With an early spring in the offing, today was probably just a bit beyond the end of the collecting season. All of the specimens I brought home today were already leafing out. Now, I’ve had good luck collecting cypresses after they start budding, so I don’t have a lot of concern that the ones I brought home today won’t make it. But it would have been preferable had they been a little less out. I’ll know in a few weeks how it went.
Meanwhile, here are a few shots from today’s adventure.
This is what you call overdoing it when you’re 62. There are 15 trees here. Oh, I had the young strong help getting them out of the swamp, but the work on the back end is a lot harder. It took almost four hours to get these guys cleaned up and potted.
I often make note of the fact that when I pot a collected tree, the lateral roots get buried deep in the pot to protect them from drying out. Here’s one of the bigger trees I got today. The cut ends of the large roots you see here have to go at least three inches beneath the soil. Though we water our trees on a schedule, between waterings the soil at the surface of the pot gets fairly dry. If this goes too far into the pot, you end up with a cut root that dries out. Cypresses in particular are like sponges – and I mean that just about literally. When you’re cutting the smaller roots of a cypress, they will actually squeeze like a sponge. It has to do with how the cells are made, though I don’t know the botany behind it. Anyway, once you pot up a large cypress with those big cut roots they suck up water like a sponge, so you want to keep that flow going. With the chop sealed off, the water that is sucked up into the tree goes to keep the cells hydrated and ultimately to allow for new buds to form.
Here’s another specimen, a smaller tree with great trunk movement and superb lateral roots. This is unusual for a tree with this small a caliper.
And one more. This tree is also not particularly large in terms of basal trunk thickness. But it has fantastic roots.
And finally, here’s one I plan to keep for my collection. It’s a terrific twin-trunk, which I plan to make into a literati flat-top. The trunk base on the larger tree is 1.75″, and it’s 25″ to the chop. The smaller one is 0.5″ at the base. The pot is an extraordinary piece by Chuck Iker.
Let me know what you think of these trees. With a little luck, I’ll be posting more specimens for sale in the next few weeks.