American Native genus/species for bonsai

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Re: American Native genus/species for bonsai

Post  RKatzin on Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:49 pm

Hi Coh, love those Sweet Gum! I have a large one growing in my yard. This tree needs good sun to get that fall color. Mine is north of a large Black Locust and eastside of large Black Walnuts so it only gets morning sun and it stays green until the leaves fall. I exposed the old roots on mine because any surface root will sprout root suckers. Once they're up you recover the root with soil and the sucker will sprout roots of its own. Next season these can be removed and potted. I forgot to mention my favorite native pine, the Bristlecone Pine (Pinus aristata), but if you're growing them that's what you do, plant them and forget about them, a very slow growing tree. Another native pine that favors the high mountain tops is the Knobcone Pine (Pinus attenuata). Short and scruffy and rare, mostly due to the fact that the cones, which cling tightly to the branches for over 25 years, will only open and drop their seed when exposed to fire. There are two Spruce that grow around here that you don't hear enough about, but definately worth mentioning among the native trees, the Engelmann Spruce and for those who like to do weeping trees, the Brewer Spruce (P. breweriana) or Weeping Spruce. I'm growing all these trees from seedlings purchased from forestfarm.com.

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Re: American Native genus/species for bonsai

Post  Randy_Davis on Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:40 pm

Rob Kempinski wrote:I wonder if ground layering a persimmon would increase the odds of success with collecting a mature tree.

Rob,

That's a good Idea! I'm pretty much done getting everything put away for the winter now and my day's are getting quite boreing indeed. I dreamed about a persimmon forest bonsai last night so today, I'm heading out to collect 1 or 2 just for the hell of it. While I'm at it, I'll dig up around a fairly large trunked one and get it going as a groundlayer and see how it does sometime next falll. Might even do that with a Sassafras!

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Re: American Native genus/species for bonsai

Post  coh on Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:28 pm

RKatzin, I found out about the root suckers this past year. The sweetgum I'm working on is from a purchased seedling (not collected) and I did some signficant root work this spring. Some of the cut root ends have sprouted little babies that I will try to "collect" next time I work on the roots. This upcoming spring will be trunk chopping time. The tree produces great fall color, I think I may have posted these on another thread but the color is so beautiful:





Randy, if you're coming to Rochester for the national show in 2012 and want to get rid of a persimmon...hint hint!

Chris

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Natives

Post  peewee1974 on Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:06 pm

I am currently sowing seeds from my area for some native trees. I have persimmon. I have also located several area nurseries that will provide most of the local natives and believe I will go that route. Was wondering if anyone has tried or has a smooth alder? Really interested in that species and black cherry.

Thanks
Joe

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Re: American Native genus/species for bonsai

Post  drgonzo on Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:13 pm

[quote="peewee1974 Really interested in that species and black cherry.
Joe[/quote]

Joe-

I've been working with native Black cherry and have found it to be a poor species for Bonsai, It seems week in container culture and leaves don't reduce well. They are also difficult to collect...usually you can find choke cherries near or around the same habitat as Black cherry and I've had much better luck with them, pretty resilient and with smaller leaves and flowers.
-Jay

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Re: American Native genus/species for bonsai

Post  RKatzin on Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:40 pm

Hi peewee, I've grown a few of our variety Red Alder and I have a Sitka Alder now. Alders are water lovers and very aggressive rooters, they are really good for root over and exposed root styles. I treat them like my willows, keep them wet and cool in the heat.

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North American Native Species

Post  gman on Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:54 pm

Hi there,
Please don't take this the wrong way but it seems like this thread is moving away from its original context and is getting into exploring the opportunities of collecting North American species.....so I thought that maybe the title of the post should get a little adjustment seeing as though many (not all of course) of the species spoken about in the more recent posts/threads are the same for us up here above the 49th Very Happy

Just yesterday I was exploring a native Gary Oak (Quercus garryana) habitat and found one that I'll try and air layer in 2012....might take a couple of years but it will be worth the effort if it takes.
Cheers and Merry Xmas to all.

gman
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Re: American Native genus/species for bonsai

Post  Leo Schordje on Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:12 am

Hey Randy
any success with collecting persimmons? Its been a year since the last post to this thread. I just recently became charged up about using american persimmons this year. I will be looking for hedge row specimens during the winter and spring.

