Serendipity or death

I loved Tuesday night’s wisteria stream. I’ve had mixed results with both collection and cuttings and know of two very old ones I want to collect from a vacant lot. I haven’t been able to bring myself to do so because I’m not certain of the best timing.

Enter my friend Wednesday. He knew nothing of the stream but he knows I’m a tiny tree person. He had a showing coming up on a rental of his, also a wisteria he planted 10 years ago and now considered an eye sore. It was going on the curb, or my truck…I grabbed my shovel. I guess we will see…


Nothing ventured then nothing gained.


Hi moon, two years ago I was allowed to remove an old wisteria from the old ranch house across the street from me. It appeared as a twig growing straight out of the ground. As I started to dig around the twig, I noticed that it was attached to something larger beneath the surface, much larger. After six hours of excavation around a large stump, I was able to remove the tree that I thought was a twig . Within the roots I found a 1917 mercury dime! I immediately put the tree in a 20gal nursery can with fox farm potting soil and pumice. Mind you, it only had one small twig of growth, measuring about 6 inches in length. That year (the dreaded year) it grew many new shoots directly out of the stump and provided lots of foliage. Last year I put it in a pot and selected branches that I wanted to grow and thicken. It came on very strong, and did not require fertilization. Last year it showed one flower, but lots of lush green foliage. In fall, as the leaves fell, I treated like a maple and pruned selected branches and wired some movement into them. In the winter, I wrapped the pot in bubble wrap to insure that the pot didn’t freeze. This year the tree is popping with flower buds. I purposely did not prune “the hands” which is what they call the flowering spurs, I can’t wait to see, what this odd beauty is going to do next.


A little more about this tree and I hope you can get something from this to help on your journey. It was very difficult to find a proper pot for it so I used a non-bonsai pot with a vase style to accommodate the downward fine root growth it provided. I used Aoki blend which has some pumice and lava in it and increased the lava content to prevent the weight of the tree from crushing the akadama. I have heard that some people re-pot every year, I am giving it 2yrs in this pot to give the first time roots a chance to strengthen. There are many foliage buds growing on the branches which look similar to overgrown scale insects (yikes!). I wish I could have seen Ryan’s wisteria video last year, as I wired it with 4gauge aluminum instead of wrapped copper, we’ll see how that worked I guess soon enough. I find it important to take some risks and discover some successes as well as failures to grow in my bonsai experience. I did fertilize this spring with a mineral based 6-4-4 to get it started, but I’ve heard that fertilizing a wisteria too much creates a little shop of horrors like scenario.

1 Like

What a story, and what a wisteria!! What time of year was collection? How much root mass were you able to collect? Did you bare root? Leave a soil mass?


I collected the day after our restaurant closed down because of Covid which I believe was March 18th 2020. There were some fine new roots to work with, I did leave some of the root ball intact when putting it into the nursery can. When I put it in the vase pot, I had tons of new roots and I did rinse the root mass before putting it in. I lost the photos of last year’s foliage in the iCloud when I changed phones😔

1 Like

So far so good. I know it’s stored energy but I have been surprised by the push!


excellent! How long as it been in the pot? Ready for fert?

1 Like

Probably a bit too soon. About 20 days. I dug it the day after the Wisteria stream.

1 Like