Harold and Kumar go Tree Hunting…

…. lol and we found some 🙂 Apologies for the movie reference, in an odd mood today.

Phil and I decided to check out a site that we thought might yield a few nice Larch and Spruce to collect. Phil had spotted it near one of his fishing spots up in the Sperrins area in Tyrone. Being vague here but you can understand this 😉 Anyway after a rather long and wet hike over 5 miles on rough ground, we found a small patch of trees that fit our needs.

We hadn’t planned to collect anything today. The whole point of the trip was to find the site and gain permission. The trees were commercially planted but no longer viable for harvest due to some very nice goats and sheep roaming the hills. 🙂 They have stripped the bark on many of the trees causing multiple trunks and shari.  The Spruce are to be cleared anyway by cutting off at the base!!

Can you call this yamadori? Not really, they are commercially planted trees and is some cases not even that old. However nature and the elements have done some good work here for us in a short space of time. We don’t have the Alps on our doorstep and have to make do with the best we have on offer. As Larch and Spruce aren’t native in Ireland, this is the best we can do with regards to those species.

After finding and photographing the trees we set out to find the right person to gain permission. This turned out to be harder than walking to the trees in the first place. After some detective work, we got the right man and returned to the site with him. A quicker route as he had the key to the locked gate! When he saw what we wanted he was happy for us to remove trees that he was going to have to remove anyway.

The moral of this story, always ask for permission. I’ve asked twice this year for two separate sites and both were happy to say yes on hearing what they were for. Take a bonsai book with you to show examples and keep a big friendly smile on yer face. Works a treat 🙂

Here are the photos of a few of the trees we looked at. First some of the larch. Not the best trees but it gives you an idea of the ground we are collecting from. The trees are right on the treeline of the mountain and are quite exposed.

Phil gets the camcorder out. The deadwood on the ground is the remains of Lodgepole Pine that had been planed there but failed at some point a few years ago. A few survivors still showing here and there.

Typical damage caused by goats.

Trees eaten early on by having there apex damaged result in multi trunk trees. This is one of them but there are a few really tasty looking ones there and for some reason I didn’t snap them at the time.

Some of the Sitka Spruce that have to be removed. Someone told me today that they are spikey buggers. I found that out for myself yesterday!!

This one is interesting. I couldn’t get both my hands around the base of this one. It’s 4 feet tall but after major height reduction, I think it’ll make a powerful tree.

Showing some of the terrain that we had to walk over.

We spotted this Lodgepole Pine and gave it a closer look.

Me for scale. Some nice bark and deadwood on it. A few others were pointed out by the landowner later in the day as the light was disappearing.

Some nice little mountain streams feeding down into the lake nearby.

 Some nice little mountain streams feeding down into the lake nearby.

Stream cut through a peat bog surrounded by heather.

So there you go, I hope you enjoyed the photos as much as we enjoyed our day out. Being caught out in an open area during a cloud burst and having sore legs today was worth it. 🙂

8 comments on “Harold and Kumar go Tree Hunting…

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