Shakin' the bush Boss! Just shakin' the Bush!

JimmyBeefshank

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I've learned a few neat tricks over the years. A few real gems too, but I think you folks might appreciate a thread dedicated to one of my favorites.
Somehow I successfully managed to convince a bunch of people that they should pay me handsomely to expand and maintain their gardenscapes. A sweet fringe benefit soon appeared as more and more people offered me acutal money to collect new pre-bonsai material from their property. Real USD for diggin' taters! Where I come from that's called "Booyah!"
Anyway, I decided to start this thread to chronicle the collection of these sexy spuds.
I promise you there are methods in my madness and madness in my methods but the percentages are anyone's guess. All trees speak to me, but I only hang on to the ones that have something interesting to say to me.
 

JimmyBeefshank

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Here is the stump I will call Honeysuckle 1. I liked the spud-like knot above the soil line and the fat spread of the roots. It's potted in a 50/50 mix of hydroton and Promix HP, lightly topdressed with Osmacote.
It had plenty of fine roots and should survive fine.
I would draw a virtual for what I hope it looks like in ten years but we all know that this tree is going to do whatever the hell it wants to. I'll keep ya posted.
 

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JimmyBeefshank

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Here we have Honeysuckle 2. She's a monster. Also plenty of fine roots on this one but I rootslayed most of 'em so I hope it lives. It should, these things are invasive AF around here but even if it dies I still get to keep the $150 I made digging it out so it's a win. This one is also potted in 50/50 hydroton and Promix HP. No Osmacote in this one though, I wanted to go easy on her poor mangled feeders for now.
 

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JimmyBeefshank

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This is Oriental Bittersweet 1. Not sure if it's a male or female but obviously I'm hoping for berries. It is nestled in a blue thrift shop collander filled with 60/40 Napa 8282 and Hydroton. I dig the grithy burl at the base and I plan on trying to coax this thing into a broom like shape.
 

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JimmyBeefshank

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Booyah!

Sorce
It's the little things in life ya know?

A customer asked me to remove this small Speckled Alder today, Alnus Incana spp. Rugosa. I took a fancy to it and brought it home. It had already started to build some taper and it had decent nebari so I flattered out the pathetic little tap root and got rid of a few more that didn't see it my way. I love high water tables for keeping rootballs flat and fine. I stuck it in a brown plastic basket from the dollar store and packed it tight with 80/20 Napa 8282 and Hydroton.
 

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Shibui

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I don't normally worry about the initial chop when collecting. Most species will respond with lots of buds down the trunk but it is hard to predict where. Wait for buds and for the new shoots to grow and harden a bit before choosing where to make the final cut.
Some nice nebari and some thick trunks here but I think it will be long time before any will be bonsai. Hope you have some good carving tools and skills to help disguise the cuts and lack of taper.

Keep looking and collecting though, some really great material can turn up if you look hard and long enough.
 

JimmyBeefshank

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I expect a bit if carving will be needed and a welcome bit of fun along the way, I'm in no hurry.
 

rockm

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I'd love some input on thI think I should have chopped the Alder lower, maybe like so?
I've always found that leaving more trunk initially gives you more apex options down the road. I NEVER chop to "final" height just after collection. I wait at least a year before doing that to see what develops. I also mostly don't do any more work on collected trees for at least two years post-dig.. That's out of consideration for the tree's health, but also gives me space to cool off about the tree and consider where I want to got with it. In other words, time allows me to prevent myself from causing irreparable design flaws in the after-collection excitement.
 

JimmyBeefshank

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I've always found that leaving more trunk initially gives you more apex options down the road. I NEVER chop to "final" height just after collection. I wait at least a year before doing that to see what develops. I also mostly don't do any more work on collected trees for at least two years post-dig.. That's out of consideration for the tree's health, but also gives me space to cool off about the tree and consider where I want to got with it. In other words, time allows me to prevent myself from causing irreparable design flaws in the after-collection excitement.
That's good to hear, I know that collection is hard enough on a tree without being repeatedly pinched and prodded. I've only been a student of bonsai for three years but I find that I have a tendency to leave far too much trunk. I do this in effort to leave the tree with more stored energy with which to recover but later I often wonder if I haven't set development back by not having the balls to chop lower.
I can definitely relate to that post collection excitement. The thrill of the chop. It's good to know the seasoned vets still get that rush.
 

JimmyBeefshank

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Lol @Smoke
No need my man, I backed the floodlight out a few turns while I was over borrowing a D cup of sugar from his wife the other day.
Dig it.

Here's a little Malus that I couldn't leave behind. Looks like some rabbits had their way with it at one point, good on them. I like the live veins and the hard lean. The deadwood kinda looks like deadwood I've seen on gnarly old apple trees. Maybe one day it'll turn into something neat...
 

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Smoke

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Lol @Smoke
No need my man, I backed the floodlight out a few turns while I was over borrowing a D cup of sugar from his wife the other day.
Dig it.

Here's a little Malus that I couldn't leave behind. Looks like some rabbits had their way with it at one point, good on them. I like the live veins and the hard lean. The deadwood kinda looks like deadwood I've seen on gnarly old apple trees. Maybe one day it'll turn into something neat...
Careful a D cup will ruin the cake
 

Shibui

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Looks like some rabbits had their way with it at one point,
Could also be line trimmer damage. I saw a lot of that at one place and initially though rabbits but realised it was all very low on the trunks where rabbits tend to reach up a bit. Mentioned it to the owner. I think hubby got a serve when he came home.:oops:
 

JimmyBeefshank

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Could also be line trimmer damage. I saw a lot of that at one place and initially though rabbits but realised it was all very low on the trunks where rabbits tend to reach up a bit. Mentioned it to the owner. I think hubby got a serve when he came home.:oops:
This tree wasn't actually part of the landscape. It was in a field about 100 yards away, probably seed by the Malus in the landscape. There were a bunch of them all loaded with red buds. These naturalized trees are all on their own roots too which is nice because most of the landscape trees here are grafted.
 

JimmyBeefshank

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Next up is an old landscape azalea. The previous owner wanted it replaced with a different one because it was in such bad shape. It was planted in very poor backfill sand which had been covered with a few inches of top soil and mulched. I suspected that it only needed a hard shot of organic acidity, but because English is her second language I had a hard time communicating my diagnosis. English as a second language was no hindrance in her communications though.
"Pink Flower Bush No Good!"
"All Leaf Gone!"
"You Replace!"

It was in really bad shape when I dug it out, but to be fair not ALL the leaves we're gone but the few that remained we're pretty yellow. It had also never been pruned for structure only shape and there was a ton of dead wood going in every direction. I cut all the dead stuff off before I dug it and because it was so weak I didn't dare bare root it, just knocked the course sand off the bottom of the root ball, replaced it with potting mix, and stuck it in a nursery can.
That was three weeks ago and now that I'm pretty sure it's going to pull through it's time to post some shots.
Anyone else see the potential for a sweet semi cascade?
 

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Flounder61

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Beefshan! Nice azalea. I have 2 that are similar to yours....how can I get those yellow leaves greened up? I started fertilizing w/a Miracle-Gro for acid loving plants....but I am new to the practice and just want to keep them alive for a while before I start designing. Any tips?????
 

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