Another Mume!

AndyJ

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Hi folks,

As a result of the threads on Bonsainut and the enthusiasm you guys have for Mume, I bought myself a few. I got them last year - two seedlings on their own roots, colour unknown, the others are grafts - one Omoi-no-mama (semi-double white flowers), and a couple Beni-Chidori (bright pink / red); I am hoping to get a Rosea Plena (semi-double light pink) in the next couple of weeks. To be honest, I thought they were all young and wouldn't flower for some time to come, but I've got flower buds on the Omoi and one of the Beni's! Now I'm well excited!!

Can I ask you Mume experts some questions about your Mume's and how you've grown and developed them?

Am I right in understanding that Mume flower on new wood only? So any new growth I get this year, will bear flowers next?

Can I just let my tree grow to develop a big trunk over a few years like I would do with a maple, for example? And then cut it back? Will Mume back-bud on old wood? Or is there a different process to follow with Mume.

Thanks all and looking forward to seeing how they all develop with your help.

Andy
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Am I right in understanding that Mume flower on new wood only? So any new growth I get this year, will bear flowers next?
Flower buds set during the growing period (June-ish) to bloom in the following winter (January-ish). Read here:
https://nebaribonsai.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/a-conversation-with-enrique-castano-on-ume/

Can I just let my tree grow to develop a big trunk over a few years like I would do with a maple, for example?
Yes.

Will Mume back-bud on old wood?
Yes, if it is growing vigorously. Once it is being grown for branch density (flowers) in a bonsai container, the main challenge with ume is getting it to bud back. They tend to abandon interior buds in favor of distal buds. There are ways to address it, including selective defoliation and grafting, but that’s for another time.
 
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The grafts will flower for sure because the scion is taken from a mature plant that is already ready to flower, that is one of the reasons they're grafted. Seedlings you'll have to wait till they're ready.
 

AndyJ

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Thanks for your replies. I was getting confused about how I got the tree to grow big and give me a decent trunk if it didn't backbud! Thank you for clearing that up. Couple of pictures - apologies for the really poor quality - will try and sort something better out when / if they flower.

This is the Omoio:



This is one of the Beni's:



This is the other Beni:



What do you think? Flower buds or just leaves?
 

Giga

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the bulges are flowers, these are kept outside right?
 

AndyJ

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That's encouraging then - I'm pleased about that. I've got them in a shed - to try and give them some protection from low temperatures. Is that the wrong thing to do?
 

Giga

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yeah thats fine in really low temps but I keep mine outside unless it drops below -7C, just don't let dry out but don't keep them super wet either.
 

AndyJ

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Sorry folks, back with more questions - hope you don't mind?

When is the right time to do root work on Mume? I'm guessing it's wait until they have finished flowering? But won't this be around the time they are in leaf? When is the window of opportunity?

As for pruning, when they have finished flowering, can I prune hard? Back to the trunk if I want to? And can I use sacrifice branches on Mume?

Thanks again,

Andy
 

Giga

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Sorry folks, back with more questions - hope you don't mind?

When is the right time to do root work on Mume? I'm guessing it's wait until they have finished flowering? But won't this be around the time they are in leaf? When is the window of opportunity?

As for pruning, when they have finished flowering, can I prune hard? Back to the trunk if I want to? And can I use sacrifice branches on Mume?

Thanks again,

Andy
When the flowers start to fade you can prune back hard BUT make sure there are 1-2 vegetative buds if you know what to look for, or 2-3 to be safe, you can also prune to nothing on trunks but you take a chance of nothing popping. Protect those cuts from hard freezes. You can use sacrifice branches on any tree. I would read up on them and there purpose and how to maintain them and branch/buds you want on the same branch.
 

AndyJ

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Thanks Giga. I feel like I'm coming across as a bit of a loony here - plenty of dumbass questions!

So I can prune off unwanted branches back to the trunk just as any other tree? But leave a couple of vegetative buds in the areas that I want branches to grow?
 

AndyJ

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Am I right in understanding that Mume flower on new wood only? So any new growth I get this year, will bear flowers next?
Flower buds set during the growing period (June-ish) to bloom in the following winter (January-ish). Read here:
https://nebaribonsai.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/a-conversation-with-enrique-castano-on-ume/

Can I just let my tree grow to develop a big trunk over a few years like I would do with a maple, for example?
Yes.

Will Mume back-bud on old wood?
Yes, if it is growing vigorously. Once it is being grown for branch density (flowers) in a bonsai container, the main challenge with ume is getting it to bud back. They tend to abandon interior buds in favor of distal buds. There are ways to address it, including selective defoliation and grafting, but that’s for another time.
Brilliant info there Brian - thanks for the links

Andy
 

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