My first attempt to dig up a tree went pretty well. I mean I may have killed it, but hey, who doesn’t kill the first conifer they dig up? I also live in an area where anywhere from 1 to 200 California Junipers will get bulldozed in any given year to build something, so the ethics of collecting doesn’t apply in exactly the same way as collecting in the Rockies.
Here is the victim. This one doesn’t look so beautiful from this angle, but that is because you can’t see what the trunk is.
After clearing away to crap and loose dirt around the trunk you get something like this.
Needless to say it has a solid base that will eventually be a solid feature of deadwood on the base of this baby.
I started by digging a trench around the outside of the tree. When doing this I was able to get a vague idea of where the roots were and where to be careful not to dig too fast.
On this side of the tree I found the soft dirt spot. That tends to be where I want to dig deeply and try to get to the tap root.
My pathetic attempt at showing how deep I had dug which felt extremely impressive at the moment. You had to be there…
Once I had found that I made no real headway on the tap root from the shaded side I began to cut into the circle and close to size of what would be the root ball. I then found a ton of roots on one side of the tree and dug a trench through those roots.
Side by side comparison to show how sparse the roots were around the other side of the root ball.
Here is the taproot if you can see it. Close up below if you can’t
I cut the taproot and out came the tree.
The majestic tree in all its glory.
The much too large neighbors
Aaaaand the absurdly large one behind
I did my best to cover the hole and it turned out a heck of a lot better than the neighboring area…
I had a good time digging and I think it took me less than 2 hours total. Now the potting on the other hand… That’ll be in another blog post and you’ll find out how I might’ve killed it.