Help with pine specimen collected on mountain in Montana.

Discussion in 'New to Bonsai' started by Kim Kietzman, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. Kim Kietzman

    Kim Kietzman Seedling

    Messages:
    5
    image.jpg Hi,
    New here.
    I collected this tree last week. It was growing on rocks at about 9000 feet in elevation. I've been keeping it in regular potting soil with the pot in a plastic bag and the soil moist.
    Should I prune it heavily since I didn't get very many roots?
    Kim
     
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  3. barrosinc

    barrosinc Masterpiece

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    you must keep the foliage misted if you want this to have a chance.... and take it outside to a shaded place until it starts to send out some shoots.
     
  4. rockm

    rockm Imperial Masterpiece

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    A few things--Since you're new I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you collected this legally. I'm going to assume you know you're supposed to get permits or permission from land owners-private or public.

    I 'm also going to assume, since you're asking about basics here that this could be one of, if not the, first tree you've collected.

    To answer your questions, we've got to ask questions, such as How much rootmass did you get when you dug this up?

    Potting soil is the worst thing you can use. Soil that drains is VERY important for collected trees. Potting soil will rot the roots off.

    It should also be outside 24/7.

    This isn't a pine. It looks to be a spruce. There is a difference

    I'll let other with more specific knowledge of spruce collection chime in on specifics about misting and sun exposure.
     
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  5. Kim Kietzman

    Kim Kietzman Seedling

    Messages:
    5
    I'm misting and keeping it enclosed as shown in this picture. Should I cut some branches to balance out the lack of roots?
    Also, do you know what kind of tree it is?
    Thanks.
    Kim
     

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  6. Kim Kietzman

    Kim Kietzman Seedling

    Messages:
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    Yes, approved from national forest. The local FS office in MT gives permits.
    Hardly any roots came out with the tree. It was in rocks, going to be torn out and disposed of for a new trail, so I just kept prying it out. Hated to see it die.
    The potting soil was meant to be temporary to keep the few roots it has moist; I know this is not good for the long run. Is it detrimental for the short term?, just to get moisture to the tree?
     
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  7. Waltron

    Waltron Chumono

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    917
    Location:
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    interesting. could be spruce, could be fir.. frasier?

    bag idea is not terrible I dont think.. maybe for a couple days.. dont let it burn up in there.. put it outside in the shade, maybe a bit of morning sun. your rocks may make it difficult to tell if the soil is wet or dry or too wet or too dry.. but if it is a spruce, they tend to like a lot of water.. so just try to figure out if the soil is wet or dry.. before you water it. use rain water it. youll know if you cut the wrong roots or didnt get enoungh.. id say in about 4 more days to 3 weeks, if its still green in 2-3 weeks, there is a chance it lives.
     
  8. Giga

    Giga Masterpiece

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    tree should be outside, in the sun - not in a trash bag, I want to say it's a Engelmann spruce, if it's a spruce.
     
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  9. Waltron

    Waltron Chumono

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    917
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    hmm. so no fine roots at all, just woody bits then? most likely will die sorry to say. too bad too nifty little tree it was.
     
  10. sorce

    sorce Nonsense Rascal

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    Interesting.

    Welcome to Crazy!

    Sorce
     
  11. Kim Kietzman

    Kim Kietzman Seedling

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    5
    There were some fine roots; wish I'd taken a picture. It was similar to trees I've purchased and had delivered in the "bare roots" situation.

    Is it OK to cut some small branches so the tree won't have to work hard to feed the foliage (needles) or is it better to leave foliage to bring in nutrients?

    Just haven't had much luck with conifers.

    I'm not letting the bag get direct sunlight.
     
  12. Dav4

    Dav4 Imperial Masterpiece

    Leaving it in the trash bag is probably the best thing at this point, for efficiency's sake?
     
