Beautiful Trees Will Stay Where They Are

Josh88

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I went collecting the other weekend in a spot I’ve been curious about for some time. There are a few lava flows in the Pacific Northwest that are relatively well known as great collecting spots, but I had found one on google earth that I had heard nothing about. A couple buddies joined me for a hike through the flow to see what tree collecting is all about. This area was incredibly difficult to navigate and making your way from place to place was unbelievably slow going and lots of bumps and bruises were well earned along the way. The terrain of this flow was much different than the others I have been on, as it was nothing but boulders everywhere you looked, and based on the climb in, they were piled about 100 feet deep. There was no solid ground for duff to collect on top of, so the root systems all went deep into the rock cracks, and very few trees were collectible for my experience level, so we just enjoyed the experience of being in such a wild place and seeing these incredible survivors. I collected one very small sub alpine fir with nice bark for such a little tree, but the large specimens were left to keep on keeping on. I would love to return with someone experienced in collecting really difficult root masses and get their opinion of the place and it’s inhabitants. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed this adventure on a gorgeous fall day. Cheers!2229FBC3-B74B-4A8F-AC6B-F2353F25F3E7.jpeg62D7A5AC-88CD-43F4-ACCA-49860A770093.jpegD5CDCE32-D722-419E-A2A3-B0E3463F62CB.jpeg3592FAF8-C7BB-4189-B111-9722602D5196.jpegF2DB69CA-2916-4A05-8471-786F0E77C211.jpeg4667568D-C15E-48D1-AE58-DAAE4D4B8C94.jpeg7CE12AF5-681B-4508-8E3B-196D931CC161.jpeg70FE1DEC-17BB-41C8-A2C9-28E142BA2B3E.jpeg54ECA67C-3FF7-4262-8E83-52ACA5EFBC68.jpeg810ADBF5-6077-41D1-A80A-EBD9DD56A694.jpeg
 

Josh88

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Can we see the tree you did collect?
This is the only picture I have of it. A8059D44-494A-49E1-B08C-495580D24CA0.jpegIt’s a tiny little fella I figured I could grow out to thicken or could go for a small bunjin. For something only a foot tall it’s on it’s way to barking up quite nicely, and has a lot of movement low in the trunk, some of which shows well in this picture. It should make for a nice little addition and certainly a good memory of a hell of a hike. The hunting pack and shovel were a bit overkill for this haul : ) I also collected a few amazing pads of lichen and moss.
 

augustine

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Andy Smith at GoldenArrowBonsai.Com wrote a book on collecting which is available on his website. Very good book and applicable to this situation.
 

Josh88

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Andy Smith at GoldenArrowBonsai.Com wrote a book on collecting which is available on his website. Very good book and applicable to this situation.
I have this book and it certainly has plenty of great information. I was able to follow root systems from trees down through cracks, and move rocks to see if there were collectible root masses, but most of these more established trees had one or two big roots leaving the trunk and going for a few feet before I found any feeder roots. I would love to see what a more experienced collector would do with these trees, but my guess is that the vast majority of them are just not suitable for life in a container considering how they have adapted to their natural environment.
 
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I have this book and it certainly has plenty of great information. I was able to follow root systems from trees down through cracks, and move rocks to see if there were collectible root masses, but most of these more established trees had one or two big roots leaving the trunk and going for a few feet before I found any feeder roots. I would love to see what a more experienced collector would do with these trees, but my guess is that the vast majority of them are just not suitable for life in a container considering how they have adapted to their natural environment.
Depending on how long you want to wait, you could always "add" soil around the upper portion of the roots and encourage it to grow roots closer to the trunk (+fert too). But it would be a long process and I'm not sure how long you would have to wait. But it is an idea.

Hopefully someone has tried this and can chime in.
 

Josh88

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Depending on how long you want to wait, you could always "add" soil around the upper portion of the roots and encourage it to grow roots closer to the trunk (+fert too). But it would be a long process and I'm not sure how long you would have to wait. But it is an idea.

Hopefully someone has tried this and can chime in.
That's an interesting idea. Unfortunately finding the same spot twice in this place would be quite a task. The flow is about 6 square miles with no real distinguishable features and only a few access points, and we were only able to cover a small section on this trip. I hope to go back next year and check out a few different areas, as the road to access another side of the flow is closed this year. This could be great plan to try out if I can find a good tree that's relatively easy to access and find again. Thanks for planting that seed.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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I have this book and it certainly has plenty of great information. I was able to follow root systems from trees down through cracks, and move rocks to see if there were collectible root masses, but most of these more established trees had one or two big roots leaving the trunk and going for a few feet before I found any feeder roots. I would love to see what a more experienced collector would do with these trees, but my guess is that the vast majority of them are just not suitable for life in a container considering how they have adapted to their natural environment.
I am not experienced at all, but I do have a few pines from deep in the woods that root the same way: 2 or 3 fat roots leaving the base ending in a mesh of feeder roots almost 2 foot away. I tucked them in nicely below the tree. When it's established in the pot, I plan on either grafting a few of those feeders back to the base or keeping my fingers crossed that the buried base will root by itself. I supply all my recently collected trees with plenty of auxins (3x 500mg/L over 10 weeks), and I feed the rhizosphere with carbohydrates.
From bare root collection in spring to watering issues due to excess roots in fall.
Now, I've noticed that around 1 in 6 will not respond as vigorous. But that's good enough for me.
It might give people some hints on how to improve survival rates.
 

