Show us your Oak (Quercus) Pre-Bonsai

Leo in N E Illinois

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@Dan92119
I would not try a literati with your oak. I would continue to grow out, you need larger diameters for your trunks. You need to keep them growing. Look for Walter Pall article on hedge pruning. You want to get more branches, more leaf surface area and at the same time get and keep lower branches on these. If these were mine I'd spend the next 3 to 5 years growing larger diameter trunks. Keep 'em growing. You will have better choices for styling in 5 years. What you have now does not give you any really good options. Grow them out.
 

Potawatomi13

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@Dan92119
I would not try a literati with your oak. I would continue to grow out, you need larger diameters for your trunks. You need to keep them growing. Look for Walter Pall article on hedge pruning. You want to get more branches, more leaf surface area and at the same time get and keep lower branches on these. If these were mine I'd spend the next 3 to 5 years growing larger diameter trunks. Keep 'em growing. You will have better choices for styling in 5 years. What you have now does not give you any really good options. Grow them out.
Unsure if you have anti Literati bias but since all trunks so thin/uninspiring presently why not do literati? Cork bark trunk would be awesome and have not seen CB Oak literati yet this site;). Or at all.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Unsure if you have anti Literati bias but since all trunks so thin/uninspiring presently why not do literati? Cork bark trunk would be awesome and have not seen CB Oak literati yet this site;). Or at all.
Pots, you know as well as I do that the most difficult to do well style is literati. The OP, @miker has been around a while, he probably knows this too, but should he be less experienced, he might not realize how few literati attempts actually turn into a pleasing bonsai. Literati style, traditionally was only conifers, only relatively recently has it been attempted with deciduous trees. The few good ones are great, but generally if you want to see a parade of inferior looking trees, look at attempts to create literati with deciduous trees. When it works, it works, but you've been around long enough to know how rare a good deciduous literati really is.

Second - what is the best feature of the species Quercus suber when it comes to bonsai? Why the bark of course. A slender trunk simply does not show off this trait to best advantage. A good cork oak bonsai has a large diameter trunk with nice craggy bark and the branches and foliage are places to frame this wonderful feature. A slender literati trunk will not show off the bark. Style a tree to its strengths, why pick a style that does not emphasize the good features?
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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May as well put up what I have, right now my lone oak.
Bur oak seedling's first summer was 2012. So 6 growing seasons old.
It will need many more years and a larger nursery pot to get enough caliper to get beyond the pre-bonsai phase.
Trunk is roughly 3/4 inch diameter, or 1.9 cm diameter.
Largest leaves, 12 inches, smallest about 5 inches. I think in the future, leaves should reduce nicely with ramification. Will need 3 or 4 levels of ramification to get size down.

IMG_20181106_153334795.jpg

IMG_20181106_153400861.jpg

IMG_20181106_153422078.jpg
 

Hack Yeah!

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May as well put up what I have, right now my lone oak.
Bur oak seedling's first summer was 2012. So 6 growing seasons old.
It will need many more years and a larger nursery pot to get enough caliper to get beyond the pre-bonsai phase.
Trunk is roughly 3/4 inch diameter, or 1.9 cm diameter.
Largest leaves, 12 inches, smallest about 5 inches. I think in the future, leaves should reduce nicely with ramification. Will need 3 or 4 levels of ramification to get size down.

View attachment 216527

View attachment 216528

View attachment 216529
Damn that's a big leaf!
 

Johnathan

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@Leo in N E Illinois thats HUGE!! I thought I had a burr oak, but after seeing that size, I think its a post oak.

Anyway, Here is a water oak that I wired up recently. It'll be bare-rooted and planted into 100% DE, in a pond basket, in the spring. Hopefully late 2019 or 2020 it'll be placed into the ground.
 

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Potawatomi13

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Pots, you know as well as I do that the most difficult to do well style is literati. The OP, @miker has been around a while, he probably knows this too, but should he be less experienced, he might not realize how few literati attempts actually turn into a pleasing bonsai. Literati style, traditionally was only conifers, only relatively recently has it been attempted with deciduous trees. The few good ones are great, but generally if you want to see a parade of inferior looking trees, look at attempts to create literati with deciduous trees. When it works, it works, but you've been around long enough to know how rare a good deciduous literati really is.

