Willow Oak

theta

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This is the first kind of Oak I've ever messed with, but I'm really liking willow oaks from what I've seen so far. They seem to grow super fast and are really tough. The bark is great too.

I dug this out of my backyard in Feb 2018.

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The roots on this thing were super thick, almost the same size as the trunk. It was getting late that night and I was in a hurry (of course) so I was rushing through it, bare rooted it, hosed it off and cut as much as I could off and stuffed it in a pot. There weren't many fine feeder roots at all, they were pretty thick. I'm not sure if that's normal for this species of Oaks or not.

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The trunk had been damaged from something, bark was torn off and had already healed over. I let it rest and recover all of last year. Here it was a couple of days ago before I cut it back.

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After cut back and wiring for some initial movement in new branches.

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I knew the trunk had been damaged when I first collected it, but I didn't think it was this bad. It seems like most of that whole trunk is dead. I poked around above the top half to see if I could find some green, but it's all brown. Was planning on doing an approach graft up top on the main trunk but it's all dead.

So not really sure where to go from here. Maybe cut back to the branch going off to the right as the new trunk line. I dunno. Anyway it'll be nice to practice some pruning and see how well it ramifies and how small I can get these leaves.
 

Potawatomi13

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Why leave side trunk so straight:confused:? Suggestion to allow dead part of trunk to age and rot back naturally;).
 

Forsoothe!

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Maybe, you overdid the root thing. Next time, the first priority is to transfer from wild to captured without sacrificing the most important component "life", the parts that gather food & drink, and supply the rest of the structure. Or not, as in your case.
 

rockm

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Don't think of it as a willow. Think of it as an oak.

What does a gnarly, ancient oak in the woods look like?
It is a Willow Oak--as in oak (quercus phellos), one of the most common oak species in the south. It's good bonsai candidate, as the leaves reduce and the roots are usually pretty shallow, making collection easy.

The trunk looks like it died back considerably post-collection. Might be due to a number of things, including root reduction (but maybe not). You got several leader options--the best are on the back of the tree in your last photo. I'd reduced the thickest shoot to a third and allow the others to grow untouched for a few years. If you don't get after that strongest shoot now, it will weaken the others and possibly the remaining trunk...
 

Bonsai Nut

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It is a Willow Oak--as in oak (quercus phellos), one of the most common oak species in the south.
My post was somewhat garbled. I know it is an oak. What I probably should have said is "just style it as an old oak with a hollow trunk". Sometimes when I try to get clever with my wording, I only manage to confuse people :) Then I read it a day after I post it... and I confuse myself.
 
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theta

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I knew what you meant @Bonsai Nut Definitely will be looking to nature and gathering some ideas on where to take it from there. Had the same idea of a hollowed out / rotted trunk, I think that could be very cool at some point in the future.

I think I agree about the left leader, will probably cut that back to balance it out with the others. I feel like it's already taken strength from the other leaders. Maybe cut it just above that second branch?
 

namnhi

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My post was somewhat garbled. I know it is an oak. What I probably should have said is "just style it as an old oak with a hollow trunk". Sometimes when I try to get clever with my wording, I only manage to confuse people :) Then I read it a day after I post it... and I confuse myself.
Willow oak does not grow like the one you posted. They tend to grow taller than wide. I haven't seen one like the one you post
 

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