Collecting tools

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Re: Collecting tools

Post  jon hultgren on Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:48 pm

Where I live the only place where there are any trees to collect are in fence lines around the corn fields. Alot of the time the barb wire fences have broken down and there is barb wire around the trees and in amongst the roots so around here gloves are a must, a pair of wire cutters are also pretty handy getting the trees out.

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Re: Collecting tools

Post  JimLewis on Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:05 pm

Jon . . . I highly recommend Osage orange (Maclura pomifera) to you. It is (or was) used as a fence row tree in the Midwest for years. Mine is one of my favorite bonsai. If you find one and dig it, though. watch out for the thorns! There's a reason it was made into fence rows.

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Re: Collecting tools

Post  jon hultgren on Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:29 pm

I haven't seen any of those around but I'll keep my eyes open. Mostly what grows around here is red mulberry trees (morus rubia) as the birds love to eat the fruit and disperse the seeds everywhere. I spent most of last summer chopping hundreds of the buggers out of fence lines around my dads fields. Most of these where to big to dig out for bonsai without creating a big hole in the field but there were a few in the ditches I left that might have some promise.

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Re: Collecting tools

Post  Guest on Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:13 pm

Am I right in saying that Osage Orange is used for making bows, as in longbows?

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Re: Collecting tools

Post  Henrik Stubelius on Fri Dec 25, 2009 2:20 am

Gloves or no gloves, they're curtainly handy when the temperature is below or slightly above freezing. I've cut right through my index fingernail and split it completely with a folding saw, it took a couple of months to heal and I use gloves ever since....The things in my backpack are the folding saw, rootshears, plastic bags, duck tape, a piece of styrofoam sheet for protecting the delicate bark at the base of the trunk on pines. I do most of my collecting on bogs so there is usually no need for crow bars or picks or spades. A couple of sandwiches are necessary as well, I always get very hungry on my collecting trips.. Clothing? High rubber boots (bogs). Swedish military surplus (cheap and durable)
NEVER EVER go collecting during moose hunting season!!!!!!!! There are two million moose hunters sneaking around shooting att everything that moves Very Happy

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Re: Collecting tools

Post  Seth Ellwood on Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:14 am

I was lucky enough to get an externaly framed pack and modified it to use for collecting .The first trip with it last week proved good but I have a few tweaks to make to it .I have a small hatchet, folding saw, tie downs, and a good 50' of nylon rope. I also have a small first aid kit and a canteen as well as a single hook root hook and trash bags for keeping the root ball moist. I also carry a spade made from titanium with me for the main digging.

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Re: Collecting tools

Post  luc tran on Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:49 am

sounds like everyone have a unique way of collecting. The area I'm looking at is pretty much just plain dirt and soil. No fence, no rocks, no cliffs. I guess thats a good thing. Thanks everyone for replying. I'm going to get my self a spade, probably from Home Depot, a pair of gloves (just in case), a hand saw, clippers, etc...

Though I do have one extra question. The spagnum moss, how do you guys wrap that thing around the roots? Do you put it in a bag then put the tree in the bag with the moss on the bottom or do you literally wrap it around the roots, if so do you guys tie the rootball in a nice neat ball?

Luc

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Re: Collecting tools

Post  SamC on Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:57 am

will baddeley wrote:Am I right in saying that Osage Orange is used for making bows, as in longbows?

Will, in the regions where Osage Orange grows, native Americans did make bows the style of which were similar to the English Longbow, but they were usually a bit shorter. Modern "traditional" bowyers use the wood to make both the traditional American styled bows as well as ones closer to the English style.

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Re: Collecting tools

Post  JimLewis on Fri Dec 25, 2009 2:11 pm

will baddeley wrote:Am I right in saying that Osage Orange is used for making bows, as in longbows?

Well, "was used." The Osage "Indians" who roamed the area before they were driven west, then all but extirpated used them for bows. The wood is tremendously hard and heavy. It doesn't float. I've always had a hard time figuring out how less-than-stone-age aboriginal peoples worked it. My wife who has a degree in scuplture has used it. It dulls wood chisels rapidly.

