Earlier on I posted about one of my first projects. An Oak I dug up in 2011. It almost no roots and was just a bare trunk. The reason I dug it out was because I didn’t know better back then and because I liked the bark.

One common mistake I also made was just digging something out not knowing what to do with it so I left it in the garden in a big pot and waited if something would happen.

The first year nothing really happened except for some buds development on the trunk and tiny branches emerged that died off in fall. The next year it started to make more branches and and leafs everywhere on the trunk.


But still growth was slow and some of the branches died off again.  However in leave it looked better already.


In 2013 I decided to look at the roots and saw it had developed a firm rootball. What a difference in 2 years. So I transplanted it into a smaller box and wired some branches.


It still has a lot of empty spaces and because airlayering Oaks is difficult I decided to keep it this way for the moment. The years before I didn’t do any branch selection but now early fall came and I thought it was a good time to do. Also It would fit fine in a normal pot. I wired some branches I wanted to keep, and soon discovered that I should have done all these things like selection much earlier. If I did the tree would have been more developed by now.

Also it had no taper at all so with some deadwood features which I hope will be refined by nature I try’d to get some sort of taper in there. Also a thing to keep in mind when I take on such a project again. I’ve been spending my time correcting the mistakes I made the last three years.

But now wired and ready to go into season 4 I hope next year will bring more new growth and branches so after that I can do a little refinement.




3 thoughts on “Oak

  1. Hi Chris,

    Consider putting the branches more in a radial way around the trunk; So less parallel. Big oaks do not have many downward growing branches. And most branches are radiating from a central point in the canopy, rather then hanging down from the main trunk ‘pine-style’.

    Besides that, great job on somewhat boring starting material!

    • Yes I know but i’m not sure about future growth on this one. Maybe if growth lower on the trunk appears I will chop the top part off anyway. I need to see it in leaf before I cut back branches and at that point I will put them more radial like you mentioned and less hanging. Wire will come off anyway early this year when it has enough growth which hopefully results in branches popping back in position a little but not all the way.
      This is an example of what you get when you don’t know what you are doing for several years. So maybe I’ll start all over again next year anyway.

      • Chris, today I noticed (again) a grand old lady and thought of this post. I will photograph her and post tomorrow. I had meant to send them to you earlier but the weather just would not cooperate. And with every thing going on it had slipped my mind. Same group/type oak. You might find them “interesting” as our trees haven’t awakened yet and all the “bones” are right there in very plain sight. Take care,
        and grow something beautiful,

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