Berberis yamadori

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Berberis yamadori

Post  slowtron on Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:59 am

Between the thorns and weight, these bad boys almost killed me....red-leaved berberis saved from certain destruction in March 2012. I realize there is significant taper building and/or carving ahead. But, they were destined for a woodchipper, and I see something in the mess. I felt bad for them. So, I sacrificed my spine and a little blood to rescue these innocent victims.

Apologies for the poor background. But, I haven't been able to move the monsters by myself.



berberis #1

berberis #2

berberis #3

AMAZING bark...

All 3 were in a similar root-state. They had all ground-layered themselves in their own refuse. There were thousands of feeders at soil level. So, I cut off EVERYTHING 4" lower than this natural layering. I found no feeders within a reasonable distance.

a few questions for the esteemed panel...
1) I've left the layer duff mostly undisturbed and filled the rest of the pots with pumice. Anything else I can do for the roots?
2) In regards to branches; Leave 'em be? OR reduce to a useful framework? (getting rid of some old suckers)

Thanx in advance. I've been lurking/stocking you folks for a couple years and have learned SO much. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.




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Re: Berberis yamadori

Post  Poink88 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:11 am

Awesome!!! Nice save!

Not sure how the base is, but can some of these be separated?

I have a little 2" trunked berberis and I know what you mean about the thorns. Good that they are tiny.

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Re: Berberis yamadori

Post  slowtron on Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:23 am

I may be able to separate a few. It's hard to tell though without really digging in to the roots. I plan to investigate the situation during a good root wash AFTER they have proved to me their will to live (2014???)

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Re: Berberis yamadori

Post  Poink88 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:31 am

WELCOME by the way. If it is like the ones we have here (and it looks like it), they are pretty tough and should be growing like crazy in a few weeks. You got some nice trees in there and I agree...super nice bark!

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Re: Berberis yamadori

Post  sunip on Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:45 am

slowtron wrote:
All 3 were in a similar root-state. They had all ground-layered themselves in their own refuse. There were thousands of feeders at soil level. So, I cut off EVERYTHING 4" lower than this natural layering. I found no feeders within a reasonable distance.
a few questions for the esteemed panel...
1) I've left the layer duff mostly undisturbed and filled the rest of the pots with pumice. Anything else I can do for the roots?
2) In regards to branches; Leave 'em be? OR reduce to a useful framework? (getting rid of some old suckers)
Hello,
Now that is a find, lots of potential congratulations.
1) Filling the rest of the pot with pumice while the center of the rootball is another sort of soil could give you watering problems.
The pumice wil not hold water in the same way as the rootball, this could cause root rot.
While watering or rain one should be aware of that.
2) If you should reduce branches now is hard to tell when you are not clear if you are going to separate some trunks or not.
In the coming time you can however study the future possibilities and reduce here and there.
Since you got them recently, it is maybe an option to separate now and clean out the roots,
what are the others think of this idea, i do not know the local circumstances?
regards, Sunip Wink

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Re: Berberis yamadori

Post  slowtron on Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:35 pm

Sunip, thank u for the response.

I have thought about the difference in water retention between the native muck and the inorganic pumice. This is an issue I've encountered before. Is this not a common problem with collected trees? There is always a difference in medium.

EXAMPLE: Let's say I go up in the mountains and find a fantastic ponderosa growing in the perfect rock pocket. It is growing in nothing more than dust and it's old needles. I pop the thing out without having to cut any roots. Rootball intact, now what? Do I wash the roots clean to allow for a uniform substrate? NO!!! Do I fill the pot with old needles I've collected with the pine (also a uniform substrate)? Ridiculous, how would I care for that.

This is what I was thinking while relocating these. I guess I just try hard not to water the center as much as the outskirts.

OR, do I get the hose out, wash Medusah's hair, and separate the snakes from her head?

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Re: Berberis yamadori

Post  Poink88 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:57 pm

Interesting point slowtron.

During my first foray to tree collecting here is what I did.
1. I always wash off all clay soil.
2. On some that are rich loose loam, I decided to keep them and used mostly same material amended with turface/oil-dri but mostly just to fill the container around the root ball. May not be the best but so far all the trees treated this way are flourishing.

NOW, I always wash the root ball off totally to have uniform "good substrate". This "good substrate" may have some of the old soil (some may call me crazy but that is what I do). Please note that my "practice" had to do with my local weather and my anticipated brutal TX heat during summer. I may still do #2 if I feel it will increase the tree's chances of survival.

Though I am new, I believe I collected around 25+ trees (stumps) this year and all are doing well (except one which I believe is dead to begin with--found out it had black dead roots when I got home but I planted it anyway hoping it will make it).

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Re: Berberis yamadori

Post  slowtron on Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:59 pm

New questions regarding trunk separating...

Is the reasoning behind separation purely aesthetic? If so, why make these moves now (causing further trauma)? Or, are there horticultural advantages to division? I could always reassemble the forest at a later date. And, the reassemble offers reconfigure options like better angles, spacing, etc...I sort of like the Sleepy Hollow feel of the groups. But, there are a few stumps that could stand on their own.

So, it comes down to horticulture. What's the smart option here? Aesthetics can wait.


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Re: Berberis yamadori

Post  sunip on Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:33 pm

Hello Slowtron.
Horticultural and aesthetics can go together,
better soil mix and time and space to prepare each individual trunk.
Ofcours this is not always possible and can take a few years.
But another question is; how is the situation in Seatlle,
because it is best to repot Berberis before buds open? (mine is in leave here)
Sunip

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Re: Berberis yamadori

Post  slowtron on Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:12 pm

We've had a strange winter/spring. It snowed last week. But, February was warm. Some plants are confused. But, all my deciduous trees are now moving. These berberis are on the brink of popping. Buds are swollen with a few leaves open. If I plan on dividing, it's now or next spring.


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