McDonald’s treasures

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McDonald’s treasures

Post  Afellure on Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:41 pm

A local McDonald’s was remodeling recently, and after speaking with the foreman on the construction project, I was told I could have any plants that I was willing to dig up, as they were just planning on throwing them in the dumpster. I got a lot of nice plants out of this. 2 Mugo pines (I think), 6 Ilex crenata (compacta I believe), a beauty bush (don’t think this was a bonsai value but I still planted in my yard), and 4 blue star junipers.
I had done my own version of what I called bonsai in the past with some succulent plants, a butter tree, and some trees which naturally stay small. However, for several years I have read about and wanted to get into the bonsai hobby more seriously. Opportunity came knocking with this McDonald’s deal, and I have some great material to work with now. I have also been compiling a mental map of some trees that I think would be excellent bonsai material, once I have more experience and confidence that I won’t kill them. Some people on here have helped me with ideas of how to overcome my first hurdle which was not having any bonsai pots, or the money to get enough of them. I’m going to start with trying to build wooden boxes with screening on the bottom (doing that today actually). The next hurdle I need to overcome, is figuring out how to make my own bonsai soil. I have started a thread for that already.  I did not want to have the plants out of the ground too long, so I have planted as many of them as I can in the ground in front of my house, just to prevent them from dying until I have more suitable containers built for them. There are still several plants that are out of the ground, but I have the root balls wrapped in trashbags and have kept them misted but left the bags open enough so that there’s airflow and they don’t rot (hopefully). The following are a few pictures I took (wish I had thought to take more photos), and any comments/advice is greatly appreciated and humbly accepted.
















I will take pictures of more plants today. I didn’t get everybody in the ground, as I was hoping I might be able to get some in the boxes today if I get those built. However, if I can’t get that done today I will just put them in the ground so they are not stressed more. From what I have read, Evergreen species should not be disturbed at the roots more than once every four years. So I’m probably going to have to leave everybody in the ground for a while. But I know where there’s a lot of other stuff I can collect if I have the knowledge and help.

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Re: McDonald’s treasures

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:26 pm

lottsa legs on the mugo... challenging to design Wink
i just did one, but only after a couple years of just looking for that line......
(posted under :members trees")

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Re: McDonald’s treasures

Post  Afellure on Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:54 pm

Hey there Kevin, yeah after I got it out of the ground I was a little bit intimidated LOL. I ended up putting them both in the ground, thinking that once I have a little bit more knowledge of styling trees and establishing Pines, then I can take them back up and put them in a proper bonsai pot, or more likely a wooden and screen pot. They were free (woo hoo), so even if I decide one or both will be too challenging, they will still make gorgeous landscape features XD

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Re: McDonald’s treasures

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:07 pm

be sure to google "Vance Wood Mugo" for tips on mugo work...

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Re: McDonald’s treasures

Post  Afellure on Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:27 pm

Cool! I found a post where someone compiled a bunch of his info together. Looks like he is the expert on Mugos! Definitely just learned a few things.
What do people on here think about how I planted those pines in the ground? I dug the holes about 2 feet deep and about 2 1/2 feet wide. Then in order to improve drainage I filled it back about half to 2/3 the way in with river rocks/gravel from our “crick”. On top of that I put all the soil I had saved with the pines to help the mycorrhizae. Before I dug this up I was not aware of that concept, so I may actually lose one of them because I almost bare-rooted it. But I put as much of the original soil back in the hole with it as I could. Then I centered the trees in their holes and put native soil around and over the root ball lightly packing it in level with the ground. I had the trees slightly higher in the ground than at their previous location, as 1 to 2 1/2 inches of trunk had previously been under soil. Then I watered them in with full strength fertilizer. From what I just read by Vance would, since I disturb the routes they will probably have to stay in the ground there for several years before I can dig them up and put them in pots. He says that you should not disturb a pine trees roots more than once every four years.

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Re: McDonald’s treasures

Post  Afellure on Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:10 am

Got 4 boxes made up today. Now I just have to source some bonsai soil ASAP. Working on that.

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Re: McDonald’s treasures

Post  Afellure on Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:17 am




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Re: McDonald’s treasures

Post  Bougies!!1!1!!! :) on Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:15 pm

What are you using at the bottom? I love wired-bottom boxes as much as the next hobbyist but find that even when I use something far smaller like stucco-lathe as a bottom-panel I have to use special-grade scoria for the bottom 1/2" to prevent it from just dropping substrate all over!




