Willow oak

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Willow oak

Post  LittleJoe on Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:12 pm

Just acquired a 15-20 year old willow oak bonsai. I did a search here and nothing came up. Does anyone here have one? I could use some guidance. There is almost nothing on the inter webs on caring for one.

Thank you

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Re: Willow oak

Post  JimLewis on Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:19 am

http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?510-Another-willow-oak

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Re: Willow oak

Post  beer city snake on Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:02 am

***pssst*** hey jim... you just sent him somewhere else...but at least it wasnt to fakebook Razz

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Re: Willow oak

Post  Sorcertree on Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:43 am

Lol...Facebook isn't fake!

People are actually doing all the dumb stuff they post about!

Sorce

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Re: Willow oak

Post  JimLewis on Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:40 pm

Psst, yourself, Kevin . . . I wasn't sending him to MY pictures posted over there, but I also wasn't going to post that entire thread -- which contains as much blather as it does usefulness -- over here, since none of it was MY property.

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Re: Willow oak

Post  Zach Smith on Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:48 pm

Not to complicate things, but Jay Wilson's tree linked to by Jim is not a willow oak, it's a water oak. Care is very similar, however. Willow oak is very well suited to life as a bonsai, they backbud well and the leaf size reduces by about half, to 1-2". No special care required. I have a nice one that survived Winter 2014, but it came out very, very late this year. Then it grew like crazy.

Zach

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Re: Willow oak

Post  coh on Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:04 pm

Zach Smith wrote:Not to complicate things, but Jay Wilson's tree linked to by Jim is not a willow oak, it's a water oak.  Care is very similar, however.  Willow oak is very well suited to life as a bonsai, they backbud well and the leaf size reduces by about half, to 1-2".  No special care required.  I have a nice one that survived Winter 2014, but it came out very, very late this year.  Then it grew like crazy.

Zach

Zach,

A couple of questions:

1) How can you tell the difference, and
2) Does it matter in terms of cultivation?

I bought one of Jay's "willow oaks" when he was selling his collection, he said it was Quercus phellos but the leaves don't look exactly like willow oak I'm familiar with - they're not quite as long and thin. But, they don't really look like photos I've seen of water oak either. Maybe a hybrid?

The one I bought was #6 in this thread: http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?17067-Selling-My-Collection-Part-3&p=229040#post229040 If you don't mind taking a look and giving me an opinion on which it is, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

Chris

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Re: Willow oak

Post  Zach Smith on Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:59 pm

coh wrote:
Zach Smith wrote:Not to complicate things, but Jay Wilson's tree linked to by Jim is not a willow oak, it's a water oak.  Care is very similar, however.  Willow oak is very well suited to life as a bonsai, they backbud well and the leaf size reduces by about half, to 1-2".  No special care required.  I have a nice one that survived Winter 2014, but it came out very, very late this year.  Then it grew like crazy.

Zach

Zach,

A couple of questions:

1) How can you tell the difference, and
2) Does it matter in terms of cultivation?

I bought one of Jay's "willow oaks" when he was selling his collection, he said it was Quercus phellos but the leaves don't look exactly like willow oak I'm familiar with - they're not quite as long and thin. But, they don't really look like photos I've seen of water oak either. Maybe a hybrid?

The one I bought was #6 in this thread: http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?17067-Selling-My-Collection-Part-3&p=229040#post229040 If you don't mind taking a look and giving me an opinion on which it is, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

Chris
You can't miss a willow oak. The leaves are thin and narrow, 3/8-3/4" wide by 2-4 1/2" long, straight-side to very slightly wavy. Water oak leaves are quite variable in shape, especially in younger specimens. I don't know if they hybridize with willow oak in nature. I do know that water oaks are far, far more common in my neck of the woods than willow oaks, probably 50 or even 100 to 1.

As far as cultivation goes, there's really no difference between the two. A regular, well draining bonsai soil works fine.

Hope this helps.

Zach

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Re: Willow oak

Post  JimLewis on Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:05 pm

Zach Smith wrote:Not to complicate things, but Jay Wilson's tree linked to by Jim is not a willow oak, it's a water oak.  Care is very similar, however.  Willow oak is very well suited to life as a bonsai, they backbud well and the leaf size reduces by about half, to 1-2".  No special care required.  I have a nice one that survived Winter 2014, but it came out very, very late this year.  Then it grew like crazy.

