Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

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Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  Tokennyc on Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:08 pm

Hi all!

I'm new to this forum and new to the Bonsai Arts. I am however a longtime enthusiast, having been studying the techniques and practice academically off and on for many years now. What has kept me from taking up the physical practice until about a year ago has been a lack of outdoor space. Two years ago my wife and I bought and renovated a house in Brooklyn Ny with a back yard!!!! Having left gardening behind in Napa Ca when we relocated in 2005 I was eager to get my hands back into the dirt.

With the mention of dirt I will try and ask my first series of questions. But first a bit of explanation. Last summer I came across a very exciting add on Craig's list; someone was selling his field grown trees for almost nothing. As a self proclaimed "small tree" nut but not a Bonsai practitioner per se, he has been growing trees with the knowledge of annual above and below ground pruning. His interest wasn't waining, his space was just diminishing and wanted to purge I visited in Aug. and both of us knowing it was not the right time for collection I paid him his asking price for a Silver Birch and a Chinese elm, both approx. 10 years old (he had them since they were seedlings) and arranged to return to Long Island to collect them in late fall after leaf drop. In the mean time I continued to study. I have read and reread the organic soil vs inorganic medium debates over and over. My idea upon collection was to bring some pre sifted calcined clay or Diatomaceous Earth such as Turface and mix it with the very loamy soil that the trees were currently growing in. And that is what I ended up doing. Now to the first concern. Even after reviewing all the data on soil composition, particle size and container size I believe I have made two drastic errors.

1. Ratio of calcined clay to soil to low.
2. Size of the recover boxes planted into too big.( on the birch especially.)

Question!!!!! Finally. I hope some of you are still reading.

1. Should I just let them get though the winter and watch them recover a year before trying to amend the soil and container issues knowing that the conditions aren't ideal.
2. Would it be unsafe to repot into better containers and soil composition in say Late March early April, if and whenever I see buds swelling, post late frost risk?

My intuition ( the only thing I have other than the Internet ) is torn. I feel like the safe thing to do is just let them be and wait to see them get at least somewhat established before disturbing them again. But the perfectionist in me wants to optimize their health by giving them the best start in containers they can get. But if disturbing them too early is a step in the wrong direction I want to wait.

Advice???

Thanks for reading


Tokennyc
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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  Tokennyc on Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:17 pm

Sorry for the lack of visual ref. Im trying to post images from phone but I'm not having any luck.

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  ironhorse on Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:42 pm

I'd be inclined to wait - 'too large' a container shouldn't be an issue and I think your instinct is right to not further disturb & stress your new trees.

Dave

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  sunip on Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:13 pm

Hello
Let them grow for a season, but water control is important.
The soil should not stay wet, some protection of the container during some serious rain is a must.
All depending on your soil mix ofcours.
Sunip Wink

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  ironhorse on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:28 pm

I meant to add - the soil composition isnt critical so long as it's a fairly free draining mix. Would like to see some pics, please

Dave

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  Tokennyc on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:00 am

Dave

I have tried several times to post images from my phone and have had no luck with this interface. Any advice as yo how to post pics here from a phone?

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  bonsaisr on Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:06 am

Chinese elm should do well. Find out what species of birch you have. Most of them are poor bonsai material.
Iris

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:47 pm

Tokennyc wrote:Dave

I have tried several times to post images from my phone and have had no luck with this interface. Any advice as yo how to post pics here from a phone?

Can you move them from phone to computer? Or take them with a real camera?

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  Twisted Trees on Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:08 pm

[quote="JimLewis"]
Tokennyc wrote:Or take them with a real camera?
A phone isn't a real camera? scratch

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  leatherback on Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:36 pm

Twisted Trees wrote:A phone isn't a real camera? scratch

Phone is for communicating (Calling, really) and a camera is for taking pictures. I would conclude.. Nope, not the same?

But don't trust me; Trust someone making a living using a camera: http://www.prophotoshow.net/2012/12/03/phone-mobile-photos-vs-professional-cameras/

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  Tokennyc on Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:24 pm

OK here they are. From a phone to a computer to the wild wild web. How the hell did he take these with out a camera? Razz








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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  ironhorse on Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:52 pm

Thanks for the pics - impressive trees, loads of potential there

Dave

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  sunip on Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:35 pm

Hello Tokennic.
Not bad at all!
Protect them from frost this winter.
Sunip Wink

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  Tokennyc on Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:39 pm

@Sunip Thanks!! Can you elaborate a bit on frost protection and recently collected material? We have had some sustained frosts here this winter.

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  guy ward on Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:16 pm

how big is the second tree---those leaves look "beech"-ish

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  Tokennyc on Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:45 am

Now that you mention it they do look a bit like Beech. But the bark and the way the trunk has developed look like elm to me. I was told it was elm by the person I collected from. ????


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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  guy ward on Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:37 am

--I'm also unsure--the leaves look too large Question --unless maybe it's a golden elm-----

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  Just Mike on Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:00 am

guy ward wrote:--I'm also unsure--the leaves look too large Question --unless maybe it's a golden elm-----

elm leaves can be quite large before reduction techniques...like 3-6 inches long...so the size isnt much of an indicator when compring to beech, which also have leaves that are about 3-5 inches long before reduction...they also look A LOT alike...the bark and shape of trunk dont look much like a feild grown beech to me...its probably an elm...in spring it will be easier to tell for sure, but just from that picture im like 95% sure thats an elm...


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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  guy ward on Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:44 am

Just Mike wrote:
guy ward wrote:--I'm also unsure--the leaves look too large Question --unless maybe it's a golden elm-----

elm leaves can be quite large before reduction techniques...like 3-6 inches long...so the size isnt much of an indicator when compring to beech, which also have leaves that are about 3-5 inches long before reduction...they also look A LOT alike...the bark and shape of trunk dont look much like a feild grown beech to me...its probably an elm...in spring it will be easier to tell for sure, but just from that picture im like 95% sure thats an elm...

cool--I didnt know chinese elm leaves could get that big ThumbsUp

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  Just Mike on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:18 pm

guy ward wrote:
Just Mike wrote:
guy ward wrote:--I'm also unsure--the leaves look too large Question --unless maybe it's a golden elm-----

elm leaves can be quite large before reduction techniques...like 3-6 inches long...so the size isnt much of an indicator when compring to beech, which also have leaves that are about 3-5 inches long before reduction...they also look A LOT alike...the bark and shape of trunk dont look much like a feild grown beech to me...its probably an elm...in spring it will be easier to tell for sure, but just from that picture im like 95% sure thats an elm...

cool--I didnt know chinese elm leaves could get that big ThumbsUp

elms in general are usually 3-6 inches...the chinese elm is on the smaller side, but still around 3 inches on a field grown healthy tree...maybe a tad bit smaller...and im not entirely conviced it is a chinese elm, and if not for the guy who grew them saying it is, that wouldmt have been my guess...really it hard to tell and the bark is mostly what i am going off of in that picture...and the shape of the trunk isnt very beechish...either way, the op is a luckier man than i am for finding these lol.

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  Tokennyc on Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:46 pm

Here is an image provided to me by the previous owner of the tree many years ago. The leaves are more visible here. Take a look all you experts and let me know what you think. I still have the feeling its elm of one kind or another.



Thanks for reading!!

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  guy ward on Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:58 am

yes --i was on the wrong track with "beech"-but def not chinese

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

Post  rockm on Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:05 pm

Bark and leaves make me think this tree might be hophornbeam (oystra virginiana)

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=OSVI

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Re: Advice on newly collected and already poorly boxed material/Betula and Ulmus.

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