Berberis Yamadori

digger714

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Hello all. I have a friend that said i could have her barberry shrubs in her front yard. There are 4 that are between 6" & 7" wide, and only 18" tall or so. The trunks are just awesome, and very compact branches where she pruned back every year with cutters, no electric trimmers. She doesnt do bonsai, but looks like they were trained that way. They are growing in the ground, and i am planning on digging this week. . Are there any pointers anyone could give me, or has anyone had any luck with these? They are around 15 years old. berberis thunbergiana species. THanks in advance.
 

Kirk

Mame
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Along with your usual collecting gear, include leather gloves and a unit of blood. :) Thorns. Lots of thorns.

Kirk
 

digger714

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finally got some pics of them today. Im going tomorrow to get at least one, maybe two. They are kind of hard to see from these pics, but they look better than these pics show. I think they are beautiful trees. Any suggestions on how much to dig outside of the trunk, and depth? I was thinking i would cut around it with a reciprocating saw straight in the ground, then lift with a shovel, and cut any roots under the trees. Sound right? Thanks for any advice?

Ps... I got the gloves. Steel plated, lol
 

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digger714

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Nice tree Jason. Ive always had these in my landscape, and since starting bonsai, ive wanted to do one. They are awesome trees. I ve read your post several times. It made me chop back one of mine in the yard to see what was under there. Thanks again.
 

Jason

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finally got some pics of them today. Im going tomorrow to get at least one, maybe two. They are kind of hard to see from these pics, but they look better than these pics show. I think they are beautiful trees. Any suggestions on how much to dig outside of the trunk, and depth? I was thinking i would cut around it with a reciprocating saw straight in the ground, then lift with a shovel, and cut any roots under the trees. Sound right? Thanks for any advice?

Ps... I got the gloves. Steel plated, lol

The one's I've dug up (we're talking n=about 5) have had very shallow root systems. I'm not sure you'll need the saw. A spade and your suit of armor out to be enough. The roots probably extend out to about the same diameter as the canopy.
 

digger714

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Well, i got two of them last night. Three more to go. I wasnt prepared to get all 5 at once, but i should get the rest tomorrow if not raining too hard. You were right Jason, I just needed a shovel. Here are some pics of them in large plastic containers, with holes in the bottom. Where should i start cutting these back do ya think, or should i wait a year? I really like the trunks on them. They are very gnarley, lol. The first three are of one that is 5" at the base, and 22" high right now, and the last two are of one that is 6" at the base, and 36" right now. Thanks to all for the help getting them. The larger limbs dont have barbs, only at the ends of the smallest branches. It didnt poke me one time getting these. I think the younger plants have many more barbs.
 

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Jason

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Wow! You have some beautiful material here. The first one has nice nebari and movement. The second one seems like it might be more of a challenge. I'd pick your main leader and give them at least a little haircut. Anything that seems out of synch with your final goal can go. I tend to be a bit more conservative when collecting and wouldn't do anything real drastic until your sure they have a good root structure under them. Reduction is easy...growth takes years! Good work!! (Oh... and I'm glad your weren't mortally wounded....maybe we overplayed this a bit)
 

Jason

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In other words...the first one won't need much help. Nature has done most of the work for you. Don't get crazy. the second one needs help and may need some substantial reduction and re-growth (main leader could be middle or possibly left trunk if drastically cut back). Have fun!
 

davetree

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I think if you let them grow freely this year you can really reduce them next spring. I really like your first tree, looks easy to style. The second I would be tempted to make into a very short wide shohin tree by cutting off everything and regrowing all the branches from scratch. (no pun intended)
 
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nice, i really like the first one. i just dug one up yesterday that i'll probably post. seems that even the old ones aren't too difficult to collect.
 

digger714

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Well, i got the other three today. I wanted to get some pics on here so you could see them. There is one pic of the first one, and two pics each of the other two. There were hardly any roots that i didnt get when digging these. Should i still wait until next year to do any drastic pruning? Any ideas will be welcome. My next post ill put one picture of each one on the screen. Thanks again for the help. These are awesome.
 

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digger714

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These are big trees. Probably 50-60 lbs a piece. Anyway here is a picture of each one. If anyone wants other angles, please let me know. It looks like #3 is going to be in the cascade style? Any other ideas would be appreciated. #5 maybe a clump?
 

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Jason

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Well, i got the other three today. I wanted to get some pics on here so you could see them. There is one pic of the first one, and two pics each of the other two. There were hardly any roots that i didnt get when digging these. Should i still wait until next year to do any drastic pruning? Any ideas will be welcome. My next post ill put one picture of each one on the screen. Thanks again for the help. These are awesome.

I would prune them and remove anything your absolutely sure you won't use in the final design. After that you can give then a year or two to recover while you ponder. I removed about half (maybe more) of the branching and foliage from the one I collected and I can tell you it hasn't skipped a beat. They're tough trees.
 

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