How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

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How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

Post  Poink88 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:21 pm

Collection time for deciduous tree is over for me...all local trees are in leaf.

I have access to a place where I can prep the trees (cedar elms) for collection (Jan/Feb) next year. What can I do to improve the trees I will be collecting next year? I am thinking of trunk chopping most of them to encourage the new growth low where I need them. I also plan on cutting a few main roots at the same time to encourage fine roots near the base. Is this a good plan? If so when should I do this?

Thank you.

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Re: How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

Post  Mitch Thomas on Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:39 pm

Dario
I have good luck taking a saw and cutting a deep ring around the tree approximately where you would dig it to collect it. In the trench I drench the soil with a liquid rooting hormone. I do not chop it now because I want the tree to produce as many new roots as possible from the ends that I cut. Then you fill the trench back in and mark it so you will be able to find it next year to collect it.

I love cedar elms, we don't have them wild in east Louisiana. So if you ever need a collecting partner give me ring, or if you ever wanted to collect some BC your welcome to come.

Mitch

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Re: How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

Post  Poink88 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:10 pm

Mitch,

I learned that Cedar Elm grows even with almost no fine roots based on my limited experience. That is why I am concentrating on the branches a bit more. Of course they sprout everywhere on the trunk as well without any problem. I understand your reasoning for not chopping to promote root growth though so I have to decide which is more important to me.

If I decide on cutting the roots only...when is the optimal time to do it?

My problem with my collection area is it being rocky. I cannot just cut all around but may have easy access to few shallow roots. Most have tap roots growing in between rock crevices which are very difficult to cut. It is a quarter mile strip of property for road widening that got on hold due to permitting issues. In the mean time, I was allowed to collect the trees growing there that are slated to be bulldozed anyway. I am told that the permit will take a year or two due to the required studies so I am only assuming the trees I prep will still be there next year.

Thanks!

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Re: How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

Post  Mitch Thomas on Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:19 pm

Dario
I have never collected CE, but after working with them for 5 or 6 years now I can see your point. It probably will advantageous to chop them now. They readily back bud on hard wood so it shouldnt be any problem.

Mitch


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Re: How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

Post  bucknbonsai on Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:29 am

Dario, Ive done the exact thing your talking about, thinking it would save time on training etc... However it can be problematic in 2 ways. One depends on how much light these trees are getting, In my experience trunk chopping and leaving the tree in the forest (im not sure how shady that strip is that you talk about) can kill deciduous d/t lack of light and due to increased browsing by deer etc... The other problem depends on your trunk size. If they are the trunk size you want then trunk chopping with an intact giant root system is going to push out growth with internodes way to long for any refined branching, but if your wanting to grow the trunks out even more, then it would not matter. If you do trunk chop dont do it right now, the roots just put all their energy into those leaves, let them harden off then trunk chop.

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Re: How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

Post  drgonzo on Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:26 am

What I do when I collect American beech and Hawthorns is spade around the root ball similar to what Mitch suggests, just dig a sharp spade in around the root zone where I would normally want to dig to remove the tree, this severs the roots down to about the depth of the spade (usually.) I do this in early summer, then leave the tree alone till next spring when I then chop and collect the tree in one go. In fact i have to do just that next week with a Beech that got spaded last summer. I find as buck mentions if I can get the stump into direct sun the bud response is much better and survival rates are much improved.

With something like Lonicera I stump and dig all at once in early spring while still dormant, you cant kill em.

If you think the tree is going to respond poorly you spade only half the circumference of the root ball leave it and return next season spade the other half, leave it, then dig the spring after that. so a grand total of 2 seasons to get the tree out, they do this sort of 'bit at a time' treatment a lot with large collected pines. Sometimes prying half the tree up and filling in with bonsai soil underneath.
-Jay

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Re: How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

Post  attila on Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:53 am

bucknbonsai wrote:Dario, Ive done the exact thing your talking about, thinking it would save time on training etc... However it can be problematic in 2 ways. One depends on how much light these trees are getting, In my experience trunk chopping and leaving the tree in the forest (im not sure how shady that strip is that you talk about) can kill deciduous d/t lack of light and due to increased browsing by deer etc... The other problem depends on your trunk size. If they are the trunk size you want then trunk chopping with an intact giant root system is going to push out growth with internodes way to long for any refined branching, but if your wanting to grow the trunks out even more, then it would not matter. If you do trunk chop dont do it right now, the roots just put all their energy into those leaves, let them harden off then trunk chop.

