Where are the best places to collect trees near Illinois?

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Where are the best places to collect trees near Illinois?

Post  Lord Sequoia on Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:34 am

Hello,

This is my first posting on IBC. I live in a southern suburb of Chicago, Illinois (Zone 5). I have been a bonsai enthusiast for aroud twelve years and am the newsletter editor for our local club. I would like to find out if anyone has any suggestions for good places near northern Illinois to collect Yamadori? Thanks in advance and I am looking forward to taking part in this forum.

Lord Sequoia
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Re: Where are the best places to collect trees near Illinois?

Post  jon hultgren on Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:11 am

You'll probably have to get away from the city to find any good collecting spots. Try driving out in the country and see if you can find some pastures that might nice trees in them. Then ask around to see who owns the place and see if don't mind you looking around for material.

Another option is if you know anyone redoing their landscaping they might let you take some of their plants they are ripping out.

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Re: Where are the best places to collect trees near Illinois?

Post  NeilDellinger on Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:55 pm

Similar thread for Illinois residents here in the Bonsai forum that Jay and Chappy have going. Theyre not too far from you (Lincoln and Springfield)

http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/bonsai-f1/developing-material-t2009.htmhttp://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/bonsai-f1/developing-material-t2009.htm

The problem in Illinois is that the landscape is either Urban/sub urban or farmland. In general life is pretty good for trees due to soil fertility, mild summers, low wind etc.. Trees tend to grow very straight and fast. But, this doesnt mean good spots are not out there (quarries, fencerows, Christmas tree farms).

Just get an idea for which native species have the best potential, then look for some.

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Re: Where are the best places to collect trees near Illinois?

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:01 pm

For the most part farmland is the worst spot in which to collect trees. They have it too good. Standing woods also are very bad. Collectible trees are either too twined-together "rootwise" or so tall and skinny that they're useless.

As Neil said, fencerows are good -- tho the plants there tend to be thorny. Quarries may also be good if they are old ones. But be careful; Midwestern quarry walls tend to be crumbly and it's a long way down. I've always had grazed pastures around my homes (horses), and animal-styled trees are among the best. So get to know a farmer with livestock, and try to scour the edges of his fields (look out for the bulls!). Forget a field with sheep in it; they crop too close. Horses are the least efficient eaters.

I'd think your fellow club members would be the best source of info on collecting spots. Tell them you will misspell their names in the newsletter if they don't give up their secret spots.

_________________
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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Thanks to all who replied about best places to collect near Illinois!

Post  Lord Sequoia on Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:02 am

Thanks to all who replies to my question about the best places near Illinois to collect. Jim, I like the way you think! I went to college up in Superior Wisconsin and have not been back since I graduated thirty years ago. Looks like I'm going to have to take a trip this spring. The drive from Superior to Canada along Lake Superior is beautiful with lots of rocky landscape and harsh growing conditions.

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Re: Where are the best places to collect trees near Illinois?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:57 pm

Please be sure to get permission from any landowner before you dig trees -- even weed trees. Digging plants from private or public property without permission (or a permit from government) is theft and at the least carries a fine. That includes roadsides and fence rows (and quarries).

_________________
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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Thanks

Post  Lord Sequoia on Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:14 pm

Thanks Jim, will do.

Lord Sequoia
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Re: Where are the best places to collect trees near Illinois?

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:26 pm

Check your local closest state and National parks. SOME, if asked, will allow the harvest of material.
Most will NOT! In most cases I would use the addage "to ask permission, is to seek denial".
THIS IS NOT ONE OF THOSE TIMES! If you get caught harvesting material where it is ILLEGAL, they will hammer you.

If you can take an excursion to the farther North Western areas of Illnois, or to the far Southern areas of Illinois. You will have a better chance of finding extremely nice specimens in the rocks and hills. Central Illinois (around me) you will find, LOTS of flat farmland where the only material worth looking at will be fence rows.

Jay

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Thanks Jay

Post  Lord Sequoia on Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:48 pm

Hi Jay, thanks for your thoughts. I have been to the northwestern part or the state and also to the Carbondale area down I 57 and you are right, there are some great rocky formations there where you could collect. I will make sure to get a permit to collect.

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Re: Where are the best places to collect trees near Illinois?

Post  JimLewis on Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:04 pm

NO national parks allow collecting of native material. Guaranteed. You probably could get a permit to collect an invasive species, through.

If Illinois parks allow collecting, the state park director should be drummed out of the business. (Again, invasive exotics can be excepted.)

_________________
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: Where are the best places to collect trees near Illinois?

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:52 pm

Jim,

All I can go by is what I was told by National and Illinois State Park police. I manage to contact reps from both at the same place and asked them (they happened to be talking to each other). They told me that one should always contact the park admin office to obtain collectors permits for the specific park in question. If the permits were available they would issue them, if collecting was not an option they would inform you at that time. Both stated that one should NEVER collect trees without getting authorization.

Does that mean if you show up at any National Park they will tell you no, I couldn't say. Same for State Parks. All I can say is I would ask first and go with the answer given. However, if told yes by either (or by private land owners as well) if given permission... get it in writting. Sometime memories can "fade" and a written permission carries more weight than a verbal permission.

Jay Gaydosh
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Re: Where are the best places to collect trees near Illinois?

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