Looking for an Oak

Bill S

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Hi all, looking to see if anyone can give me info re. buying oak stock, we are looking at having John Thompson for demos and workshop, not sure about oaks from Cal making it in the North East, but any info re any oaks would be appreciated.
 

jquast

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You're in for a real treat. JT is a senior member of the club that I belong to and he is a wealth of knowledge on oaks and is a great instructor as well.
 

Speedy

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www.forestfarm.com has a pretty good selection of Oaks. They aren't bonsai specific so I'm not sure how they would work for you though. When I'm bored I'll flip through their catalog and drool a little...
 

Bill S

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J we are looking forward to having him in, his reputation definately precedes him. Speedy thanks, I'll take a look.
 

mcpesq817

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Depends on what kind of oak you're looking for. I ended up going to my local nursery (non-bonsai) at the end of last fall and buying a 20' willow oak on clearance that was pretty inexpensive. In the spring I cut it back to a little less than 2' and planted it in a mortar tub (subsequently chopped it back to lower branches that had budded out, so the stump is maybe 12-15"), and it has done quite well this year. I decided to try it out after seeing Don Blackmond post a couple of his live oaks here, which I'm modeling my willow oak after:

http://bonsaistudygroup.com/deciduous-bonsai-discussion/old-collected-southern-live-oak/

If you're looking for a big stump for an "oak style" tree, this is probably the quickest and most cost effective route I would think you could follow. The one thing to consider though is depending on the size of the tree you use, a small chainsaw might be the best for handling the first chop and initial root work. I used a reciprocating saw and it took me a few hours.
 

Bill S

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Got you on that mcpesq817.

I think we are wide open as to which flavor, looking for something ready for a demo, can be from a nursery, or private tree, if you have one you might sell, get me a picture or several.
 

mcpesq817

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Oh I'm sorry, I read your post quickly and didn't realize you were looking for a demo tree.

Maybe check with Brent? He has a few oaks that he grows that sound like they might work out here. He might have a specimen sized tree that would work out. Maybe also check with Don Blackmond of Gregory Beach Bonsai - he works with oaks and might have something that he is willing to sell.

Otherwise, I haven't seen many vendors of oaks out there. Good luck!
 

rockm

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Be careful if you decided on a Cork oak. They are not winter hardy here in the Eastern U.S.u without a lot of protection. I came upon a nice one at a National Arboretum surplus sale about ten years ago. I asked Warren Hill (who was the bonsai collection's curator at the time) if the tree was winter hardy in Va. He said it was a qualified "no"--unless i had a frost-free storage area...
 

Bill S

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Yep, I understand the hardy issues, but was told that didn't matter, we have members that can take care of which ever we get, soooo........

Rock, what is you opinion on the Virginiana variety, for bonsai, and hardiness??

Thanks for the muranakabonsai.com referance Art.
 

rockm

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"Rock, what is you opinion on the Virginiana variety, for bonsai, and hardiness??"

If you have storage facilities, hardiness isn't an issue, however, the main species of quercus Virginiana is not winter hardy that far north without substantial protection. The species I have,q. Virginiana "Fusiformis" (also called Escarpment Live Oak) is a bit more winter hardy. It is the inland form of the species and is native to inland Texas and Oklahoma. I've overwintered it in my backyard for a few winters here in Northern Va. and it did OK. I have, however, overwintered it for the last ten or twelve years in the cold greenhouse at a nearby bonsai nursery, as I don't really trust it in extremely low temps.

As bonsai, q. Virginiana is great. Strong grower, backbuds extremely well and requires little special attention. If you can find one with a substantial trunk, all the better.
 

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