New material - Thoughts/advice for the next year?

Randy Knight made some time to show me his trees and I walked away with these! Terrified to kill them, but will likely kill the aspen :sweat_smile:

So far the plans are to wire and prune the englemann spruce in the fall, wire the ponderosa at the same time, not sure what to do with the weird bulbous lodgepole, but guessing wiring in the fall, and I have zero idea what to do with the aspen :joy:

Any recommendations would be welcome, apologies for the less than stellar pics.





This cool rocky mountain juniper next to some big chunks of olive at Randy’s place:


Nice. I need to do a pilgramige down… never been to Ryan’s either.
.Aspen; doesnt look like quarcus, leaves are larger, pointier, greener…; I’ve had good results with standard 1:1:1 mix. 1/16 left in; moderate top treatment. Organic fertilizer (biogold…), seaweed emulsion. Full morning sun, shade above 85F.
Standard stuff. Are you around Portland? More drainage, better oxygen…
Mice and voles and rabbits eat em…
Just an opinion…
That root could be a problem! Special pot…
Lodge pole will be easy to grow, … Little wire, little jin, small knarley bowl pot… Keep all of the lower limb until later. Bend clockwise, back to trunk and out away from the trunk, and to rear. It may be the apex…:disappointed_relieved:


The ‘aspen’ that I got from him is definitely some kind of poplar, maybe a cottonwood. We’ll see when it flowers I guess! Definitely not quarcus/oak

Right in the middle of Portland! Haven’t seen many pests other than crummy neighbors and racoons.

What could be a root problem? The lodgepole’s massive base?

Nice! Congrats on the purchases and going further down the rabbit hole.

If you’re not a premium member, the forum Q&A or live Q&A might be good for these. Choose one each week and send to Ryan. Ryan probably knows each of the trees or has seen them in passing.

Fall is a good time for initial styling as long a the tree grew well this year and Randy says they are established. If giving styling in Fall, winter care will be important. This spring you’ll want to note: are they pushing growth? Looking strong? Also fertilize the shit out of them. I agree style before repot. Someone can fact check me, but I’m thinking don’t mess with the buds or pinch back since recently collected.
Let them acquire strength. Sounds like you’ll be rewatching a lot of Mirai videos leading up to then.

Please remember these are recently collected trees and require extra care. Randy should be able to tell you signs that they are ready for their next container (i.e. waiting til Spring 2022 rather than Spring 2021). Be careful about repotting too soon. Often Randy’s trees are stabilized but may need another year to fully recover and be ready for transplanting. Ask Randy if unsure. I think he should remember each tree, he typically does.

If nothing else, focus on good watering, proper lighting and protection from winds and too much water.

I know all of these are trees that do well in the rockies (where I live) so they tend to like to be slightly on the dry side. I don’t know where you are located (@Sam - is there any possible news that we might get location tags next to each user name?) but if in the PacNW you guys are wetter there so be mindful. But also don’t let them dry out too much or completely just because I said this.


No offense, but if Randy said it’s an Aspen, then you have an Aspen (Populous Tremoloides). They don’t grow anywhere around me but I did google for images of Aspen shoots and your pic looks very similar.

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Randy said he thought it was aspen, not sure though. @PutItInTheGround I’m definitely in Portland, special little micro-climate of zone 9a. He said they’re all pretty well established and can be repotted this year. The Ponderosa is really my big worry. They seem fragile and this is such a cool tree! I think if it’s styled (gonna probs get some hands-on practice with guy-wires :grimacing:) and maybe potted onto a suitable slab, turning the tree counter-clockwise along the long axis of the pot depending on the styling/availability of such a container. (Maybe I can make one?)

I think the Engelmann is going to be a blast. It’s getting to that fluffy point where it has a lot of options and needs some work.

Would you ever repot and style in the same year? What about fall styling/spring repotting?

Yes, I believe fall style and spring repot should be good.