collecting a hawthorn

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does anyone here have any advice on collecting a hawthorn? I really wanted a hawthorn bonsai for some time now so I set out looking for one and this is what I found. seems to have decent movement and potential. I cant exactly confirm that they aren't all stalks of the same root mass but if they are all seperate plants the biggest one is what caught my eye. it has some curve.

as of yet:
all I have done is cut the plant(s) back and dig a two foot trench around cutting back all the roots except the tap root. july in cincinnati can be pretty hot so I figured leave it in the ground for now (which was tough because it could have easily been lifted out). about 12 days later the plant seems to be recovering just fine with long new shoots. I cut it back again, watered it and now waiting.

I understand (i think anyway) that these are vigorous, weed-like plants and that they can take some rough treatment. If this is true then I'm wondering if it would be unsafe to dig it right now. Its raining and Im sure it will pop out of the ground with ease.

do I have to wait for spring 2012 to collect?
have I already done too much and I am pushing my luck?
am i better off just leaving it in the ground for a few years while it developes?
if and when I collect, do you have any advice on helping it survive?

also styling advice or input in general. I've seen a few hawthorn bonsai and some of them look great
and let me know if you think this one isn't worth the time and effort and I should keep looking for a bigger, older one.

Thanks ;)
 

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jk_lewis

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I'd recommend that you wait until early spring. You have cut lots of roots already, so let it continue to spring back. Next spring, finish the job. Cut the taproot with a VERY sharp saw. Plant it in 50-50 granular inorganic soil and composted or partially composted pine bark.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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You should wait until spring. Hawthorn are tough, but you've done the right work so far...now give it until spring to recover and it will have built up some strength to tolerate a move. I've successfully collected several hawthorns doing exactly what you did, just earlier in the year.

When you bring it home, put it in the ground for a few years (jkl's soil recommendation is good) and let it grow unchecked. My first collected hawthorn (pictured) put on pencil-thick branches the first 2 years in the ground, and then haven't even doubled in diameter over the next 10 years in a pot. They grow vigorously, but "mature" slowly in pots. If I had it to do over again, I would have left it in the ground a couple more years and developed better taper and thickness in the branches that emerged from the trunk after I collected it.
 

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Brian Van Fleet

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Also, to answer your questions:


have I already done too much and I am pushing my luck?
No, I think you're fine.

am i better off just leaving it in the ground for a few years while it developes?
Yes, but next spring, remove ALL the field soil and amend a space in your yard to grow it out.

if and when I collect, do you have any advice on helping it survive?
See above...mist often, remove low suckers and let it grow wild.

also ... let me know if you think this one isn't worth the time and effort and I should keep looking for a bigger, older one.
From your postings, you have a good eye for material, and this seems to be good as well...it appears to be worth the time, but it's easily a 5-7 year project.
 

mholt

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Brian, that hawthorn is superb! Do you have any sequence pics of this in develpment, perhaps for another thread?
 
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thanks jkl. i figured as much.. just getting antsy waiting i guess

brian, thank you, thats just what i needed to hear. your tree is awesome btw. i hope mine turns out to that degree of quality. how long have you been training that one?
 

ghues

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Patience CC

Patience CC, leave it till spring. Reflect on that main stem you like so much, sketch the basic outline and plan its future potential.
Cheers
G.
 

donkey

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It would survive if you dug it up now. But it would be a much stronger tree if you left it till next year. Hawthorn are tougher than old boots and will take almost any punishment and will also root on any part which is in contact with the soil. I currently have one which looks dead as i had to dig it from a quarry in rather a hurry but i'm confident it will be fine and will post photos as soon as i fix my camera.
 
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well here it is unearthed. i'll have to get another photo of its gnarley base. it turned out to be two plants. i seperated them and gave the other to a friend who helped me with the collecting process. PicsArt1331163571348.jpg
 

fore

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You should wait until spring. Hawthorn are tough, but you've done the right work so far...now give it until spring to recover and it will have built up some strength to tolerate a move. I've successfully collected several hawthorns doing exactly what you did, just earlier in the year.

When you bring it home, put it in the ground for a few years (jkl's soil recommendation is good) and let it grow unchecked. My first collected hawthorn (pictured) put on pencil-thick branches the first 2 years in the ground, and then haven't even doubled in diameter over the next 10 years in a pot. They grow vigorously, but "mature" slowly in pots. If I had it to do over again, I would have left it in the ground a couple more years and developed better taper and thickness in the branches that emerged from the trunk after I collected it.

Brian, a friend gave me a couple of inground pre bonsai trees, a Douglas fir that is 4' tall, 6" nebari and 4" trunk, sawed off flat. The other is Larch that is 3' tall, 4" nebari and 3" trunk, also sawed off flat. I just got them last weekend and planted them in wooden boxes with Turface/Lava/Grit and charcoal. When potting them up I wondered how long it's going to be to develop a new leader and develop the apex to heal those large chops. Do you think I should repot them into the ground as both are slow growers? (The larch hasn't broken bud yet)
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Nice. Though I think it's a mulberry. Are the roots yellow?
 

rockm

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That's a mulberry...
 

rockm

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No worries :D The leaves resemble parsley leafed hawthorn, which isn't a North American native, but pretty widely planted as an ornamental.

Native hawthornes are notorious for defying ID. There are dozens of types will many different shaped leaves. Some interbreed, making ID even more difficult.
 
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But a very fine Mullberry it is! I have one i collected last year from my yard coming fine im hoping for berries in a few years.Good luck
 

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