East Coast Yamadori

It would be very interesting to see what yamadori is collected on the East Coast. Most of the material we see is collected in the West and it’s great, but what about here in the East?


I think Appalachian Bonsai is one that collects in the east. Check him out in YouTube.


The video I watched was a bad way to kill a tree!!.. bare rooting a tree and transporting it with no soil and then cutting all the roots off to fit into a small container. This is entertaining, but not a good way to collect yamadori, in my experience and opinion. A little planning, a constructed grow box, and collecting roots and soil would have possibly ended with a live tree. Maybe rooting hormone or coarser soil mix would help too.

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I don’t know what specific video you watched (was it a conifer or a deciduous tree?) and I don’t need to defend Appalachian Bonsai but in general I have the impression that he has good survival rates and is a serious collector.

Monster American Persimmon, dug from under a fallen tree.

I just believe that if you are going to dig a tree, that preparation and planning need to be a part of the responsibility of a collector. Maybe the video was intended for entertainment, but not a good video to learn collection skill in my opinion.
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Thanks for the suggestion. I watched several of the videos, some useful info.

He mentions that the tree eventually didn’t make it. This is a worst case scenario and I think the take home message is to not hurry or take shortcuts when trying to collect a tree as every detail adds to the probability that it survives…

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Yes, we agree! I think anyone planning to go out and dig up a healthy tree has a responsibility to give it the best chance possible. It require hard work, but most importantly a plan. Not all trees that look cool should be dug up.

I have started to Collect Yamadori Tree Junipers and Yew Evergreens and they are awesome looking. Going to try to Have MIRAI Live Design one for me next year because I was told you can’t Design a tree until a year or two in a Bonsai Training Pot. thanks Greg

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@Greg57 Great! Two years is an average. But the reason they stay in the box is to grow roots and make the tree as healthy as possible. The goal is a healthy plant that can survive the trauma of initial structural styling. Always repeat the mantra "what am I trying to accomplish?"
post some photos if you have the time.

Moving this to the horticulture category!

Nick Lenz’s book is fantastic, if somewhat idiosyncratic and perhaps a bit dated - and it focuses primarily on eastern species.

Thanks Bob: These photo are the Yew Evergreens the will be transplanting this Spring and I have one Juniper Photo . Also two pine trees and working on ten Pines trees that need help from Highway Dept. Thanks for the info When I uncover them more photos for you.


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Folks…Collected many Taxus from a defunct nursery (Van Heiningens) up in York PA.
Colin Lewis took about 35 for working up in his previous digs at Bonsai West. I still have several left. They were growing out of a wash in the back of the nursery, so had lots of nice deadwood.
Also, a local church had a side flower bed…with a 70+ year-old Barberry! They wanted to lose that nasty tree in the most anxious way, so were overjoyed when I told them it would be removed for free, and replaced with something of their choice.
Potted, in my grow area, and pushing Spring foliage!


What trees are collected in some areas of the East? Thuja occidentalis (eastern white cedar), larch, spruce, jack pine, common juniper, potentilla and birch are collected in Ontario. This isn’t a complete list but some of the species most often collected (especially the first two). Others include red maple, beech, white oak, eastern hemlock, eastern white pine and who knows what else. I am sure that most collectors will dig up anything that has potential except perhaps poison ivy. Sorry Nick…

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In the northeast, since our forests are mostly deciduous dominated, there’s a lot of opportunity for deciduous Yamadori. My favorites for collecting so far have been American Hornbeam, and Hawthorne (crataegus monogyna).

The hawthorns I have found have very old craggy bark with tons of character and very small lobed leaves. Though I have found another species of hawthorn nearby as well with more smooth grey bark and larger serrate leaves. I think these are some form of the downy hawthorn. For Hawthorne’s, the best place to find them is in and around where old farm fields border on forest. This is also a great place to find old apple trees, pears and things along those lines. I have spotted some wild growing species of rough barked pear I would like to collect this spring as well as this really amazing old apple stump that has been chewed down by beavers.

Actually if you can search for hornbeams (which grow near ponds and streams anyway) and other species near where you know there are active beaver populations, you can start to find some really awesome material. The beavers have been trunk chopping them every few years to get them ready for you :rofl:.

Here is a pic of the beaver chewed apple stump I plan to collect later this month!