support the tree or it will most likely die...you may have to do this over 2 seasons to encourage new roots...again, im not sure about the species you are dealing with, but it might be something to take into consideration.

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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  drgonzo on Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:36 pm

Read Harry's article here about his experience with Q. robur.

http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATquercus%20rootpruning%20and%20repotting.htm

For myself I have found the only way to collect my native deciduous Oaks is to acquire them as seedlings. But I believe robur is much more forgiving....

Would love to see a pic of the thing!
-Jay

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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  Just Mike on Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:11 pm

drgonzo wrote:Read Harry's article here about his experience with Q. robur.

http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATquercus%20rootpruning%20and%20repotting.htm

For myself I have found the only way to collect my native deciduous Oaks is to acquire them as seedlings. But I believe robur is much more forgiving....

Would love to see a pic of the thing!
-Jay

same here in my area...there is absolutely no way to collect california oaks (besides the fact that they are mostly protected)...i havnt even had much luck trying to dig volunteers that readily seed themselves in my moms back yard...i swear, they are almost all tap-root with little else going on as far as a rootball goes...and the soil they grow in around here is clay, so trying to save feeder roots is very problematic...

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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  leatherback on Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:10 am

As the world is too small a place, I am not going to post pictures of this plant on the web (Call me paranoia, I don't care) untill I have it safely transported to my place.

Thx drgonzo; I did see harry's article. Have read it, and am a little concerned by this. Not sure why Wink Maybe I should give him a ring and ask. It just feels wrong to collect in mid-summer and put a tree in a tub of water to re-establish Very Happy. Was hoping to hear some more experiences.

As for taproots, drgonzo and JustMike: Yes. Certainly. Robur suffers the same fait. Luckily, I live in a region where we have no rocks or stones in the soil, and the soil is soft for the first 40 metres or so (Ancient floodplanes). So digging here is a breeze (I dug a 4 feet deep, 25 feet wide pond in my garden in just 3 days). It however also means that we have not many misformed/naturally stunted plants around. The rooting is very easy here.

A year ago I collected a robur in a spot due for clearing, in late winter. (The municipality chainsaws were about a week away from trimming everything down to the ground). That worked out very well. I left 30cm of taproot, planted it deep between bushes and left it for the year. Just 2 weeks ago I lifted it and nice roots had formed. But that was a younger plant, maybe 2 inches. As the trunk was not very nice, it is now a stump of 4 inches tall ;D. Not sure whether it was luck, or a right way to go about it. Would love to repeat this routine on the current oak, but I would really hate to kill this tree..

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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  sunip on Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:26 am

Hello
Quersus needs to be harvested a few weeks before buds break as tradition tells us.
But i would give the idea in the bonsai4me article a try.
Important is to keep some beneficial fungea of the soil and as much as possible feeder roots.
After collecting one should keep them free from any frost,(i lost a 1207 potted yamadori quersus 25 diameter, last winter)
Later on one has to cheque regularly on mildew.
They love a bit of lime in a free draining soil.
Good luck.
Sunip Wink

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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  leatherback on Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:06 am

Soo.. Today I went ahead with the collection. Surprisingly, there were not a lot of roots going down.

Now that I have the tree sitting here in the garden, I am considering reducing the height of the tree. By removing the thicker branch of the fork, somewhere halfway up the tree, I will get a more extreme taper, and it will allow me to reduce the height somewhat (Which is now a serious 4 feet/1.2 meters). Any thoughts?




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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  Guest on Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:51 pm

leatherback wrote:Soo.. Today I went ahead with the collection. Surprisingly, there were not a lot of roots going down.

Now that I have the tree sitting here in the garden, I am considering reducing the height of the tree. By removing the thicker branch of the fork, somewhere halfway up the tree, I will get a more extreme taper, and it will allow me to reduce the height somewhat (Which is now a serious 4 feet/1.2 meters). Any thoughts?

Hi Jelle,
My thought is, go for it like you described (its a good and obvious choice)

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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  sunip on Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:08 pm

Hello,
I was thinking of something like this as a point to start with.
But it is difficult to say something about design with these pictures.
Can you make some images from for sides with a backdrop and the nerbari visible.
Sunip Wink

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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  leatherback on Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:50 pm

Hey Sunip.

thx. I cannot Smile . In order to create new roots, I prefer to plant trees in full ground for a year. So it is planted deep in between some shrubs. So.. No nebari in view Very Happy. I will look through my images later My machine is creating a backup of the picture library now) for some pics from the side & the roots.

