Stolen 'Kamagata' - Any Ideas for Prevention?

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

I was discouraged to find that I had a pretty nice potted 'Kamagata' stolen from my front yard last night.

It wasn't a very big tree and I'm sure I can replace it but now I have to question whether I want to. Anyone have any ideas for how to secure a potted plant? Would it work to put some kind of staked anchor through the drainage hole in the pot?

Thumbnail by GardenSox
New Hampshire, NH(Zone 5b)

How maddening! Oddly, I was just wondering along the same lines the other day as I contemplated putting a potted maple in the front not far from the street. Then I thought that anyone who was really bent on stealing it could just pull it out of the pot. I hope someone has some answers for you. Lovely photo!

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

I hadn't even thought about people pulling it out of the pot but I suppose they could do that if they really wanted to. It's too bad that a nice big chain with a padlock wrapped around the trunk doesn't really fit into the natural look I was hoping for. ^_^

Springfield, IL(Zone 6a)

Likely just kids there is not much $$ to be had stealing a single smaller tree .. not much you can do but keep off your front porch if you make it harder toi take they likely will just destroy it . Davidsan

Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

I'm so sorry to hear that your Japanese Maple was taken. What a shame.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Thanks, Doss and Davidsan. It is a shame. I'd like to replace it but I guess next time I'll plant it in the ground to make it less tempting.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Yes, the pretty pot up there is very attractive. Something that would be very easy to take. So sad you can't even decorate your yard without vandals ruining it. I think they wanted the two, tree and pot together.

Springfield, IL(Zone 6a)

Jm theft is not totally uncommon out west . usually it is by a truckload and they resell it at farmers markets or whatever .. it has happened but not common. Anything of value is open license to steal for thieves .. especially if they have been watching you place ... this was not of that genre just likely kids... give it to their mother or something .. the most they would get for it if they tried to sell it is a few $$ ... unlikely they know any Jm fanatics that would pay anything but pennies for it... Out east some get stolen right out of the ground but those are bigger trees .. and would be worth some $$ to a nursery who may buy a stray or two I have heard of this happening to several folks who planted close to the street... Stealing plants is not a high profit operation .. unless it is some very rare tree that someone knows something about and most thieves don't know trees... these things happen and there is really nothing you can do about it

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

"Out West" as you say Davidsan, they will do anything for a buck that might get them a high. They have killed for less than the value of your tree and pot.

Springfield, IL(Zone 6a)

Thats a vast generalization... there are folks like that everywhere ...with Jms it's just more of of a cash crop out there than other parts of the country and more opportunities to sell them "off market" ... but as I said that little tree and pot although very nice is not going to get much even out there .most such "thefts' are just kids or drunk neighbors screwing around .,... Nursery biz has surpassed lumber in Oregon as it's #1 business at least before the big downturn. So there is a bit more opportunity to resell out there but not in this case IMHO.... In most parts of the country it is still Bloodgood and Crimsom Queen and 99% of folks nationwide think their are just red Japanese maples and not hundreds of varieties ... Those who live in maple friendly areas have a very skewed idea of what is going on in the rest of the country as far as Jms... If you put the majority of folks knowledge of Japanese Maple trees in terms of schooling or child raising you'd be before potty training ... That is one reason for the vast addictive quality of Jms to those who start growing them ... it is a special select group and it places them apart from the majority of other folk thus they have an instant new identity . Aside from the bonsai folks who know a little more but only are interested in very few types of trees, Jm collectors and growers are a tiny very tiny portion of the flora growing crowd. Also It is not a group of similar types only the trees themselves are the connection for most Jmsters ... whereas Bonsai folks are probably as a whole ( with exceptions ) the most persnickety group I have ever met and have allot more in common I would guess with each other. I have seen little other than the trees addictiveness that bind this group.

This message was edited Jul 10, 2011 6:46 PM

Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

sorry about the stolen tree gsox

Russell, KY(Zone 6b)

Probably a kid needed a birthday present for his Mom or something.
I remember when I lived in SoFla great stretches of newly planted medians would get wiped out.
But your home, sheesh.

Thumbnail by Cearbhaill
Belleville , IL(Zone 6b)

Maybe a sign saying beware of snakes would deter some people.

(Zone 7a)

We used to have a homemade sign that said "Beware of Doug." Got a lot of laughs and no one stole anything off the porch.

Dahlonega, GA

How about a security camera to cover a small area? A fake camera or two with a sign ." If you can read this , I have you on camera "

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

That's not a bad idea, digger. But I think that I have decided not to put any plants or trees in pots in my front yard that I don't want to have stolen.

