Immediate aftercare for yamadori

This spring is my first time collecting trees from the wild. I’ve watched the yamadori repot stream and think I did things correctly when taking them out of the ground and getting them potted up. But I’m treating them like the rest of my trees that were repotted this year. Beyond that, I’m wondering what unique care tips I should be following? And then what signs should I be looking for to see if it’s going to take to the pot or if there is a problem? I’m thinking signs beyond just new growth as that can sometimes be just energy stored already in the vascular system.

What species?
Where are you located?
When was it collected?

That’s the thing I guess, I have collected 3 different species so far: Japanese maple (landscape), juniperus virginiana (pasture) and a Douglas-fir from foot hills. When I mentioned it in my local club meeting it was met with unanimous negativity and I was told they would all die. Not because of technique in collect just that they were species that couldn’t work as bonsai in Oklahoma (even though they were almost all collected here locally). So I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about it and want to make it work. So I guess I’m trying to understand any unique care procedures for newly collected material, if there are any, beyond just the extra caution given in general to newly repotted trees. But really any advice is appreciated! Or even if you agree they will all die I’d be interested in getting some input on too.


Find out from the local members why these trees will die. Not because Oklahoma is going to kill them, but why specifically. Then find out what you can do to mitigate the exact problem.

In general, I’d recommend keeping them out of direct sunlight. North side of a shed or wood fence works well. Ambient light will work. If any of the trees were going through bud break when you dug them, cross your fingers and spit over your left shoulder. If they’re still in the soil they were growing in when you collected them, all the better. If not, don’t let them dry out because you’ve put the roots through a great deal of stress. Check them in the morning and in the afternoon (noon to 2pm). If all you can do is morning and evening (like close to sunset), I wouldn’t water them at sunset. You’re risking root problems with wet roots in the dark.

My recommendations are based on what I perceive to be stress issues for trees that don’t like to be collected in Oklahoma. You’re going to have to mollycoddle the trees for a while.

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I don’t understand why they would just automatically die, especially since you collected them in oklahoma. With the Japanese Maple only, I would have bare rooted it… used a hose to wash off all the field soil. My biggest piece of advice on immediate aftercare, based on my own mistakes in the past, is do not overwater the tress. Don’t let the soil dry out either, but newly collected trees don’t need much water. If they stay too wet for too long thats when all sorts of root rot issues can set in. I know i’ve had the desire to overwater collected trees before as if to baby them, and I realize now that is the opposite of what will help them. So keep them dry as you feel comfortable, keep in full shade, and protect from wind, and they should have a good shot.


I will ask for more details but what I was initially told was very anecdotal.
All have field soil in the roots and all are inside a greenhouse. Now that the temps are getting warmer and more stable, I’ve kept the door and window open for are flow. I have been watering every other day and misting the foliage on the junipers a bit.

I’m more than happy to baby them just want to make sure I do it right haha

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I think I’m definitely at risk for overwatering! I’ll dial it down a bit


Mist a lot, water sparingly, I think the greenhouse will help a lot. If you’ve potted up the maple, just wait til next repot to remove the rest of the field soil.

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Updates? Still alive? Photos…

Both j.maples didn’t make it and lost one of the junipers. I think the j.maples were due to not barerooting. Juniper I am guessing I didn’t get enough roots. The other juniper took a hit but appears to be hanging on still. The doug-fir looks great. I think Ryan mentioned it takes 3 years to establish doug-firs so not in clear yet obviously but you wouldn’t notice it was collected just this year.