Myrtle just dug up

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Myrtle just dug up

Post  mike page on Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:20 pm

Small leaf Myrtle growing in my yard for about 25 years or so. I think it's myrtus communis var. Tarentina. Height from rim of tub is about 19 inches.
I plan to let it soak for 2 or 3 days with some rooting hormone and mild fertilizer in the water. Then I'll hose the old soil off of the roots and soak it again. In about a week it will go in a pot. Then comes the time for study and decision making about it's future.

Mike


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Re: Myrtle just dug up

Post  Carolee on Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:25 am

I'm curious about digging up a deciduous tree at this time of year. Do you typically do this or just for this species or ??? Thanks!

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Re: Myrtle just dug up

Post  mike page on Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:19 am

Hi Carolee
I live near San Francisco, about 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The climate is mild and the ocean fog provides moist air which is good for growing. I think almost anything can be dug up this time of year and make a successful transition to container culture.
I believe in a long soak with rooting hormones and mild nutrition in the water, It gets the plant well hydrated before potting and stores up some nutrients to sustai9n it while new roots are forming.
Anyway, that's my theory. Seems to work.

Mike

BTW, your Ben Franklin quote is one of my favorites.

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Re: Myrtle just dug up

Post  Jerry Meislik on Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:31 pm

Mike,
Looking forward to what you do with it.
Jerry
www.bonsaihunk.us

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Re: Myrtle just dug up

Post  Kev Bailey on Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:02 pm

Hi Mike,

While I agree with your soak method for many trees, I would question its use for this species. It is a mediterranean shrub and in my experience dislikes too much water. I've lifted a couple of large Myrtles and they shook off the transplant shock as if nothing had happened.

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Re: Myrtle just dug up

Post  EdMerc on Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:38 pm

Mike, you are far more talented than I am. I look at that mess of trunks and branches and feel overwhelmed.

Can't wait to see where you take it.

Ed

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Re: Myrtle just dug up

Post  fiona on Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:47 pm

In April I bought a piece of myrtle recently brought back from the Med by that lovely John Pitt. All the information I found on it concurs with Kev's point: don't feed it and don't get it wet. (If the sources had added "after midnight! to that, I'd suspect I've acquired a gremlin!)

It came on leaps and bounds with being virtually ignored and showed no sign of "collection stress". Interestingly, over the summer I had it in full sun and forgot to shelter it during the month of the rain we had. Having said that, John had potted it into a very free-draining soil mix and I doubt if it was standing in water for any real length of time.

Don't know if that serves to clarify or further confuse the issue.

I must need my tea. Mad

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Re: Myrtle just dug up

Post  mike page on Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:43 pm

I'm surprised at the interest in a collected Myrtle. Thank you all for your comments.
The image below shows the Myrtle in a pot.

Mike


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Re: Myrtle just dug up

Post  Jerry Meislik on Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:55 pm

Mike,
Looks like good progress.
Jerry
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Re: Myrtle just dug up

Post  mike page on Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:02 pm

Thanks, Jerry.

Mike

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Re: Myrtle just dug up

Post  Carolee on Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:03 am

Mike, thanks for the information. There are several trees I'd like to dig up. We are still having days in the low seventies, with nights in the upper forties. I don't think I'll be able to get them in the spring since we'll be moving. So, I'm going digging tomorrow! Your crepe myrtle looks like it will become a very interesting bonsai. I look forward to seeing its progress. I'm glad you appreciate the Ben Franklin quote, I think it is important for us in the U.S. to remember this in times of crisis.

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Re: Myrtle just dug up

Post  fiona on Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:17 am

Ah. Now I'm confused. Myrtle or Crepe Myrtle?

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Re: Myrtle just dug up

Post  mike page on Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:37 am

Fiona, my tree is a true Myrtle, botanical name myrtus communis. Crepe Myrtle is not related. The botanical name is Lagerstroemia Indica.
There is often confusion between these 2 species.

Mike

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Re: Myrtle just dug up

Post  fiona on Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:43 am

Just a well - my post was based on Myrtus communis! Very Happy

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