My new Live Oak

Hartinez

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Great base and surface roots! What’s the rest of the trunk look like?
 

Potawatomi13

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Can be great tree in time. Hate to say but if wanting anything but boring straight trunk will need to cut back to first level branches. If not doing root work this year can be done now/soon so regrowth can begin in present season. Great starting base for tree.
 

JesusFreak

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I’m looking for a masculine tree maybe about 3-4 feet tall. Informal broom. I’m not sure if I should chop down even more or carve out what I already have to produce deadwood look. Here are some other photos. I won’t be repotting or working on the roots this year. I’ve been told you want to do that in early spring. E6412219-3E21-4172-A2FD-27142069020E.jpeg340FA934-A76C-41E9-BA10-61386AE632D2.jpeg84622A40-BF6E-4E26-A8A0-3A09DB43660B.jpeg03CECACE-03C3-4B14-AA70-82437F6D9B45.jpeg53B73527-556C-4923-B11B-E5BFB47827DC.jpeg
 

JesusFreak

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I was advised to chop it even lower and start a new leader. I would kinda hate to do that to be honest. I was hoping to be able to carve a little to bring some taper into the trunk line. Ideas or suggestions please
 

Forsoothe!

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A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, as does a journey of a million miles. This one looks like an inter-generational trip. Better have a lot of kids...
 

Potawatomi13

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Would hate to lose good bark but recommend cutting lower yet eliminating most straightness of trunk. Straight Oaks don't compute!
 

JesusFreak

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Would hate to lose good bark but recommend cutting lower yet eliminating most straightness of trunk. Straight Oaks don't compute!
Just about every oak I see in nature starts straight and then branches out in every direction
 
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You are correct that the present crop of oaks are pretty straight to start with. I think thats because of the multiple generations logging America for hardwood. This allowed more space and light for the new crop of trees, hence straight trunks in stands of trees nowadays.

When I was a kid in Wisconsin and Illinois way back in the day there were still some older growth forests that hadn’t been clear cut in generations, if ever. Similar to the old growth preserves here in PacNW. In these areas trees all have to compete for light from the gitgo. The result is trees with the classic gnarly twisted growth characteristic of a dominant species in an old growth stand.

Its natural to think that just because ’nature’ looks like it does now, to project that that’s the way it looked years ago. Couple those ideas with the impressionistic ’standard’ tree forms in bonsai and it’s really hard to mentally generate an image of an old growth dominant tree.

cheers
DSDS sends
 

JesusFreak

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You are correct that the present crop of oaks are pretty straight to start with. I think thats because of the multiple generations logging America for hardwood. This allowed more space and light for the new crop of trees, hence straight trunks in stands of trees nowadays.

When I was a kid in Wisconsin and Illinois way back in the day there were still some older growth forests that hadn’t been clear cut in generations, if ever. Similar to the old growth preserves here in PacNW. In these areas trees all have to compete for light from the gitgo. The result is trees with the classic gnarly twisted growth characteristic of a dominant species in an old growth stand.

Its natural to think that just because ’nature’ looks like it does now, to project that that’s the way it looked years ago. Couple those ideas with the impressionistic ’standard’ tree forms in bonsai and it’s really hard to mentally generate an image of an old growth dominant tree.

cheers
DSDS sends
Good point. What would you do with it? Also I thought you lived in North Ga
 
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Personally I’d go slow and get lots of data. You have a great trunk and it looks likely at least the start of a great nebari going for you. These don’t come easy on any tree. It would be a shame to mess it up by rushing into anything.

At this point I’d recommend for you to get lots more data before you cut.

First decide if you want to go more naturalistic or impressionist. If naturalistic, google images of old growth oaks, then decide if there is something to model on. Also see if Walter Pall of Nick Lenz have done any oaks. You might even PM @Walter Pall …he’s a forum member, who knows, you might get lucky.

If impressionist, I’d do the same thing, Google for bonsai oaks as this usually yields impressionistic stuff… but this time also check out the national Bonsai Museum, Pacific Bonsai Museum etc to see if there are models for you to shoot for. You will find lots of data doing this.

Then make your own choice on what to do.

If I was me, I like the idea of keeping the lowest sacrifice branches to build more lower trunk taper. At some point I think it’s inevitable that you’ll have to decide if you want a single trunk oak, or a split trunk tree. If the latter, creating a notch, as suggested, earlier may be a really good idea.

Whatever you decide, as @Forsoothe! says, prepare for the long term.

Good luck and please keep us posted.

Cheers
DSD sends
 
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Forsoothe!

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You are correct that the present crop of oaks are pretty straight to start with. I think thats because of the multiple generations logging America for hardwood. This allowed more space and light for the new crop of trees, hence straight trunks in stands of trees nowadays.

When I was a kid in Wisconsin and Illinois way back in the day there were still some older growth forests that hadn’t been clear cut in generations, if ever. Similar to the old growth preserves here in PacNW. In these areas trees all have to compete for light from the gitgo. The result is trees with the classic gnarly twisted growth characteristic of a dominant species in an old growth stand.

Its natural to think that just because ’nature’ looks like it does now, to project that that’s the way it looked years ago. Couple those ideas with the impressionistic ’standard’ tree forms in bonsai and it’s really hard to mentally generate an image of an old growth dominant tree.

cheers
DSDS sends
A bonsai Oak ~styled~ to look like such old growth would be regarded as poorly done. Il cognoscenti only blesses trees with "proper" form. The old gnarled trees and seeking light deep in the shadow of others were/are decidedly unbalanced. I'm sure we have all attended critiques of trees in shows where the judge leans towards trees that are examples of that single one on the crest of a hill in a pasture. (On hardpan so the nebari is pronounced). Show up with an unbalanced tree and be damned.
 
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Good on you!

There is a whole philosophical area in between the two genres you can investigate upon your journey.

Looking forward to seeing your choices and progress over time.

best
DSD sends
 

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