Collecting Thuja, does it worth the effort

Ugo

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Hi!

Hope eveyone is doing well.

Quick question for you guys.
My friend is getting rid of mature thuja, the only thing is the company hired to do the job is coming over this week-end.
There is some nice tree with good nebari that I could transform in raft.

I know this is not the season to dig out thuja with winter coming in few weeks here so I was wondering if from your experience it worth the effort of digging one of those big boy out.
Trunk size are about 3 to 6 inchs for most.
I have a suitable container but its the end of summer and that makes me doubt.

Thanks
Ugo
 

Jiminsauga

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I say do it. Thuja can be pretty resilient if collected properly.

Try to get as big of a root ball as you can undisturbed. If that means measuring out your container and sawing out a big cube of soil that fits neatly into the container then do it, it'll be worth it. I'd also recommend getting as big of a container as you can handle to give it the best chance of survival.

If you have to top the tree, then do it but don't mess with many branches, the less wounds it needs to heal over before winter the better.
 

HorseloverFat

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I see like 100 Thujas on a day where I’m not even TRYING to see trees. 🤣

But I still like them... MOST are a dollar a dozen... but if the specimen is decent.. they are definitely worth the effort.
 

Ugo

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@Jiminsauga
Thanks for the advises!
I will do my best to dig out the tree proprely!
My container is about 36in wide round by about 20in depth so I hope it will do it.

@HorseloverFat
Ahahah I know they are everywhere!
The thing is I want to try Jin and Shari maybe both on the same tree, its a technique Ive never experiend.
If the wife allows it....another one to try raft as 1 or 2 have some potential for the style.
Theses mature trees are good material for learning.
Best of it all is they are free and have not been neglected throught the years.
Thuja or not for a beginner like me free mature trees of that age and size is like finding a treasure!

Thanks again guys for your answers
 

Potawatomi13

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If trunk interesting with movement, curves, dead wood/shari, possibly interesting jin good. If just boring straight trunk would pass.
 

rockm

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Thuja occidentalis (also known as Eastern White Cedar and more commonly as "Arborviatae," has a long history of being used for bonsai. Back in the 80's and 90's many Canadian near the Niagara Escarpment collected spectacular examples. Those trees were the eastern equivalent of the Western Alpine species in the western U.S.


I would be cautious about containerizing one this late in the year. I'd get as much root mass as possible and heal it into a shallow hole in the ground, or into a very large mulch pile. Containerizing it will keep it exposed to freezing. The ground and/or mulch pile on the ground will be a bit "warmer" and protect the roots better.
 

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Ugo

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Thuja occidentalis (also known as Eastern White Cedar and more commonly as "Arborviatae," has a long history of being used for bonsai. Back in the 80's and 90's many Canadian near the Niagara Escarpment collected spectacular examples. Those trees were the eastern equivalent of the Western Alpine species in the western U.S.


I would be cautious about containerizing one this late in the year. I'd get as much root mass as possible and heal it into a shallow hole in the ground, or into a very large mulch pile. Containerizing it will keep it exposed to freezing. The ground and/or mulch pile on the ground will be a bit "warmer" and protect the roots better.

Thanks for shimming in!
My plan is to put it in a big container, dig a hole where the container would fit completely and put mulch on top.
This is pretty much what I do for my other trees for winter protection.
I will also be able to protect the base and most of the tree from strong wind.
 

rockm

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Thanks for shimming in!
My plan is to put it in a big container, dig a hole where the container would fit completely and put mulch on top.
This is pretty much what I do for my other trees for winter protection.
I will also be able to protect the base and most of the tree from strong wind.
Skip the container! By putting the tree in a container and burying it in the ground, you're basically creating a below ground swimming pool for the compromised root mass--even if the pot has drain holes Snow and rain this winter will fill the container, as the drainage trough the pot into the soil will be slow and will probably become clogged. That accumulation of water will rot roots. You will have a dead tree come spring. Simply putting the tree's root mass in a shallow hole in the ground, then adding mulch on top of that is a better solution, as there is one less step in draining the roots in wet weather.
 

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