Fall Yamadori Collection and a Stupid Tree

Beyond the usual Fall/Spring yamadori collection question that everybody seems to have, I have a question involving a specific tree that seems to have bad physiological timing. I’ve been eyeing a nice little tree (Acer Campestre, I believe) that was trunk chopped by some camper maybe two years ago (see the picture). Well, I’ve been waiting for the leaves edges to turn brown to collect the tree. However, it held onto its green color for weeks beyond all other trees around it and just experienced a significant freeze (~10 degrees) and all the leaves are dead.

Since the tree never reabsorbed the “green” energy back into the trunk during the usual fall physiological response, should I avoid collecting the tree? Or should I collect it immediately and protect it from freezing temperatures in the garage? I’m torn on this one and could use some advice!!


We’ve got plenty of overly optimistic trees around here as well, mostly things on the northern end of their range, and in the ground they are seldom the worse for wear. Strengthwise, I’m sure if you collected and protected it it would be just fine, but if you’re hesitant, coming back for it at bud push would be the least risk overall, I think.

After that, I’m sure it would be absolutely thrilled to have someone who can watch weather reports for it and haul it under cover when things get nippy.

Can you wait until spring?

Awesome, thanks for the advice, Dbanks!

Ya, I was already considering it. Is that what you would suggest?

That’s typically when yamadori is collected. Oaks can be collected in the fall. I collected my Carolina Willow in the late winter, but we had a mild winter here in Charleston, SC.

If you can wait for spring. If you can’t make sure you get a fairly large undisturbed root ball protect it and give it a growing season before you repot it again. That’s my advice. I have had success collecting in all seasons but I find you can push a tree much harder when it is collected in the spring. I collected a pair of dogwoods earlier today. They are in the same boat we have had frost for 3 nights now and the trees still have all their leaves. I was able to dig them up without severing roots. I don’t believe they will even notice the move. Your tree looks a bit more mature I don’t think avoiding root damage will be an option for you. As far as the recovery of resources and winter hardiness I don’t think will be much of a factor on the survival of the tree weather you dig it now or in spring. It may lose some fine branches or branch tips but that would probably happen in the ground or in a pot. Again if you can wait for spring wait for spring.