Depot Eastern Hemlock

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#1
This isn’t the first tree I’ve purchased in quite while. I’ve enjoyed my collected hemlock so much and this one had some trunk to it. I would say it is a good bit wider than a can of beverage towards the base. I took about 20% of the foliage already to try and see what is going on under there as well as letting some light in to encourage some of the weak interior buds. I’ll probably anchor some guy wires to the pot and cut down the remainder of the pot to start clearing out the top layer of soil. Then let it rest for the most part until Spring when I’ll tentatively plan to repot into an Anderson flat.
 

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#2
Correction: Is the first tree I’ve purchased in years.. Think there is a ball of clay around the roots?
 
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#3
It is really hard to get a decent photo o fthis thing, and probably will be until I repot, but I am getting more excited about this material. Lots of trunk, decent movement, and enough lower branches and inner buds. The apex will definitely need to be sorted out as well, but no rush on that. The toughest part will be repotting time, although it is not super heavy like I would think if the were burlapped clay in there.
 

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#4
I’m enjoying where this one is headed. The growth on this one seems to be smaller and restrained compared to my other collected eastern hemlock. The new growth does have a nice healthy color.
I am thinking of repotting this spring to make sure there aren’t any big lumps of clay around the roots and stimulate some more vigerous growth. Eventually i’ll have to make some more decisions about branching, but I think i’ve let enough light in that I can focus on working the roots for a year or two.
For the repot I am thinking an idle Anderson flat should allow me to start flattening the root dimensions some. Rather than a HBR, i’ll probably first sweep the top soil off in order to determine how much will need to come off the bottom to get the height in line with the shallower Anderson flat. And rather than sawing off the bottom I may try to cut a plus sign into the bottom and try to bring the quarters out. Of course that is my plan without having any idea what is under there. It might be quite dense given the trunk thickness. I’ll use pumice, dme, scoria spaghnum and a bit of well aged compost as these seem to appreciated some organics in the mix.
 

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on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
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#5
I have had no trouble with bare root eastern hemlock seedlings.

I would be tempted to just go ahead and bare root it to get rid of the clay. Do not do any further styling or pruning after repotting until new growth says it recovered. Maybe 12 to 24 months before working the tree again after repotting.

But that is my thought.
 
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#6
The fact that I was able to collect one of these from the “wild” agrees with you, that these are pretty resilient to
root operations. I’m not sure that there is clay in there, but I’ll keep you comment in mind when I do the deed and lean a bit more to the aggressive side when it comes time to sort out the roots; thanks @Leo in N E Illinois.

And, my collected one did stall for a year after the near bare rooting (I preserved some forest duff that may or may not have been hiding some feeders).
 

ken66

Seedling
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#7
Your trees are a lot larger and more established than mine. I believe mine in within 1 year old. Wondering if digging them up at 1 year makes a difference. ? will it be easier to wire....Is it too immature to wire or even to transplant. I guess Ill find out.
 

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#8
Easier to wire and transplant when smaller. Some would say that you’ll just have a much longer wait until the tree takes on a mature appearance, and they are right, but if any species is suitable to a smaller stature, it would be hemlock, as the leaves are naturally small and can hace fibe ramification. You might not even need much wire.
I would recommend leaving it outside and working some pumice in in future repotting to keep it well draining, work on the design with clip and grow in late spring after you see strong signs of growth, and you’ll know where wire could help by next fall. Wire cuts in quickly during the growing season.
 
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#10
I am mentally prepping myself for the initial repot coming this spring. Anderson flat is pretty much my only option for a destination for this guy. It is roughly half as deep and twice as wide as the nursery pot it is in currently.
Do you think I could repot this a little early, before the threat of frost is gone, if I keep the flat bedded in mulched leaves? I want to avoid moving it around after repotting, but I would think the size and hardiness of the species should make it ok.
 
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#11
Looks like we are in the clear for freezes for the season, so I may try to repot this weekend.
 
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#12
Repotted! I went a little harder than planned, but no clay :) There was a tag from yesteryear which I cleared out. I mixed in some spaghnum as I went, with a top layer of spaghnum and another top layer of Erie aggregate.
 

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NC mountains
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#13
I collected one myself a month or so ago that I am really looking forward to working on in the coming years. It's doing very well so far and I'm thinking I should collect one more before buds start to form on them.
 
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#14
I collected one myself a month or so ago that I am really looking forward to working on in the coming years. It's doing very well so far and I'm thinking I should collect one more before buds start to form on them.
I really enjoy working with hemlock. I’ve found them forgiving with regards to root work in general, although this is my first time working the roots on big box nursery material for hemlock. Time will be the true test when we see how it responds, but my collected hemlock was collected in late spring and lost many of it’s new buds that season. I kept it in partial shade and it recovered well the next spring. I didn’t seal the big chop when I collected, which might have helped.
I also wonder if Tsuga might be amenable to a mid-summer doldrums repot that some species respond well to (@Vance Wood)?
 

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