TyroTinker

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That's an interesting idea. Unfortunately finding the same spot twice in this place would be quite a task. The flow is about 6 square miles with no real distinguishable features and only a few access points, and we were only able to cover a small section on this trip. I hope to go back next year and check out a few different areas, as the road to access another side of the flow is closed this year. This could be great plan to try out if I can find a good tree that's relatively easy to access and find again. Thanks for planting that seed.
Have you been able to make it back this year? I live in the PNW and I would be interested to hear about more collecting trips from this area :)
 

Josh88

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Have you been able to make it back this year? I live in the PNW and I would be interested to hear about more collecting trips from this area :)
I haven't made it back it to this spot this year. I did a spring collecting trip in Gifford-Pinchot National Forest, and I'm hoping to make a trip back out there in September. The work to reward ratio in the spot these pics were taken was not nearly as good as many other spots in our area, so I'm not sure I'll return there too soon. With family and work I only have time to take one collecting trip each spring and one each fall, so I've got to make the most of that time. One nice thing about collecting in Mt. Hood National Forest, where this spot is, is that your permit is only good for trees within 100 feet of a road, so you can just drive around on forest and logging roads looking for good spots. Up closer to you there is the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest that have some super rugged terrain, and from pictures I've seen, some beautiful stunted trees. My eldest step-daughter is headed to Western Washington U this fall in Bellingham, so I'm hoping to check out some of these northern forests in your area over the next few years, though I haven't contacted their ranger stations to find out what their rules are for transplants. If you are interested in meeting up some time to explore closer to your area or mine, just shoot me a message.
 

TyroTinker

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I haven't made it back it to this spot this year. I did a spring collecting trip in Gifford-Pinchot National Forest, and I'm hoping to make a trip back out there in September. The work to reward ratio in the spot these pics were taken was not nearly as good as many other spots in our area, so I'm not sure I'll return there too soon. With family and work I only have time to take one collecting trip each spring and one each fall, so I've got to make the most of that time. One nice thing about collecting in Mt. Hood National Forest, where this spot is, is that your permit is only good for trees within 100 feet of a road, so you can just drive around on forest and logging roads looking for good spots. Up closer to you there is the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest that have some super rugged terrain, and from pictures I've seen, some beautiful stunted trees. My eldest step-daughter is headed to Western Washington U this fall in Bellingham, so I'm hoping to check out some of these northern forests in your area over the next few years, though I haven't contacted their ranger stations to find out what their rules are for transplants. If you are interested in meeting up some time to explore closer to your area or mine, just shoot me a message.
Thanks for the reply and pictures. That looks like its already a ‘mother daughter’ set up
I might hit you up for a trip in the future sometime, but like you work and family... plus I’m still learning the horticulture part for the trees I do have. Don’t want to kill a collected one (too quickly) WWU is a good school and there is plenty of places to explore for trees, it’s beautiful in Bellingham. My wife got her masters at WWU, so I spent a lot of time up there.
How do you normally go about getting a permit? I want to look into getting one before I even think about going out collecting.
 

bonsaichile

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That's an interesting idea. Unfortunately finding the same spot twice in this place would be quite a task. The flow is about 6 square miles with no real distinguishable features and only a few access points, and we were only able to cover a small section on this trip. I hope to go back next year and check out a few different areas, as the road to access another side of the flow is closed this year. This could be great plan to try out if I can find a good tree that's relatively easy to access and find again. Thanks for planting that seed.
maybe you can use a GPS to keep track of the trees you are preparing for future collection
 

Josh88

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Thanks for the reply and pictures. That looks like its already a ‘mother daughter’ set up
I might hit you up for a trip in the future sometime, but like you work and family... plus I’m still learning the horticulture part for the trees I do have. Don’t want to kill a collected one (too quickly) WWU is a good school and there is plenty of places to explore for trees, it’s beautiful in Bellingham. My wife got her masters at WWU, so I spent a lot of time up there.
How do you normally go about getting a permit? I want to look into getting one before I even think about going out collecting.
If you call the ranger station for any of our national forests out here and ask them about their permits for special forest products, specifically transplants, they will tell you what the rules for the forest are and where to pick up the permit. You usually get them at one of the ranger stations for that forest. Most are free, some are good for a full year and others just a few weeks.
 

TyroTinker

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If you call the ranger station for any of our national forests out here and ask them about their permits for special forest products, specifically transplants, they will tell you what the rules for the forest are and where to pick up the permit. You usually get them at one of the ranger stations for that forest. Most are free, some are good for a full year and others just a few weeks.
Thanks for the info :)
 

clem

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thanks for those nice pics, the ten jin ponderosa pine is awesome, i kept the picture ^^
 

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