Is it worth the effort to save an old lady? I love her.

Clicio

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This is a Crimson Bougainvillea, very old, planted at the back corner of my neighbour's office, by the sidewalk.
During the growing season it throws branches 4, 5 meters away and flowers profusely.
But this bothers some clients of this neighbour of mine, so he ordered it hacked.
So his employees have it chopped down, not once but many times during the last two years.
But...
It springs to life again, and again, and again, and now the guy is getting really annoyed and wants it gone for good.
Dead.
So as I like it and I respect its struggle to keep alive, I thought it could be saved and even be a nice big bonsai in the future, so I asked him to collect it, and the answer was "of course, if you pay for the new sidewalk, go ahead".
Is it worth the time, the money and the effort to have it collected?
It IS bigger than it looks, and some of the roots are growing into the walls.
If yes, how much of the roots I should keep? (it's impossible to know how healthy they are and how big they are now).

The long shot, as today.
01.jpg

A closer look:
02.jpg


Sprouting 01:
03.jpg

Sprouting 02:
04.jpg

The roots:
05.jpg

@leatherback any hints, since you are the one who loves big trees?
 

Kadebe

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This is a Crimson Bougainvillea, very old, planted at the back corner of my neighbour's office, by the sidewalk.
During the growing season it throws branches 4, 5 meters away and flowers profusely.
But this bothers some clients of this neighbour of mine, so he ordered it hacked.
So his employees have it chopped down, not once but many times during the last two years.
But...
It springs to life again, and again, and again, and now the guy is getting really annoyed and wants it gone for good.
Dead.
So as I like it and I respect its struggle to keep alive, I thought it could be saved and even be a nice big bonsai in the future, so I asked him to collect it, and the answer was "of course, if you pay for the new sidewalk, go ahead".
Is it worth the time, the money and the effort to have it collected?
@leatherback any hints, since you are the one who loves big trees?
For me... it's alive...so YES it is worth saving it...
I'm really curious how it looks in a pot :cool:
I vote YES
 

Glen Y

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I agree with Kadebe. I would try to cut straight down beside concrete on all sides, as deep as I could. Then try to work up under it to cut bottom roots, wiggling, rocking, and pulling as I went.

Bogainvilla are pretty tough and this one seems to have a will to live.
 

Clicio

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Do you really have to dig up the sidewalk? There have been some here who collect big bougie stumps with little to no roots. Looks like the old gal could use some makeup, she's a little rough looking.;)
This is my main concern.
If I manage to extract her without breaking the sidewalk apart, it would be great, but then the roots...
:-(
:confused:
 

Kadebe

Mame
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This is my main concern.
If I manage to extract her without breaking the sidewalk apart, it would be great, but then the roots...
:-(
:confused:
After recovery, kill the roots... inject them
 

Japonicus

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@Clicio
surely, you can remove those pathetic bricks then dig, and rebuild that little square corner with
few dollars out of pocket. Is it season for it? I mean a cheap bag of mortar and an arm load of little blocks...
that area is so small you could use a butter knife to spread the mortar.
Now the nebari may be what Rockm was eluding to. You have to make that call. Do you like it?
 

Forsoothe!

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In for penny, in for pound. I'd break up enough cement to make sure I got the roots on the part of the tree(s) that I wanted. the difference in cost and labor of 3 square feet and 6 square feet of cement are minimal, and this is an opportunity you won't stumble upon too many times in life. What will you regret after time passes?
 

Trenthany

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I’m with everyone else do it. But wait till beginning of growing time is my advice. Not sure of your exact climate in São Paulo but I think it’s tropical or subtropical? I’d wait for your spring. Nowish maybe? 😂 Also aren’t bougies native there too BTW? In Florida you can dig one save all the chopped trunk sections throw em in a potting soil and they’ll root. Soooo I wouldn’t stress the roots if São Paulo is tropical or subtropical like I think. If you fall into any of the above either go for it if you like it or look for others. It’s like me and bald cypress. I want to have them all but I have to make the call sometimes to pass for a better one. I like that bougie myself but I like funky! And natural looking, which this isn’t for sure. 🤣I’m growing to like more “normal” bonsai too though. 😝
 

leatherback

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Well.. Late to the party I guess.
I think that big bougies with characters are rare. Well.. here they are because they cannot stay outside in winter, which sort of limits the realistic size for them for the average gardener.

In the Dutch caribean I know these sort of trunks are in every other backyard, and collecting one of those would be possible more frequently.

To me it looks like it might be worth the effort if you have a place to keep it afterwards. Be it Brazil or Germany 😂

Which part opf the sidewalk is your neighbour concerned about? The short vertical section containing the roots? If he want to get rid of this thing, that will have to go away anyway? I think bougies are easy to root in big sizes. So I agree with the others: At street level cut through the roots. Sweat and curse and pull. Then plant in good substrate and place in a shaded spot for a bit to recover.
 

rockm

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@Clicio
surely, you can remove those pathetic bricks then dig, and rebuild that little square corner with
few dollars out of pocket. Is it season for it? I mean a cheap bag of mortar and an arm load of little blocks...
that area is so small you could use a butter knife to spread the mortar.
Now the nebari may be what Rockm was eluding to. You have to make that call. Do you like it?
That "nebari" is exactly why this isn't worth much trouble. Ugly and grotesque are not really bonsai. This "trunk' is not a trunk, but a tangle of confusing and out of proportion individual trunks, none of which is all that interesting. Sitting on top of a rat's nest of roots that also don't hold much interest beyond the "wow, what a mess" factor--which isn't a reason to collect anything. I would not collect something like this even if it were not encased in cement.

Also, being that close to the wall (and I assume a house), there might be cables, drainage pipes, gas lines, etc. underneath that thing. Hit one of those with a shovel or saw and you're asking for more trouble. You might wind up having to replace the structure behind the plant if you're not sure what's going on underneath that rat's nest of roots...

FWIW, you are in bougainvillea central. They're native there. If this were a wisteria here in Virginia, I wouldn't bother with it. More where that one came from that are actually worth the sweat.
 

plant_dr

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@rockm 's points are very valid but i also understand the feelings of rescuing a tree from being needlessly destroyed. So if you do want to collect it, the best way might be through this side. Break/chisel at the red lines. There is already a crack at the blue line which will make it a little easier to remove. You can scoop straight under the tree just like taking a slice of cake from between two other slices.Untitled5_20200903102958.png
The concrete repair in that area would probably be the easiest too.
 

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