"Urban Yamadori" Berberis

Gsquared

Shohin
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A church near me was ripping out a parking lot and this big berberis was over on the cast off debris pile. It had been mostly covered in dirt, but I wrapped it in plastic and took it home. The few roots that were left looked fairly strong, so I potted it up an am keeping my fingers crossed that it lives. The shoots and buds look strong, not dried out at all, and there are even some on old wood.

I love the craggy bark and the broken off stumps look remarkably natural for an unworked tree.

It is big. I potted in a #7 container 13.5 inches across the top, 10 inches across on the trunk bases at widest point.

Please live, please live, please live!

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Paulpash

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Lol you might live to regret it survived - it's even more hazardous to wire than Hawthorn. Great trunk - they bark up very early on too which is a bonus.
 

rockm

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The big problem with them is they don't ramify branching very well...nice trunk though.
 

Gsquared

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Well, the trunk was really what caught my eye. I do think that there's a good chance it will root. There were a couple of pinkie sized roots that had been cut when it was pulled and a few clusters of nice fine roots on the other side. The trunk might be able to sustain it until I get some roots growing again. I may wire up twig or two to get some movement, if their placement seems right. Otherwise I think it would be good to let it run for now to regain strength.
 

Giga

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free and good trunk - you can't complain about that! Good luck on the ramification
 

Gsquared

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Update on the urban yamadori berberis: I found another one from the remodeled parking lot. This one has a lot more branching and potential ramification. Trunk isn’t quite as girth, but overall shape seems to have more potential. As a guess this one will probably be styled like an old live oak; meandering branches, octopus style. Seems to lend itself to that.
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jriddell88

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Wire shoots early while their still pliable the woody branches will become very brittle and will be a waste unless your going to clip and grow , I’ve had old gnarly stumps with little to no roots potted up and produce a full rootball in a season, I just got mine into it’s first real pot the other day , I let it go for a while after major chops and collection , had a full mass of roots

I threw a couple away I wish I wouldn’t have now , bummer

Their color is awesome throughout the entire year , mine turn mostly orange in the fall
 

Gsquared

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Wire shoots early while their still pliable the woody branches will become very brittle and will be a waste unless your going to clip and grow , I’ve had old gnarly stumps with little to no roots potted up and produce a full rootball in a season, I just got mine into it’s first real pot the other day , I let it go for a while after major chops and collection , had a full mass of roots

I threw a couple away I wish I wouldn’t have now , bummer

Their color is awesome throughout the entire year , mine turn mostly orange in the fall
Thanks for the advice. I took about 20% of the upper mass off. Mostly shortening, removing dead branches. As I was looking at the long sucker shoots, was thinking, "should I put a little wire on these?" Got my answer, and thank you!

I thinking this is a species that has a lot of good visual qualities, in spite of the less desirable growing issues. Color is number one on this variety. Red leaves that change to burgundy, sulfur yellow flowers, red berries and yellow to orange to red in the fall. The hedges of this stuff that grow around here are awesome in the fall. Fantastic bark (eventually) and cool bright yellow wood when you trim a branch.
 

jriddell88

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The grow branchlets and develop very quickly , frankly I feel they are under-utilized as bonsai subjects

Tiny leaves , great bark , color throughout the year , develop extremely fast , they can be painful to work on , just cut the throns off before you wire , again just be sure to get them wired before the lignify , if you don’t don’t be afraid to cut back hard they will bud on old craggy wood no problem , you will actually get tired of pruning away all the shoots they send out in all the wrong places .

I trim mine back multiple times a year
 

my nellie

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Very nice findings!
Apart from what @jriddell88 said about this plant, I also have found that "clip & grow" is the method of choice because (at least in my conditions) wired branches refuse to stay where you train them to be :D
Good luck with them!
 

Gsquared

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Update on the berberiseseseseses. They’ve made it for the first two months. The first one is sprouting like mad. The second seems a little behind, but I did collect it about 2 weeks later,so not surprised. Tons of tiny buds opening up.

Following advice here, I wired some of the thin branches, and even at a toothpick diameter, they are brittle and snap unpredictably. So the new shoots are getting little scrap-wire hooks pulling them down so they aren’t growing straight up. Even if they are just drooping downward, that is okay. The growing tip starts pointing up again in a couple of days. It is amazing how quickly they set, so I move the hook out to the tip again and get a little more movement as the shoot extends. I doubt I will use even half of the shoots, but I’m trying to get a little movement in them right away.
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Gsquared

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Another update on the two berberis. One went gangbusters, with shoots and massive, vigorous growth. The second went to plant heaven. Not really sure why because #1 had a much more frail looking root system when I found them. But that is how the cookie crumbles or the bee bumbles.

I’ve been trying to get movement into the new shoots by taking hooks of wire and pulling the shoots downward. They continue to lengthen and grow back up toward the light, so then I move the hook to a new position farther out the tip and repeat. It may not be the perfect way to do it for most species, but berberis has such brittle wood that it seems like the only way to get movement in a shoot is to wire it while still very tender. Wrapping wire crushes the stem, so this was my solution...until I come up with a better one! Once fall comes around I will have a chance to thin out the shoots and decide where the keepers are.

Alava shalom to the one that didn’t make it.
 
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For first work g on thin branches wiring works. Guy wires on older or to vigorous shoots. And yes they bow and grow up like crazy. You will need to place secondary branches and let the end of the primary extend upward to get thickening going. Once they are set the problem is new shoots grow upward instead of outward. After spring flush cut the bad ones back to a good facing bud. Do the same in fall. Thin leaves and branches (they sprout everywhere) in summer. Nice material. I like the yellow wood...
 

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