Newly Collected Privet/Ligustrum

Rateeluck

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This was today's project. My wife hates privet but they have been providing a nice privacy fence in our yard. I dug up this one as an experiment. Have 2 more clumps to dig up now that are larger than this one. First time building a grow box, it's 32"x32" My wife is so excited it's out of the ground. Was pleasantly surprised how flat and shallow the roots were. Has a pretty nice base.

Thanks for looking
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Forsoothe!

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I think I would have sawed them into several, or maybe two, individual clumps, favoring what would look good as opposed to exactly which parts were separate individuals originally because they all seemed to have grafted into one giant unit. That might sacrifice a significant portion of the mass, but then you would have at least two clumps with arrangements that are complimentary as opposed to what you have in the box which will be pretty hard to "style". Air space between trees becomes more important as they fill out over time. My personal preference for clumps is an oval where the arrangement is wider than front-to-rear depth. The two clumps which are in this one could do that nicely if separated for that purpose.

Keep in mind that it just might be better if some pieces of the three diggings are pared off to join in such a plan, so that you are not limited to only using the pieces of the three clumps individually within the three sets, but use the pieces to mix & match smaller clumps that look good together.
 
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Shibui

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Privet is almost bomb proof here. They are environmental weeds and your wife would find herself among friends. based on experience here I have no doubt this will survive and thrive.

The grow box should give good regrowth to develop the trees. I hope you cut those roots back a bit further before potting it? They will have to be cut at some stage in order to fit a bonsai pot and collection appears to be the best time to do so. 99% of new roots grow from the cut ends of roots so just lightly trimming roots does not seem to stimulate new feeders closer to the trunk and chopping long roots later when the tree has branches and a developed canopy puts far more stress on the tree. They seem to survive just as well with shortened roots so I cut hard at this stage rather than putting it off for future.

Trunk lines are a bit crowded and confused at the moment but there's plenty of time to sort out which to keep after it recovers. i can see some good lines among those trunks so it should make a good multi trunk some day.
Consider chopping the trunks a little shorter for the next one you dig. Long, thin trunks are OK for clumps and groups but those may just be a little too long as they are. I have also noted a tendency for most new buds and shoots to grow closer to the top of chopped trunks so pruning lower gives better options when the new shoots emerge. It is also common for people to chop at the height they want the bonsai to end up. It seems we forget that trees will always grow taller and growing new apex adds a significant amount to an already tall trunk.
 

Rateeluck

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Thank you both for taking the time to reply, great ideas I will definitely consider. I should go ahead and trim the longer roots and trunks back now. I probably have a regular pot I could fit it in if I do and save the box for the larger clump I plan to dig.

Thanks again for the insights
 

Rateeluck

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Collected privet clump, take 2:

Shortened the big roots and trunks. I wanted to cut the big roots back more but was getting worried I was losing most of the feeder roots, will have to revisit them later.

I cut about 2/3 off the trunks and I think it has a lot more options for future styling. No beer today (workday) so I hope the tools work for scale

Thanks again for the advise and critiques @Shibui and @Forsoothe!

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Shibui

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I wanted to cut the big roots back more but was getting worried I was losing most of the feeder roots, will have to revisit them later.
We all need to stop where we feel comfortable. I have seen the results often enough that I am now confident that feeder roots don't matter all that much. Larger roots are just as capable of growing new roots from the cut ends. Smaller roots will also do this but in less time so I am now confident to cut roots of easy species right back to stumps - feeder roots or not.

The trunk height to diameter looks like it will be much better proportion for any possible bonsai development. Cutting down there allows scope to grow new trunks that will have good taper.

I am not quite as excited about the trunk arrangements on these 2 as the other one. There just does not seem to be any shape or variation or something in the size and arrangement of the trunks. You may be able to find something I am missing when the new shoots have grown. It is amazing what a difference just taking out a couple of trunks can make.

Worst case you could probably pass these on to some unsuspecting newbie to hone their skills when you still can't see any way forward.

Fingers crossed these all recover and grow well.
 

Rateeluck

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We all need to stop where we feel comfortable. I have seen the results often enough that I am now confident that feeder roots don't matter all that much. Larger roots are just as capable of growing new roots from the cut ends. Smaller roots will also do this but in less time so I am now confident to cut roots of easy species right back to stumps - feeder roots or not.

The trunk height to diameter looks like it will be much better proportion for any possible bonsai development. Cutting down there allows scope to grow new trunks that will have good taper.

I am not quite as excited about the trunk arrangements on these 2 as the other one. There just does not seem to be any shape or variation or something in the size and arrangement of the trunks. You may be able to find something I am missing when the new shoots have grown. It is amazing what a difference just taking out a couple of trunks can make.

Worst case you could probably pass these on to some unsuspecting newbie to hone their skills when you still can't see any way forward.

Fingers crossed these all recover and grow well.
Thanks for the reply. Sorry for not being clear but all the images in this thread are of the same clump. I do have 2 more that have yet to be dug up - I will make a new thread for those so it's easier for me to keep track of progress. If these do not turn in to anything, I'm not worried. This is good practice and experimenting like this brings me a lot of joy.

Here is what I'm seeing as the front and a rough plan forward. Would obviously be taller but the picture is focused on the base.

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Thanks again!
 

Rateeluck

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Its been almost a month ,any surge of bud swells taking off?
Heya! After about 2 weeks, some buds started to form on the smaller trunks of the clump. Here are some pics from today, 19 days after I dug it up.
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I thought this thing was pretty sizable when I dug it. Last weekend, I relieved my wife's burden of the remaining privet in the yard. Here's a picture of my spoils. The clump this thread is based on is the one in the back. I'll start a new thread about the big guy. Cheers
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Rateeluck

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Finally some greenage and buds forming on the larger trunks. Calluses are forming and pushing on the duct seal I used for the wounds.


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Forsoothe!

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Ya know how I hate to be picky, but you are on a path to Nowhere. That's Nowhere, Nada. You are allowing in your mind the un-plan of a bunch of low branches which are going to be nothing more than replacements for the trunks that existed before you chopped. The whole purpose of collecting something and chopping and is to secure for yourself and posterity big low trunks from which you allow and control major branches to grow. You tolerate the big roots in order to get trunks that larger size. By allowing this low, -too low, growth of stuff, you contravene the whole process. Truth is, you chopped too low, eliminating options and now you need to recombobulate your plans and keep picking off buds and twigs that are too low on the trunks, only allowing growth at the tops, and outward facing, and almost nothing in the center of the cluster. That may mean that one or more trunks that will not throw out branches in useful locations, that is: high enough and facing useful airspace be removed completely. Bite the bullet, muy pronto, or eat shit later when the mess is too crowded to get your tools in there. Also, get some light wire and wire all the twigs so they are aimed at the airspace you allow in your plan. Do that very carefully, -they only have to be bent to the right direction. Your plan that you need to scribble on a piece of paper to guide you so you both limit and control what grows because this is very, very crowded and bonsai is two things: controlled growing and making air space for the birdies to fly through. Left to its own devices this will be nothing more than a bush with no definition or character. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but better now than too late which is just over the horizon.
 

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