Second - what is the best feature of the species Quercus suber when it comes to bonsai? Why the bark of course. A slender trunk simply does not show off this trait to best advantage. A good cork oak bonsai has a large diameter trunk with nice craggy bark and the branches and foliage are places to frame this wonderful feature. A slender literati trunk will not show off the bark. Style a tree to its strengths, why pick a style that does not emphasize the good features?
Think positive. Why be so negative:confused:?
 

jbogard

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Just brought home this blackjack oak I believe it could make a nice bonsai despite its currently large leaf size.
 

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jbogard

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This other guy isn’t really even prebonsai yet but if it lives it shoul be something to look at eventually. It’s supposed to be a Buckley oak but it could be a hybrid with a shumard oak as well. This species of oak can can put on a fall show with vibrant red leaves so I can’t wait to see what the future holds
 

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parhamr

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I’ve continued to learn about my coast live oak. They do well in colanders, so long as they’re regularly watered. (Though they still are drought tolerant.)
F322B2D6-6CC5-445E-A3DB-21014DCF9B8A.jpeg

I worried I was taking a big risk on chopping this one but it was healthy and has exploded with new growths! I’m working on chasing the foliage down the trunk and in another year or two I may have a shohin well underway. Those bottom branches are also strong and healthy.
 

Potawatomi13

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kevinlovett86

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Behold my mighty oak, probably the only one for thousands of miles
I haven’t seen any weird twisty ones, so I reckon it’s best to keep it natural looking
48E6A5F9-96E6-45B8-B3EB-E4A544E3D717.jpeg
 

Dan92119

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Behold my mighty oak, probably the only one for thousands of miles
I haven’t seen any weird twisty ones, so I reckon it’s best to keep it natural looking
View attachment 312280
Question: why do you say “probably the only one for thousands of miles”? I took it as there aren’t oaks in China so I looked it up there are three native oaks. Is yours a native? How are the Chinese oaks for bonsai?
 

Mikecheck123

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Here's my canyon live oak (q. chrysolepsis). Looking to make a shohin.

Those spines HURT! They are stiffer and sharper than holly spines.

IMG_20200610_071750.jpg
 

Eckhoffw

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My 2 red oaks. Both collected last fall (2019).
very different reactions from the 2 this year.
but..... they both live. At least for now 👍859E0068-AB41-4BA0-BAFC-99629CE2BD2A.jpeg
 

n8y

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This is my cork oak (Quercus suber), which is from old nursery stock. Chopped several years ago by my mentor. I am working on thickening the lower limbs by letting them run wild while trying to keep the stronger growth on top in check.

We have an old cork oak orchard nearby that was mostly removed during World War II to supply cork. Lots of seedlings and small trees that I may be able to get my hands on.

IMG_7153.JPG

I have dozens of valley oaks (Quercus lobata) like these, all seedlings popped out of my backyard or neighbor's yards, or started from acorns by my kids. It'll be decades, but good to learn from.

I am surrounded by giant valley oaks and have tons of potential yamadori within walking distance of my house but am very hesitant to dig any up due to their dependence on extremely deep tap roots. Nobody at the local club seems to have any success with them. Blue oaks (Quercus douglasii) have similar tap roots, but I found some on BLM land nearby growing on basalt. They may have a shallower root ball in that situation. Going back next spring with a permit.

IMG_7157.jpg IMG_7159.jpg
 

John P.

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Nice ones, everyone!

@n8y I think you’ll have something with the lobata sooner than you’re expecting. They can grow really fast.
 
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jbogard

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The first two are Quercus buckleyi and the last tree is a Quercus buckleyi x marilandica. These were collected within the last year. In my limited experience these trees take well to collection. These photos are about a month or so old and the trees have grown out even more since then. DAD7882A-B01A-41FE-9764-C4D57A1E38D0.jpegD6E85CA5-BF80-4B7B-85E0-5B03B5560B5D.jpeg558F60D7-580B-4789-9D53-7456D183241E.jpegB03FEEA4-70E5-46B1-AE57-1B21606D061D.jpeg
 
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