This is my first official collected tree. Well, no it’s not, I collected a small Bristle Cone pine from my land last spring. This is when I first started and was so eager to get wild trees.
Knowing what I know now I would have left this tree alone. It was young had no character. This is why it is important to take your time. I was eager to grab any stick I could find, stick it in a pot and start hacking. Needless to say the tree died. I kept it alive through the summer. In fact it was thriving! Then fall came and it was doing so well I figured I would stuly it. Twist’s and bends gave this tree a new look. Unfortunatly it was not ready. So be prepaired to give your tree at least 1 full year before you do anything at all to it. Then depending on how it is duing onlly minimal pruning untill the 2nd year.
Ok, Back to the Ponderosa! I was so excited when I found this ledge. I say ledge, it was like 4′ off the ground. But it was a ledge… lol, anyway there were at least 3 ponderosa pines growing out of cracks in this spot. I walked up to the first one and tried to move it back and forth. Nothing, not moving. This didn’t mean that with some work it wouldn’t come out however, I had 2 more of them to try. Might as well see if one could be collected easier than another. This is better for you and most importantly for the tree. The least amount of stress you put on a tree the more chances of success. The 2nd ponderosa I tried to move back and forth. Whoa! It just about fell into my hands. No way! I carefully wiggled a little more and wallah.
I emidiatly wrapped what roots it had into berlap and wet everything down. When I got home, luckily I had pre made several different sized boxes and this one fit just right. I filled the bottom with pumis and set the tree in. Then filled the rest with a compost pumice mix. I later learned from (Larry Jackel) that I should have used 100% pumice. Noted for next time!