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  13. LanceMac10

    LanceMac10 Masterpiece

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    :(:(:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D Future not too bright....;):eek::eek::eek:

    lawnmower2.gif
     
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  14. Kim Kietzman

    Kim Kietzman Seedling

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    So, is the foliage feeding tree or are the roots feeding the tree (foliage). If I knew that the roots were contributing more then I would trim some foliage. Maybe? I'd like t feel that I'm doing as much as I can, it's a special tree.

    Kim
     
  15. AndrewS1983

    AndrewS1983 Seedling

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    I would probably trim off just 4 or 5 small branches .. august is just a bad time to do anything to plants unless it's a tropical . I wouldn't put in a bag . Just put it in shade that gets dappled light .if u can mist the foliage 5 times a day would up ur chances. It's very difficult to collect trees in august and keep them alive if u can't get the majority of roots. U need some luck ! I hope it survives !
     
  16. Dav4

    Dav4 Imperial Masterpiece

    Your tree needs roots to live, the more the better. Without roots, it can't take up water and nutrients from the soil. The potting soil is not particularly good for developing root, either. Your tree needs sunlight to live. Without sunlight, the tree can't photosynthesize, and will be unable to grow new roots. The tree is unlikely to survive regardless of what you do, but will die quicker if left in the trash bag in the shade. Pull it from the bag and it in the shade outside, mist the foliage as often as you can, but keep the soil just barely moist... that's the best you can do at this point.
     
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  17. Waltron

    Waltron Chumono

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    the trash bag, or "poly" bag is useful for deciduous plants. probably not so much for a conifer.
     
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  18. Paradox

    Paradox Masterpiece

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    Anyone want to start a pool on how long it takes for the foliage to start turning brown?
     
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  19. chansen

    chansen Shohin

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    Water + CO2 + sunlight = food for the tree. Fertilizer is like vitamins. Doesn't need those now. If the tree has less foliage then it will photosynthesize less and recover slower (assuming it can). So don't prune anything at this point. This is a really poor time of year to collect, but I understand the situation too. Misting helps reduce the rate at which water is leaving the foliage. Since the tree is barely hanging on, this is helpful. Potting soil is bad because it stays wet for too long, which leads to less oxygen in the root mass, and the lack of oxygen and constant water leads to rotting. But changing that now will likely cause more damage than good. The best scenario would be a greenhouse with a misting system.
     
  20. namnhi

    namnhi Chumono

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    2 weeks
     
  21. Bonsai Nut

    Bonsai Nut Administrator

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    The roots provide water, nutrients and hormones.

    The foliage provides food (carbs via photsynthesis) and hormones.

    The problem with a newly collected tree is that the roots that were collected may be inadequate or compromised so that they can't provide enough water to the foliage to keep up with the rate of transpiration. Some people suggest reducing foliage, but if you aren't careful you weaken the tree so that it doesn't have enough energy to recover. In a perfect world you want to keep as much foliage as possible... but you can't let it dry out!

    Best practice is similar to what you have been doing - plant the tree up in a loose, free-draining soil mix that is at least 80% inorganic - pumice, decomposed granite, crushed lava, etc. Then place the tree outside in a sheltered spot where it gets strong indirect light but almost no sunlight - as bright as possible with no sun. Place a humidity tent over the tree made out of translucent plastic. Your garbage bag idea is directionally correct but you don't want the plastic to lay on top of the foliage if you can avoid it. See if you can build a wire frame or something to hold the plastic away from the tree. You want the opening of the bag to face downwards and you want to shroud the tree like it is in a tent. Once you get this set up, try to mist the foliage frequently to reduce the transpiration rate of the tree, and consequently reduce the demand on the roots. You want the inside of the tent to be a mini-greenhouse and very humid. Be careful during this time to not overwater the soil - because the roots are compromised and reduced they will not be taking up very much water - if any - and it is easy to overwater a tree that has just been collected. Having an open non-organic mix really helps at this point with drainage.

    If it stays green and supple for a month, you may start to feel optimistic, but don't remove the humidity tent until you see it starting to push new growth - which is the sign that the roots are growing. This could easily be three months. Don't move it into full sun in one go, either. Take baby steps.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
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