Collected Eastern Red Cedar

GregC

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Hello All,

Thought I would show some pictures of an eastern red cedar I collected about 2 months ago.

1'st pic is the temporary front.
2'nd is the back.
3'rd the left.
4'th the right.
5'th is upclose and personal of the front.

Haven't checked out the nebari yet but since it's collected who knows.

It's roughly 1.75 inches in diameter.

I'm not sure if it was animals, the direction it was facing or what but about 1/3 of the tree is very sparse and contains a lot of natural jin.

I don't plan to do any styling for roughly a year but any suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Greg
 

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GregC

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One more

One more pic of the top where you can see how the top has died and a side branch has taken over. I like it, think it looks good but I'm not certain I will be keeping it.
 

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grouper52

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As a juniper, I imagine these back bud at least some, but do you know how easily?

About 3/5 of the way up on your front view, there is a thick branch going off and up to the right - similar to what the little branch is doing at the top. IMHO this would make a convincing style of apex, with the trunk jinned from there upwards a ways, something seen in nature often. I'm at work and can't do a virt here, but hopefully you get the idea.
 

GregC

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I've not worked with this them long enough to know firsthand about the back budding but from what I see on the tree it probably does reasonably well. You might be able to pick out in the pictures where it's sending out new growth from the trunk at the base of some branches. Unfortunately it's just not on the dead side.

I believe I know which branch you're referring to. I'll have to take a closer look at what you've suggested. I was seriously considering cutting it off because it's as large as the primary branch, looks out of proportion and the curve is mundane.

However, I'm very open to using it as new apex if it could be done convincingly.
 
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Eastern Red Cedar back buds very in response to pruning, which can be done very hard on these trees.

Keep your eye on this for cedar-apple rust which you can see now by looking for little growths on the branches, in the spring you'll see orange sacs.


Will
 

GregC

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Hi Will,

Thanks for the information.

I did some reading but was unable to tell if the cedar-apple rust is hazardous to the cedar or just unsightly and dangerous to the apple. Are you aware of any ill affects?

Greg
 

tom tynan

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Hey Greg:

The cedar rust uses the Eastern Redar Cedar [juniperus virginiana] as a host - this makes it troublesome if you also grow hawthorn, apple, etc. The cedar rust can spread to your other trees.
Well....it is also bad for the host tree; abnormal branch tips, orange looking ooze coming out of a trunk or branch - it is bad news for the host as well.....that said it does not mean that your trees will get the rust.

Lastly - as you prune your tree - the new growth may quickly revert back to to the juvenile foliage - they do back bud very well -needing lots of sun, water and fertilizer...

Tom
 
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More unsightly than anything else with your ERCs, but can be a pain with apples...you have to break the cycle to control it, I do this by simply removing the telial galls every year from my Eastern Red Cedars. For more info a search on google for "cedar apple rust" will turn up many good articles.



Will
 
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Nice thick trunk in relation to the height, Greg - usually I see those of that ~height a bit more spindly of trunk; still a bit bendable anyways...unlike this one pic'd.

Curious question on the backbudding mentions: I have never seen these backbud myself to *any* degree, relatively speaking. I am wondering if the backbudding is upon younger wood only, or if any/all of the tree does so? IME, if a erc tree gets cut, mowed-down, or trimmed lightly - that's it, a done deal pretty much. There are LOTS of stumps here 6'+ tall, and whenever a person trims the lower branches to make room under a tall tree to walk/drive under, there's never a need to prune 'down low' again. Not ever.

Or are y'all speaking of things more like pinching/terminal-end trimming and getting some regrowth upon wood that is only a year or two old, still ~close to where the cut was made? The 'old' wood always remains old (no new growths upon it), IME anyways, and I have whacked many a tree in pastures over the years, fwiw,and never had to worry about returning to do it again. Does the formation of 'adult' foliage' affect this, such as if its still w/ juv needles, *then* the backbudding is much more likely? Any difference with that aspect? Thoughts?

And I totally agree on the 'rust' stuff...mostly unsightly, in same way that some 'bug-colonies' affect things only locally (where bugs are making their home on foliage and such) without harming tree's innards much, if at all - if that is a fair way of putting it :)

Thx,
Alex
 
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Nice thick trunk in relation to the height, Greg - usually I see those of that ~height a bit more spindly of trunk; still a bit bendable anyways...unlike this one pic'd.

