Am going to collect my 2nd large (1'+) yamadori tomorrow, have some questions...

SU2

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I've done lots of smaller 'yamadori' (half the time they're from a residential planting, not really from nature..) but only recently, 2wks ago, that I did my first large yamadori, a ~1.25' wide trunk of a bougainvillea someone on my block had cut down. A short album of dig to boxing is here http://imgur.com/a/TGGqd It was transplanted the day after being hard-chopped, which was two weeks ago, and is now sporting 7 small buds, the largest around 4mm's from the bark.

Tomorrow I'll be excavating & transplanting another bougie, very similar in size (though inferior in character IMO, but I can't be picky when it comes to getting specimen like this!), and am hoping to do better. First thing is IBA, I have the powder but, having heard of certain specie having paradoxical reactions to the stuff, I held off; given that my transplant last week had a worringly-small amount of roots (was expecting a root 'ball', found root 'branches' in the end; part of that may've been how many weedy vines had intermingled, a concern I won't have this time), it'd have been reassuring to skin parts of the lignified root 'branches' and dust with IBA- if I knew that it worked well with bougies.
Another problem I found was that I had an incredibly hard time getting it clean without feeling like I was hurting it, any recommended setups for cleaning the roots out? Am thinking to use a table and rope with the hose, will surely be better than last time..
Media...Last time I just went with almost full DE (diatomaceous earth granules, always sifted&washed), amended only with chunks of rock that I got by chiseling pieces off of a ~20lbs limestone rock, using those rocks as 'inert filler' to stretch the DE I had on-hand (it was a last-ditch effort, I was completely unprepared for a transplant that size!) I've got 48qt of DE granules already and plan to get some other media (smaller lava rock chunks? bark? perlite?), will likely just use large pieces of lava rock as 'filler' this time, instead of hard rocks like my 1st time around, at least large lava rock chunks hold water!
Cut-height....This tree was cut-back on saturday, at a height of like 1.5'+, certainly taller than the growth I'll want- would it be advisable to re-cut the stump before boxing it? I know it's best to leave length before pulling from the ground (for leverage), but this will be 72hrs post-cut, I'm unsure what rammifications a '2nd hard-chop' would do if I were to cut it once I got it home, and really had it 'stumpier' (I'm sorry I don't have pictures of this one :( )

I went there tonight to water it heavily, I figured it'd be a good idea to let it drink-up as much as it can before exposing those roots to the air, will see how this goes tomorrow am feeling more prepared but damn are these large transplants back-breakers!! I don't even know how it'd be possible without a reciprocating saw/sawzall!!

Thanks for any tips, whether on this transplant, bougies, yamadoris, etc!! And fwiw I'm in southeast US, zone 9a/9b :)
 

jeanluc83

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For a tree that size I would make sure that it is worth the effort. You have already collect a tree close to the same size you know how much work it is. You also need to remember that a pot for the tree you are collecting is going to cost some $$$.

As far as collecting, I would try to cut back the roots as hard as you can. This includes the bottom. You want to make the root ball as shallow as you can now. There is nothing to break off the trunk at this point so flattening the bottom of the root ball now will be easier than later at the first repotting. Trees like this are the strongest at collection. You want to do the most severe work at collection when the tree is the strongest.

Good luck and welcome.
 

sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

SU2

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For a tree that size I would make sure that it is worth the effort. You have already collect a tree close to the same size you know how much work it is. You also need to remember that a pot for the tree you are collecting is going to cost some $$$.

As far as collecting, I would try to cut back the roots as hard as you can. This includes the bottom. You want to make the root ball as shallow as you can now. There is nothing to break off the trunk at this point so flattening the bottom of the root ball now will be easier than later at the first repotting. Trees like this are the strongest at collection. You want to do the most severe work at collection when the tree is the strongest.

Good luck and welcome.

With it being a foot wide, the possibilities are almost endless I hope it ends up being worth the $$! I'm going to be building a box for it with scrap lumber so that's free, I've spent about $30 on media for the container and am actually getting $ for removing it :D

I intend to do the roots as you say, I want them much shallower than I had made them on my 1st.. As far as soils, I was considering doing a little bit of a staggered particle size in a way, I'll be using mostly DE (diatomaceous earth) but have a bag of lava rocks, I was thinking of adding larger ones in the lower portions and smaller lava rocks towards the top (also got two small bags of douglas fir bark, am going to be using it around 5-10%, DE around 75-80%, lava rock for the rest (with a lava rock bed at the bottom of ~3") Does that sound like a good use of that aggregate?
 