Great finds BTW, am truly jealous! My local CVS had these really mature, prostrate Junipers throughout its parking lot and I'd always marvel and wish I could take one, til a couple months ago when I pulled up to find they were all just torn out and thrown away!! Soooo much great material, just tossed in a dumpster, sad Sad
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Re: McDonald’s treasures

Post  Afellure on Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:42 pm

Bougies, it’s called hardware cloth. I had some leftover material laying around from when I built some rabbit hutches and a chicken roost last year. I think it’s 1/2 inch squares, but I will measure it later to be sure. I was planning on using some bigger gravel from the creek, but then I was informed of the perched water table effect. So, now I’m not exactly sure what I will do. Trying to figure that out. Was considering putting some nylon screening in the bottom of the pots I already built so I don’t have to rebuild anything. I just didn’t know if that would to drastically reduce the drainage capacity of the boxes.
It may seem like I am somewhat bumbling along, but I’m hoping within a year or two it won’t seem like that ;-)

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Post  Bougies!!1!1!!! :) on Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:24 pm

Afellure wrote:Bougies, it’s called hardware cloth. I had some leftover material laying around from when I built some rabbit hutches and a chicken roost last year. I think it’s 1/2 inch squares, but I will measure it later to be sure. I was planning on using some bigger gravel from the creek, but then I was informed of the perched water table effect. So, now I’m not exactly sure what I will do. Trying to figure that out. Was considering putting some nylon screening in the bottom of the pots I already built so I don’t have to rebuild anything. I just didn’t know if that would to drastically reduce the drainage capacity of the boxes.
It may seem like I am somewhat bumbling along, but I’m hoping within a year or two it won’t seem like that ;-)

Yeah if I had 1/2 bottoms I'd use lathe mesh or even window-screen meshing (1mm square holes IIRC), when you have that large a surface-area you're not risking much in putting a less-open grid on it ;D

And re the 'perched water table', would be interested if you could link me as I'd probably argue against it....there's so much conflation between the concept of a perched water table and of a 'saturated zone' and their causes, anyways for the bottom layer of any box I do I always do ~1/2" of large-particle, zero-absorbency (marbles, river-rocks, etc) aggregate because it lets me know I don't have pooling on the bottom of my container. Will the substrate directly above the bottom-layer be wetter than the marble layer? Yes. Will it be as wet as it'd be if it were on the bottom of the box and no bottom layer were used? No. So I just use the thinnest/shallowest drainage layer I can to help ensure rapid drainage (and, when not using mesh-bottomed containers, I'll use power tools to contour 'channels' across the wood or cement bottom of the container, and bevels around the drainage holes, so that any water on the bottom of the container won't just sit in-place but will always have gravity pushing it toward a drainage hole ;D )

Do you still have the left-over hardware cloth? You could reduce the hole-size by 75% if you lined-up another sheet so that the spots where the wires cross on the 2nd one are in the centers of the open-squares of the 1st, this will give 4x as many holes in the bottom (each 1/4th the size of what you currently have) and would only require screwing-in another layer of the mesh to the top or bottom of the current one ;D

But yeah open-bottom is awesome and 1/4" holes are more than enough, if you've got the same cloth I'm guessing it'll be your best bet, if not I'd just get more hardware clothe or stucco lathe and drill it into the bottom of the box so it's another mesh-layer to, in essence, reduce hole-size / fall-through size!
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Re: McDonald’s treasures

Post  Afellure on Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:05 pm

I ended up laying some large grid window screening in the bottom of most of those. I tried large particulate in two, and screen in the rest. I have plenty of washed river rocks I can use, and I think in the future I will try that. I also have large size down to find sized crushed brick available to me. I have a bunch more of the hardware cloth left, and didn’t think of adding some more to the bottom, offset, in order to reduce the hole size ha ha.

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Post  Bougies!!1!1!!! :) on Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:30 pm

Afellure wrote:I ended up laying some large grid window screening in the bottom of most of those. I tried large particulate in two, and screen in the rest. I have plenty of washed river rocks I can use, and I think in the future I will try that. I also have large size down to find sized crushed brick available to me. I have a bunch more of the hardware cloth left, and didn’t think of adding some more to the bottom, offset, in order to reduce the hole size ha ha.
Well I'm sure the window screens will work fine, IIRC I actually have some smaller boxes where I was in a pinch and used regular window-screening as my bottom (with wood-strips to secure it, this was a small box- can recall at least 1 done this way!)

