Yamadori Collecting in granite


I am looking to do my first yamadori collection in a wild granite outcove on a cliff face. Any tips?

What tools should I bring?

What is the strategy when removal from the pocket?

Any Mirai videos or podcasts that could help?

What is the terrain? I see the words “cliff face” and think safety, climbing gear, ropes…
The main strategy when collecting is timing and a significant amount of roots.
Think of the collected tree like you just birthed a child and now you need to care for it. :+1:t2:
All info with Randy Knight will help you with collecting and aftercare. :smiley: :christmas_tree: :metal:t2:

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You want roots in the soil pocket around the tree. That normally means recent rain. I have been told the key to collecting some of the junipers in dry environments is to collect 2-3 weeks after significant rain since they have two types of roots - near surface roots that propel growth and reproduction and deep roots that keep it alive during the dry season. The near surface roots grow and die every year based upon the rains. I think this also applies to sage. Not sure about other species.

If it really cliff or anything close then solid safety gear to avoid a fall is critical. Tree removal will probably be a cross between gentle soil removal to expose the roots and rockface demolition (don’t drop things on those below).


I second the Randy nod. He is the king, and shares on a couple of the podcasts and a video in the library. https://live.bonsaimirai.com/library/video/yamadori-aftercare-with-randy-knight Roots, roots, roots. If you are truly removing from pockets then the “soil” will basically be duff from the shed needles, air blown dust and debris. Prybar and hand tools should get the job done, in many cases a true pocket is similar to removing a root bound tree from a pot. There are several threads with various collection info if you search, like this one…Whats in your bag for collecting yamadori

The bit of advise I will offer is after the tree is out the work has just begun. Lightly wetting the mass and binding it tightly are very important. You do not want the soil and the root mass bouncing around and breaking apart in transport, if it does survival rate plummets. You want that package securely wrapped. Also when potting I use larger gauge wire to tie down to prevent the wire from cutting into the soft, delicate root mass.

Better to start with second rate trees and learn, than collect first rate trees that die.

Good Luck!!

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