New to the forums & bonsai and looking for advice.

jimjitsu

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Hi everyone,

I recently inherited an oak tree from my Grandad. It's thought to be somewhere between 27 - 33 years old. The story is that I gave him an acorn when I was little and asked him to grow it for me, turns out he did!
20180506_105403.jpg

It may have been a little neglected over the last few years, but I would love to keep this tree going in his memory, unfortunately I know nothing about Bonsai! I have begun my education on the net and youtube, but I'm looking for something more specific to my tree.
I removed a few branches that didn't have leaves forming and I trimmed about 30% of the roots as they had formed a huge tangled mess. The branches look very sparse to me, but I'm not sure what to do next!

Any advice / guidance would be fantastic!

Thanks,
Jim.

P.s I'm in the UK and the tree has lived it's whole life outdoors.
 

Fonz

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You might want to consider putting it in decent bonsai soil next time you repot it. The one you're using now looks like regular potting soil. The idea of bonsai soil (coarse particles) is to give more air/oxygen to the roots and have a better drainage so the roots don't stay too wet and start to rot.

Here's an article of one of the leading UK bonsai artists about a good alternative to the traditional, more expensive bonsai soils: http://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics/Basicscatlitter.htm

edit: Don't repot right now, the tree probably can't handle so much stress in a short time. You probably repotted it a bit too late in season already. If it survives you can repot it next repotting season. For English oak that starts in november...
 

jimjitsu

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Thanks for your advice.
Is there anything I should be doing with the tree from now until November (Other than watering)?
 

jimjitsu

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Thanks!
I have considered another acorn. Also, there were another 3-4 trees at his house that I may go back and rescue.
I would love to keep this tree alive though, I'm worried that I may have caused more harm than good already.

Jim.
 

Solaris

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I would love to keep this tree alive though, I'm worried that I may have caused more harm than good already.

Jim.
Did it already have leaves out when you trimmed its roots, or were they still buds?
 

jimjitsu

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Did it already have leaves out when you trimmed its roots, or were they still buds?

No leaves, just buds. The leaves appeared about 2 weeks after trimming the roots.
 
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Hi Jim, what a wonderful legacy from your Grandad ! You've come to the right place for good bonsai advice. I'm quite new myself, and have learned a great deal reading old posts and using the "search" function. For me, the most important thing besides learning, is patience.

Read up on how to collect trees, and then go and get some more from your Grandad's homeplace!
 

Kurt Parker

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You probably did it right. Been dooing oaks for 20+ years. Including English oak. If the soil is friable(well draining) water and regular organic fertilizer. Good sun and time. Dont let the pot overheat in direct sun>85 f. Go get the other trees!
Don't let the new growth get too long, after the third set.. trim the newest leaf bud set. It will force a twin bud. Good luck.
 

Kurt Parker

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Hi everyone,

I recently inherited an oak tree from my Grandad. It's thought to be somewhere between 27 - 33 years old. The story is that I gave him an acorn when I was little and asked him to grow it for me, turns out he did!
View attachment 191808

It may have been a little neglected over the last few years, but I would love to keep this tree going in his memory, unfortunately I know nothing about Bonsai! I have begun my education on the net and youtube, but I'm looking for something more specific to my tree.
I removed a few branches that didn't have leaves forming and I trimmed about 30% of the roots as they had formed a huge tangled mess. The branches look very sparse to me, but I'm not sure what to do next!

Any advice / guidance would be fantastic!

Thanks,
Jim.

P.s I'm in the UK and the tree has lived it's whole life outdoors.
Are you sure it is OAK? Leaves look like BEECH. GOOD TREE. Balance of oxygen n water....
 

milehigh_7

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When you have soil that's compacted or holds too much water, the problem it has is a lack of oxygen. You can sort of supplement the normal balance of things by watering about once a week with a solution of water and 3% peroxide at a ratio of between 16:1 and 20:1. This will also help control unwanted pathogens and insects in the soil. It's not a bad looking tree at all! Welcome to your new life!
 

hemmy

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I'm in the UK

Cool story! If you haven’t check out www.bonsai4me.com, great articles from a UK professional. I also suggest checking out your local bonsai club. Even if you decide you don’t want to get that involved, I bet you could find someone experienced to help you prune or repot the next time it is due.

I know you guys don’t get that hot and oaks can take full sun, but the pictured spot is going to give off a lot of radiant heat from the rocks, bricks, and sidewalk. It might not be a problem for you, but it is something to keep in mind.
 

jimjitsu

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Thanks everyone, for the advice and for such a warm welcome to the forums.

This is what I've picked up so far:
  • Move the tree away from bricks etc.
  • Water weekly with a water/peroxide mix.
  • Re-pot in November with bonsai soil.
  • and rescue the other trees!
If the above sounds correct, where does pruning the branches fit in?

Thanks again,

Jim
 

hemmy

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This is what I've picked up so far:
  • Move the tree away from bricks etc.
  • Water weekly with a water/peroxide mix.
  • Re-pot in November with bonsai soil.
  • and rescue the other trees!
If the above sounds correct, where does pruning the branches fit in?

The weekly peroxide recommendation is for the frequency for that treatment. You may be doing a normal watering more often or less often depending on your climate and the water needs of the tree. Some people poke a chopstick into the soil to gauge the moisture in the middle and bottom. Desired moisture level is damp not saturated. You won’t want your organic soil to get very dry or it becomes hard to re-wet it. Some mulch, spaghnum moss, or a towel are all ways to retain surface moisture in the summer.

Repotting this fall is going to be depended on how it grows, you’ll probably want to check back here or another source.

Post #9 mentions pruning to keep growth tight, but let it leaf out and post some more pics for advice. You may want to let it grow for a season or longer to build up resources
 

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