Hi friends. I'm new to the group and bonsai. Wondering if any of you have any tips on collecting scrub oak. There's a ton that needs to get cleared out on my family's property for fire mitigation. Would love to collect one or two but there's not much information in the net about this species. One blog article I read said June-Aug was the best time to collect scrub oak, but that was in the UK. Is that likely to apply here in CO? Also, is pure pumice the best thing to plant it in immediately after collecting?
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Aaron, send me and email and we can come up with a plan. I have a few people in mind that we can consult. email@example.com
Aaron, if the trees are on private property and need to be removed for fire mitigation it might be a good idea to have one or two people from the group come out and see if some might be saved for bonsai. Gambel oak are particularly difficult to collect if they are growing in the ground as a clump as they tend to sucker off the main clump and don't have good root systems. I think that the ones which are usually collected are growing on or in rock basins which allows them to have an individual root system. It we obtain permission from the property owners, evaluating the stand of trees to see if any can be saved would be prudent. Send me an email or text if this is possible and we can have a couple people with experience come out and evaluate the situation. RMBS definitely has the knowledge to collect them responsibly and provide appropriate potting and aftercare. Man these trees are cool. They might be my favorite CO native species.
Adam, what amazing trees. I've been interested in Gambel oak for awhile. These are amazing. I recall seeing that big fat one in your hoop house this fall and it is mouthwatering. DBG has two in the collection that are not even close to this caliber. Maybe someday you can put one in the collection. I know Larry is interested in natives.
both of these gamble oaks were collected in May 2010. the tall one was growing solo and i put it back in the ground in nursery soil. the short one was the center tree in a clump. I put it in a big nursery can full of 100% turface. probably would not do that now. in theory you can go with small er root ball but i didnt. i think pumice would be fine but dont let it dry out. they seem to like wet soil. they grow in clumps so look for good trunk lines and then cut the rest of the stems away to get the best one.
I've found them to be very hearty trees. they are very cold tolerant and grow well in poor soil. you can find them growing south of denver and into new mexico. good luck.
I know Bob Randall and Adam Johnson have specimens that have been collected from nature. I have been told there is some nuance to aftercare. Ryan Neil has a video on his Mirai live platform that is an interview with Randy Knight which has great information on collected deciduous trees which is 100% worth watching
I wonder if @Dan W. has any advice. Gambel oak really don't seem to like their roots tampered with much when I have tried to collect them.