Zach

I think I beg to differ. The leaves are had to see in the pic of Jay's tree, but I don't really see the club shape that virtually all water oaks (may they all rot in Hades rather than on so many house roofs!) have. They look like narrow willow oak leaves to me.



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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: Willow oak

Post  Zach Smith on Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:14 pm

Here's a shot of my willow oak.  Most of the leaves are gone, but you can see how slender and straight-sided the leaves are.  The length versus width ratio is a dead giveaway.

Zach



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Re: Willow oak

Post  LittleJoe on Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:20 pm

Thanks for all your answers. I got my tree from the same person Jim linked to. Now I'm not sure what I have:

If it's not a willow oak, I have plenty at work. I'll just collect some acorns next fall as I really think it would make a good tree.

Thanks again,

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Re: Willow oak

Post  Zach Smith on Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:35 pm

LittleJoe wrote:Thanks for all your answers. I got my tree from the same person Jim linked to. Now I'm not sure what I have:

If it's not a willow oak, I have plenty at work. I'll just collect some acorns next fall as I really think it would make a good tree.

Thanks again,
This one looks a lot more "willowy" than the linked one. Nice tree.

Zach

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Re: Willow oak

Post  LittleJoe on Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:48 pm

Thanks Zach,

What's your advice on taking care of it. That picture really is the tree's best angle. It has a lot of issues. I wonder if it coming from Florida that it never got a proper dormancy. The plan right now is to re pot it in the spring into some gritty mix and just let it grow for a few years. What do you feed yours?

Thanks again,

LittleJoe
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Re: Willow oak

Post  Zach Smith on Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:07 pm

LittleJoe wrote:Thanks Zach,

What's your advice on taking care of it. That picture really is the tree's best angle. It has a lot of issues. I wonder if it coming from Florida that it never got a proper dormancy. The plan right now is to re pot it in the spring into some gritty mix and just let it grow for a few years. What do you feed yours?

Thanks again,
Oaks are tough as oak (ha), so they can take a good bit of abuse. I think repotting in spring is definitely the way to go. Willow oak likes moisture, but I'd avoid any soil mix that doesn't drain well. Just keep it well watered. As for food, I use the time release stuff with trace minerals. Simplifies things for me.

Zach

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Re: Willow oak

Post  coh on Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:43 pm

That last pic is what the leaves look like on mine as well...definitely not as long and skinny as the willow oaks I've seen in the landscape up here (or as in Zach's pic), but not obviously club shaped like the schematics of water oak.

In either case, if it doesn't really matter in terms of culture, that's good enough for me!

LittleJoe, nice to see you here on ibc.

Chris

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Re: Willow oak

Post  JimLewis on Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:51 pm

These are willow oaks and are much better bonsai subjects than most Southeastern US oaks -- closer to the oaks of the western US. Have fun with it.

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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: Willow oak

Post  LittleJoe on Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:04 pm

coh wrote:That last pic is what the leaves look like on mine as well...definitely not as long and skinny as the willow oaks I've seen in the landscape up here (or as in Zach's pic), but not obviously club shaped like the schematics of water oak.

In either case, if it doesn't really matter in terms of culture, that's good enough for me!

LittleJoe, nice to see you here on ibc.

Chris


You as well Chris

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Re: Willow oak

Post  LittleJoe on Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:05 pm

Zach Smith wrote:
LittleJoe wrote:Thanks Zach,

What's your advice on taking care of it. That picture really is the tree's best angle. It has a lot of issues. I wonder if it coming from Florida that it never got a proper dormancy. The plan right now is to re pot it in the spring into some gritty mix and just let it grow for a few years. What do you feed yours?

Thanks again,
Oaks are tough as oak (ha), so they can take a good bit of abuse.  I think repotting in spring is definitely the way to go.  Willow oak likes moisture, but I'd avoid any soil mix that doesn't drain well.  Just keep it well watered.  As for food, I use the time release stuff with trace minerals.  Simplifies things for me.

