Eastern Garden "Yamadori"

rockm

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Another thing about collecting in the Eastern U.S.--There is a gold mine of "old growth" ornamentals here on the East Coast that can't be matched in Western states. While collecting from a garden is seen as mainly for wimps and pale skinny dudes who can't hack mountain collecting in the rockies :D:D:D, here in the East, it's probably one of the best ways to get world class material. It can also be more arduous, since these plants have been rooted so well for so long, it requires more than a little elbow grease to get them out...

Gardens and landscaping on the East coast goes back three centuries, perhaps a little longer. Some of the plants imported or of local sourcing have been cut back and prepared as "urban yamadori" for just as long, only the owners didn't really know it at the time.

Take this for instance:
http://www.gunstonhall.org/grounds/landscape_features/boxwood_allee_lg.jpg

It is a boxwood allee at George Mason's estate not five miles from my house. The "Dwarf" boxwood species used here isn't common, but the old "regular" boxwood allee is a common feature on old plantations throughout the east and south. There's at least a dozen old plantation and home sites within 10 miles of me that have old boxwood plantings. Six have azaleas over 80 years old. Speaking of azalea--Japanese varieties have been planted in Eastern US gardens since the early 1700s. There are some very old azalea hedges in the east that can be the source of some pretty substantial trunks. Michael Persiano has one that was allegedly collected from Benjamin Franklin's house in Pennsylvania.

Older gardens, abandon sites, etc. can all yield some fantastic trees here in the East and South. Don't discount them as yamadori sites because they're not high up in a mountain range.
 
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pauldogx

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Another thing about collecting in the Eastern U.S.--There is a gold mine of "old growth" ornamentals here on the East Coast that can't be matched in Western states. While collecting from a garden is seen as mainly for wimps and pale skinny dudes who can't hack mountain collecting in the rockies :D:D:D, here in the East, it's probably one of the best ways to get world class material. It can also be more arduous, since these plants have been rooted so well for so long, it requires more than a little elbow grease to get them out...

Gardens and landscaping on the East coast goes back three centuries, perhaps a little longer. Some of the plants imported or of local sourcing have been cut back and prepared as "urban yamadori" for just as long, only the owners didn't really know it at the time.

Take this for instance:
http://www.gunstonhall.org/grounds/landscape_features/boxwood_allee_lg.jpg

It is a boxwood allee at George Mason's estate not five miles from my house. The "Dwarf" boxwood trunks here aren't common, but the allee is a common feature on old plantations throughout the east and south. The same for azalea. Japanese varieties of azaleas have been planted in Eastern US gardens since the early 1700s. There are some very old azalea hedges in the east that can be the source of some pretty substantial trunks. Michael Persiano has one that was allegedly collected from Benjamin Franklin's house in Pennsylvania.

Older gardens, abandon sites, etc. can all yield some fantastic trees here in the East and South. Don't discount them as yamadori sites because they're not high up in a mountain range.
SSSSSSShhh...hold it down...you'll reveal our stash......
 

mcpesq817

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Wow, those are some great trunks! I wonder how often this kind of material at historical sites gets "recycled"?

Thanks for sharing.
 

rockm

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That boxwood is about five feet tall. There are plants that top 6 1/2 feet in the garden, however. Remember this is a "dwarf" species, planted specifically because it wouldn't get very big. Obviously, that was a very very long time ago. By the way, this particular plant is the ugliest one in the garden. There are others that are REALLY spectacular back towards the Potomac river.

As for how often this type of material gets torn out--not very often, at least this particular cultivar. However, "regular old boxwood" hedges, sometimes hundreds of years old, get ripped up and replaced pretty regularly around these parts. Same for other kinds of hedging material. Lilac is another favorite Colonial hedge...You have to keep an eye out for renovation activity.

There has been alot of debate about the fate of this particular garden at Gunston. Since the plants have become exactly what George Mason was trying to avoid--bulging, overgrown monsters, not tidy clipped delineation for the proper English garden he envisioned--the Park Service has been debating whether to yank them out and replace them with smaller plants.

A decision hasn't been made--yet.
 

mcpesq817

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I'll do my civic duty and help them remove those trees if they want to "clean up" the landscape :)
 

mcpesq817

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How is this for a Eastern garden boxwood? Came from what used to be the front yard of a very old house in a nearby town. There is another one there.
 

