Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

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Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  Afellure on Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:23 am

I found what may be a honey hole area for Yamadori type material today in area that I’m fairly certain nobody has been in in a very long time. I had permission to collect in this area and selected five small but very interesting trees. They were collected pretty much out of a shale cliff. While the surface rock was extremely loose, the digging was much more difficult than I had imagined. All of the trees I collected has significantly less roots than I expected and all of the routes seems to lie within inches of the surface. Did I dig them up incorrectly and not save the root ball as I should have, or wood trees growing in that sort of situation naturally not have very many roots and not grow very deep? None of the trees had what I would call a root ball. Just some string route send a few find hair roots on those. And I did see what I think is the symbiotic fungus on the Pines. Would it be a good idea possibly to go back to that hill and scoop up some of that decompose shell and pot them up in that?

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Re: Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  Afellure on Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:24 am

I’m hoping that these trees will survive, but I purposely did not choose what I thought were the nicest looking ones as more of a trial run on how to do this. However, every piece of tree on that hill was a piece of art in my opinion, so I want to do everything I can to make sure these survive.

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Re: Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  Afellure on Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:28 am

One more note: ended up having a family emergency as soon as I got back into cell phone signal area. Won’t be able to pot these guys up tonight, so I wrapped the roots in a damp towel and blanket and put that all in a bag for now. I will try to keep checking this back if anybody has any better or safer suggestions of what to do until tomorrow when I can get them in some substrate.

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Re: Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  BrendanR on Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:26 am

You don't say what type of tree - are they all pine?

They need to be planted asap.  Yes, it will help to use some of the collected soil.  

But if they don't have a lot of fine roots they will struggle to take up water so you need to make sure you are checking the tree is not drying out.  

That is not the same as checking if the soil is drying out.  A tree can have wet soil but still dry out if it can't get the water into its circulatory system.  Then you need to take special measures.

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Re: Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  Afellure on Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:46 pm

I believe they are Scots pine, Sweet gum tree, and a dogwood. The dogwood actually had a good root ball though. I potted up the Pines with some of the substrate from around them mixed with some of the bonsai so I made yesterday. I was hoping that would help the mychorrhizae get established.
How would one check whether or not the tree is drying out, if the soil seems appropriately moisture holding?
What sort of special measures would help a situation like that?

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Re: Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  BrendanR on Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:21 pm

Watch the leaves for drooping. Compare the tree with healthy specimens of the same specie and note any differences in colour. This is not easy with needle type trees, but I don't know enough about them to advise. I am really talking about deciduous or leafy evergreens.

As for treatment, you may need to bag the trees for a few weeks. Put a black bin liner over the whole tree to trap moisture. You could also spray the leaves with an anti-transpirant (see this: http://bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/AT%20Anti%20transpirant%20for%20bonsai%20page1.html).

You could immerse the tree and the pot into a bucket of water and slowly over a few weeks raise it up. http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATquercus%20rootpruning%20and%20repotting.htm

You could also reduce the leaf mass if there are way too many leaves relative to the root mass. But don't do that without first posting detailed pics and getting specie specific advice and advice about your own tree in particular. Some trees can't recover without leaves as they are the engines that drive growth.

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Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  john blanchard on Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:23 pm

Trees growing in shale or indeed wet ground typically have compact root systems. However the pine trees needles could stay green for a month even if they are dead, so you will have to be careful with their treatment. Good luck.
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Re: Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:50 pm

most importantly, and something not mentioned, is that this is probably about the worst time (summer) to collect that material in your area... (*)
I dont wanna bum you out, but these have very little chance of survival (except maybe the dogwood LOL)

alot of the information you needed to do this would have been better to have before you grabbed a shovel and pick-ax scratch

there is alot of info out there on collecting trees and its all easy to find...

BUT now that you have them, do as Brendan says and get the pots into a bucket of water... this will help keep the foliage turgid.
and bagging them would help, but i wouldnt use black... and keep em in the shade...

(*) there may be exceptions, like oak, but again, know before you go...

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Re: Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  Afellure on Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:49 pm

Brendan, thank you for the advice and the links. I had to go out of town unexpectedly the other day, going to pay a lot of attention to my trees today and see what I’m working with better. As of yet, the leaves aren’t drooping or anything, and the dog would actually seems to have put out a few buds since I potted it up. I am assuming that that means it’s at least relatively happy. As for the Pines, as another member stated, they can look alive even when they are dying. So I’m not sure. Maybe I got lucky, or maybe I’m just not experienced enough yet to tell whether or not my trees are dying.
I did feel quite badly after realizing that I collected out of season. It’s hard to know what you don’t know, and as someone who is just starting out and actually trying to practice this, there is a lot to keep in your mind at once and I guess I accidentally let a few things slip.
John, thank you for the info. It makes me slightly less worried about the smaller than expected root mass.
Kevin, i’m hoping all of these guys pull through. I was literally amazed by what I saw on my trip the other day, and I don’t think anybody has been back where I have been in a very long time. I purposely didn’t take any of the what I thought were nicer specimens, knowing that I might be making some mistake I didn’t know I was making. I think there are some trees back there that have potential to be truly impressive bonsai someday, and I can’t wait for it to be proper collecting time, Especially for Pine and head back there. I would love to have another bonsai enthusiast with me when I go if there is anyone interested when it comes that time of the year. It might make it easier to avoid bumbles like the one I made ha ha.
Also, I didn’t have black trash bags, but I have these white ones that I used instead. And I can see sweat forming on the bag over the day. So I think it’s holding moisture.