Zach

Thank you Zach

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Re: Willow oak

Post  Auballagh on Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:29 pm

Those are interesting oaks that are pictured in this thread.  Smile
The Willow Oak, Quercus phellos is one of the outstanding species of North American Oak trees to develop and work with as Bonsai.  
I believe that the reason is the relatively shallow growing root systems of these trees in the wild.  That being said though, Oaks take a level of care, patience and timing that is a bit different from other deciduous trees used as Bonsai.
THIS ARTICLE regarding the landscape/wild collection and care of Quercus robur, European Oak from Harry Harringtons Bonsai 4Me web site is one of the most knowledgeable and informed articles regarding the keeping of Oaks as potted plant material I have yet to discover and read.

The most informative and helpful information I found in the article, was specifically regarding the seasonality and Timing Issues of re-potting and working with Oaks.
Good luck with your Willow Oak.  I have good luck working with that species and have also discovered that Pin Oak, Quercus palustris adapts pretty readily to pot cultivation as well.  But unfortunately, it takes a bit more work to reduce leaf size in Pin Oaks however.

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Re: Willow oak

Post  LittleJoe on Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:45 pm

Auballagh wrote:Those are interesting oaks that are pictured in this thread.  Smile
The Willow Oak, Quercus phellos is one of the outstanding species of North American Oak trees to develop and work with as Bonsai.  
I believe that the reason is the relatively shallow growing root systems of these trees in the wild.  That being said though, Oaks take a level of care, patience and timing that is a bit different from other deciduous trees used as Bonsai.
THIS ARTICLE regarding the landscape/wild collection and care of Quercus robur, European Oak from Harry Harringtons Bonsai 4Me web site is one of the most knowledgeable and informed articles regarding the keeping of Oaks as potted plant material I have yet to discover and read.

The most informative and helpful information I found in the article, was specifically regarding the seasonality and Timing Issues of re-potting and working with Oaks.
Good luck with your Willow Oak.  I have good luck working with that species and have also discovered that Pin Oak, Quercus palustris adapts pretty readily to pot cultivation as well.  But unfortunately, it takes a bit more work to reduce leaf size in Pin Oaks however.

Good read, thank you for that. Do you adhere to the principles in the article?

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Re: Willow oak

Post  Auballagh on Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:56 pm

Little Joe wrote:Do you adhere to the principles in the article?"

Yes.  I was having the same problems Harry was having when re-potting my oak trees in the spring.  Severe die back down to root or basal suckers. And once, with a pretty nice one.... even death of the tree.
The article confirmed a timing issue for doing those things with my Oaks.  These things a late sleepers!  So, now I know to perform work much later in the season, than for my other deciduous trees.  Keep a close eye on them, and the oaks themselves will tell you when they're ready, as the buds start swelling and getting 'feathery' when the tree is waking up.   Smile

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Re: Willow oak

Post  LittleJoe on Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:02 am

Auballagh wrote:
Little Joe wrote:Do you adhere to the principles in the article?"

Yes.  I was having the same problems Harry was having when re-potting my oak trees in the spring.  Severe die back down to root or basal suckers.  And once, with a pretty nice one....  even death of the tree.
The article confirmed a timing issue for doing those things with my Oaks.  These things a late sleepers!  So, now I know to perform work much later in the season, than for my other deciduous trees.  Keep a close eye on them, and the oaks themselves will tell you when they're ready, as the buds start swelling and getting 'feathery' when the tree is waking up.   Smile

So just to be clear, don't do any root work in till it has leafed out? That's very important info for everyone working with oaks!

That could also explain the great nebari:



Thank you again,

LittleJoe
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Re: Willow oak

Post  Auballagh on Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:12 am

Little Joe wrote:So just to be clear, don't do any root work in till it has leafed out?

Yeah, I have had very good results in transplanting, collecting, potting up and-repotting (Root work!) Oaks,  when I have waited until the tree was out of dormancy.  
That being said, I would still recommend going as early as possible for this.  For one thing, there will a lot less stress on the tree, while it's still relatively cool out.  For another, catching it early before the new, emergent leaves have hardened off will ensure that the stored energy in those roots is flowing strongly up that trunk to build the new leaves.  Perfect conditions for root work.

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Re: Willow oak

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