A friend who owns a large plot of forested land south of Jackson, MS has offered me carte blanche to go yamadori hunting starting February 1, 2019.
She described the land as “mostly pine, a few oaks.” Generally, they use it for hunting things with legs, not roots. My guess is that it’s one of the many southern pine forests that were planted as lumber investment properties back when folks thought they could use them as retirement funds.
I’m looking for natives, which means I’m hoping for sand pine, loblolly, and Southern live oak (grail tree – unlikely). Based on the description, probably no bald cypresses, crape myrtles, or magnolia.
Is there any other really good material native to MS that I shouldn’t miss?
Any advice when pulling trees out of the ground in early February in this climate?
(I could also use thoughts on selecting shohin yamadori. Should I be looking for material that’s already small, or material with an appropriate-sized base that I intend to chop back to make proportional?)
I would go with an open mind and select whatever is collectable and has potential irrespective of the species. Depending on the terrain it may be difficult or impossible to collect and there may not be any interesting material, just big healthy trees. Good luck!
If there is a creek on the property that can yield nice finds. Also if there are barbed wire fence lines, look there, usually easy to walk along too. Trees along fence lines are often trimmed back by both land owners and wildlife and are often not removed completely and can yield natural bonsai by having been cut back year after year. Shady areas are usually bad, trees will be long and have little lower branches as they are reaching for light. This thread may also be of good use. I would also suggest the podcasts with Randy Knight and the Backcountry Boys.