Okay, I’ve bought the last one of the year and this may be the dumbest one yet haha. I actually saw this live oak (quercus virginiana) the last time I went to this nursery and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’ve never seen one grow like this. As you can see…it’s tall lol. My plan is to chop it way back first and then plant it. Any idea when I should do the chops?
I don’t know the species specifically, but I think it’d be best to do the chop in late spring after the first flush of new growth has hardened off. This is a good time for most deciduous and evergreen broadleafs.
That’s what I was thinking as well. Apparently oaks don’t like their roots to be touched until the fall, so my plan (unless advised otherwise) is to chop in late spring and pot in the fall depending on how it recovers. If it doesn’t recover well enough then maybe I’ll wait on the potting.
FWIW I haven’t had issues working nursery stock oak roots in the spring (right as the buds swell).
I don’t have much experience with evergreen oaks yet, with only two so far and both acquired this year (no root work yet, no repotting).
I would only do one action this year either chop or root work. Live Oaks are moderate growers when they are young and that’s when they are really healthy! Either move will slow it down considerably for a year maybe two. What do you want to accomplish first? The repot or the structure. Live Oaks send out lots of basal suckers when they are cut back hard. I’ve seen many grow like that when they lose a significant portion of the main trunk or branches. Be wary of root work I’ve killed a more than a few to root work. I find that for me airlayers from younger branches has been the most fruitful. As I dont have to work the roots as much.
Yeah, no doubt this tree has been through some mess, but that’s exactly why I go to nurseries of I’ll repute lol.
I was thinking about the timeline last night and I was realistically at a year and a half and that’s if everything goes as planned from a recovery standpoint.
I think my best move may be to go ahead and put it into the ground now, chop in spring, allow a year for recovery and then pot in spring 2021. If it takes longer than a year to recover then at least it’s in the ground. I need to order a large root control bag first.
Personal Oak advice: All small trunks around big one are suckers which I would remove(cut flush or preferably knob cutters)after leaves fall if they shed in fall so all energy is put back in root system for spring. There will be more suckers to chase back. Clear surface soil out until good exposure of basal roots is visible. As this has a very straight trunk you’re likely going to want to cut back quite a ways and as surface roots dictate tilt tree so no vertical trunk in the future. However don’t do the cut back until established and strong AFTER first repot/angle change. Likely the next year 2021. Personally recommend first hard cut back after first growth is hardened off so as to make sure tree is still strong after Winter and in an energy positive state. Personally would do the first repot just before bud break 2020 and DO NOT be too hard on the roots this time. Mostly assess them for future reference and keep in grow box or nursery pot for development. You’ll have a lot of new branches to grow after cutting back the trunk:wink:.
Hmm, well, I just did this yesterday lol. Honestly, I bought it because of the suckers. I know right?! I’m strange. It just seemed unique to me for a Q. Virginiana. What kind of harm would be done by leaving them on there? I planned on hard cutting all of it back in the spring and then leaving it in the ground for at least a year or longer. Depending on how it reacts.
I have my eye on another nursery stock QV which will need to be handled in the manner you’re suggesting. It’s pretty straight and boring, but I want it because it’s a native species and I’m trying to add more natives to my diverse “collection”.
You’ve blinded me with science here (a good thing), so I’m gonna take a sec to digest what you just threw at me. Thanks for the great info!
…and it’s in the ground now lol.