Urban Yamadori?

mholt

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Was in a Chicago suburb over the weekend for a wedding and saw this tree in front of the hotel. It caught my eye and I kept returning to it and took some photos with my camera phone. I don't know what kind of pine it is and made me wonder at what stage the tree was when it was planted as it certainly doesn't seem to have taken on growth that would appeal to a city's or hotel's landscape scheme. Maybe it got ran over or abused. I don't know. Well, I found it intriguing enough to wonder if others saw bonsai potential in it as well. If I were to pursue it further, I was wondering what actions to take? I'm not sure if it's the hotel's or the city's property and would probably ask the hotel first. Maybe they would take a "better" tree in return. I'm posting here to see if the yes's and no's will aid in persuading me one way or another.

Thanks,
Matt
 

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rockm

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You could ask--in the spring if they want to get rid of "that ugly pine." I'd bet that they won't and probably value the tree greatly.--but you never know...

It's rather useless as it is now IMO, for bonsai material. I'd be more excited if it were a deciduous species, as radical pruning could produced something quite nice in a few years. Since it's a pine radical redesign of the ugly three pronged apex could take a very long time...
 

mholt

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Thank you Rock. I kept studying it, willing it to become a deciduous tree or at least trying to figure out what one would do with this ugly pine (if anything). The major "bends" seem rather high and eliminating all but one and doing severe bending might yield some potential...in my mind at least. Looking at some of those long sparse Ponderosas out there, made me wonder if this could follow a similar course.
 

Bill S

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Bet that sucker gets a heap of snow piled on it, year after year. I agree with rock, lot of work and time for this one.
 

mholt

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I understand what you guys are saying so is it best to say it's just not worth it and that there just isn't enough good intrinsic characteristics to warrant the hassle? Bill, you're probably right regarding the snow. Being at an intersection, the plows probably just pile right over it with snow! Well, I went ahead and made a quick and dirty virtual of it. In the image, I hacked a lot off and added a lot. Anyway, just trying to figure out if there is a worthy tree out of this mess.
 

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rockm

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nice virt...buuuutt, did you get a concept for how much root is under this beast? Bed grown pines can have bigger root systems than pine growing on rocks...How much time do you have to get it out? Got a backhoe?

With the complicated top, permission and equipment you'd probably need (not to mention a place to put this thing post-collection) there's quite a bit of baggage with this one.
 

mholt

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Good points Rock. Thanks for bringing me back down to reality! My answer is NO to the roots. No idea...ground is probably frozen solid to inspect. Besides that, my shyness made me feel awkward taking pics of it on this busy corner let alone dig around it. I realise that the roots probably have grown much larger being in a more nutrient-rich soil than one growing in betwen rocks in the mountains BUT I didn't really think too much about it until you brought it up. I have not spoken to anyone to request permission so for all I know it might be off limits or could come at a cost other than a hernia. My inexperience might also lead to it's demise if I did get it out of the ground. A lot of things to think about.
 

rockm

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Sorry, didn't really mean to rain on the parade. The practical things can be killers in the end.

Some more food for thought--you willing to make a grow box big enough to accommodate that root mass? Do you have a place in the yard big enough to house it? Will you be strong enough to move it --soil mass that big will come in waay over 150 lbs, probably closer to 200...

With urban yamadori, you have to consider alot of hurdles and if they're worth jumping for some material. This trunk is pretty nice, but there are a lot of extenuating circumstances and heavy piles of dirt to consider.
 

Bill S

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It's probably a landscape tree planted by the hotel, but it looks like it will be city property, so you might have both to deal with.

I didn't think roots right away either, these will probably be tough to get, not to mention the other tree it's roots are most likely mixed together with. Any idea what pine it is, if it's eastern white ( doesn't look like it) you have long needles to work with as well.
 

mholt

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I have hundreds of board feet of air-dried white oak in the garage (am a hobbyist woodworker) and can build the box and I'm an amateur bodybuilder and always up for a physical challenge as I lift a lot of weight every day. Those are the two things going for me in a project tree like this. There is room in the yard albeit the wife complaining about looking at an ugly tree and strange looks from neighbors. The main things going against me are my lack of collecting experience and finding the correct people to talk to about "replacing" this tree. Overall, my goal I was seeking from posting this thread was to receive comments for or against pursuing the tree. It's an ugly tree and MIGHT have potential and perhaps that's why I kept returning to it because of the intrigue. With all that said, I appreciate your insight on this thread and my other threads you've commented on, Rock. It helps having people comment/critique who have more experience and know the realistic challenges like yourself.
 

mholt

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Didn't really look at the needles. I want to say it was a 2 needle pine. Maybe an Austrian black pine. I don't know, maybe someone else can identify. Pictures aren't high res though.
 

Bill S

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ABP was my thought too. I don't think either of us was telling you no Matt, just making sure you thought it all the way thru. Hey if nothing else it would be an interesting try. It does have potential, just that it has it's negatives too.

If you go for it, bring help, and a camera.:D
 

plant_dr

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Another thing to think about it being that close to the street as it is, there might be cable lines, power, sewer and gas pipes, phone lines, and who knows what other kinds of things the city has under there. I don't know how deep those run or how protected they are, but you wouldn't want to chop one on acccident!
 

mholt

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Yeah! I can just hear people saying, some clown electrocuted himself digging up an ugly tree to stick in a pot (as the city has a black-out)!
 

rockm

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I'm not saying "no," as Bill noted. I'm just saying there are quite a number of logistical issues to address, before you put shovel to earth.

The thoughts about about power, cable, gas and water lines underneath should be noted carefully. If you get permission from the owner, you will probably have to call "miss utility" to get them to mark buried cables. This is not something to skip. Even if you don't electrocute yourself, you may wish you had if you manage to sever a telephone or television cable.You will be liable for all sorts of fines and penalties.

I'd say the trunk is nice, but it's not spectacular. I'd be willing to bet you'd find better in an old neighborhood near you. Permission from a homeowner is much easier to get and the experience would be much less of pain in the rear end.
 

mholt

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The more I sit on it, the more I can say it is NOT a must have piece of material. The points you made as well as others helped emphasize that as well. This is all fine because I think the thread brought up some good reading and analysis of the situation to learn from.
 
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