Collecting yews and time from field to pot?

Dav4

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So, I'm out near Rochester, NY, visiting my in-laws. I've been coveting their yew hedge for several years. My father in law chopped it down to about 10" about 10 years ago, hoping it would die. All he did was induce major back budding, which the deer have helped to keep short. There are several great trunks with nice taper to have, and I've finally been given the OK. My plan is to dig them in late April, wrap the rootballs in wet sphagnum moss, followed by shrink wrap, then pot up when I get home. The problem is that I live about 7 hours From Rochester. So, my question is whether I can wait 2 days between digging and potting, as I won't be able to pot until I'm home. Thanks for any insight,

Dave
 

Rick Moquin

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The whole idea behind collecting is maintaining the roots moist at all times. As for the timeline when to collect I am sure Tom will be able to aid you here. Wrt your plan of wrapping the root balls with moist sphagnum and shrink wrap, the moisture will be contained in the root balls and should be perfectly fine to pot up after a couple of days.
 

Tachigi

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Hi Dav, Very cool in regards to the hedge consider yourself lucky :D

You can get away easily with what you have planned. Just make sure that you grab a slightly larger rootball. The additional soil will help stop dessication. Shrink wrap and sphagnum will do the trick, I would hedge my bet with a garbage bag as well. Drop the whole thing in it and seal it with a zip tie (cable strap) near the soil line.

I have gone as long as 4 days from collection to pot a couple of times, when collecting injuries (sucks getting old) have kept me from diving in to potting straight off.

The cool thing about yews is that they are drought tolerant. While they aren't really being subject to drought, it is still a nice hedge when a situation comes up like this.

Make sure you snap a few shots of your prizes and let us all drool for a bit, good luck.
 
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ianb

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Shouldn't be a problem as long as you're not digging in frozen ground up there. I once collected 3 yews from a dumpster outside work, they had been pulled out in the morning and I didn't get them out until 6pm then potted 2 at home that night, the other one went into the ground. All 3 survived fine.

Just make sure you put them in a well draining mix, the one thing i have seen that will kill a yew is keeping them wet in a slow draining clay soil.

Cheers
Ian
 

Dav4

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Thanks for all the input, guys. I was pretty sure my plan was reasonable...just wanted to hear it from those who may have dug a few more then me. I'll be sure to post some pics once the deed is done. I was looking at the hedge again today...some of the trunks are truly amazing, at least from the soil line up. Hopefully, I'll have something worthwhile to show you later this spring. Thanks again,

Dave
 

Dav4

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Well, I was up in upstate New York 2 weekends ago, and I was able to collect these 3 trees. The first tree doesn't have many roots at all, but it's buds have continued to swell after being dug. I think they all have potential. If all goes well, I will hopefully be able to collect several more next year!:D That is a 1.75 L wine bottle in the pics for perspective.

Dave
 

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Bill S

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Nice find Dave those should work up nice if they make it, tough stock so you will probably be good .
 

Tachigi

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Excellent material Dave, a carvers wet dream!

Not to cast a cloud on this excellent material, but be prepared for a rough go next year. You had mentioned that there was little to no root. Yews that are collected under these circumstances will chug along like all is fine with the world, oblivious to the fact that there missing a good portion of their toes. Next year you may experience significant die back or a hell of a lot of yellowing. Also very little bud action. Seems that they work on a delayed reaction. Lots of shade helps, and in a month or so feed the hell out of it. Also some extraordinary protection this winter to try an minimize the effects off lack of root.

Once again nice find, my Foredom is jealous. Glad to see that you have converted to Yewdism ;)
 
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Dav4

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Thanks everyone, and in particular, thanks again Tom for the tidbits. I am doing everything you have recommended and I won't expect anything extraordinary from these trees vigor wise for at least a few years. Having dug a few yews over the last 2 years, I am amazed at their ability to survive collection with minimal roots, given the right post dig treatment and soil. Hopefully, I'll have some decent stock to work on in a few years. Thanks again,

Dave
 

grog

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Thanks for the info you guys! I collected two yew from a friend's yard two weeks ago so it's appreciated. I'd just moved them into morning sun, looks like I should probably move them back to where they were :)
 

apisto

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I collect yews over in the UK and they seem to come back from just about nothing within 1 season

but if they dry out during collection at all the chances get slimmer by the min

The potential on this tree for carving is staggering please keep the pictures coming :)

In so far as foliage is concerned less is more initially as these will back bud like mad

I have not noticed the delayed die off Tachigi noted i have seen it in collected Hawthorn but not Yew but then again thats trees for you you never know whats coming round the corener with them.
 

amkhalid

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Any update on these great trees? How they looking?
 

Dav4

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Unfortunately, the trees in pics 1 and 2 were dead by this time last year:(...not enough root, maybe not enough winter protection. The third is doing ok...not sure how it likes its move to N. GA...so far, so good, I guess. I started carving the deadwood last fall, and this spring it got moved into its first real pot...a Dale Colchoy drum :). I'll try to post a pic sometime soon.

Dave
 

Dav4

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Here is the tree in its' new pot. I purchased this pot from Dale last fall with this tree in mind, but wasn't planning on getting the two together for another few years. As luck would have it, I found the pot was the perfect match for the current root ball when I got it out of the nursey can it had originally been placed in after collection. My goal is, over time, to bring the canopy down closer to the shari, but I need to get it to grow strongly for a bit, first. Its pushing alot of new growth as we speak, so we'll hopefully have something nice to look at in another few years.

Dave
 

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Dan

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This has given me great encouragement I was able to collect from a hedge of only 2 ft tall some yews that have 3.5-4" bases not counting nebari. The die back was severe when whoever cut them back. They seem to have had a fair amount of time to recover based on the new branch thicknesses maybe 3 sesons in place. they have extensive dead wood to carve as well the shari didn't even need stripping and the live veins are rolling nicely. I have been struggling with what to do with the three of them. I am in Missouri 6b on the USDA. They have survived the fall and doing well so far the buds are small but I have only had very little leaf loss or yellowing. I will try to post some pics in the next couple of days. I collected in Nov. 2010 and potted in Ultra Sorb (an all natural product of diatomaceous earth) they seem to be doing good thus far I have them mulched in with oak leaves I did what I could on a shoe string budget. Hopefully it was good enough. Ilike how your yew is tumbling out of the pot. I think my trees may look good in a similar fashion.
 

Dav4

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Yes, old yew hedges are great sources of urban yamadori. Take your time with the trees you've recently collected. I've learned the hard way that collected yews with compromised root systems will appear to do well for a while post digging, but they are merely living off stored energy in the trunk. Once the energy is depleted, or some other stressor is inflicted on them, they can go belly up...the two trees I lost were green for a year after collection. With good collected material, it's always best to wait...most recommend 3 years recovery prior to any styling. Following this advise will give plenty of time to thoughtfully evaluate styling possiblities for the material. You may find yourself thinking one thing initially, but completely change things around when styling time comes. The yew pictured above is a perfect example...I was convinced it was going to be an informal upright when I collected it:). Good luck,

Dave
 

fore

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Thanks for this link Dave. What a bummer about the two others, I really liked the movement in the first tree. But the one remaining is going to be killer!

I'm hoping to be good on my three, as I got a ton of roots from each tree. But I'm keeping my expectations low so if any/all live I'll be ecstatic! lol
 

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