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  • Writer's pictureTom Lau

Barry "Cork Oak" Altshule @ Legacy Cork Oak

Many of us in Southern California has met Barry at last year's Bonsai-a-Thon at the Huntington Library. Barry is know in our circle of growing rough stock or pre-bonsai from many types of species that do well in our weird Southern California climate. He is also known for his love of one particular type of oak "cork"!

Barry has been smitten with cork oak since the beginning, mostly 30 years ago. Every single cork oak was pot grown from seed that either he or a friend has collected. Currently, Mr. Altshule has been reducing his personal stock of trees and will have an "open" sale soon. I'll post more of that near the end.

Barry seriously has a selection of trees to look at. Here is a picture of just a small selection of hillside he has decidicated in breeding this stock. Most of his 7 gallon cork oaks are gone but he still has some 3gallons all around most would make really awesome shohin down the road if grown out so more.

If you are looking for some larger material Barry has that for you also.

He has some seriously large coastal live oaks in 15 gallons. Nebari are descent on most of them but they are ready for their initial lead whip selection. If you do visit Barry you get to take in some really cool vista views of the valley below on both side of the ridge.

Another species that Barry stocks is some pretty large European Olives. All of the olives have nice nebari! Good pre-bonsai stock ready for its branch development. He has one really really large olive left and its easily a 2 person bonsai when completed.

A rare selection that Barry has is this Canary Island Pine. From a distance, I thought it was just a common Stone Pine. These guys has some mean trunks. Easily 3-6 inches across at the base on most of them. The foliage isnt the best, but Barry assures me if a person can graft black pines on these trunks you got an awesome tree in the making. Too bad I don't graft yet.

Barry also has a select grouping of juniper for sale. Everything from kushu, itoigawa, and prostrata nana with this type of movement. No sticks in the pots for him!

Did I mention Barry likes cork oak? Even with a reduction sale coming up. Barry has the time and energy to seed more cork oaks! I think this guy breaths, sleeps and eats "cork oaks"!

Barry was gracious enough to give the club the remaining cork oak seeds from this year's planting. You too can have your very own homegrown cork oaks! But, if you can not wait. Barry is having his reduction plant sale on Valentine's Weekend at his house. See flyer below.

Well, if that does not get you excited nothing will. Barry does have a ton of stock left and its worth coming down to the sale. The worst case is that you walk away with an awesome view and a free cork oak seedling! I hope to see you all at the sale!

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