You guy have seen mine before, but:


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Re: Collecting tools

Post  flor1 on Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:41 pm

Whatever you take make sure you have gloves and safety glasses. Plenty to drink can't hurt either. Just do it safely.

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Re: Collecting tools

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:30 am

I live in Central Illinois, and am surrounded by mucho Osage Orange trees. In my hobby-est endeavors, I had not tried osage in making bows, they do make wonderful walking sticks, staves and canes. I do believe I will enter the wonderful world of Osage Bonsai this next spring.

Jim, yours is really nice!

And they are MOST DEFINITELY hardy trees here!

Hope everyone's Christmas is going well!

Jay

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Re: Collecting tools

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:32 am

OOPS, forgot to mention...

There ain't no way to shrink and Osage ball, so your going to have to remove them as they form or your gonna have a little tree with big balls! (sorry, couldn't help myself)

Jay

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Actually a funny story about collecting

Post  tuyhoabob on Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:07 am

I use to live in Pennsylvania, land of the strip-mines. In or near my area were several abandoned ones and in a remote corner of one I found a cache of Larch and Norway spruce, older, distorted and twisted, prefect collection material! Over the next few years I made regular trips to undercut, remove unwanted branches and generally get them ready for digging. This was in the middle of nowhere and a pretty good hike. So...the day I decide to finally dig and 'recover' the trees I load everything up on a damp spring day and do the trek into the boonies!

Empty holes...they even took a dead one!

Take it out the first time.

Bob

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Re: Collecting tools

Post  Guest on Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:59 am

JimLewis wrote:
will baddeley wrote:Am I right in saying that Osage Orange is used for making bows, as in longbows?

Well, "was used." The Osage "Indians" who roamed the area before they were driven west, then all but extirpated used them for bows. The wood is tremendously hard and heavy. It doesn't float. I've always had a hard time figuring out how less-than-stone-age aboriginal peoples worked it. My wife who has a degree in scuplture has used it. It dulls wood chisels rapidly.

Obsidian is more than common in America, is it not? Surgeons use it still as it's sharper than steel.

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Re: Collecting tools

Post  NeilDellinger on Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:46 am

Will,
As luck would have it, I have a degree in anthropology/archaeology and specialized my study in stone tool manufacture. Obsidian is very common along the pacific northwest of North America, and through the southwest and into central and south America. Throughout the Midwest however chert aka flint is much more common....as obsidian was very rare and would only be found if it had been traded. Most chert/flint was procured in the Missouri/Arkansas region and traded throughout Souteastern north America and the Midwest.

I learned all of this stuff before I learned that there was no money in archaeology.

I've never tried to use a stone tool on a tree though. Jeez, how primitive. Laughing

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Re: Collecting tools

Post  NeilDellinger on Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:48 am

Jim,
Bows and arrows are a relatively recent advancement in pre-historic north american weaponry. They were gardeners & arborists and grew orchards before they learned to hunt. Kidding Very Happy

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Re: Collecting tools

Post  Guest on Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:11 am

You love Elms and ancient history/ archaeology Very Happy We have to meet up some time Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: Collecting tools

Post  gordonb on Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:17 am

luc tran wrote:sounds like everyone have a unique way of collecting. The area I'm looking at is pretty much just plain dirt and soil. No fence, no rocks, no cliffs. I guess thats a good thing. Thanks everyone for replying. I'm going to get my self a spade, probably from Home Depot, a pair of gloves (just in case), a hand saw, clippers, etc...

Though I do have one extra question. The spagnum moss, how do you guys wrap that thing around the roots? Do you put it in a bag then put the tree in the bag with the moss on the bottom or do you literally wrap it around the roots, if so do you guys tie the rootball in a nice neat ball?

Luc

We go to a place about 90 minutes from where I live, to dig 'pre-bonsai' ground-grown trees. - We wrap the roots in plastic bags with a lot of damp (coarse) sawdust. Quite heavy. What you use would depend on:
a) how far you have to lug it
b) availability
c) climatic conditions

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Re: Collecting tools

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