New collected privet

Zach Smith

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Just collected this one on Wednesday, out of a ditch near my home. The road crew chopped and generally abused it for decades. The trunk is all there, so I only need to build the branch structure and carve where it needs it. I'll repot in 2011 into its final container.

The trunk base is 6 inches, height about 12 inches.

Zach
 

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grouper52

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That's a great find! Lots of possibilities in a species that's usually hassle-free. Keep us posted as you develop this bad boy.
 

Bob

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Looks like those road crew workers knew what they were doing. That's a nice find. Enjoy it!
 

Zach Smith

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Looks like those road crew workers knew what they were doing. That's a nice find. Enjoy it!
No doubt they did, without even knowing it. One of the things I like about collected material is that it hasn't been necessarily subjected to our idea of what bonsai ought to look like.

It's going to be fun building out this tree in 2010. In three years it should be an outstanding specimen.

Zach
 

noissee

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Keep us updated on leaf reduction especially. I am digging up three big ones like that in the spring.
 

Zach Smith

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Keep us updated on leaf reduction especially. I am digging up three big ones like that in the spring.
The leaves will reduce from the normal 3/4"to 1/4" with cutting back and pinching.

You don't necessarily have to wait till spring to collect, though the weather will be a lot nicer. And you shouldn't need a shovel at all. I just use one of the Stanley short-cut saws, since the roots are right near the surface.

Good luck with them, they're a lot of fun. Easy to train, easy to keep alive, and they'll flower and fruit in a bonsai container.

Zach
 

Zach Smith

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Privet update

Time for an update on this privet. It's growing nicely and I've begun building the branch structure. The top has been left alone to thicken and strengthen, as well as another of the branches near the apex. I'll cut back the apex later in summer.
 

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Zach Smith

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Privet update - coming along nicely

This one is coming along even quicker than I'd expected. Chuck Iker is making a pot for it, and I'll go ahead and repot once it comes in.

Zach
 

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Zach Smith

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Another update on this privet. It's filled out well. What I'll have left to do starting next year is mostly refinement. A lot of the branch growth remains juvenile, but this will be corrected with time.

Zach
 

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anttal63

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Looking the goods well done. I am especially impressed that you have not carved yet. A good move.
I look forward to its progression.:D
 

Zach Smith

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I like your insight on the carving, Antonio. It's not time yet. I have treated with lime sulfur just to keep the wood strong. Next year, when the callous begins to roll over, I'll tackle the carving. Meanwhile I do need to repot, and hopefully Chuck will have my pot ready in about a week.

Zach
 

Zach Smith

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Another update on this privet. It's filled out well. What I'll have left to do starting next year is mostly refinement. A lot of the branch growth remains juvenile, but this will be corrected with time.

Zach
And the final shot (for this year) in its new pot. Chuck Iker did a fabulous job.
 

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biglou13

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ive been eying some of these

you've inspired me to pull the trigger
 

ericN

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Im really impressed on what you have accomplished in less than a year! Great job!

eric
 

Zach Smith

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Im really impressed on what you have accomplished in less than a year! Great job!

eric
Thank you for the kind words, Eric. Privet is one of the very best species for the impatient bonsai artist. As for this specimen, within a couple more years I should have a lot more maturity in the branching, the only thing I'm really lacking at present. I plan on growing a sacrifice branch near the base of the lower left branch; it's way too slim right now, very out of proportion. But this can be accomplished next year.

Zach
 

treebeard55

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You're making me want to start prowling the roadsides! Great raw material, but you've done a very good job, IMHO, in developing its potential. Two thumbs up!

Not to detract from your tree, but here's a picture of another collected common privet. (With my apologies for the picture quality!!! Picture was taken in August of '07.)

Owner and artist is Jack Fried of Chicago. If I have the story right, Jack collected this from a cow pasture more than 20 years ago, where the cattle were doing as good a job as the road crews in LA! It has won several awards that I know of, and was recently accepted by the National Collection in Washington DC. It may already have moved to its new home.
 

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Zach Smith

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You're making me want to start prowling the roadsides! Great raw material, but you've done a very good job, IMHO, in developing its potential. Two thumbs up!

Not to detract from your tree, but here's a picture of another collected common privet. (With my apologies for the picture quality!!! Picture was taken in August of '07.)

Owner and artist is Jack Fried of Chicago. If I have the story right, Jack collected this from a cow pasture more than 20 years ago, where the cattle were doing as good a job as the road crews in LA! It has won several awards that I know of, and was recently accepted by the National Collection in Washington DC. It may already have moved to its new home.
Awesome tree! I recently pulled a few from fencelines abutting pastureland. Because privet grows so rapidly, I use shearing to maintain shape most of the time and periodically defoliate and do refinement trimming (grow and clip). Cattle take care of the shearing whenever they have the opportunity
 
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