Cork oak

Bonsai Nut

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I've posted photos of a cork oak I've got sitting in my "grow out" area in my backyard that I am going to start working aggressively on this coming spring. I recently removed a stump from the top of the trunk, an there are a number of sacrificial branches (as well as the long apex) that will be cut back. Interestingly, because of the spiral shape of the trunk, I have a number of options for the front. I will have to wait to see when I uncover the nebari how things look. I may end up tilting the trunk to give the design more power.

The bark is very powerful and the root spread is good. I have high hopes for this tree.



 

Nigel Black

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Where did you get this tree? This has been near the top of my must have list for a while.
Eveytime I find seed, it's sold out or very expensive.

Nigel
 

Bonsai Nut

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I got this tree a year ago from San Gabriel Nursery in San Gabriel, CA. Every spring they seem to get in a large shipment of pre-bonsai in these large round (but not so deep) plastic pots. Two years ago it was cork elms (got one), three years ago it was big junipers (got two). About half of the in-coming stock is put out on the nursery floor, the other half is sent to a special greenhouse where one of their gardeners repots them in chinese bonsai pots, does some trimming and training, and then about a year later puts them out for sale for about 2x what they cost a year earlier. Their gardener is not a bonsai master, but he knows enough of the craft to trim and train fairly well, manage their pines, and do some grafting. So all the "bonsai" from this nursery I consider "pre-bonsai" because almost universally they will need a lot of work. I just picked up a fun black pine that is almost 24" tall for the screaming deal of $195 - but it needs a lot of work (I still haven't decided whether to leave it as bonsai, or plant it by my koi pond and train it as an ornamental). They still have a few halfway decent cork elms (quite frankly any elm pre-bonsai with a 2" base you can work with) and a bunch of zelkovas, but the only cork oaks I saw last time I was there had been repotted and were selling for al ot more money (like the $300 - $400 range). Next time I am up there I am going to bring my camera and do a write-up of the nursery for the web site.

http://www.sgnursery.com/
 

Nigel Black

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Well, it's quite a lovely tree. I'd always wanted to grow some of this species (and a few other small leaved Oaks) from seed. I guess I'll have to break down and buy some seedlings from Evergreen Gardenworks (also in Ca) as your tree has put a serious bee in my bonnet.

Nigel
 

Bonsai Nut

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Are you interested in cuttings or air-layers? I will be going up to San Gabriel in a week or two and I can keep my eye open for oaks. Sometimes they have some poor quality pre-bonsai sitting around that won't sell "as-is", but would be great material to air-layer, or to take cuttings from.
 

Nigel Black

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Air-layers, yes. Cuttings, no thanks. Oaks are all but impossible from cuttings.
Hence growers using seed or grafting. Let me know how you'd like to work it.
I have plenty of seeds and plants I can offer in exchange.

Nigel
 
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Bonsai Nut

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Not sure this is going to help...

Well Nigel I was up at San Gabriel Nursery today and I don't have any good news. They still have one decent cork oak left, but they want $350 for it (which seems a little high to me). With tax and shipping, you'd be talking $400 - $450 and I think that would be too much for this tree. I didn't bother taking any photos aside from the one to show you its size (my daughter is the model). Perhaps in the Spring they will have more stock (and more intermediate size material). $350 for pre-bonsai is a lot of money.

 

Nigel Black

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BN,

Thanks for thinking of me. As it stands, I've chosen to go the way of patience and purchased
seeds from a grower.

I might suggest that you get some well rooted root stock and graft any material you prune off
the trees you own.

Nigel
 

crusty

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Hi,
have you or anyone else any tips on air layering these. I have not tried them yet.
I have access to two extremely old monsters. The bark on these is up to a foot thick!
I have got permission to have a go but I don't think I will get many chances.
 

Bonsai Nut

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I just cut mine back hard this spring and have gotten minimal back-budding on old bark. I am about to start an air-layering trial, so wish me luck. I will post photos with the outcome.
 

bonsai barry

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If Nigel or anyone else is interested in buying a tree, Muranaka's Nurery in Nipomo, CA sells them. He sells on e-bay so I'm pretty sure he would ship. Here is a photo of one I bought from him last year for about $30. It is about 15 inches tall and the trunk is about one inch in diamter. If you want to contact him, send me a message and I'll send you his e-mail.
 

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Graydon

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I bought a couple of those from Muranaka last year during my trip. They both survived the bare rooting and shipping back to Florida and are exploding with new growth. I'm excited about growing these here. We have some nice oaks in Florida but none as nice as this type oak. I would have considered one larger but I was concerned if it would survive.
 

wlambeth

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I take it the chain is to prevent theft?
You should get a couple of rotweillers and lose the chains.
Some razor wire on the top of you fence will help as well.
 
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