Young Prunus Ume advice needed

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TimS
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Young Prunus Ume advice needed

Post by TimS » August 21st, 2019, 5:37 pm

Good afternoon,

I have this little Prunus Ume Flowering Plum that i got as a rooted cutting some years back, that has been pushed to the back of my benches while i experimented with all the evergreen conifers i could lay my hands on, convinced that to do bonsai i had to have at least some EC laying about. Now Mark has taken over my last pines, i have almost no evergreen conifers left (i think one mame size hinoki and a very young Ezo are the last two) but my bonsai passion has moved over to flowering species such as Prunus.

I'm trying to make up for some lost years here by starting over with a clean up and a new direction for the tree. I've been doing my due diligence with respect to researching as much as i can about growing Prunus Ume and Mume, but some pairs of eyes on the lines for directions i could take would be greatly appreciated.So far the only styling that has been done is what has naturally occurred by basic pruning whenever i found it interfering with other plants, no wire has touched this tree (it probably shows).

My vision is for a ~50cm tree in many decades down the line, so i'm not looking to keep it miniature. I will only let maybe 30% of these flowers actually mature this year just to enjoy a few, the majority will be removed soon as i'd rather the tree just focus on branch development over the next 10 years rather than flowering.

A few different angles to view and think about. All comments welcome, as i say this has been neglected so it's rough as guts. Thanks in advance
ume218a.jpg
ume218b.jpg
ume218c.jpg
ume218d.jpg
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Re: Young Prunus Ume advice needed

Post by Snipz » August 21st, 2019, 6:54 pm

Watching closely as I acquired one recently; unfortunately it resides at the girls house down in Vic but it's one of my favourites and I've just learned my first lesson on removing the flowers; however I think I'll let it flourish this first Year so I can see it and I'm in no rush just yet.

If ok with you Tim I'll post a piccy once I get one?

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Re: Young Prunus Ume advice needed

Post by TimS » August 21st, 2019, 7:36 pm

Snipz wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 6:54 pm
Watching closely as I acquired one recently; unfortunately it resides at the girls house down in Vic but it's one of my favourites and I've just learned my first lesson on removing the flowers; however I think I'll let it flourish this first Year so I can see it and I'm in no rush just yet.

If ok with you Tim I'll post a piccy once I get one?
For sure Snipz, i'd be keen to see what others are doing with theirs to get some ideas.

I do like how the natural growth in response to pruning mine has created some usual branch patterns. Hopefully there is a way to use them to advantage.
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Re: Young Prunus Ume advice needed

Post by Snipz » August 21st, 2019, 7:50 pm

Ok dokey, so this is how I bought it from Steve @ Sugoi
IMG_4258.jpg
Recents pics after a bit of wiring and warmth

IMG_5201.JPG
IMG_5204.JPG
IMG_5205.JPG

(God knows why my pics are always 90 Deg out of kilter....)
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Re: Young Prunus Ume advice needed

Post by MJL » August 21st, 2019, 9:47 pm

Hey Tim,

I admire the fact that you are taking a long term view of this young plant; if it was me I'f be hacking into and trying all sorts of silly tricks to make to it look Bonsai'ish prematurely. You have patience beyond your years.

All I can offer is the inspirations of others so.... I screen-scraped these shots of Mume/Ume - I think they are each wonderful examples.
Screen Shot 2019-08-21 at 9.19.30 pm.jpg
Screen Shot 2019-08-21 at 9.23.14 pm.jpg
Screen Shot 2019-08-21 at 9.20.14 pm.jpg
I have included a couple of Multi-trunk pics because perhaps this tree young enough that you could take a cutting and create some form of multi-trunk or mother/daughter type set-up....the cutting would always be naturally younger and subordinate to the main tree. Could be nice.

That said, I do like that second photo. I am probably wrong but I think Kez (on this forum) runs a number of bonsai in this style - quite beautiful and inherently interesting; suiting a flowering tree, I think. The third photo in your initial set indicates an arc that may well be the bones for this type of design. Hard to tell from photos.

Whatever the path you choose, I imagine it's all about cut and grow from now to whatever future you create for this tree. I look forward to watching your knowledge and vision create something wonderful over time.
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Re: Young Prunus Ume advice needed

Post by TimS » August 22nd, 2019, 7:16 am

MJL wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 9:47 pm
Hey Tim,

I admire the fact that you are taking a long term view of this young plant; if it was me I'f be hacking into and trying all sorts of silly tricks to make to it look Bonsai'ish prematurely. You have patience beyond your years.

All I can offer is the inspirations of others so.... I screen-scraped these shots of Mume/Ume - I think they are each wonderful examples.

Screen Shot 2019-08-21 at 9.19.30 pm.jpgScreen Shot 2019-08-21 at 9.23.14 pm.jpgScreen Shot 2019-08-21 at 9.20.14 pm.jpg

I have included a couple of Multi-trunk pics because perhaps this tree young enough that you could take a cutting and create some form of multi-trunk or mother/daughter type set-up....the cutting would always be naturally younger and subordinate to the main tree. Could be nice.

That said, I do like that second photo. I am probably wrong but I think Kez (on this forum) runs a number of bonsai in this style - quite beautiful and inherently interesting; suiting a flowering tree, I think. The third photo in your initial set indicates an arc that may well be the bones for this type of design. Hard to tell from photos.