New York, NY

Well it could be green market desperadoes, but here is my experience. Young women out of college are walking by your house admiring your garden, envying your tree, not a cent in their wallet but with a strong nesting urge. One night, one too many glasses of wine and boom, they get the confidence and think it's a lark. How do I know? My friends used to do it. Terrible, right? It didn't happen often but once it awhile a really nice new plant would appear. Side note, they all did become gardeners and no, I never did that.

In our neighborhood, bars just started opening recently and my neighbor's lilac went astray. I'm sure it's sitting on some grad student's fire escape somewhere.

In the city, we usually run a chain through the drainage hole and back out and then lock it to something, even if it's a stake in the ground. Just the sight of it usually deters them.

Good luck.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

If I've got young women out of college snooping around my yard I should definitely install cameras! ^_^

I had thought about the chain through the drain hole idea before but I wasn't sure what I would lock it too other than maybe a stake driven deep into the ground. I suppose if I decide to try again I will do something like that. If nothing esle, at least it would make them work a little harder for their theft.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Unless they have a jack, or remover specifically for them handy, those darned T posts are a bear to get out. Worked many a day on them.

Morrison, TN

5 years ago someone stole 30 Red Dragon in 15gal containers that I had been growing 16 years. 2 or 3 years ago someone stole several Magnolia in 3gal too.

Otis

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Wow, why were you growing 30 Red Dragons for 16 years? That was pretty costly.

Morrison, TN

I'm a nurseryman, I have all kinds of trees and shrubs. Hey I have 8,000 Bloodgoods in containers and 2,000 5-6' are to be planted in the field in the next month to grow at least 2" caliper. Also I have a almost 2,000 American Holly in 4 different cultivars going to the field also.

Otis

This message was edited Nov 1, 2011 9:55 PM

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

But do you keep them for 16 years? I would think you would sell them before that.

Morrison, TN

I think I started out with 500 of them.

Otis

Dahlonega, GA

Otis , serious question . The ones you are putting out in the field, when they get to the size you want , do you use a digger to take them out , and what size tub should a 7' J P be in ?

Morrison, TN

Digger,

I have my B&B trees that I sell dug by contract diggers using a mechanical spade.

What matters more than the height is the caliper of the stem. When I'm re-potting trees I like to have 16 inches of container diameter for every inch of stem diameter.

I hope that answers you question.

Otis

Dahlonega, GA

Sorry for the delay in answering . Puter's been out and couldn't get to town to get it restarted until today .
Yes , that gives me a better idea . I have J P's that need to be in larger buckets and didn't want to put them in the ground 'cuz I have to dig with a shovel and altho they're tough , want to keep all the feeder roots I can . I'll repot next spring and sell most of them . Thanks for the info . Sally

Springfield, IL(Zone 6a)

Bloodgood are still grown and sold to big box stores but thousands are burnedeach year in Oregonm as I have stated before because they are a very nice old school tree but there are several newer improved trees some come from bloodgood selected seedlings some selected seedlings some from the mother tree of the bloodgood the Atropopulium which is now hard to tell if it actually exists. Many old schools landscapers and those not in JM country still will only plant them but then others are better hardier and a bit prettier JMs plus if you sell them you don't compete with tons of folks still selling bloodgoods many for peanuts since they virtually give them away unless larger or specimen size. Out west those nurseries in then the know just shake there heads and don't bother with them except in small quantities for a nuesery that wants them .... they just shake there heads at those growing them in large quantities on promises from large nurseries and big box store in this economy.... the orders for most even large nurseries have drastically shrunk especially bloodgoods many nurseries are in bankruptcy and broke bloodgoods are just a small part of what happened but ten thousand bloodgoods just sitting waiting to be burnt is not a good thing. Davidsan

This message was edited Nov 15, 2011 1:03 PM

Morrison, TN

Davidsan, thank you for your insight I appreciate more than you know. Bloodgood is not the only cultivar that I grow. I figure I will plant a couple of acres a year of Bloodgood and other cultivars spaced out to grow to 4Ē caliper for a few years. If you donít have it growing or access to it you canít sell it. If I sell them that is wonderful, if I donít then I will enjoy the beauty of them. One block of them has my rifle range in it, it is very pleasant to shoot a match with my friends and afterwards have a few drinks in the maple patch. My Great-Grandfather started our business in 1887. I have listened, watched and tried to learn from market trends. I grow and sell much more than Acer palmatum. A huge disadvantage the nurseries out west have is their distance to the eastern market. In one days driving time by truck my plants are available very large portion of the population of the USA. I donít sell directly to the big box stores but some of my customers do, I get my money up front. Enough on the computer today I need to finish preparing a truck load of trees going to Long Island this weekend.

Otis

This message was edited Nov 16, 2011 12:51 PM

Dahlonega, GA

Mine were tiny seedlins under a neighbors tree and I can't let a plant die without trying to "save " it .If , after giving so many away , I can't sell a few , I'll just fill them in on the 3 1/2 acres , as understory trees .

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