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Re: Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  Afellure on Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:51 pm

Also, I just wanted to thank everybody who has given me input and advice thus far. I am new to this website, and new to actually practicing bonsai as well. I do not take any of this with offense, and anyone who takes the time to reply to me is greatly appreciated. I have gotten several messages of people apologizing for maybe sounding harsh, but I don’t think they were being harsh I think they were giving their opinion on a topic that they are passionate about.

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Re: Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  Afellure on Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:09 pm

Hey Kevin, would you be able to point me to a resource such as you described that would help me decide what trees are OK to collect at what times of the year? I have searched on Google for about an hour and not found much of use.

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Re: Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  my nellie on Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:48 pm

Afellure wrote:... ... I am new to this website, and new to actually practicing bonsai as well... ...
Afellure wrote:... ... to decide what trees are OK to collect at what times of the year?
If this is the case, may I amicably suggest -if allowed- that you stop removing trees from nature until you get enough education firstly about growing trees in bonsai pots and secondly about techniques to ensure high survival rate after collection Very Happy
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Re: Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  Afellure on Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:41 am

Thanks for the suggestion Nellie. I have already made that decision myself actually tongue Currently concentrating on trying to save the ones I did collect. I now know I made MANY mistakes, but I’m trying to make the best of the situation anyway. I tend to get super excited and need to be a bit better at curbing that excitement so that I don’t rush into things unprepared. I had the chance to rescue some plants that were gonna die anyway and decided to jump in head first. Ended up (metaphorically) inhaling some water, but then I found a lifeguard (this community). Already two trees that I thought would die are recovering due to suggestions made by people on this site.
PLEASE NEVER hesitate to make an “amicable” suggestion of any kind to me. I try to have a student’s mindset at all times...even if I do end up failing a few classes Embarassed And 99.99 percent of the people on here have vastly more knowledge and experience than I do when it comes to bonsai. Now welding/physics/chemistry on the other hand Very Happy I got that! XD


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Re: Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  Afellure on Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:51 am

P.S.- I do have a disorder that can make interaction with other a bit difficult, but almost everyone on here has been so kind and polite and willing to help and give suggestions. I am beginning to fall in love with this community as well as this hobby. My disorder can also lead to “intense” enthusiasm and “hyper concentration”. So, I apologize in advance for anything that I don’t do right or like a “normal” person. But I promise I will always do my best to improve every area of myself including this hobby and interacting with this community. Now, I’m a tad nervous that I overshared, but ‘tis also a part of what I deal with. If at any point there is a consensus that I am taking away from the pursuit of the bonsai hobby instead of adding to it, then I will (with a heavy heart) stop this pursuit. I don’t give up easily, but sometimes I don’t give up when I should. Hopefully I don’t think I’m anywhere close to that yet. I hope all of that makes sense and doesn’t sound too crazy or scare people away from interacting with me Smile

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Re: Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  kevin stoeveken on Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:20 pm

Afellure wrote:Hey Kevin, would you be able to point me to a resource such as you described that would help me decide what trees are OK to collect at what times of the year? I have searched on Google for about an hour and not found much of use.

sorry...but no hand holding allowed when it comes to on-line searches...
an hour and a half of searching for what some have spent years learning does not seem fair LOL

I have only been at this for 6 years now and i received the same sort of admonishment on this forum Embarassed

but having said that, i put this in the googelater and saw quite a bit...
"collecting bonsai material from the wild midwest"

just watch out for what climate they are dealing with when taking advice

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Re: Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  my nellie on Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:15 pm

Afellure wrote:... ... I hope all of that makes sense and doesn’t sound too crazy or scare people away from interacting with me Smile
No problem, Afellure!
Do not hesitate asking your questions, no matter how silly they seem to you. The only silly question is the one not asked, they say Very Happy
Like what Kevin suggested, you need to study study study
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Re: Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:02 pm

Afellure,

this is coming up to my 40th year in Bonsai.
Most of my trees are from seeds or things I found by the road
as seedlings.
Also cuttings.

So fell free to get intense. please.

I spend most of my time getting a tree LUSH, before any bonsai/
I work on 10 cuttings to get a feel for the tree.
The mother plant is left to get healthy.
That way in the learning I don't kill the mother plant which is meant to be the
bonsai effort.

Keep a notebook, the memory fails.

An image of LUSH.
Found as a 2/3 inch stump, road workers had chopped it down.
Heals exceptionally well and this year had flowers.
Still un-identified.
Laters.
Khaimraj

url=https://servimg.com/view/19002756/162][/url]
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Re: Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  kevin stoeveken on Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:15 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:
Still un-identified.

Laughing Laughing Laughing
Khai - I find it surprising that you have not yet identified it study Wink


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Re: Freshly collected trees/unexpected root systems

Post  Afellure on Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:40 pm

Thank you My Nellie! I found that encouraging. I have been reading about various aspects of bonsai every day recently. There is SOOOO MUCH to learn lol. And I love that, because from what I have read, even people who have been doing this hobby for 40+ years are still learning things every day and I find that exciting.
Khaimraj, I appreciate the encouragement Very Happy I love the idea of learning how to care for a tree multiple times over before attempting to collect the specimen you really want of a particular species. I think I am going to try a version of that myself. BTW, I love your use of the word LUSH. It works perfectly for what we should be trying to do at that stage. LUSH will be a goal of mine now lol. What a gorgeous road stump you have there!
I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of keeping a notebook. Gonna get on that one.

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