Thursday, February 24, 2011

Repotting a collected elm tree

I made a new friend today, Jeff from Mississippi. He said he didn't have a lot of time ,he works in the oil industry in east Texas & he hadn't had a day off since around Thanksgiving & was on his way home. He has four days off & has to be back at work Monday.

Jeff is a relative newcomer to Bonsai & has previously bought some Bonsai, but he has discovered that collecting trees has some perks.
He saw my blog & decided to stop by. He want
ed some advice on some trees he had collected.
I was surprised to see the quality of the trees he had dug up. Since he was in a hurry we didn't have much time to talk. So if you read this Jeff call me or email at ""

Jeff gave me one of his trees he had dug up.
He said he often comes across trees around some of the oil well sites.
My wife thinks if you look at it real quick it
resembles a chimp.

This tree has had the main trunk cut & the resulting branches have become two trunks.

This is a close up of the tree, the
reason for the hand is because I had
already made the cut before I took the picture.

Well it doesn't resemble a chimp anymore!
I chose to keep the trunk on the left & cut off the one on the right.

It was a rather large chop to the
trunk. The scar will take up to 3 to 4
yrs. or more to heal over.
There wasn't very many roots but
as you can see the tree has started to
leaf out already.

The elm tree is potted up, wound sealer put on the scar & now it's left up to the tree to put out enough roots
to sustain it self.
I have added to the potting mix
worm castings,compost,root stimulator & super thrive.

The trunk I cut off has been potted up with
the same mix & ingredients as the main tree.
The block of wood is used to steady the
trunk because there are no roots to anchor it.

Basically this trunk is a cutting.
Although a cutting would usually be
about the size of the first branch on
the left of this trunk.
Elms are pretty resilient so I'm
hoping it will put out roots. I have had success with elms and trident maples
of this size before. wish me luck!
Will report on their progress

Wax on.........Wax off

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Dig on Thursday Feb.17 2011

Since my good friend Gabe is off on Thursdays I scheduled a dig at a near by creek bed. On an earlier excursion with an other friend (Jacob) we had spotted a couple of trees on the same creek bed.

Three of the trees were on the edge of a cliff about 15 feet above the creek bed.
In front was an eastern red cedar
directly behind it was an ash tree & to the right was an other ash.

All three trees were fairly tall & had to be cut cut down to size.

Here's Gabe with his ash tree

We had to cut the tap root off.

Gabe digging up some kind of holly.

Close up on the trunk of the holly
after it was potted up.

Gabe and his two trees

I still had to cut off the rest of the tap root on my eastern red cedar.

The root ball had to be pruned
in order to fit the container.

All potted up & ready to go!

so is Jacob's little ash.

Will report on their progress later.

This is interesting nebari on an old
eastern red cedar by the creek bed.

Wax on .........Wax off

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Update on elm tree dug up in Feb.2010

After the snow & cold , we have had some warm weather.
So I decided to fire up my sprinkler system. Only to find out that two of my
pumps were broken & a number of my lines were broken by the cold.

The sprinkler works fine after
replacing the two pumps & repairing
the broken lines.

Last Feb.2010 we dug out this old

It wasn't easy ....we had to dig it out of the side of a cliff.

We got it home & cut off some dead branches.

Here it is a year later after some
severe pruning.

I put some wound sealer on the major cuts. Will see how it responds
later this summer.

This is a crepe myrtle that had twin trunks
both over 12 feet. One was cut off when it was dug up last year.

The remaining trunk was cut off
last Sept.2010.
We are cutting it to about 1 foot
in height Feb. 2011.

We will report back on it's progress later this summer.

Wax on .....Wax off

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Feb. snow fall 2011

The first week of Feb. brought the Dallas & Ft.Worth area to a virtual standstill with
snow & record temperatures.

With snow and Icy conditions traffic was treacherous & then on top of that we had rolling

It's hard to believe that a week earlier
we had near 70 degrees temperatures
while digging for ash junipers.

Here we are a week later with
"Bella" my #1 side kick preparing
to venture out into her 1st.snow fall.

Here's Bella & her mom
"you have to keep your scarf on"

Here dog try some snow.

Hey it's kind of cold but pretty good.

A blanket of snow!

Every thing is covered

It got to 10 degrees last night, but
it was 68 inside.

This is Kaylee aka the "worm" my #2 side kick.
She says "You can go outside all you
want , I'm staying inside where it's

Wax on ........Wax off

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ash Juniper in Glen Rose,Tx.

Collected Ash juniper from dig on the 29th of Jan.

Ft.Worth & Dallas Bonsai societies held a joint dig on Sat. 29th of Dec. in Glen Rose.
I would like to thank our hosts Mel & Jim for allowing us to dig on their property for the past several years. Again thank you for being gracious hosts & gentlemen.

Ash Juniper #1

This is the smallest tree that Jacob
& I dug. We dug it because it has the
typical Ash juniper spirit to survive in
the harsh elements of the wild.

Every tree has a story to tell about
it's past. The past is what shaped this
tree,what trials & tribulations has it endured?
Was it browsed by a deer or some other critter,blown by wind,cold snow,
or suffered through a drought? Well this is Texas I'd say all of the above.

The live vein on the back side is
whats keeping this tree alive.
I hope it survives the transplant
into this box.

Ash Juniper #2

We dug this tree because the top
has been broken off & the foliage
is close to the trunk to form a new apex.

This picture shows a rugged
trunk with lots of gin.

This shows where the top is broken off & the
foliage is where it can be used for a new apex.

Ash Juniper #3

This tree was dug for it's trunk. It has a lot
dead wood & gin.

The trunk has a good curve
and lot of movement.

This would be candidate for a literati style
or maybe in the future we could induce some
lower branching.

Ash Juniper #4

This tree has an unusual &
interesting form.

It will be fun & a challenge to see
what we can make of this tree.

Ash Juniper #5

I'm hoping we can keep the live vein
alive along the back of the tree.
There is a lot of dead wood & gin that's magnificent,all natural.

The other side of the tree,you can
barley see the live vein.

This is the back side of the tree & you can see the vein.

Ash Juniper #6

On this tree you can see how the foliage changes by looking at different views. Here it looks fairly full.

From this angle you can see the gin on the trunk & the foliage looks sparse.

From this view you can see the sweep of the trunk & again the foliage looks sparse.

Ash Juniper #7

You can readily see that the trunk has been split in half.

The result is one side is dead wood naturally bleached by the sun.

The trunk has a nice curve & you can see the live vein in the back.

Ash Juniper #8

This tree has alot of movement in the trunk.

On one side it curves to the right.

On the other side it curves to the left.

On the back side it curves to the right at a different's good to have choices!

Ash Juniper #9

Last but not least a ribbon of
dead wood almost to the top & it curves to the left.

Then it splits into a v hmmm again choices!!!

Lots of foliage, oh well I'll think of something. I have my work cutout for me. I'll post on these trees later as they progress.

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