Greenfileds

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Hi all! I have come across a small oak tree that has grown in a unusual shape and was wanting some ideas on what to do with it? I believe it looks interesting with the trunk bending how it’s grown. I would like it shorter to start with so how far can I take it back with the tree still being healthy? The trunk is around a inch and a half at its widest and I Was thinking to leave it in the ground for now, is that a good idea? Thankyou
 
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Where are you located?
What species of oak?
What is your long term goal for the tree?
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Usually, you can prune and oak to as short as 10 cm, or 4 inches tall, and get sufficient back budding. But if it is in the ground, competing with grass, other trees and weeds, it may die. Best bet would be to harvest the tree, prune short and pot into a grow out container or plant in a grow bed where it will not be competing with other trees and weeds. Do the collection and pruning short all in the same day. You will save time that way.
 

Greenfileds

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Usually, you can prune and oak to as short as 10 cm, or 4 inches tall, and get sufficient back budding. But if it is in the ground, competing with grass, other trees and weeds, it may die. Best bet would be to harvest the tree, prune short and pot into a grow out container or plant in a grow bed where it will not be competing with other trees and weeds. Do the collection and pruning short all in the same day. You will save time that way.
Thankyou very much, I will order some bonsai soil mix. It’s in a bed at the moment that does get a nice amount of sun. It’s not having to compete and has a fair bit of room around it. Do you still think I should collect it and pot it? I have posted pictures to another reply if you would like to take a look, thanks
 

Greenfileds

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Where are you located?
What species of oak?
What is your long term goal for the tree?
Hi, I am in the midlands,UK and I believe it is a Oregon. Well long term I would like it to be a lot thicker trucked with smaller leaves which I guess is always the case but just wanted help with styling suggestions as it is a unusual shape. I have uploaded pics on another reply if you would like to take a look.
 

augustine

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Will take a very long time to thicken and develop, decades maybe. Plus leaves are large which will require a larger Bonsai to be in proportion.

plus the taproot
 
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Hi, I am in the midlands,UK and I believe it is a Oregon. Well long term I would like it to be a lot thicker trucked with smaller leaves which I guess is always the case but just wanted help with styling suggestions as it is a unusual shape. I have uploaded pics on another reply if you would like to take a look.


I dealt with a similar oak last year. I dug it and put it in a pot but you can leave in ground to let it grow thicker if you want. One option is to take a spade and cut around the tree and lift it, cut tap root and slide a board or tile or flat rock under it to generate outward growing roots and then leave it back in the ground for a while.

It looks like it could also be planted at a new angle for a nice informal upright tree.
 

Greenfileds

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I dealt with a similar oak last year. I dug it and put it in a pot but you can leave in ground to let it grow thicker if you want. One option is to take a spade and cut around the tree and lift it, cut tap root and slide a board or tile or flat rock under it to generate outward growing roots and then leave it back in the ground for a while.

It looks like it could also be planted at a new angle for a nice informal upright tree.
Thankyou for the advice! I wouldn’t have thought about digging it up and replanting at a different angle! Very clever thinking

thanks
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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If it is in a growing bed, and you can get that clump of grass next to it out of there, I would do exactly as @Orion_metalhead suggested, lift the tree, prune the roots, especially the downward roots, then put it back in place. Keep the weeds away, and give it a couple more years of "trunking up".
 

Greenfileds

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If it is in a growing bed, and you can get that clump of grass next to it out of there, I would do exactly as @Orion_metalhead suggested, lift the tree, prune the roots, especially the downward roots, then put it back in place. Keep the weeds away, and give it a couple more years of "trunking up".
Yes I will be able to dig the grass up or I may move it else where in the ground as the wall is in the way really. Thankyou for your help I appreciate it. Is it best to carry on letting it grow in the soil or shall I get some bonsai mix and put this around it in the ground?
 

Greenfileds

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I would do some research into ground growing methods. There are a number of possible things to do. If it were me, I would backfill with a looser, gritty mix for air and root generation.
Yes I am thinking the same

I will do a proper post on the tree when I start going ahead and post link to it on here if you are interested in it’s future
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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If you are able to keep an eye on it, and water when needed, then back fill with bonsai mix. But if you want to be able to "forget it", back fill with the original dirt from the ground. Then it will be able to get by on rain water mostly. Changing the soil will change how often it needs to be watered. If you almost never water that bed, then use the same dirt.
 

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