Quercus robur

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Quercus robur

Post  JWT on Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:38 pm

Hi
This is my Oak.



I collected it a few years back, and its one of my better trees. There is not much trunk, but there is some kind of oakiness in it, don't you think.

Straight parts of the trunks are too .. straight. That can be corrected if I know what I want. I have always wondered, if it is ok to have 3 trunks there, but could not really decide. There is a weak brach low left, i try to keep it towards sun to make it stronger.

Bonsai friend visited me, and straight away turned the tree somewhat to get some movement in the trunk, and suggested, that I should remove middle trunk. I tried to do that:



I could also make it a split trunk tree.

What do you think?


Last edited by JWT on Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:52 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Quercus robur

Post  JimLewis on Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:57 pm

Before you do any radical cutting, I'd examine the value of wiring a bit of movement in the two main trunks -- especially the tallest one on the right, but both would benefit from a curve or two.


Last edited by JimLewis on Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Quercus robur

Post  M. Frary on Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:18 pm

I'm with Jim. I don't know how well oak bends or exactly how large this is but if you put some bends in the trunks you may not have to cut much at all.

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Oak

Post  BrendanR on Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:54 pm

I have a few oaks, and I have been working on them since collection a few years ago.

I had a similar problem - too long and too straight, but the trunk near the ground was quite nice.

The solution - cut them shorter.

Oaks back bud well.

I was afraid to try this and fail, so I selected one of my multi trunk trees - looked almost the same as yours.

At the beginning of the summer, just after the first leaves had hardened, I cut it back very hard on only one of the trunks. This was an experiment to see if it would back bud, as I was prepared to risk one trunk out of three.

It back budded so well I have done all three trunks over 2 seasons. The tree is now much shorter, much fuller and altogether a better piece of raw material. All I have left to worry about are their roots - collected material and roots and oaks means big risks, so I have just left them alone while I plan.

But if the growth up top is healthy go for a big chop. Just not in August - too late in the year and your trees will send out new leaves but they will not harden off before winter, and also putting out new leaves will draw too much energy from the tree and will probably harm it. Wait until next year.

Keep updating this post - I love oaks.

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Re: Quercus robur

Post  JWT on Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:48 pm

Do you edit these posts? Where are my responses?  confused 

Thank you very much Brendan for your insight. Much appreciated!

I have been doing nebari for this one for several years now, and getting slowly somewhere I suppose. As long I'm not happy with that, I won't do anything drastic. It may well be, that I put it in the ground after roots are about there, to get some credibility to the nebari.

I am lazy when it comes to wiring, but I did try this time:



Uh, I see, one must give both width and hight to the picture to get it right.

About oaks, this is my first one, but there is more to come. We have found several good ones under powerlines, with 8-12 cm trunks and good taper. We experimented a little and removed too large branches, and they really do bud back very well.

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OAK

Post  BrendanR on Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:41 pm

Like what you have done.

One other thing about oaks is they get "antlers" - dead wood that extends through the canopy. So if you wanted to shorten one of the long straight trunks - if the wire does not bend it to your liking - you can simply strip the bark.

Some ideas that I am keeping in mind for mine:

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/529442

bottom of this page:

http://www.yorkshirewalks.org/diary08/diary254.html

and here:

http://staffordshiredailyphoto.blogspot.co.uk/2013_07_01_archive.html

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Re: Quercus robur

Post  JimLewis on Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:50 pm

Do you edit these posts? Where are my responses?

We do NOT edit the posts of other people (at least not without discussing it with them beforehand to resolve some issue, and then we ask them to do it themselves, if possible). If you responded, it would be here, so I don't understand your problem, so please explain.

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Oak

Post  JWT on Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:32 pm

Jim, I did try to thank you and M. Frary, but did something wrong I suppose. So - Thank you! Wiring it was a good advise, quite embarrassing actually to see the difference between before and after.