For those that asked. I planted persimmon seedlings for my sister, to grow for fruit. The first began fruiting at 8 years. So in a pot it would take longer, but the wait is not impossibly long. BTW, female trees also have the rough alligator bark. The 8 year old fruiting seedling has already begun forming furrows and ridges in the first couple feet of trunk. So for medium size bonsai I think they could work well. Got seed stratifying, now need to find a couple to collect.

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Re: American Native genus/species for bonsai

Post  coh on Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:55 am

Randy_Davis wrote:

I'd like to hear about your expeirences with Black Locust and Tulip Poplar as I've never considered them.
Thanks to Leo for resurrecting this interesting discussion. After reading through it, I figured I'd give a brief update on these. I mentioned attempting an air layer off a locust tree...the layer produced some roots but it did not survive. However, I noticed that there was a root sucker growing underneath the tree in my yard, so I dug that up and moved it to my growing bed this past spring. Talk about a vigorous tree! It was maybe a foot tall with a 1/2 inch base in April. At the end of the growing season it was over 9' tall with a base caliper of 1.75 inches. This growth rate amazed me as I dug it up with very little root. I wonder if it can be tamed...also wonder how it will respond to trunk chopping.

I also planted a couple of seedling tulip poplars but they took their time getting established.

Will be digging up a couple of redbuds in the spring, one with an interesting lower trunk bend that I'm hoping has decent roots. Also have prepared a sumac and a cottonwood for transplanting in the spring.

Look forward to hearing updates about the persimmons and other native trees!

coh
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Wanna hear how it goes!

Post  Al Polito on Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:27 pm

I would think that your collection technique could make a big difference as to success rate. Some thoughts:

Are you trenching it en situ in advance? Or could you try taking an air layer off the tree, even at trunk level? We have a grower around here who raises princess persimmons, which he can grow from root cuttings.

Do they prefer their native soil? With our hemlocks out here we change out the native soil in halves every year with pumice until the tree is working in all new soil.

What medium are you using? We've found pumice to be the best, and sometimes it helps to cover the pot or box to force the roots to suck the moisture out of the medium and start producing rootlets.

What time of year will you be digging? Sometimes fall is best, and sometimes spring is. A few species prefer summer!

A few years ago I collected a native hazelnut. I didn't know what it was when I collected it (no leaves), and for the first two years it gave me small hornbeam-like leaves that got me very excited. Then it gave me persimmon-sized leaves that don't even look good in fall... ouch! But the grace of the twigs will no doubt have it be a fall/winter silhouette tree, when it really looks great. I suspect it might even ramify well and hopefully give me catkins before it leafs out one year. We'll see!

Good luck with the persimmon and sassafras bonsai!

Al Polito
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Re: American Native genus/species for bonsai

Post  Jake16 on Wed May 22, 2013 8:14 pm

Any updates on the tulip tree?

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Sitkas and Garry Oaks

Post  Al Polito on Thu May 23, 2013 2:29 am

@RKatzin,

I too have a Sitka alder which I found in Idaho. Great, vigorous tree! Thanks for the advice about exposed roots; didn't know that. I just found out that when you cut the largest leaves in half, it forces a grand flush of back-budding for better ramification. Yay! do you find that they tend to die back easily?

@Gman, did you layer that oak yet? Are you in Oregon or Washington, or elsewhere? I have thought of layering too and I'd love to learn how it goes. I have a little Garry oak that is showing real small leaf size and good ramification, although I'd like to put it in the ground to bulk it up. It's basically a shohin size, and I'm not really a shohin guy (although I've collected some shohin conifers lately). --Al

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Re: American Native genus/species for bonsai

Post  coh on Thu May 23, 2013 3:49 am

Jake16 wrote:Any updates on the tulip tree?

