The question about how long you spend searching for BC before finding one worth collecting is a bit misleading. What I mean by that is: if you happen upon a good collecting ground, it's literally a few minutes. If you find yourself in an area with BC, but they are not good material, then you might not find anything. It's all about the growing environment and the population of specimens. I have been to areas where you can collect 10 nice large specimens in a half-hour, and areas where you dig one because you'd feel stupid going home empty-handed. Again, it's all about the growing environment and population. (This does not include drive time. If you live down the road from a good collecting area, awesome; if you live two hours away, then add four hours to the half-hour of actual work. Call it what you will, time-wise.)[edited-in: btw I meant to ask, the dead spots on the nebari/buttressing, what happened is that accidental knicks from collection? I've hurt good nebari that way myself unfortunately :/ ]
I get what you mean in a sense, however while the point is to ultimately get it into a pot (as a long-term / final point), there's the mid-term development where you'd want maximal growth and unrestricted roots is part of optimizing that, I do get something home and sever it so the new root-growth isn't coming-off of some thick root 6" below the substrate-level or something, actually here's a couple pics of a first trip's bounty from this past week to show what I mean:
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[^sorry for the ugly mess, the garden is in the middle of a massive re-organization at the moment and is "in process" at the moment...read: very ugly besides the trees ;D Also, 1st picture is just-home, before cleaning-up & pruning the root masses, the on-table pic is how they came out of the truck-bed ]
I wish I could get-away with simply cutting a root-mass and "slip potting" that, w/o disturbance, into a container @home, the problem I find is that BC's from a swamp seem to *require* bare-rooting due to how much crap (debris and, mostly, just other plants' roots intermingled in the BC's root-mass) is in there that, if left, would quickly deteriorate and cause a flood of decomposition cycles in the container!
How long do you spend when searching for a BC, on average, before finding one you're thinking is worth collection? Would love to hear your answer on this as well as @BillsBayou @Zach Smith @Mellow Mullet @rockm and....damnit I can't remember the last person who does a lot of BC's here....damnit I hope I can remember before my 20min window to edit closes ;P I'm aware that time isn't the best barometer here as the density of an area would influence that tremendously, I guess I'm just curious if you guys - if in a bc-dominated swamp - tend to spend 1-10min, or 20-45min, locating any particular BC you plan to collect (ie I know sometimes you'll find one immediately, other times it gets dark on you before you find anything, just hoping to get an idea of average times if in full-sun searching a bc-dense swamp )
I have never found slip-potting BC from the ground to be a winning strategy. They tend to grow with swamp grasses and other plants intermingled in the roots, so cleaning up thoroughly is always an imperative. I have also found that trees with more fibrous roots tend to recover more slowly than those without. Not sure why this is.