Collecting Coastal Yamadori - Sand

Hey folks! So, just a primer: There are quite a few areas that produce naturally shallow root systems with pretty stunted trees on the Oregon coast. These are primarily in sort of a grown dune environment (pause for Dune references and giggles) and the roots of trees tend to be very shallow but also VERY long. Like a 1.5’ pine would have a root system that only goes down 6" at most but goes out like 5 feet laterally.

Also, they’re literally growing in sand. Capturing the native soil around their root system is not really… a thing? Because it’s sand… and it just falls off.

How would you go about successfully excavating one of these buggers? I’m thinking follow the roots with your hand, wet as you go to help clump the sand and protect the roots, and gently fold them back in on the tree, soak the whole thing, and try to wrap in burlap, filling in with more wet sand?

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The long lateral growth is kind of why I stopped looking for yamadori. I just never feel like I get enough roots because there are like very few feeders at the base. I’ve heard of ppl taking a shovel and cutting the lateral root growth to encourage roots at the base. Then they come back next season to dig it up. You can also back fill with better soil around the base. I haven’t found anything around here that warrants this kind of effort.

As far as what I have collected; I’ve had far better success with collecting young trees when dealing with sandy environments. The roots haven’t had a chance to run for 8 miles, so I’m able to get a lot of feeder roots and fit the tree into a grow bag.

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