To Dig or Not to Dig

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To Dig or Not to Dig

Post  mmehrmann on Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:42 am

Is there a "size" limit when it comes to Bonsai material ? Or is this just another front yard yamadori ?

What do you think ? Is it worse to dig out the tree ? Don't get me wrong I am in love with it.










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Re: To Dig or Not to Dig

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:39 am

It depends upon how much muscle you have to get a big enough root ball and a big enough training pot.

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Re: To Dig or Not to Dig

Post  drgonzo on Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:25 am

Take a look at the approach Walter Pall employs for lifting large trees, as i think it would be the best way to go for you if you were to go ahead and do it.
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATcollectring%20trees%20from%20the%20wild%20W%20Pall%20Part%20two.htm

If it were in my yard I would leave it and use it as a focal point in a nice Japanese garden, that looks like a cedar of some sort so the survival after collection would be tricky, Me personally? I would pass on it and devote my ever shortening time to other more workable projects.

"He will triumph who knows when to dig and when NOT to dig."
-Jay-tzu

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Re: To Dig or Not to Dig

Post  NeilDellinger on Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:56 am

Gotta agree with Drgonzo on that one. You could also look for a nice branch section or two and air layer or experiment with root grafting. Do your research on the root grafting. I believe some J. chinensis are stronger root growers than others. I've got a couple of larger trees that I've collected. Tough to move around, and one has turned out nice enough that I now have to save for a 32 inch pot of decent quality.

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Re: To Dig or Not to Dig

Post  marcus watts on Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:39 am

i think in answer to the question 'how big' a trunk 20-28" wide can look good if the rest of the tree is in proportion - ie not too tall, tapered, with movement and with a chance to produce convincing branches to make a design.

i've seen excelent 20"+ diameter grafted white pine on black & yew, i dug a 26" buddlea that will look quite nice in a year or two and I think virtually every juniper will make a bonsai of some sorts.

Before you undertake a 10 year mission though be brutally honest - is the foliage of good enough quality? are you happy to spend $500 or more on the final pot? and is your aftercare methods good enough to ensure most things you dig actually survive?. I'd pre-style the tree where it sits - start off cleaning out all the dead inner branches and brown foliage, then choose your design, select the main branches and chop the rest off leaving stubs for jin. now just study the tree over several weeks- is it as good as you hoped....if so begin chopping around the trunk with a spade to sever the roots about 15" out - just do 1/3 of the circumference each year ! this will compact the rootball while maintaining the trees health, keep styling the tree where it sits and in year 3 lift the tree and you will be well on the route with the roots and foliage.

good luck

marcus

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Re: To Dig or Not to Dig

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:51 pm

Michael,

First, big bonsai don't scare me. I see pictures of bonsai on this forum and sometimes have to guess at their size. Then I see a picture of someone standing next to it and I'm always surprised. I'm sure you've noticed the that the collected trees on this forum start out large and lanky, but that's not how they end up looking after someone who knows what they're doing gets finished with them.

We have that same juniper growing in old yards down here too, and I see some AMAZING ones in all sizes. I have no idea what it is, maybe 'Emerald sea'? I've also seen some old 'San Jose' that I'd love to get my hands on. None of my nursery friends grow many junipers anyomre, and one told me he hadn't seen 'San Jose' on anyone's list since Reagan was president. Anyway, the problem I have - and my friends here too - is that we can't seem to get that one out of the ground and make them live.

Why not go for it? Even if it's nothing more than a learning experience...

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Re: To Dig or Not to Dig

Post  mmehrmann on Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:57 pm

marcus watts wrote:I think virtually every juniper will make a bonsai of some sorts.

russell coker wrote:First, big bonsai don't scare me. I see pictures of bonsai on this forum and sometimes have to guess at their size. Then I see a picture of someone standing next to it and I'm always surprised.

Thank you guys for your response. I am not afraid of big trees either. It is probably a good work out and with the right tools and preparation possible in early spring. It sure will take years to develop but I am up for the challenge and the process it will take. It's all about the change and to become one with the tree. I appreciate your input.


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Re: To Dig or Not to Dig

Post  Guest on Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:38 pm

If it is legal to dig it my friend, dig it!

...Otherwise more IBC guys from that area will dig it up and post it here and we'll say--Wow! what a nice material you got...and you'll end up looking at it in some display table in the future alongside a trophy...and then you'll say to yourself--- "I think I should have dug this one". hehehe.

regards,
jun Smile

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