Could you give a man a hand?

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Could you give a man a hand?

Post  DURABLETEX on Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:25 pm

I'm a newbie. A greenhorn, A bud.. Whatever the term you choose.. But, I am patient, I garden quite well and A fair argument could be made that I have the best kept lawn in my neighborhood. So, I feel confident in my ability to pull this off.. With the help of this site of course.. Even I know if you want to succeed you need advice and council from those who have. So, on bended knee, I humbly ask for a mentor..

To be specific, I am beginning with wild, naturally grown trees in my local environment. I live in Texas, And have access to Bald cypress, Cedar Elms, Junipers, Oaks (live-red-brushy) maples, and several really cool wild things I cant even identify.. But all trees I have, or will, collect, will call out to me as i pass or I wont even touch em. so, I'm gonna have a lot of good head starts.. I Initially will need some advise on harvesting. I have read quite a bit, seen many videos, and spoken to many I trust in the green thumb community. I have researched to the point that my sources are beginning to contradict one another. So.. I am looking for someone who wants to walk through the process with me the first time round. I'll provide photos of the tree in the wild.(It is currently approaching the time of harvest, so) I'll pull it, and then I'd need help with the initial couple of weeks, monitoring, potting, feeding, watering etc..And then of course the occaisonal update as seasons and situations come and go. All photos requested will be provided.. We can correspond here, and perhaps we can become friends.. I hope to find a good soul willing to help me learn this amazing skill..


IN payment, I will be more than willing to ship you one of the species I have access to. So, If you would want to have one of the trees, I can most likely oblige.. A small price to pay for good advice!

P.S. Before anyone attacks me for harvesting a wild tree.. Allow me to point out that I OWN the land that most of my trees will come from. So.. I will be collecting and sharing regardless of what others may or may not find ethical. Please bear in mind my stubborn audacity before you agree to help.

I look forward to hearing from anyone...


Steve.


DURABLETEX
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Re: Could you give a man a hand?

Post  augustine on Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:32 am

Steve,

It would be great if you found a good mentor. Regardless you will still need to learn on your own.

You can find good reading on the web and library. Try the articles on evergreengardenworks.com, bonsai4me in addition to this forum. Borrow everything you can from the library and check out YouTube. Don't miss the Bonsai Art of Japan video series.

The very best thing you can do is join a bonsai club.

Best,

Augustine

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Give a Man a Hand

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:37 am

Read Bonsai from the Wild by Nick Lenz. He writes about the Northeast, but there is a lot of good information.
Iris

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Re: Could you give a man a hand?

Post  JMcCoy on Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:09 am

Hi Steve,
Looks like you're about 10 miles away from me!  Leander is just up the road.  Iris is right that Nick Lenz book is a great one, but I found it doesn't really address southern species that you're talking about.  As far as I've found, there is no definitive book on our area.

My advice - join the Austin Bonsai Society!  www.austinbonsaisociety.com
We have a group of 40-50 members who have been doing bonsai for a very long time in this area.  There's a terrific knowledge base here already set up!  In fact, I just interviewed one of our longest members who has been growing Bonsai in Austin since the 1950's.  Also we have a bunch of hard-core collectors in both Austin and San Antonio, and digging with a buddy is always more fun!

For advice on your collecting - I'd wait until probably early to mid Feb before digging.  Unless you have a greenhouse or other way to protect the newly collected trees from unexpected frost, it's best to wait until just before bud break.  The toughest thing for most beginners is usually finding appropriate material to work with, and passing by the rest.  What I mean is to collect a plant with a nice-sized trunk with movement & taper, and usually one that has at least some of the primary branches in the "bonsai zone" (meaning low to the ground).  I've seen people dig broomstick-straight trunks with no taper/movement, no useable branches, and then wait for the tree to become interesting.  Usually after a few years these beginning trials are relegated to an auction or raffle in favor of better stock.  That's not to say you wouldn't have an eye for choosing raw material, but I thought I'd bring it up.  In our area, I bare-root all broadleaf species and put them directly into a coarse soiless mix.  Our Ashe Juniper, Loblolly pine and other conifers are treated differently, taking a core of native soil with the tree and slowly reducing it over 2-3 years of successive repottings.  Aftercare during the first few months is the most critical - they need to be kept moist and protected until the new growth hardens off, then introduced to more sun and wind.  I consider a new collected tree to be in the clear once it has made it through its first year.

Have fun, and welcome to the wild world of Bonsai!!  Hope to see you down at one of the meetings sometime!  Very Happy 

JMcCoy
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Reply with quote Could you give a man a hand?

Post  ironman on Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:33 pm

Joey's advice is sound and solid. A club is where to start - sit next to Joey for his take on what is said.

As for help collecting, I'll be happy to help...
I live near San Antonio and collect like crazy. I can come up your way or come on down this way sometime.
We are collecting now.
I've got the tools and all the stuff we will need...

ironman
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Re: Could you give a man a hand?

Post  JMcCoy on Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:04 pm

Here's another of those big collectors! Good to see you Ironman! Looking forward to our next shovel adventure.

JMcCoy
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Could you give a man a hand?

Post  ironman on Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:14 pm

Morning, Joey.
I'm looking forward to the next digging quest...

If you get a free Friday or Saturday, give me a holler!
I've been out collecting for the past 3 weeks; junipers and bald cypress.
FYI; the low water bridge construction is well on its way and all the tress in that drainage area have disappeared! Sad 

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Re: Could you give a man a hand?

Post  JMcCoy on Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:20 pm

Crappo!! They've all been dozed now? I keep thinking about that ridiculous big-big Bald Cypress that was left behind. I hope you got the chance to pull a few more of the smaller trees before construction began. I'd love to join, but those days are always so busy at work. If it changes and I'm free, I'll send you word, thanks!

JMcCoy
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Could you give a man a hand?

Post  ironman on Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:32 pm

Yes, dozer got what was left...
I managed to pick up 50+ before the work started...

I did find another area with trees which, although taller, were not as good.
I'll keep you in mind when I plan a trip.
Saturday's are 'date night' at my house so I generally dig on Friday's.
Having said that, this Saturday I have a kitchen pass...

Maybe we could drag DURABLETEX along on our next trip.
I do want to go up and see DURABLETEX and what I can do to help out.



ironman
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GREAT!

Post  DURABLETEX on Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:17 pm

Sorry for my absence, I'm a first time dad of an 18 month old, and weekends belong to my girls!.. Unless of course I make other plans in advance;)
I'm very excited to hear from ironman, and I appreciate the connection Mr. McCoy..
I would LOVE to join you guys for a dig.. I do have a brutal schedule, and a wife and daughter who seem unable to function unless I'm present.. Sooo..
As I mentioned before, I have some neat trees I've been smitten with that I'm dying to pull.. But, I'm concerned.. Because of the several in the group, half are still dropping leaves and the other half are bare...?? I'ts confusing my confidence in their dormancy.
I've been dying to get a cypress..  If you would be willing to let me join you on a cypress extract.. I'd be very excited..

I'll be in touch real soon.. Looking forward to all of this stuff...

I'll contact Mccoy with my mail address...

Durable.

DURABLETEX
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Re: Could you give a man a hand?

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