The Spoils

Some of the Pines collected on a recent trip. A mixture of Scots and Lodgepole.

Sunday’s Collecting Trip

After an evening with Piotr our host on the Saturday night, we made an early start on the Sunday morning to visit two collecting sites. First off we wanted to collect some Larch for the NIBS, our own club, who have plans about a special inter-generational workshop next year. Here we our selecting some suitable trees for this.



We popped back to Piotrs home for a quick cuppa before some serious travelling to the second site. While we were there we had a look around some of Piotr’s trees in his garden. I think we can safely say he’s hooked on bonsai with a garden rapidly filling with trees.

We then headed along the West Coast to get to a site we hadn’t visited before. We had been told that it was a possible Pine collecting site. I’m not going to go into the location for obvious reasons but Piotr had done the ground work for us so we could just go and collect. He came along with us and it was great to have his help.

It was a bit of a drive and then a bit of a hike from the road but what we found was an excellent site for both Scots Pine and Lodgepole Pine. These trees were self seeded and growing in an exposed area which created some great shapes and bark. These are the best Pines that I’ve found in Ireland. Here are a few shots of some of them on site. A nice mix of sizes. Sorry for a few blurry photos  but it was raining for a while.


Collecting in the Hills

This gallery contains 29 photos.

Sunday saw us head to a few places where Pines have self seeded from forestry areas and have never been touched. The Pines are mostly Lodgepole Pine but the bark was really nice and some had pretty decent movement. Phil … Continue reading

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Pine Picking

Had a bit of a session this afternoon dividing up some pines we collected a few years ago.


These are Scots Pine, Sylvestris and were collected from a bog and are typical of that shape. Looking forward to a little styling and pruning at the weekend 🙂



Phil looking all coy, not a typical sight!


Four Pot Up

Yes, Stephen managed to find his way to my house, so we had four for the potting up session. 🙂

We had to do some major shuffling of trees in and out of protective cover before we started but space was found for everything. The spruce were potted first and put into a tunnel with last years spruce.  Sphagnum moss only seems to be the way to go with Sitka Spruce. Last years trees loved it producing a lot of fresh roots.

We then moved on to the Hawthorn. The first one Stephen lifted bit him on the forehead, opps! We experimented a little with mixes to try out different options, time will tell.

Ben also brought a few trees of his own to get potted and we both finished these off before calling it a day. I didn’t take many photos to be honest, it was a very busy session and dirty hands and cameras don’t mix. You will see a triple trunk in the gallery that I lifted. Bark not very mature compared to some of the others but a nice tree for the future all the same.

Stephen was quick to point out that he was the oldest there yesterday but with all of us mumbling about aches and pains, he said he was the fittest of the four of us!! I would like to point out that he took Friday off by virtue of senile dementia setting in and his failure to find the collecting site when he was half a mile away at one point. Fittest my arse 🙂

Today I plan to catch up with some of my regular repotting on my own. I’m actually looking forward to a little time on my own in the garage with the radio on and wee trees for company. Spring must be in the air 🙂

Two and a Half Men

Yesterday we were supposed to be four but we ended up as three, well two and a half as Ben is the baby/new boy in the group 🙂 Stephen was coming late and was last seen throwing his satnav from the car window and returning home 😛

We ploughed on without the baker and managed to get the ‘all important’ permission from the land owner. Not easy to track down as everyone who seemed to own the land was either dead, moved, or was a millionaire recluse!! After a chat with the owner about, cattle, pigs, money grabbing sisters and how to tell the difference between spruce and fir, we managed to make a start in the first of two fields.

I got off to a flyer by ripping my hand on barbed wire fencing! The Hawthorn we were after were hard to collect. Rocky ground and deep roots meant that many were not worth the effort. We did however collect 7 before lunch. We had to stop as Ben’s stomach was making noises that were scaring the local wildlife!

After lunch we moved to the other field which proved to be better. There is even scope for a return visit for further collecting. At this point we knew Stephen had given up and buggered off back south to Belfast. We wanted to make a return visit to our old Spruce site to see what we had missed. When we got there, we found 3 spruce worth the effort, 2 of which are rather special, for us any way. We had great success with these last year only losing 1 of the 5 collected and it was rather short of viable roots. These three root wise are looking good. Part of the site had been bulldozed and if we hadn’t lifted the ones last year, they would have been destroyed. Lucky break!

Anyway, here’s the day in photos. Might even do a trip video for a laugh 🙂 Potting up tomorrow.