Return to the Bonsai Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Collecting a Chestnut oak

Posted by jws41954 z7 Va. (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 25, 05 at 11:57

I found an oak growing on my land, shaded from very little light. The tree was 12' tall and 5" trunk at the soil level, tapered to 2 1/2" at 30". The bark is unreal from soil level to 20". It has a little reverse taper that was below the ground, which is now uncovered with sucker shoots starting to sprout out, hopefully this will help thicken the trunk base. The tree was shortened to 36" this past winter. It has a very big tap root. Should I cut around the tree to establish feeder roots first then in a couple yrs. cut the tap root when it is collected. Thanks for any additional help and advice. JW


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Collecting a Chestnut oak

Oaks usually have very long tap roots.
This oak has very large(4"-6")leaves.
Large leaves on a bonsai don't look very realistic.
I know it's not what you want to hear but personally I'd pass on this species as a bonsai.


 o
RE: Collecting a Chestnut oak

Welby, I know about the leaf size not making an ideal bonsai, but the bark on this tree is 1 1/2" thick and looks like it could be hundreds of yrs. old. I'm still looking for advice for collecting the tree.


 o
RE: Collecting a Chestnut oak

  • Posted by beng z6b western MD (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 27, 05 at 11:19

Some Chesnut oaks have remarkably coarse, hugely furrowed, corky bark (as fire-protection?), tho not sure I've seen it on such a small tree -- it takes time to develop it. They can be dwarfed by extreme xeric conditions (like growing on steep shale barrens), but I don't think they tolerate shade for very long. So it's hard to guess the exact nature of this tree. And not sure we're even talking about the same bark characteristic?

It sounds like a neat discovery, but offhand seems too large to deal w/as a potted tree, IMHO. Your proposed efforts sound reasonable, tho.


 o
RE: Collecting a Chestnut oak

Beng, The tree is growing close to my property line. My woods border a cow pasture.on this side. The trees growing close to the fence are all growing to the light. The woods along the fence were very grown up,I have since cleaned it out so more light gets to all the trees I have topped. I will probably take 3or4 yrs. to collect this tree, so when I do cut the tap root there will be hopefully enough feeder roots to survive. The tree's bark is just unreal for the size of the tree. I will just have to put up with the larger leaves. PS. The tree was growing straight up for 4' then it turned an almost 90 degree angle and was growing beneath the heavy tree canopy.


 o
RE: Collecting a Chestnut oak

  • Posted by beng z6b western MD (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 2, 05 at 8:10

Sounds like it was badly bent, but not broken in youth, survived somehow & subsisting on meager sunlight. So it may be older than one might think -- and/or it has an "extreme" coarse-bark trait. There may be other Q. prinus around to compare.

Good luck w/the project.


 o
RE: Collecting a Chestnut oak

when you collect it and it recovers, can't you completely leaf prune it to get smaller leaves to come back?

forgive my ignorance as I'm pretty new to bonsai, but aren't the leaves supposed to develop smaller when they come back on completely defoliated and well ramified deciduous trees?


 o
RE: Collecting a Chestnut oak

Theres mention of collecting oaks I just read on a thread somewhere. The secret to compensating for lack of fine roots is spaghnum moss. Treat it like an airlayer and persevere thru the sulking period (of possibly 2-3 years) and you should be rewarded with a flush of growth eventually.

Deep potting after applying rootone-like hormones further up the trunk/rootage is another method. Look around.

WF


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Bonsai Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here