i have the point as Buck here, if they are in shade almost all will die very quickly or become very weak and will die when you collect them it is better to wait and do it next early spring. also elms generally easy to collect they are tough trees
regards
Attila

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Re: How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

Post  Justin_ on Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:40 am

In this situation, are there any advantages or disadvantages is putting some barrier around the roots where you've dug with the spade? Something like pieces of plywood, or even thick cardboard which would confine the roots for a while but have probably decomposed completely by the time you dig it up next year?


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Re: How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

Post  drgonzo on Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:46 pm

Justin_ wrote:In this situation, are there any advantages or disadvantages is putting some barrier around the roots where you've dug with the spade? Something like pieces of plywood, or even thick cardboard which would confine the roots for a while but have probably decomposed completely by the time you dig it up next year?


What happens is the thicker roots will simply callus over and the tree then begins strengthening and re-directing growth energy to the roots that remain closer to the trunk that were not severed. The waiting period you allow between spading and collecting allows this healing and re-directing to take place. In my experience deciduous trees don't re-grow roots fast enough in the remaining 3/4 of a season to have counteracted the cutting work of the spade.

Also energy returning down into the root system at fall is concentrated in the remaining roots that will accompany the root ball upon collection in spring rather than traveling down into larger roots that would need to be cut and left behind. This is an important issue with regards to the tree having enough stored energy to aid with recovery once collected.
-Jay

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Re: How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

Post  Poink88 on Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:04 pm

bucknbonsai wrote:However it can be problematic in 2 ways. One depends on how much light these trees are getting, In my experience trunk chopping and leaving the tree in the forest (im not sure how shady that strip is that you talk about) can kill deciduous d/t lack of light and due to increased browsing by deer etc...
Shade depends on each tree. Some are next to bigger trees but some are out by themselves among the grass. This is only approximately 35 foot wide strip...one side is an existing road, the other have 20 foot cedar. Deer frequent the area but not much due to its proximity to existing road.

bucknbonsai wrote:The other problem depends on your trunk size. If they are the trunk size you want then trunk chopping with an intact giant root system is going to push out growth with internodes way to long for any refined branching, but if your wanting to grow the trunks out even more, then it would not matter. If you do trunk chop dont do it right now, the roots just put all their energy into those leaves, let them harden off then trunk chop.
I am not concerned about long inter nodes, these new branches will either be; sacrificial, primary, or secondary anyway and will be shortened eventually. If I decide to chop, I know I need to let the leaves harden...the question is when would be the best time?

Thank you.

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Re: How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

Post  Poink88 on Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:09 pm

drgonzo wrote:Also energy returning down into the root system at fall is concentrated in the remaining roots that will accompany the root ball upon collection in spring rather than traveling down into larger roots that would need to be cut and left behind.
Jay,
Interesting. So even the main roots that were severed without fine roots will be used as main storage of energy? If this is the case, then the optimal time to cut roots will be just around fall correct?

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Re: How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

Post  drgonzo on Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:34 pm

Poink88 wrote:
drgonzo wrote:Also energy returning down into the root system at fall is concentrated in the remaining roots that will accompany the root ball upon collection in spring rather than traveling down into larger roots that would need to be cut and left behind.
Jay,
Interesting. So even the main roots that were severed without fine roots will be used as main storage of energy? If this is the case, then the optimal time to cut roots will be just around fall correct?

The entire trunk and roots store energy throughout winter, there is just more liquid in the roots underground than above in the trunk

I mentioned the callusing that takes place after large roots are severed (if you can do it neatly) in early summer (up my way) this would stop energy traveling downwards in fall from merely dripping out. A freshly severed heavy root in fall lacks this healing. Its like turning on the garden hose before you have the spray nozzle attached to the end.

If the tree can't callus the cut root it will at least wall off the damage and die back to healthy tissue. The most gentle way to do this sort of work is during a time when the tree is actively growing and can heal the wounds and grow and strengthen roots within the spaded circumference. It makes sense if you think about it.