SU2

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For a tree that size I would make sure that it is worth the effort. You have already collect a tree close to the same size you know how much work it is. You also need to remember that a pot for the tree you are collecting is going to cost some $$$.

As far as collecting, I would try to cut back the roots as hard as you can. This includes the bottom. You want to make the root ball as shallow as you can now. There is nothing to break off the trunk at this point so flattening the bottom of the root ball now will be easier than later at the first repotting. Trees like this are the strongest at collection. You want to do the most severe work at collection when the tree is the strongest.

Good luck and welcome.

I'm sorry to get into this again but I've had trouble getting your comment out of my head (to be sure it's 'worth it') - why would you say that what were your reasons? A nice pot is $$$ though I just built a box for free (and spent probably <$20 on media as I have lots leftover), and yeah it's a project but all of bonsai is - I'm worried I'm missing something, it's weird to me to hear that it's *ever* not worth it to get such specimen, at least if bonsai is your hobby!

Everything went pretty well, here's some shots of what I got, it's got great character IMO am unsure which I like better between this and my other large (bougie) yamadori (album- http://imgur.com/a/TGGqd )

Thanks for any elaboration, I mean I've spent a year learning and experimenting like crazy, but am still learning - I thought this was more of a 'jackpot' moment, not a 'are you sure it's worthwhile?' one, so really want to understand where you were coming from when saying that :) Thanks!
 

jeanluc83

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I never intended to make you second guess your self. I just wanted to point out that many times a big stump is just that a big stump. Other than being big there is not much else going for them.

I think you did a good job with this one. I would say it was worth it. I think you will need to get creative with this one and give it the Graham Potter treatment. It looks like a lot of fun.
 

SU2

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I just wanted to point out that many times a big stump is just that a big stump. Other than being big there is not much else going for them.
This is the sentiment that I was confused about and still hoping you can clarify your thoughts on - you say "it's just that- a big stump", but isn't that a HUGE thing in bonsai? I've only really been into this for a year, and while I've collected over 30 trees in that time there are few large ones, I kind of see them as 'real' in that, when properly developed, they're just a whole different class than something with a 3/4" trunk....I'd just always had a 'bigger is better' thought process when it came to this stuff, but I'm new so that's why I'm hoping to understand your sentiment better ;)

[edit- and thanks, will be checking into graham potter! I've got two of these large bougie stumps now, it's hard to think these things til there's branches but think I have an idea how I'm going to differentiate the two!]
 

jeanluc83

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When collecting a big stump the most important thing you need to look for is the nebari. Once you have a stump that 6" or more across it becomes very difficult to correct flaws not impossible but it takes time.

The next thing to look for is taper. For large stumps that have not been repeatedly cut back will not likely have taper.

Another problem with big stumps is that they take a long time to develop into bonsai. All bonsai take time to develop but stumps really are blank slates. Everything must be created from scratch.

Walter Pall's Field Maple #4

Take a look at Walter's tree and understand that it was collected in 1992 and took 25 years to get to the point you see.

I would say that you did well with your collected stump. I would have liked to see it a little taller but that can't be changed now. I would let it settle in for a year or more while it recovers. In that time work on your carving skills.

A couple more pointers: add your location to your profile. It will help others give you advice. Also I find it better to upload pictures directly to bonsai nut rather than linking to your pictures. Good luck.
 

SU2

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Yeah the creation of taper won't be an easy, or quick, feat! My intention is to just keep collecting, I'm starting to get a better eye for what's worthwhile (have only collected 30 trees in my ~1yr), with the two large bougie yamadori's I've got their fast growth on my side, bougies just grow so fast here, so I'm expecting a quicker time-til-shaping with these particular specimen (I know it's still going to take a while!), and their innate toughness (particularly above-ground) should lend them to carving very well! I'm very happy/lucky to have found adamaskwhy's site (https://adamaskwhy.com/2014/05/05/collecting-a-big-bougainvillea/) as he's doing similar stuff in a location very near me (same rough part of my state) so I can see how this species fares with these types of transformations (and I have great guidelines to go by from looking at the progression series from his site, from bonsai4u's progression series, pall's stuff (thanks for the link, pall is great his article on medias totally changed how I approached my containers!), to get an idea of where to go with them) Luckily, even with fast-growing bougies, growth is still relatively slow, I have the luxury of time to slowly shape them into good specimen as fast as they're gonna grow :)
 

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