gonner?

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Well, everyone says live oak is easy but so far I have found it to be most difficult. All the leaves are brown now, in the photo a few weeks ago some were still green. This one had some good rootage due to the fact that I had spaded and fed the tree for about 15 months before digging.

Someone said these need to be defoliated after digging. Seems like you want the leaves on the tree to help grow new roots, so I did not.

It has been out of the ground for 3 months.

I wanted to take as much of the field soil off as possible so as to not risk oak root fungus but this might have been the kiss of death. I did add a miccorizae inocullant from the garden center.
 

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PaulH

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Don't give up yet. I dug one in February that is just now budding out. They need warm weather to start growing. If you had defoliated the tree would have reacted with a growth spurt to save itself and would be doing better now.
Paul
 

Vance Wood

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Did the person who told you to defoliate know from experience with California Live Oak or a different species? The reason for defoliation is to take the pressure off the root system. When a tree is stressed out it continues to function through the leaves, this is called transpiration. If the roots cannot catch up it amounts to running your car on a tea cup of gasoline, when the gas is gone the car stops. Defoliation stops the leaves from trying to bring up stuff from the roots and gives the roots a chance to repair themselves. The roots will attempt to repair the top but in this case they will be breaking new buds and not trying to support a full canopy of leaves. There are those who will disagree with this so it is important that you understand the experience of the one giving you advise. As for me I do not have any Live Oak, so this is something you may have to research further but again, know your sources of information. I have given you the simple and stupid reason for defoliation.
 

PaulH

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In addition to inhibiting transpiration which is very important to the tree's recovery, defoliation stimulates new buds on many broadleaf species. The new buds stimulate root growth. I base this on experience with Quercus agrifolia,Q.wislizeni, Q. chrysolepis, and Q. suber.
In my experience, larger material recovers better and more quickly than small trees. I believe this is because more energy is stored in the tree's greater mass.
 

irene_b

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Well, everyone says live oak is easy but so far I have found it to be most difficult. All the leaves are brown now, in the photo a few weeks ago some were still green. This one had some good rootage due to the fact that I had spaded and fed the tree for about 15 months before digging.

Someone said these need to be defoliated after digging. Seems like you want the leaves on the tree to help grow new roots, so I did not.

It has been out of the ground for 3 months.

I wanted to take as much of the field soil off as possible so as to not risk oak root fungus but this might have been the kiss of death. I did add a miccorizae inocullant from the garden center.
Put it in the shade and just keep watering it.
And yes I have killed many Live Oaks. I have one now that I am working with and yup I am going damm slow with it.
What I have found in working the Live Oak:
Go Slow.
Leave as many roots as ya can.
Slowly incorporate your soil into what it is growing in.
Feed well.
Irene
 

Smoke

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Hi Marc..get with Garreth Shepard in your neck of the woods or John Thompson, they are both masters with live oak.

Here is a live oak Garreth had in last years convention.
 

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Ahh yes, This is the big controversy. Do you cut the the top to match what you cut from the bottom. There are 2 oposite schools of thought on that one. But it is still confusing and will probably always be so. Would it have been better to defoliate at extraction? This may have robbed the roots of energy created by the leaves to grow new roots. On the other hand the leaves create more transpiration the limited roots system may not be able to handle. It is a balance and a guy like me may have no idea what he is doing with collecting these.

I think my mistake is that I was so "overly" concerned with live oak as far as oak root fungus is concerned that I may have cleaned too much field soil away. The new feeder roots I had fostered from spading were broken off easily. I tried to be careful but to many had been broken away as I removed cakes of field soil.

People pay me money to tell them why their live oaks are dying and 9 times out of 10 it is because they give them summer water via their landscaping. For many years I have been keeping peoples oaks alive in their landscape by ripping out irrigation and convincing them to allow only the leaf litter to remain inside of the drip line.

Container culture and collecting is much different as we know. These tree's make great bonsai and part of the joy is the challenge I guess. I would hate to loose this one, lotta work getting it out. I will continue to care for it for a while, maybe a year or so in the hopes of new green sprouts.
 
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Thomson is definitely a master. I need to find more time to get out there in this realm. Too much work. I can't even find a time to go to the SC meetings.
 

bisjoe

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Try doing like me, plant an acorn and wait 16 years. It's currently putting out lots of new growth. My acorn came from Walnut Creek, CA. and they are not hardy here but I've managed to keep it healthy with winter protection.

I never tried to dig one though I might if I ever get down there to visit my sister in winter.
 

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An open casket funeral

People, say your respects.

My girlfriend says "1 down and 45 to go" I still love her even though she said that.

:(
 

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Kirk

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I'm sure it's resting peacefully in Kokufu Heaven.
 

rockm

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I've heard that for Southern live oaks (quercus Virginiana), you actually WANT the foliage to turn brown and die off right after collection. If it doesn't, the collectors I've talked with say that if it doesn't the tree is a goner. This is probably exactly the opposite of what you want with a Western live oak species.

My old quercus Virginiana had problems with old field soil when I initially got it 10 years ago--but it was left in it in a large container for almost 6 years before I bought it. An emergency root pruning (took about 40% off) and repot, removed as much old soil as possible, replacing with medium 70/30 mix turface/organic. I repot infrequently now, every five years or so. The tree seems happy with that.
 

Vance Wood

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I've heard that for Southern live oaks (quercus Virginiana), you actually WANT the foliage to turn brown and die off right after collection. If it doesn't, the collectors I've talked with say that if it doesn't the tree is a goner. This is probably exactly the opposite of what you want with a Western live oak species.

My old quercus Virginiana had problems with old field soil when I initially got it 10 years ago--but it was left in it in a large container for almost 6 years before I bought it. An emergency root pruning (took about 40% off) and repot, removed as much old soil as possible, replacing with medium 70/30 mix turface/organic. I repot infrequently now, every five years or so. The tree seems happy with that.
I agree with the idea of more frequent repottings. I am currently having a real battle with this issue because my repotting schedule had been set behind due to some medical issues. Now I am forced to do a lot more than I had originally planned on because so many of my trees are starting to look stressed out.
 
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