Curious question on the backbudding mentions: I have never seen these backbud myself to *any* degree, relatively speaking. I am wondering if the backbudding is upon younger wood only, or if any/all of the tree does so? IME, if a erc tree gets cut, mowed-down, or trimmed lightly - that's it, a done deal pretty much. There are LOTS of stumps here 6'+ tall, and whenever a person trims the lower branches to make room under a tall tree to walk/drive under, there's never a need to prune 'down low' again. Not ever.

Or are y'all speaking of things more like pinching/terminal-end trimming and getting some regrowth upon wood that is only a year or two old, still ~close to where the cut was made? The 'old' wood always remains old (no new growths upon it), IME anyways, and I have whacked many a tree in pastures over the years, fwiw,and never had to worry about returning to do it again. Does the formation of 'adult' foliage' affect this, such as if its still w/ juv needles, *then* the backbudding is much more likely? Any difference with that aspect? Thoughts?

And I totally agree on the 'rust' stuff...mostly unsightly, in same way that some 'bug-colonies' affect things only locally (where bugs are making their home on foliage and such) without harming tree's innards much, if at all - if that is a fair way of putting it :)

Thx,
Alex
 
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Curious question on the backbudding mentions: I have never seen these backbud myself to *any* degree, relatively speaking. I am wondering if the backbudding is upon younger wood only, or if any/all of the tree does so? IME, if a erc tree gets cut, mowed-down, or trimmed lightly - that's it, a done deal pretty much. There are LOTS of stumps here 6'+ tall, and whenever a person trims the lower branches to make room under a tall tree to walk/drive under, there's never a need to prune 'down low' again. Not ever.

Or are y'all speaking of things more like pinching/terminal-end trimming and getting some regrowth upon wood that is only a year or two old, still ~close to where the cut was made? The 'old' wood always remains old (no new growths upon it), IME anyways, and I have whacked many a tree in pastures over the years, fwiw,and never had to worry about returning to do it again. Does the formation of 'adult' foliage' affect this, such as if its still w/ juv needles, *then* the backbudding is much more likely? Any difference with that aspect? Thoughts?

This species grows like weeds here in Michigan, some of the best material is found along the road sides or in farmer's fields where they have been mowed numerous times, always continuing to grow afterward. Back Budding on these happens on old wood with regularity, also on new wood and in the joints of other branches as well. I have a forest worth of these growing in the ground, in the two years they have been in the ground I have cut them back hard every year and they respond by pushing out new growth like crazy, so much so that they quickly become foliage bound.

Jerome Meyer, in his book, The Bonsai Book of Practical facts" gives some good advice on this species and shows examples of twisted trees he collected from a hayfield which have been mowed repeatedly over the years. These are so hardy that he says one of the disadvantages of the species is its growth vigor, imagine that. ;)

He, like many others, claim that this species is best for forests and offers little else for bonsai material, I disagree, below is a Eastern Red cedar created by Vance Hanna, you would not believe how soft the foliage is.


Bonsai by Vance Hanna, Image hot-linked from the FSBC website.



Will
 

GregC

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They do indeed appear to back bud well. I tried to take some closer up images of the growth coming from the main trunk and the older branches this morning but was unsuccessful. It does seem to back bud like you say. Perhaps it's a slightly different cultivar then what Alex is used to.

I also would believe that for an area to back bud it would need a good degree of light while still having enough energy to push new growth. So if you're trimming off from underneath the tree where it will get no light or cutting it down to a stump then that leaves very little for the tree to work with.

This tree still has plenty of growth on it while still having about 1/3 of the tree with minimal foliage so it has both factors that I think would lead to back budding.

Of course it was slightly more windy out last night then I thought and it blew over. So I might be using some more of that back budding then I originally thought.

Does Meyer say anything about the optimum time to collect this species. I have the chance to collect some again on Saturday but am worried that it's to late in the season.

It does indeed have a soft feel to it. Not quite as soft as a shimpaku but still surprisingly soft.

