Collecting costal live oak

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Hi Everyone,

I am a tree service owner by trade and am fortunate enough to have acess to 200 or so acres to collect whatever I want, carte blanch from the landowner. The site may get developed soon. This place has a plethora of scrub live oak. I just got back from a day of scouting and so far found two nice 8" diamiter and did my chops down at 15". My plan is to let them resprout in situ for now and maby collect next winter. I have never dug up this species before and so here is my plan and am interested in advise from anyone with experience with this species.

In February I plan to spade around at the NEW dripline wich is 12" radius from trunk in the hopes of encouraging feeder roots close to trunk and leave the tap root. My theory in this is that they can drink during summer in the arid landscape and also form new roots from the laterals.

Next February I plan to chop the tap root fairly close to soil level, like 6" or so and lift them from the ground.

What do you guys think of this plan.
 

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
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I have collected live scrub oak before, but from washes down here in Southern California that were very dry. The dirt was mostly pockets of soil within rock and and the root systems were relatively compact. I was not dealing with 8" caliper trees however, so I collected the trees in one visit. They recovered very well for me in loose sandy soil as long as they were protected from the sun for a while.

There is a great article by Walter on collecting trees from the wild here:

http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATcollectring trees from the wild W Pall.htm
 

rlist

Shohin
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I have never collected oak, so I cannot comment on the multi phase plan - though it sounds like it would work. My only comment is that I would spade the roots now, as it will give you 2-3 months of additional root growth. I would also throw some granular fertilizer around the tree as well to help them along.
 

Bill S

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The question I have is 12" enough for an 8" trunk, have you explored to see what the roots are like at all?
 
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After the 26th I plan to go up and check out the rootsystem or at least as much as I can. These trees have to go 9 months with no rain around here most years so my hunch is that it will be lacking much surface root, at least close to the trunk. I will spade at that time. I beleive this will be the critical step for these guys, and then lift out of the ground next spring. I'll try to get some pics then too. Its always more enjoyable to look at a post with pics.:)

12" may not be enough if I just dig them out right away but I was thinking about doing my spading at this diamiter, 6" rad. from edge of trunk to try and get a tight rootball.

Bonsainut, great read

thanx
 
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Bill S

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I guess if it has downward running roots that don't get severed, or if you do the half now half later spading, along with your (you rat:D )wonderfull weather, I can be convinced. This wouldn't work in New England winters.

I may be a bit too conservative, but I start about 12" out with smaller caliper trees, and worry about reducing later.
 

bisjoe

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I harvested a seedling once in a Walnut Creek, CA lawn. It was about 7" tall and the tap root was over a foot long with few feeder roots. (That one didn't make it through the first freeze after we moved here)

What you might try after the 12" radius spading is to water occasionally to help encourage the new roots. I don't know how much new roots would grow in that dry summer climate if left alone. Better yet,
make up some willow water, for a natural rooting hormone.
 
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coastal live oak

hey four mile marc
there's a guy near you who collects oak trees. he posts on bonsaitalk.com all the time.
check your private message i sent you earlier.
art rodriguez
 
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"guess if it has downward running roots that don't get severed, or if you do the half now half later spading, along with your (you rat )wonderfull weather, I can be convinced. This wouldn't work in New England winters."

Oaks usually have incredable tap roots, I pulled volunteer seedlings out of the ground that were only 4 inches high but had a 3 foot tap root. It has finally started to rain here with upwards of 3 inches in the hills so now should be a good time for root growth to begin. Even in the winter here the temps stay fairly mild so it seems like a good time to do the spading, along with some slow realease fertilizer.

And thanx art
 

Bill S

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Sounds promising then Marc, especially with the area you have to work with, 200 acres carte blanche, you would be a lucky man.
 
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