Problem with my collected OAK

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Problem with my collected OAK

Post  ironman on Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:22 pm

I collected this oak from Big Ben, Texas in Jan'13. (I have not identified the species yet.) The tree was planted in modern substrate, is watered daily and has been fertilized a half dozen times times this year. It popped buds in late April which for Central Texas is on the late side...
The leaves appear to have a mottled color as seen in the second picture which has me worried.
Do any of you oak lovers have any ideas???




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Re: Problem with my collected OAK

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:36 pm

My guess is that the sprouting you've had is from energy already stored in the plant. What kind of a root ball did you get. From what I recall of the Big Bend area, the soil is rocky, sandy, and dry; that would make for very long roots that have to go search for water.

The mottled look to the leaves also hints at some kind of insect attack -- some of the sucking insects that tend to feast upon weakened trees.

Is the tree in sun or shade?

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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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Problem with my collected OAK

Post  ironman on Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:06 pm

Jim;

Thanks for the reply...

Yes, the sprouting was not all that strong and as mentioned, the popping was late 'spring'. The root ball was small-ish and had roots searching for water. As I remember, I did collect it well from sandy type soil.

I will see if I can find insects or indications of an attack. More later...
It sits in the full sun until about 4 PM...

I also collected juniper, madrone, and a couple pinyon pines. The pines are OK but not thriving...just hanging in there.

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Re: Problem with my collected OAK

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:54 pm

I think I'd move it out of the sun -- especially after noon.

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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: Problem with my collected OAK

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:55 pm

It looks sorta like spider mite damage...

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Your Oak

Post  Derekf_2000 on Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:19 am

Yes, too much sun and insects could be the problem, but I think it's the fertilizer.
The tree should be planted in river sand from the same area where you collected it.(If possible)
Then only watered for a least a year. Fertilizer does all types of ugly things to a tree trying to survive.
Cheers from Derek in Australia.

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Re: Problem with my collected OAK

Post  marcus watts on Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:05 am

Derekf_2000 wrote:Yes, too much sun and insects could be the problem, but I think it's the fertilizer.
Then only watered for a least a year. Fertilizer does all types of ugly things to a tree trying to survive.

+1, collected material needs a few years of total tlc - the tree must repair the damage below the soil line first before it will be ready to put on strong healthy growth from above. Fertiliser and damaged trees do not mix - patience and the ability to manage water, humidity and shade are the essential tasks for the first 2 years - very light organic fertilising in yr 3 would be my prefered plan

cheers Marcus

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Problem with my collected OAK

Post  ironman on Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:12 pm

Thanks for the suggestions.
I moved it to the semi-shade yesterday so it gets morning sun but little late day sun.
I'll eliminate the feeding...I should have known better!
Spider mites wouldn't surprise me...the little buggers.
I'll update when it gets healthy again or if ... well, you know.

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Re: Problem with my collected OAK

Post  Auballagh on Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:52 pm

Oak trees are an especially difficult species to wild-collect and work with successfully as bonsai.  Some species such as the North American, Quercus phellos (Willow Oak) or especially, the European, Quercus robur (English? Oak) are known to be a bit more forgiving.  Still, potted oak trees are very tough to keep healthy and growing well horticulturally by comparison with a great many other deciduous tree species.  Even if you are doing everything exactly right, they will definitely take longer to get established.  So, patient waiting is usually the norm in working with oak trees as bonsai material.
Best of luck with your tree.

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Problem with my collected OAK

Post  ironman on Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:58 pm

Good words and will take the slow down approach now...

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