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rockm

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Mac,

NICE. Hope ya got roots...:D
 
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Well I got some roots, not as many as one would like. It is sitting in a shady area. I took a lot of the leaves off but left enough to tell the roots that they need to get busy growing. So far the leaves remain green, I dug it up on 17May and it is possible the leaves are living on the stored energy in the trunk. I don't think I'll really find out if it will make it until next spring.

If it does, then all the branches will come off and I'll start growing new ones.
 

rockm

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Mac, dont' touch this tree for at least 3 years. It is very weak.

In my experience, old and ancient boxwood can be a little touchy and deceptive. I collected a trunk that was well over 100 years old. Got a little root, but not alot. thought it was enough given a decade or so of collecting trees. It had green growth too.

It "survived" in a container for two years, even putting on extension growth during that period. The third year, the plant gave up three weeks into spring. The green growth browned and wilted in two days.

I had done everything I could think of to give the plant a chance--used a free draining mix to encourage root production, stabilized the trunk so the plant couldn't move, kept it moist and out of direct sun, ect.

Upon removing the dead plant from the container, I saw it had not produced ANY new roots. It stayed green by simple inertia though its advanced age.

In other words, don't get too attached to it for awhile...:)
 

shohin kid

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Another thing about collecting in the Eastern U.S.--There is a gold mine of "old growth" ornamentals here on the East Coast that can't be matched in Western states. While collecting from a garden is seen as mainly for wimps and pale skinny dudes who can't hack mountain collecting in the rockies :D:D:D, here in the East, it's probably one of the best ways to get world class material. It can also be more arduous, since these plants have been rooted so well for so long, it requires more than a little elbow grease to get them out...

Gardens and landscaping on the East coast goes back three centuries, perhaps a little longer. Some of the plants imported or of local sourcing have been cut back and prepared as "urban yamadori" for just as long, only the owners didn't really know it at the time.

Take this for instance:
http://www.gunstonhall.org/grounds/landscape_features/boxwood_allee_lg.jpg

It is a boxwood allee at George Mason's estate not five miles from my house. The "Dwarf" boxwood species used here isn't common, but the old "regular" boxwood allee is a common feature on old plantations throughout the east and south. There's at least a dozen old plantation and home sites within 10 miles of me that have old boxwood plantings. Six have azaleas over 80 years old. Speaking of azalea--Japanese varieties have been planted in Eastern US gardens since the early 1700s. There are some very old azalea hedges in the east that can be the source of some pretty substantial trunks. Michael Persiano has one that was allegedly collected from Benjamin Franklin's house in Pennsylvania.

Older gardens, abandon sites, etc. can all yield some fantastic trees here in the East and South. Don't discount them as yamadori sites because they're not high up in a mountain range.
I agree and disagree. Eastern gardens can produce good yamadori. My kingsville boxwood was collected from a garden in Washington D.C.

However, you would probably never find a good beat up by mountain weather conifer in any eastern garden. But I do agree, people should not rule out eastern urban yamadori.


my urban yamadori kingsville boxwood http://atbonsai.webs.com/apps/photos/photo?photoid=37409981
 

rockm

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"However, you would probably never find a good beat up by mountain weather conifer in any eastern garden. "

Well, uh, no. You won't, but some folks aren't interested in weathered conifers. :D

It's pet peeve of mine that the defacto image of the ideal collected tree is a weathered mountain grown conifer. It's a tyranny of sorts :D The fact you mention they're not available in an eastern garden is evidence of that tyranny.:D It's kind of like saying "There are no elephants on the prairie, but those buffalo are kind of nice...and I guess they'll have to do" Well, it's not really an apt comparison and distorts the reality of what's considered beautiful...When you're constantly looking for twisted conifers, you can overlook quite alot of things.

Sorry, I'll go take my meds to calm down----as soon as I tell those kids TO GET OFF MY LAWN :D:D

Sincerely,
Old east coast fart
 

RyanFrye

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Sorry, I'll go take my meds to calm down----as soon as I tell those kids TO GET OFF MY LAWN :D:D
Sounds like it's time to take out the garden hose and set the pressure to HIGH:D.....hehe
 

Bill S

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And although our mountains around here are like the mole hills of the west, ocassionally we do find some good craggy windblown snow mashed stuff, it's usually not in our gardens though.

I think the point was urban - we had a few years jump, on the westeners, where we were planting ornamental garden materials.
 
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