I just collected a great Ashe Juniper in the Texas hill country. I have it collected and now have just placed it in its grow box. I will definitely keep it from freezing temps and resist watering too often. My real question is should I mist the foliage? I’m am in Baton Rouge LA and the air here is much more humid than in the hill country so I wasn’t sure if it was needed. Any other information someone could share for increasing success would be great!
Pre Mirai, I’ve misted Collected junipers on an every 2 hour schedule. I collected an Ashe or Virginiana Jan 6th from near Carlton Tx and now have it in 1:4 pine bark chips to pumice. It gets sprinkled 2 times per day and is outside on the bench. Watered once a day or every other day, dependent on how warm it is. It is on a heat mat set at 83 F
We’ll see if it survives
I was going to get some pine bark chips and set the box on a bed of chips for sure. I wasn’t going put it on heat. But I was thinking about building a structure over it and green housing it. Is watering daily or every other day too often for a collected juniper? We’re you able to get a bunch of roots?
My understanding is that the smaller a “green house” is, the more difficult it is to control from a temp and moisture management perspective. So, unless you can be very attentive to monitoring the trees environment or the structure that you build over it is quit large, it might be better to mist it for a couple of weeks. I’ve also had good luck the the addition of bottom heat. Heat mats start around $30 with a thermometer for regulation.
This is the tree I collected. 4 hours to get it out of the ground and I had to sever a large tap root so I’m concerned that it may not make the transition.
Its about 6 inches across at the base.
Our club just collected some this weekend too, and the consensus among them was that there is no such thing as too much misting / foliage watering for the first 6 months or so after collection. One of our members says he sprays the foliage “3-10 times a day”. I’ve been trying to do at least 3. It may be less of a big deal in a more humid climate like yours, but would still try to keep it out of the wind and wet the foliage at least sometimes until you are confident more roots have had a chance to grow. It looks like you got some solid foliage though!
I collected Ashe Junipers last weekend with Bentleythekid and he gave you good advice. Mist, mist, mist. If it is windy, mist more. Also, wire in trees tightly so they will not move in spring wind damaging the roots. I used the same pumice ratio as Les in Texas so we will all see how it goes!
Thanks so much. I have my sprayer and am misting regularly. Surprised how quickly the foliage dries out when I am periodically checking on it.
Fingers crossed that this one will make it. Now I want to go back and get a few more great ones I saw but wanted to try my hand at one first since I hadn’t collected an Ashe juniper yet.
I love this topic. Here’s my experience.
I live near Austin, TX—Ashe Junipers are abundant. I was discouraged from collecting these trees a few years ago, told it’s difficult to do successfully and perhaps as difficult to transition them to bonsai soil and containers. But I knew it was possible because members of our club have them and there’s at least one here in the Texas State Bonsai Exhibit. I feel like I’m on a quasi-mission to have Ashe Juniper yamadori in my collection, more focused on getting them in bonsai soil and containers, with mature growth. I’m less concerned about styling until then.
In January of 2019 I collected three, two of which are alive and well today. In January of 2020 I collected four, all of which are still with me. All seven trees were collected with a significant root ball, ample field soil, and packed in grow boxes with pumice. The only tree that died is the one I packed in shale and bark because I ran out of pumice.
And here’s a couple pictures of last year’s dig (2020).
Once collected I found them a mostly shaded spot in the yard. I set up an automatic mister system that sprayed them three or four times a day for about a minute each time. I misted a couple more times in the evenings when temperatures got into the 90s/100s. I stopped misting in the Fall. I watered when the pumice was noticeably dry an inch below the surface.
I’ve only begun to transition one of the trees to bonsai soil. It stayed one full year in the pumice and then last Spring (2020) I replaced just half the field soil with bonsai soil. I’m undecided whether I will do the other half this Spring.
I’m not suggesting this is the only way to do it, it’s just how I’ve had success—and I hesitate to even call this success. Success to me is getting these trees thriving in bonsai soil (no field soil) and bonsai containers, pushing mature growth.
beautiful work and nice set up.
This is really cool. I’m located in DFW and would love to collect local material. How do you all get permission to collect material in Texas. I’m guessing all of these are in private property?
Words cannot express how much I love this. Bravo!
It seems upwards of 95% of Texas land is private, so I guess you have to know somebody or just ask. Or move to Alaska.
This information is great man!!! Btw beautiful setup on the mist system. Also, how do you like the 2x wood grow boxes? I have gone with fence boards but man those things look amazing!
Even the handle on the side is fantastic!
PJ86 I collected on private land. It just so happened someone I was talking to had 10 acres in the area I was interested in collecting and I asked and they granted me permission. To him they were weeds.
I’ve not collected into anything else so I’m not sure I can draw a meaningful comparison. They’re sturdy, the trees anchor with ease and stay put. They should last a while, my oldest one is about two years old now and is holding up. They’re heavy though, especially with all that field soil in them. One I can’t lift by myself. That’s a con. The handles are a must in that regard. I’ve thought about using 1× but I just can’t help but have uniform grow boxes, it’s the OCD in me
Big orange drink is right, there are Ashe Junipers in the TTSBE exhibit, I help with The Texas State Bonsai Exhibit in Austin. Go to TTSBE.org and select collection to see pictures and info for each tree. There are Ashe Junipers, Cedar Elms, a few Baldies, conifers, tropicals, and many others. The digs I know of have been on private property.
Big orange drink, your mist system and boxes are great.
Thanks. I need to ask around here, there is a lot of development and I’m constantly seeing land being cleared. Would love to walk those lands and see if I find any good local material.
I just collected about 1.5 dozen juniper here in SWFlorida, and I didn’t keep a ton of field soil. There was a ton of dead roots, and all of the root balls had a bunch of root from a weed that threw off mats of roots and bulbs. I removed most of that and with our “soil” here being almost 100% sand, it falls away very easily. I packed them all in 100% pumice and chopsticks them really well. Do you think this will pose a huge threat to their success?
@ttman that’s a lot of trees, nice find! Based on my experience, packing them in pumice is the right move. Like I said, the one tree I lost was the one not packed in pumice. It sounds like you came close to bare rooting the trees? I just learned this recently—it’s not a good idea to bare root trees, especially conifers. It’s written here. That being said, I’m no expert. I’d just focus on good aftercare—keeping them out of the wind and misting when you can. Good luck!