I can see where you are going with this. but eh... I also doubt very much I want to reduce the tree that much. I am thinking the plant will remain 80-90 cm tall. I like big trees Very Happy I realize it will not become a sumo-bonsai, and rather on the slender side. But well.. That I'll accept Very Happy

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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  Auballagh on Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:53 pm

Hello Leatherback, that's a very nice looking tree. I'm curious as to why you didn't follow Harry's advice in Bonsai4me on collecting this Quercus robur? He himself points out the early difficulties he was having in collecting this endemic species, until he changed the timing and process. I too was having zero success in collecting field grown Quercus virginiana, for pretty much the same reasons that Harry Harrington experienced in collecting his local English Oaks. In my region it seems that the oak trees take just a little longer to 'wake up' from winter dormancy than most other deciduous tree species around them. Learning to wait for the optimum time to collect, has boosted my success to the point that I haven't lost a single tree after collection since following Harry's advice. Were you under pressure on the tree site because of upcoming demolition or construction, to collect the tree quickly?

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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  sunip on Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:57 am

Yes they are one of the latest to come into grow, this is in Holland the same.
Except of the Catalpa are the oaks the latest in my garden.
Harvesting this tree is months to early i think, to night we had some frost again.
I hope you can give it some extra cover.
Sunip Wink

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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  leatherback on Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:40 am

The main reason for not trying to bonsai4me way.. Mainly because of habit and mixed messages? i know that winter transplants often work. And with temperatures this week expecting to tip 15 celcius (59F) and the oak starting to get really pronounced buds, I thought it would a good moment now.

Sunip: I find your reply puzzling. You yourself posted that Oaks are traditionally moved a some weeks before bud-break. Budbreak for oaks are in the netherlands typically around the first week of April, which would be about 4 weeks from now. So how can it be months too early? Crying or Very sad

As the plant is in full ground, I think the frost-risk is not too bad, assuming we are not getting a few weeks of late frost.

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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  Guest on Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:57 am

leatherback wrote:The main reason for not trying to bonsai4me way.. Mainly because of habit and mixed messages? i know that winter transplants often work. And with temperatures this week expecting to tip 15 celcius (59F) and the oak starting to get really pronounced buds, I thought it would a good moment now.

Sunip: I find your reply puzzling. You yourself posted that Oaks are traditionally moved a some weeks before bud-break. Budbreak for oaks are in the netherlands typically around the first week of April, which would be about 4 weeks from now. So how can it be months too early? Crying or Very sad

As the plant is in full ground, I think the frost-risk is not too bad, assuming we are not getting a few weeks of late frost.

its weird that in neighbouring belgium, the budbreak for Quercus Robur is not beginning of april but typical mid to end of april? Or what exactly do you mean with budbreak? I mean completely open buds but not yet visible growth. So the first crop of tiny leaves visible but not yet unfolded. Here, only 100km south, thats 2 weeks later. You could call that a small margin but phenologically its a big margin.

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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  sunip on Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:32 am

Hello Leatherback
Sorry to hear i was not clear enough.
Maybe you are right, and am i only looking at the last year when everything was late.
Looking at budbreak oaks act a bit mediterranian, i had the impression they show their lovely fresh green cloud later then start of april.
Funny thing is, we have two big oaks (same species) in our garden, one is always coming into green a month later then the other (in springtime people often ask if that one is dead).
Only last year, after that severe winterfrost, they came at almost the same time into green the late one was even a bit earlier.
Trees who did not started already early due to that warm spell in midwinter, had a big advantage later on.
Well i went out as it is a lovely sunny day, to look at my little seedling oaks who are planted in the ground
and found no sign to transplant them.
Indeed winter transplants are done with some species, if i am right i remember Hydrangea Petiolaris is recommended
and Larix is done early in the year as well but because they are in a bonsai pot i put them in the greenhouse after.
Good luck and keep him protected.
Sunip Wink

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Re: Harvesting Urbadory Oak

Post  leatherback on Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:31 am

Sigh; Looks like I am on the short straw again. With temperatures dropping to -10C last night, and a coat of ice on all the lakes again, I am just hoping I didn't mess up Sad Time will tell. If I have no leaves in 6 weeks, I am in trouble Very Happy

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