There's not going to be much to say about them for awhile, other than they are alive and growing. They are very young and small...3/4" trunks and 4 - 5' in height. I'll probably start a thread about my "natives" at some point, when there's something to report.

coh
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Re: American Native genus/species for bonsai

Post  Leo Schordje on Thu May 23, 2013 7:35 pm

I too have little to report. the fall 2012 Persimmon seed have not sprouted yet. They normally don't sprout until the heat of summer, which has been slow to arrive here. I had posted in the lounge a thread with photos of persimmon in the wild. The rough alligator pattern bark is striking. What is interesting is that the oldest, possibly 100 - 150 year old persimmon I found was definitely in a classic broom style. It's photo is at end of post. I am thinking of Walter Pall's comment about most deciduous naturally tend toward broom styles. You can see pictures here. http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t12137-in-praise-of-the-american-persimmon-diospyros-virginiana-some-field-photos

Robinia Black Locust, my 2011 root sprout is in a 3 gallon nursery can, leafed out and growing vigorously. Too young to try to shape yet.

My american white pines are still stubborn, showing me why most experienced bonsai-ists say run away from this species. Evil or Very Mad

A batch of bare root bur oak, Quercus macrocarpa, that I bought from Musser's Tree Farm in March 2013 have had their 75% to 90% of their roots chopped off and were potted up. They had incredible tap roots, but all had some feeder roots close to the trunk. So far every one of them has leafed out.

Similarly 2011 seedlings of hybrid Chinese chestnust Castanaea mollissima that has some American chestnut C. dentata, and / or Chinquapin C. pumila mixed in their ancestry. This spring chopped the roots hard, getting rid of tap roots, then potted into nursery cans to let grow out a bit. All leafed out even though radical root chop was done. Looks like this will be a difficult species to control. Rank, rapid growth, long interenodes and big leathery leaves. Perhaps they will become nut trees on my sister's farm.

Also decided to see what I can do with black willow. The trees I see locally all have very black rough bark and bright yellow twigs. I hope these traits will be visible as a chuchin size bonsai. Started a few cuttings this year, from twigs. Alos have a couple elm and hornbeam and osage orange seedlings. Nothing well enough developed to say much about.

That is most of the locally native species I am attempting. Photos in the future.

Leo Schordje
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Re: American Native genus/species for bonsai

Post  Randy_Davis on Thu May 23, 2013 8:11 pm

Leo Schordje wrote:Hey Randy
any success with collecting persimmons?

Leo,

I did try and collect some of the older trunks but had no luck. These buggers seem to put out a large deep taproot and once it's established they just don't transplant well at all. It seems to me the only sure way to get them is via seed. I have 1 batch of seed that sprouted last year. In February I cut the tap root from the seedlings and repotted them into a shallow community pot and they have just finished leafing out. I was quite supprised that when they leafed out the leaves were very small compared to last year and I hope they stay that way. If you wish to start from seed it's best to collect seed in animal scat (poop) as the process going through the animal the stomach acid workes on the seed coating and you get better more consistent sprouting. I'm sprouting a few more seed right now just to have some additional trees on hand.

On another note, I have been working on some Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos). I pulled a trunk that I have been working on for 3 years in the ground this last February and it too had a giant taproot which I just cut off with a sawsall and potted it up and it's now growing like crazy. I'll post some pic's of it sometime soon.

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Re: American Native genus/species for bonsai

Post  JimLewis on Fri May 24, 2013 1:37 pm

My american white pines are still stubborn, showing me why most experienced bonsai-ists say run away from this species.

Don't give up.


_________________
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: American Native genus/species for bonsai

Post  Leo Schordje on Fri May 24, 2013 5:53 pm

Jim, that is a choice white pine, I can see why its in one of the great public collections. And this is why I won't give up. On one of my P. strobus, I have mature bark now forming in the first inch or two of the trunk. Another 20 years and it will be mature bark all the way up. Smile

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Re: American Native genus/species for bonsai

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