Quercus agrifolia progression

PaulH

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Bought this Coast Live Oak August 2008. I was in a 24" nursery box. Loaded into my truck with a tractor. When I got home I discovered that it was too heavy to move out of my truck. So, knowing full well the risk at that time of year, I Knocked it out of the box, Chainsawed the root ball flat, defoliated it, removed most of the branches and potted it in a large mica training pot.

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Next spring It had lots of new growth!

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First wiring Fall 2009.

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Lived happily through the winter.

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Spring 2010 potted in a Jim Barrett pot.

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Worked on it in a workshop with Ryan Neil in September 2010. At Ryan's suggestion the front was changed 180 degrees and the apex was wrapped in raffia and pulled down toward the new front.

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I defoliated this tree in March 2011 as I usually do with live oaks to stimulate new buds and ramification. This year, however, we had an unusual hard frost in April which killed some of the small branches. Now its in recovery mode and starting to look good again.

Paul
 

rich415

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Looks great! I am wrestling with a couple live oaks myself. You said you defoliate in march, right before the growing season, is this standard practice to get smaller leaves as well? Do you normally defoliate after repotting?

Just trying to figure out how to get better ramification on mine.


Rich
 

PaulH

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Thanks Rich.
Yes, I usually defoliate these at repotting time. It seems to help the tree start growing faster.
I also feed my live oaks every week and foliar feed with Miracle-Gro. Every time I feed with Miracle-Gro I immediately get a burst of new buds all over the tree which helps develop ramification very quickly. As the new buds extend I pinch them as soon as they have two leaves. More ramification = smaller leaves.
I've also noticed that more sun makes smaller leaves and more shade makes bigger leaves.

Paul
 

rich415

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Thanks for the tip! There isn't too much info on these trees. I know there are many locals using them and are very knowledgable but I don't have time to join any clubs and learn from them.

What soil mixture are you using? I get morning fog, so I know mine would have to be different but I am curious.

Rich
 

PaulH

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I use pretty much the same soil mix for all of my trees:
1/3 akadama
1/3 pumice
1/3 lava

I think this is what Boon uses near you so it ought to work there too.

Paul
 

mat

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Thanks for sharing; I always like progression threads. I really like the rounded apex on the post-Ryan Neil image.
 
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discusmike

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Wish i could train live oaks in my neck of the woods,ive always wanted one,by the way yours is very nice,and makes me want one even more!I can imagine how good this tree will look in 5yrs.
 

oakbonsai

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Great tree, Paul. Is this a Yamadori or have you been working on it for a while. Curious as to how long it took to get this thick a trunk.
 

PaulH

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Great tree, Paul. Is this a Yamadori or have you been working on it for a while. Curious as to how long it took to get this thick a trunk.

Nursery tree. See first post in this thread.
I got it from a nursery that specializes in oaks and sells mainly to cities for street trees. They grow all their trees from seed. This one was in a 23" box so may be 25 years old or so.
 

mcpesq817

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Nursery tree. See first post in this thread.
I got it from a nursery that specializes in oaks and sells mainly to cities for street trees. They grow all their trees from seed. This one was in a 23" box so may be 25 years old or so.

If you want a thick oak trunk, one thing you might want to consider is hitting your local nursery in late fall when they have their closeout sales for the end of the season. I picked up a willow oak for probably 20% of what it would normally cost. Of course, your spouse and neighbors might look at you funny for cutting a 15' tree down to a short stump :rolleyes:
 

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