Keep in mind these recommendations are from a guy in zone 5 you may be able to get away with more in TX
-Jay



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Re: How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

Post  bucknbonsai on Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:10 pm

dario, your point is good, even though I wrote "wait till leaves harden" I dont even know what that means! ha ha. every one says that but i dont know what they mean either? It seems so subjective and i dont know if there is an answer other than asking local experienced people in your area. I think where I live they say june or july (yet that is a very big window) Hopefully someone will tell us. Gonzo, you mentioned the fat cut roots calusing, do they calus or do they make new feeder roots off the cut surface?-or does it depend on luck or species?

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Re: How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

Post  Poink88 on Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:29 pm

bucknbonsai wrote:dario, your point is good, even though I wrote "wait till leaves harden" I dont even know what that means! ha ha. every one says that but i dont know what they mean either? It seems so subjective and i dont know if there is an answer other than asking local experienced people in your area. I think where I live they say june or july (yet that is a very big window) Hopefully someone will tell us.
I am not in a hurry, I can work with that window. I am sure it is earlier here since the trees are all green now.

bucknbonsai wrote:Gonzo, you mentioned the fat cut roots calusing, do they calus or do they make new feeder roots off the cut surface?-or does it depend on luck or species?
If my understanding is right, the callus forms to seal the wound and at the same time it is where new root cells form. On the 2nd part...both of them Very Happy

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Re: How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

Post  drgonzo on Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:32 pm

bucknbonsai wrote: Gonzo, you mentioned the fat cut roots calusing, do they calus or do they make new feeder roots off the cut surface?-or does it depend on luck or species?

Trees will produce roots once callus tissue has formed, thats how air layering works.

Usually if I've got a good vigorous tree they will callus in one season and begin extending some roots the next. Elaeagnus does it much faster, Beech seems to take a season then it will rock-on, willows don't even need to callus it seems.

One of my Beeches who was essentially a large collected root sucker, will sometimes make a sub-surface bud from a heavy root callus, Seems there is a pre-disposition to it, as I haven't seen it on other Beechs of mine that were true seedlings. Funny huh? Once a sucker always a sucker i guess.
-Jay

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Re: How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

Post  bucknbonsai on Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:44 pm

gonzo. thanks for the response about the callous. I once collected a beech with a friend that had a 200pound root ball, it had a 5" taproot cut, it calused the first year, now my friend tells me it looks like a bowl full of spaggetti sprouting off the bottom of that thing when he barerooted it this year. I to like collecting beeches and it seems whenever I see a good looking compact one, it is always a sucker off the roots of a nearby mother tree. Its frustrating, Ive chopped on the proximal and distal sides of these suckers and had some success with them sprouting their own new roots but it makes for a very very very ugly neabari, so I just keep em buried and hope no one notices. Where I live it seems most collectable sized beeches are always suckers, Rarely have I ever found an isolated one that sprouted from a seed.

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Re: How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

Post  drgonzo on Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:34 pm

bucknbonsai wrote:gonzo. thanks for the response about the callous. I once collected a beech with a friend that had a 200pound root ball, it had a 5" taproot cut, it calused the first year, now my friend tells me it looks like a bowl full of spaggetti sprouting off the bottom of that thing when he barerooted it this year. I to like collecting beeches and it seems whenever I see a good looking compact one, it is always a sucker off the roots of a nearby mother tree. Its frustrating, Ive chopped on the proximal and distal sides of these suckers and had some success with them sprouting their own new roots but it makes for a very very very ugly neabari, so I just keep em buried and hope no one notices. Where I live it seems most collectable sized beeches are always suckers, Rarely have I ever found an isolated one that sprouted from a seed.

I didn't know the big one I dug a few years ago was a sucker until 3/4 of the way through the dig, luckily it was a sucker that grew up fell over then re-rooted. It had excellent surface roots. I'm still working it down and it will go in a bonsai pot this year.. finally.

I also have an American beech forest and for me seedlings are even rarer as most fallen Beech nuts are Turkey food fast as they can find them, I think I have the squirrels (who bury what they find) to thank for the few Beech seedlings I've been able to collect so far.
-Jay

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Re: How to prepare a tree for collection next year and when?

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