If the problem with this type of tree is that it's puts out too much growth and is too strong then I think I can get used to it.
 

tom tynan

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You might also checkout Nick Lenz's book "Bonsai in the Wild" - he has a chapter on ERC with lots of tips - he also points out that finding a nice twisted curved trunk is not easy aas these trees always seem to grow very straight even in the wild....

Tom
 

GregC

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Thanks for the heads up Tom. I'll check it out.

When I collected this it was the only tree with this type of foliage that was straight. Most of them were like little bushes rather then trees.

There were other junipers that were move conical but they had a different shade and consistency(rougher, less refined, different growth pattern) to their foliage so it almost appeared to be a different species.
 
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Its interesting about the backbudding - I went and walked around some fields around my place yesterday, and there's lots of dead 'stumps' with no growths from them - mowed usually. Really odd. There's lots of 'em growing along fencelines of cow pastures and regularly mowed 'hay fields' - nothin' to be found as far as regrowths and I *know* some of the owners do not spray any weedkiller(s) or such that would kill 'em off. To be certain, I am not disputing you guys (girls?), but I just have not seen such on erc, and I've been gathering/paying close attentin to them for years *here*. Many different 'cultivars', too - from strongly weeping to the deep bluish tinted ones.

Huge temp diff's of course from 'northen states', but who knows? I feel MUCH more comfortable working-up my dozen or so 'saplings' now having found out such info... appreciate it! I even pulled up more of them just yesterday, LOL. Not that it matters, but I never see any young ones in 'open' areas - they *only* survive when shaded strongly the first year or two, IME *here*, so I wonder if that is a factor possibly? Maybe the new stuff is burnt crispy-dead or such unless its shaded a bit at first with plenty of water upon the roots at same time? Summers here get well over 100f for months on end with no rain for months as well, as well as having strong dry winds not helping anything - just postulating is all (certainly not being argumentative).

Alex
 

cray13

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Alex,

If it makes you feel any better, here in NC I have observed the same thing you have. The only strong backbudding I've seen on any of the ERC material I have is on new wood. Usually just a few inches or so behind the pruning cut. I've consulted several very experienced "Bonsaists" in my area and all have tried to steer me away from ERC. Alas, the very tree Will included in this thread from Vance Hannah keeps my hopes up that some day I'll figure out the secret to getting these guys to cooperate.

Perhaps these other "ERC's" being described as strong back-budders are white cedar or some other variety that doesn't grow in the South. I too have seen many different variety of ERC in my area and none show any tendency to backbud well. If you trunk chop one of these guys below the last live branch you'll have a dead ERC.

Anyway, just my experience.
 

GregC

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Alex,

I think we have to distinguish expectations of back budding between a deciduous and an evergreen.
Chops that could be made on an elm or maple would generally never be tried on a juniper or pine.
I believe it's generally agreed that conifers won't push new buds without having foliage remaining on the tree.

For that reason I think it would be very unlikely that you would ever see one of these ERC that has been chopped down push new growth.

Cray,

What were the reasons giving to try and persuade you away from using this species?
Lack of back budding, upward growing branches, tough wood(hard to bend)? I see the last two as being some major obstacles.

Also, I don't believe it's a white cedar since those are actually not a juniper and the tree I described the back budding on is. Maybe it just responds differently to the climate up here.

Greg
 

Martin Sweeney

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Cray13,

I have also been advised to not bother with Juniperus virginiana by other Carolina bonsai people. Frankly, while I have not actively avoided them, I have not actively sought one either. I have never worked on one.

If you are truly interested in getting some "local" knowledge about Juniperus virginiana, I would try Ken Duncan from Columbia SC, or Arthur Joura from the NC Arboretum (as I know you know). Ken has a Juniperus virginiana he collected a long time ago on a whim that is a very nice tree. He may have more than just the one. Arthur has the below attached in the NC Arboretum collection. I assume Arthur will be coming to Raleigh in the first half of 2008. Either man's brain would be worth picking on growing this specie in the Carolinas.

Regards,
Martin
 

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Bill S

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Cool trees Will, both are fine examples of a native I have overlooked, but won't anymore.
The trunk on the second one is "to die for".

Thanks for the views.
 

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