Glad to hear you've got it graded, I found such value in grading, sorting and storing my aggregates, whenever I want to make a mix I just open the (labelled) plastic bag of (whatever) and scoop what I need right into my rinsing-box (2x4's made into a 4" tall square, with a window-screen bottom) to get hosed-clean to ensure all particulates/fines/dust are gone, want that water to pass right through (and my mind just subconsciously goes to the "a small amount of carbon differentiates iron from steel" concept, so have always been OCD about ensuring no particles <1mm end up in a container!)

[that's all *as a rule*, for my BC's(bald cypress) that want extra water, I'll happily use lots more organics and screen things *but*, once it's all set-up, I'll add peat moss (the dark/crumbly kind) to it until I've slowed drainage to my liking Smile For smaller 'shohin/mame' type containers that're <1" tall, I'll also use higher organics *but* still keep a 1mm min particle on those, wouldn't ever let <1mm particles in anything that wasn't a 'water-loving' specimen like a BC!]
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Re: McDonald’s treasures

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:30 am

I found this to be simpler used with ground growing.

Also I later use large plastic bonsai pots for branch refinement.
Celtis l. Hackberry from Louisiana 1980..
Give it a try.
Laters.
Khaimraj  

the soil is a bonsai mix in the colander.

url=https://servimg.com/view/19002756/165][/url]

dug up



became this -refinement stage



presently, 2018 - the spring flush - 2 months in the fridge at vegetable crisper temperature, out April 1st.
The spring flush and a month later the training continues



Last edited by Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:32 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)
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Re: McDonald’s treasures

Post  Bougies!!1!1!!! :) on Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:20 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:I found this to be simpler used with ground growing.

Also I later use large plastic bonsai pots for branch refinement.
Celtis l. Hackberry from Louisiana 1980..
Give it a try.
Laters.
Khaimraj  

the soil is a bonsai mix in the colander.

dug up

became this -refinement stage



presently, 2018 - the spring flush - 2 months in the fridge at vegetable crisper temperature, out April 1st.
The spring flush and a month later the training continues


VERY nice!!! I've got colander-growing trees but none are in the ground- how long did you have it growing in the ground? How often would you take it out / sever the escaped-roots to keep a tighter root-ball? That is one heck of an impressive growth method right there, did you ever have pest/fungal/mold issues when ground-growing? I was so relieved when I'd finally ringed my backyard with bonsai-benches and could have every last thing off the ground!! Bugs/etc are always a problem but they're far less of one now, as well as the height making it so you see the growth's habits/angles better and can direct as you go Very Happy
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Re: McDonald’s treasures

Post  kevin stoeveken on Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:00 pm

wow Khai - that is really nice !!!
(how big of a fridge do you have ???)

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Re: McDonald’s treasures

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:47 am

Hello Guys,

Kevin, it is a normal fridge, and the Celtis 16 inches tall.

Bougies, my ground growing is in a raised bed, with concrete sides, see below.

Climate after Feb/March is essentially 70 deg. F night to 90 and below by day.
High for 30 to 15 minutes. Mild.
Rain from June until November most 6 inches a month.

That is - wait for it ---- 6 to 9 months to get the often 3 inch wide trunk.
One time removal and leave in the colander for 2 to 3 months to get the
fine feeder root regrowth [ see also air-pot Youtube  for full explanation ]
Then place in oversized bonsai pot for branchlet refinement.

Two stages, as I have also added on training 6 branches or so, as the trunk
fattens.
Theoretically Bonsai in say 3 to 5 years.
BUT mature bark after 8 to 10 years - genetics.

Never had Fungal or Disease problems - Rodale [ Google ] organic farming.
Have leaf cutting ants and brown grasshoppers -  solution poisoned orange peels
and lots of hungry birds for the grashoppers.
Try it.
Laters
Khaimraj

Called a Grow Trough - about 12 inches wide and 18 inches deep.
I have modified the loam that was there originally with additions of 5 mm silica based gravel
and small quantities of compost.

Testing J.B.Pines ------ in colanders ---- from hardwood cuttings --- originally seed, and these
are selected faster softwood types for faster trunk thickening.
Let you know next year how it went.

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