Whatever the path you choose, I imagine it's all about cut and grow from now to whatever future you create for this tree. I look forward to watching your knowledge and vision create something wonderful over time.
Thank you Mark, that first image you posted grabs me the most as a future direction to take the tree (ignoring conveniently it’s far older than I will ever see my one). It’s a little different developing a plum/apricot/ cherry to other deciduous, with provisions needing to be made for allowing enough growth to flower, while still getting taper. I find the trunk of the second image lovely, but the ’medusa’ style top a bit distracting/ energetic for such a contorted and aged trunk.

I might just remove a few branches here and there for cuttings, repot after flowering, and let it keep doing it’s thing for now, it’s still very young.
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Re: Young Prunus Ume advice needed

Post by Robsterios » August 23rd, 2019, 1:43 pm

One concern I have is that it doesn't really look like Ume. Prunus Ume flower on bare wood much earlier than when the leaves shoot, in addition, the leaf shape of Ume and Apricot's in particular are very heart shaped, Ume differs from standard Apricot by have a very pointed tail to the heart. Beautiful little tree regardless.

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Re: Young Prunus Ume advice needed

Post by Robsterios » August 23rd, 2019, 2:05 pm

I was a bit Ume Obsessed for a time so searched out any I could so now have a few. One bit of advice I can offer is if you have any garden space, bury the pot in the ground. I did this last year with a cutting - (also from Steve @ Sugoi!) I buried the orchid pot it was growing in into the garden with a hand full of seamungus underneath and the tree is now over 6 feet tall and the trunk has thickened considerably. Another I have just growing in the pot on the bench is growing but only slowly with minimal trunk thickening. I'll leave the one in the ground for another season, lift it next Winter, root prune and do the same. The pot sort of keeps the root ball small but allows the feeder roots to escape and grow on.

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Re: Young Prunus Ume advice needed

Post by TimS » August 23rd, 2019, 4:39 pm

Robsterios wrote:
August 23rd, 2019, 1:43 pm
One concern I have is that it doesn't really look like Ume. Prunus Ume flower on bare wood much earlier than when the leaves shoot, in addition, the leaf shape of Ume and Apricot's in particular are very heart shaped, Ume differs from standard Apricot by have a very pointed tail to the heart. Beautiful little tree regardless.
Hmm this is curious as i would not describe the leaf shape of this plant as heart shape/ cordate whatsoever, far more it is an elongated ovate with no tail whatsoever. I will post a photo of the leaf once it is fully out, it is only just emerging with the flowers at the moment. I have a pink Mume that has the heart shape leaf with the tip, and that's the reason i went with ume. I actually have 4 or 5 different Mume cultivars, and the leaf shape is so different that it seemed unlikely it would also be a mume. I need to do some research on prunus leaf types and maybe key it out formally.

Here are some photos of some fully open flowers now. I cannot deny that there is a Prunus Mume flower precisely the same as this one with the separated petal (corolla to go for botanical accuracy!), but the leaf shape difference is niggling at me. I'd love to know exactly what it is now!

Edit! I'm just going through the dichotomous key, it might be Prunus umbellata common names of Black Sloe, Hog Plum or Flatwood's Plum. but i'm still working on it. The flower is exactly right, shape with the little flower stem is spot on. Leaf shape is still a bit troublesome but it's closer to p.umbellata than p.mume.
pf1.jpg
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Re: Young Prunus Ume advice needed

Post by KIRKY » August 23rd, 2019, 6:07 pm

Tim, I thought the first pic’s looked more like a plum to me, flowers now confirm it. Not sure if a Black Thorn (Sloe Plus) or just a white flowering plum. Fruit will tell all. Prunus Mume flowers early in the season for me about May. With absolutely no leaf during flowering.
Nice plum nonetheless.
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Re: Young Prunus Ume advice needed

Post by TimS » August 23rd, 2019, 6:36 pm

KIRKY wrote:
August 23rd, 2019, 6:07 pm
Tim, I thought the first pic’s looked more like a plum to me, flowers now confirm it. Not sure if a Black Thorn (Sloe Plus) or just a white flowering plum. Fruit will tell all. Prunus Mume flowers early in the season for me about May. With absolutely no leaf during flowering.
Nice plum nonetheless.
Cheers
Kirky
Yep on reflection it’s absolutely Prunus Spinosa/Blackthorn which explains why the leaf still bothered me about umbellata!

Well, we got to the bottom of it, and it’s good to know what it actually is for appropriate care.
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Re: Young Prunus Ume advice needed

Post by TimS » August 24th, 2019, 12:51 pm

Bold decision made; too much growth that had extended far from the main trunkline i am pursuing, and some heavy branches that were trying to take over now removed or reduced. Repotting to follow, might just remove the flowers for now and get on with growing it!
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Re: Young Prunus Ume advice needed

Post by Snipz » August 25th, 2019, 11:02 pm

We have flowers; just a plum tho....
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Re: Young Prunus Ume advice needed

Post by Green_Blue » April 15th, 2020, 2:16 pm

Thought I might ask a question about prunus ume in this thread.

I purchased a seedling off eBay last year and it didn’t drop any leaves during winter. I presume that this might be an age thing but I saw on Bonsai Tonight a recommendation of defoliating to ensure a period of dormancy. Has anyone tried something like this going into autumn/winter? Or does it just not get cold enough in Melbourne for prunus ume to go dormant (and flower).

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