Any experience with Texas Mesquite?

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Any experience with Texas Mesquite?

Post  Poink88 on Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:21 pm

I am not talking about smoking barbeque okay? Wink With that out of the way...

I am wondering if anyone worked with TX Mesquite as bonsai and can share their experience. Mesquite seem to be very hardy but I might be missing something. We have mesquite here growing like weeds and wondering if they are worth digging or will survive potted life.

I read about the Kiawe by Sam aka kauaibonsai, the only mesquite thread posted here but not sure if they are totally the same.

Thank you.

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Re: Any experience with Texas Mesquite?

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:56 pm

There are a couple of mesquite species that grow in the SW USA, including TX and another that grows in AZ. I'm slightly familiar with the AZ plant.

All of them are reportedly very difficult to transplant and grow as bonsai, and my AZ acquaintances confirm that. Taproots go as much as 30 feet straight down. Perhaps growing from seed would be profitable. I have no idea how they'd do from cuttings or layers.

They are intriguing plants and look as if they were meant to become bonsai, but . . .

Ditto for manzanita.

Desert plants have, as a rule, root systems that make it difficult if not impossible to dig.

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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: Any experience with Texas Mesquite?

Post  Poink88 on Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:32 pm

Thanks Jim. I read about manzanita since I love it's root burl and used to turn bowls and pens out of it. They are like briar and I personally think it is one of the prettiest wood we have here in the US.

I can understand it being difficult to dig due to the taproot but some species like the recent elms I dug have taproot also and they seem to not mind much being cut. I might give it a try if I see an interesting tree.

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Re: Any experience with Texas Mesquite?

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:23 pm

The difference between the taproot of an elm and that of manzanita or most other desert plants is that the elm has a whole host of small feeder roots up near soil level, because water is readily available there. Cut the taproot and there still are many roots to support the plant.

In the desert, that ain't so. The taproot is THE tap ROOT and it goes down until it finds enough moisture to send out its own feeder roots -- and even there, pickings are pretty slim. Desert plants with surface-level roots are the flowering annuals that turn green bloom so profusely after a rare rain, and they are specially adapted to allow for complete dessication between rains.

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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: Any experience with Texas Mesquite?

Post  Fore on Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:11 pm

I wondered the same about mesquite as they have great bark and trunks. Saw tons in W. TX. when I lived there. And it is basically a desert there....so having a long tap root makes total sense. Too bad.

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Re: Any experience with Texas Mesquite?

Post  Arno on Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:24 am

Reviving a super old thread, just wondering if you ever tried digging a mesquite?
Ive tried to dig some kiawe, with no luck, ive thought about trying to "air layer" at soil level, but since most are in dry areas, it might take some babysitting.

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Re: Any experience with Texas Mesquite?

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:56 pm

Dario is "elsewhere."

But . . . mesquite have an intense dislike for any fiddling with roots. Digging them up from a natural setting is almost universally a failure. You are better to get your plant from a nursery specializing in native plants. But evn transplanting and trimming roots from a potted plant is a ticklish proposition.

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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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Any experience with Texas Mesquite?

Post  ironman on Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:37 pm

I had one which I got from a nursery which was dig by his 'diggers'. They whacked the tap root off - I could see the buggered job when I re-potted it. I re potted it again a few years later and trimmed up the tap root and trimmed up everything and it did just fine. I wouldn't hesitated to dig one...but it would be quite a job.

One thing; cut branches off in the dead of winter! Otherwise the cut will weep for a LONG time and stain the trunk... I also sealed the cut area which is important, too.

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Re: Any experience with Texas Mesquite?

Post  Arno on Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:26 pm

Thanks Jim,
Sorry to bump old thread, but it is one of a kind, yeah ive experienced the failure of digging them. Ironically ive have a kiawe that I aquired from a friend, it was in a pot in the corner of there yard, dont know how it got in the pot, but its happy. Ive had it for 4 years , and its gone through some hardships, but never totaly died. It went 5 or 6 days with no water, the top died, and i managed to revive it , kinda like it better now. I wil try and post a pic, im working from tablet only right now.

Ironman, thanks for responding, we have so many kiawe here (i think its the same?)maybe sam will clarify, but there mostly tall and leggy. When i find one worth mesing with, i think i will, try and "air layer" at ground level
arno

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Re: Any experience with Texas Mesquite?

Post  Arno on Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:49 am

iron man here is mine

Kiawe

it used to be upright, but i almost lost it , the top died and I repoted at this new angle, actually think it looks better. has a long way to go

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Any experience with Texas Mesquite?

Post  ironman on Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:56 pm

You see this a lot in TEXAS; a tree leaning on the ground. Mesquite trees sometime fall over or split...then they continue to grow.
I'll see if I can find a picture of the biggest mesquite tree in Texas with a similar condition...

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Re: Any experience with Texas Mesquite?

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