Collecting bonsai from roots

CapeFear盆景

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I live in a place where we are constantly get battered from hurricanes. After one passes through there are always hundreds of over turned trees with wildly shaped roots.

This might be a dumb question but is it possible to collect a large root from a tree, replant it, and expect roots and branches to grow.

Attached is a photo of a live oak which fell after this last storm. An example of a tree at which I’m looking.

Thanks
 

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RKatzin

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If the tree is one that makes root suckers, not just suckering from the base of the trunk, but actual shoots coming from a root, you can do this. European field maples do this, but Japanese Maples do not. Most elms can be jump started from a piece of root. Oaks, as far as I know do not make root suckers.
 

Bonsai Nut

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In terms of whether it is a good idea or not, I think it's a great idea - though difficult. I have had only low success rates with root cuttings - even among species that were supposed to be easy. However, that doesn't stop me from trying! From your photos, there is so much available it wouldn't be difficult to try a bunch of different experiments.
 

RJG2

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Some species, such as elm, might. Oaks, I would guess, probably not.

Oaks, I would say 99.99% not, but I do have this in my yard:

iMarkup_20200923_160549.jpg

Tree fell down 6 or 7; years ago, and I just noticed the root suckers this summer.

"So you're telling me there's a chance?!"
 

Anonymouse

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I love live oaks but I fear you will not have any luck with trying to get a sucker from a root but I would guess that if there is a live oak there will be sapings or seeds somewhere.
 

RKatzin

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Southern live oaks Quercus virginiana do grow lots of root sprouts naturally, so you may have a chance with that species.
Just curious Michael, are they root suckers or basal sprouts? My Coastal Live oak will make lots of basal sprouts, but never a root sucker. Root suckers pop up away from the base of the tree right off one of the roots. Basal sprouts can look like a root sucker if they come from below the soil and will often root, but always at the base of the tree.
 

Michael P

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Here in Texas our two common "live oaks" Q. virginiana and Q. fusiformis both make true root sprouts or suckers. It is a response to stress of one sort or another. A common complaint about them as landscape trees is the nearly solid mass of root sprouts growing like a ground cover under the trees, making it impossible to grow anything else. This often happens when the trees are planted where they do not have enough soil volume--think of a live oak squeezed into a tiny parking lot island. Over-pruing will also cause it.

A number of the other oaks native to central and west Texas are strongly rhizomatous.
 

Kanorin

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The fact that hurricane season in North America is mainly July - October makes success even more challenging I'd think. Worth a shot, though!
 

CapeFear盆景

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Thank you all for the advice. Im going to either have to wait and see if we get a late season hurricane or wait until next year if the opportunity presents it’s self. I’ve been looking around town for elms, after the suggestions I’ve done some more research and I will definitely give this a go and keep posting updates.
 

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