Alder sticks collected and planted out in my garden

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Alder sticks collected and planted out in my garden

Post  Guest on Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:21 am

This is common Alder, or Alnus Glutinosa (we call it 'black alder' if I would translate it literally)

Many allready know i'm not a fan (understatement) of collecting, but this was a very small area in urban centre, between housing lots. It was acquired some years ago by the foodstore accross (along with the adjascent house), but neglected since.
So yesterday I informed in the shop and first got a 'huh?' to my question if I could just have a few of the alders that ware growing there, for bonsai. After that I got 'ohhhh, sure, offcourse, go ahead'. 2 hours later I arrived and shoveled out 4 alders, ranging from 3 to 5 years I guess.

I'm now left with mainly sticks/stumps, but all have several useful buds on the trunks. So i only collected them for lower trunk part, rest is to be built up, but alders are quick growers. In 1 to 2 years I will have the second trunk part developed by at least 1 to 2 cm.
One alder had a more interessant trunk shape so i collected it to.

The 2 'stumps' I planted out in a big plastic box with open structure on the floor, covered with mosquito grid. I first dug in the box a bit and just used plain soil. It can grow freely, but roots are limited and will only slightly penetrate the grid structure. Moisture can drain freely.




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Re: Alder sticks collected and planted out in my garden

Post  chris on Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:57 pm

This is one of the only times I will get to say this in a Bonsai related thread, free draining is not the issue with Alder, yes if you can water many times a day in the summer that's OK but remember Alders along with willows love having there feet wet, river banks being there real place in the wild.
To establish these give plenty of water

Regards Chris

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Re: Alder sticks collected and planted out in my garden

Post  Guest on Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:38 pm

chris wrote:This is one of the only times I will get to say this in a Bonsai related thread, free draining is not the issue with Alder, yes if you can water many times a day in the summer that's OK but remember Alders along with willows love having there feet wet, river banks being there real place in the wild.
To establish these give plenty of water
Regards Chris

Yes I know, but actually its also because I dont want a box full of water in my allready slowly draining soil (heavy loam soil, on the higher grounds near a river valley) and i dont want to turn my bit of small garden into a local swamp area . So its a box to prevent roots growing wild, but at same time not hold to much water locally Very Happy so I would not have too much wet feet.
My other alders, which are in planted out in full ground, without box, also thrive, without having to water.

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Re: Alder sticks collected and planted out in my garden

Post  Guest on Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:16 pm

I really like the movement of the first 'Stick' (when you said stick, I thought you were talking about chopstick sized trunks). Are the lower two branches coming out from the same vertical plane? If they are then I would rid one of them even if they are intended to be sacrifices. Even better, threadgraft one of the lower branches.

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Re: Alder sticks collected and planted out in my garden

Post  Guest on Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:20 pm

aman wrote:I really like the movement of the first 'Stick' (when you said stick, I thought you were talking about chopstick sized trunks). Are the lower two branches coming out from the same vertical plane? If they are then I would rid one of them even if they are intended to be sacrifices. Even better, threadgraft one of the lower branches.

about the same yes. but i only focus on thickening it more, by strong growth.My goal is at least double it in diameter, or triple it preferably. But yes, 1 of those branches will have to go, i wont wait to remove one of those till it gets too thick and will leave a big scar for ever to be visible. about the threadgrafting, i dont consider that with alders, they always produce buds by heaps when you prune em (also on trunks) and have that much vigour, that grafting is unnecessary.

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Re: Alder sticks collected and planted out in my garden

Post  Guest on Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:51 pm

The reason why I suggested to remove one of the branches that sprout from the same point is because as they thicken, more than often they will thicken that portion of the trunk more than the portion right below it... this results in reverse taper. I have learned this the hard way.

Reverse taper is not a bad thing if you are growing a broom style tree. It actually makes the tree look really nice.

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Re: Alder sticks collected and planted out in my garden

Post  Guest on Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:09 pm

yes, offcourse its not my intention to allow reverse tapering... otherwise there is no point of collecting it and plant it out again, to create something that is worse looking in the end

thanks for your concerns, but rest assured those are things I allready have some experience with. But with alders there's a little room for making small mistakes ;-) they grow so fast that a small error can be corrected quite rapidly

for your information, no a broom style is not my intention, and would certainly not fit an alder (not natural style)

regards

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