Live Oak Yamidori

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Santa Cruz, CA
USDA Zone
8
I have been taking my time with this one. Last year I found this beauty, 6" base by 16" high and about 24" wide. It was about 12 feet tall when I topped it last year. At about the same time I trenched about 20" circumferance and 15" deep. The only problem is that, like I suspected there are not allot of surface roots. The climate in this region, being at 1300 feet msl is above the marine inversion so it is very hot and dry for about 9 months out of the year with no rain.

After trenching I sprinkled Osmocoat around the base. The growth last year was excellent on top. The deer had a much better style in mind than I did and they have been doing a great job at maintinence and styling.

This March I plan to extract but I have a feeling it is going to be tap root to China. In preparation, today I dug down a bit and scored the trunk deep with my screwdriver in a few places. The I applied rooting hormone and some more Osmocoat to the immediate base, then recovered with mulch. Hopefully I will be able to get some more surface roots to grow over winter. Our winters are very mild.

I hope I can pull this one off.

I am very fortunate to have access to this area of plenty in the Santa Cruz Mountains. One of my clients is planning on developing some day and allows me to dig on over 300 acres of mixed Oak and Redwood. I have my eye on 2 other oaks for now. I am taking it slow and conservative until I know I can be successful.
 

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Last edited:

bisjoe

Yamadori
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Sammamish, WA
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Not too many live oaks around as bonsai, I have one that I planted from an acorn that I brought up from Walnut Creek, CA.

It sounds like you are doing it right, and I wish you luck. Once you cut that taproot it will need the new ones to survive. I avoided that problem by cutting it when only a seedling but even then the tap root was as thick as the trunk up top and shaped like a big carrot.

If you are not too far away, it would help the rooting if you could keep that mulch moist, at least until that drought ends.
 
Messages
226
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Location
Santa Cruz, CA
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I know, I think we are in for another low rainfall year. I am in no hurry and for this one it will be worth the wait. Maybe another year in the ground, maybe two.
 

pjkatich

Chumono
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Northeast Florida
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It sounds like you have a good plan in place for successfully lifting this tree.

From the looks of the photos, this particular tree is well worth the extra effort and time you are putting into collecting it. All to often, the collection process is rushed and the final results are less than desirable.

I look forward to seeing a few updates regarding the remained of the collection process.

Best of luck,
Paul
 

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