Brendan, I had to check "antlers". That is a very nice possibility. I actually ended up doing something like that with one garden center juniper years back:



Instant kind of thing, nothing special really, but did please me at the time. Mildly put. Plan was to get tree fuller, but I got tired of those antlers and step by step shortened them.

Colin Lewis did one tanuki juniper somewhat like that in one of his books, if I remember. That I have always very much liked.

Is there a name for this style? Reindeer style?

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Oak

Post  BrendanR on Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:29 pm

Update please?

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Re: Quercus robur

Post  JWT on Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:17 pm

Nothing much to report, Brendan! My wiring was too modest, I redid it this spring. I decided it was time to remove lower parts of the root system, and I cut away about 90% of the roots. There has not been much development on the top. Cold and rainy summer too.

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Re: Quercus robur

Post  BrendanR on Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:23 pm

Update time Very Happy

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Re: Quercus robur

Post  Barry M on Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:36 pm

JWT wrote:Nothing much to report, Brendan! My wiring was too modest, I redid it this spring. I decided it was time to remove lower parts of the root system, and I cut away about 90% of the roots. There has not been much development on the top. Cold and rainy summer too.

You removed 90% of the roots? I'm a relative novice. But I wonder - is that a bit much?

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Re: Quercus robur

Post  JWT on Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:57 am

Barry M wrote:You removed 90% of the roots? I'm a relative novice. But I wonder - is that a bit much?

Root system was still there, roots were just so incredibly long. Some root from the bottom were removed altogether, top roots shortened. I tested 100% kitty litter last summer, and it did not work well. I have this discoloration with oaks, leaves are not uniformly green, veins are green, but otherwise leaves are somewhat blotchy. This soil did not help.

This spring roots were very long again, like wires. I was relieved, because last summer was not good. I cut roots pretty much the same way before, and because surface roots were finally getting thicker, I was really happy. I repotted it when buds were elongating, about week before they should have opened. Last time I needed to mess with the roots this much, I thought. Well, sad to report, this oak is probably lost. It has not leaved. I did emergency repot, and sure there were no healthy root tips. Base of the roots is still healthy looking, buds are ok, twigs are green, and cambium layer seems to be ok. I do not have high hopes, though.

So, in retrospect, yes I agree, 90% is too much. Am I loosing it because of that, I do not know. It did look rather sick last summer. Because last summer was not good, I should not have cut roots at all, just repot it to better soil. Better yet, I should have repotted it last summer when I noticed 100% kitty litter (moler clay) is not good for it. (Works with some trees, like maples.) But the roots were just so huge, its hard to describe.. Perhaps I should have taken that as a warning?

I am now noticing same kind of discoloration with my other oak. Soil is now about 50% kitty litter, 40% broken leca (stuff a lot like lava sand, but with mostly closed cells), 10% peat. All is sifted. This is very loose soil, one can easily stick ones finger in it. There is no standing water in the bottom.

I treated my both oaks pretty much the same, but the dying one was repotted about 2 weeks earlier. In the future I will repot oaks after leaves have popped out.

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Re: Quercus robur

Post  BrendanR on Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:15 pm

Oaks do not like their roots disturbed too much, and they especially need the micorrhizal fungus that lives amongst their roots.

If I had this tree and i thought i was losing it and I had another VERY healthy oak I would do this. Take the healthy tree and find a pot that you can safely slip pot it into which accommodates the root ball with very little spare room on 3 sides. So a long rectangle. Then take the other tree and plant it next to the healthy tree in the same pot. Use a mix of cat litter and organic soil to carefully fill in the spaces around both of them.

Then make sure they are well watered and hope for the best.

The one tree's healthy root and soil conditions might spread and save the other tree.

if not, you will lose only the one tree as long as you do not mess around with the roots of the healthy tree - you really need to do a slip pot under very careful conditions.

Make sure the roots are wet before you start. Soak it for 10 minutes in a bucket.

Good luck.


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