Preparing Wild Cork Bark Oaks Prior to Collecting

There is a grove of wild Cork Bark Oaks locally that I have been given permission to access. I’ve identified 2 or 3 prospects for collecting that I believe would make wonderful bonsai down the road.

Would it be horticulturally appropriate to begin cutback now while they are still in the ground in preparation for collecting next spring? What other guidance would you offer at this stage?

Thank you,


One thing to do would be to try inserting a shovel around where you want to dig in spring to start encouraging some root growth closer to the trunk. Think of creating a dashed circle around the trunk.

I also cut into the soil around the plant with a shovel and possibly snap the tap root. I will also do some pruning. It might be late in the growing season to do this now though.