Bad at Ume

badatusernames

Chumono
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What the hell have I done

I knew I wanted to try an ume, I knew good ones were hard to find. I didn't really plan on it being now, but I saw one I liked a lot and it was pretty much out of my control. I don't really buy the "it was basically in my car before I knew I bought it" story but that's pretty much how this went, so now it's my problem.

It's funny, I seem to get a mix of "oh cool" or "I'm sorry" and not much in between when people find out I have it.

So here it is.

c37e8cf8-b87f-4c2f-9f0e-06891ab5a0a5-jpeg.390424


Again, I have virtually no idea what it is that I am doing here. Or at least really didn't when I got it. @Brian Van Fleet has a Ume schedule that was incredibly helpful. I've had it... a month or so now, and as you can see it has what looks like perhaps a touch of chlorosis maybe. If anything I say here sounds wrong, don't hesitate to tell me, it probably is.

What I have been gathering is that the two major killers of ume are:

#1 - lack of water. I drench it when the top soil gets dry.
#2 - lack of fertilizer. @Trueblackpercula this is what you were asking about. It basically sounded like you literally could not fertilize these too much, and so I've given / will be giving it biogold every month, Gro-Power 12-8-8 every two months, Hanasaku every month, and spraying it every ten days or so with a seaweed emulsion. For the record, this is also how I got my "chojubai" to explode this year, to the point that I no longer think it's technically a real-deal chojubai as we talk about them - I can't find anything about them that makes me think the growth rate on mine makes any sense at all.

From what you were saying in Brian's thread, it sounds like there's a bit more nuance that what I've applied here - tbh, before I do anything, I go back and re-check my sources, so I may be simply forgetting.

When I got this plant, I first checked the base. It looked like thee roots had been chopped to get it into the pot. I don't know when that was done for sure. I probably should have asked, probably still could. Got it from NEBG. My understanding, however, is that when this is the case with ume, the first rule is to wait a year. Just wait. Feed it, let it grow, wait.

So, my first real step with this will be either cutting it back in Dec, or pruning and shaping it in April/May. I'm currently leaning towards assuming the latter.

We shall see. I'm pretty far out over my skis on this one, I think, but I'm also pretty excited about it.
 

badatusernames

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here’s a close up of a leaf

i know aroooound now they start to get funky and people get nervous, but even so i feel like it’s supposed to be sept not aug. might be normal tho as it moves into autumn. ish. i think they’re selling pumpkin spice sam adam’s now?

282AE537-37D4-4C84-8DBA-3482BB9518FC.jpeg
 
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I am new to bonsai and have read countless hours of post and articles on Prunus mume and prunus incisa.

I will say that my trees are doing great and I can attribute it to many factors not just one. But with that said Brian’s schedule is awesome but keep in mind it may vary a little based on where you live so my trees were about two months behind his.
His tree flowers in January if I read correctly and mine did in March. The tree itself will tell you when to follow the schedule if that makes sense. As for fertilizer I used NPK of 12/4/5 organic slow release by tiny roots from March until end of June none in July.
Now that it is August I started feeding NPK 1.5/9/4.5 by superfly also organic and time released as well both were placed in little baskets like yours.
I learned the hard way that the fertilizer burnt my moss when placed directly on top of it so I would suggest doing it the way that you are.
The first round of fertilizer allowed my trees to put out some serious new shots and leaves that are deep green in color both the incisa and the mume using this fertilizer. Not trying to make you buy it or follow my schedule just sharing what worked for me.
I also repotted both of my trees this year. The mume in March and the incisa shortly after because I needed for her to loose her flowers first.
I used 50% to 60% akadama and the rest was a mix of Pumic and Laval rock if that helps you out.
I wish you the best of luck with your tree as I think it’s amazing.
If you need any more info let me know as I can share my experiences. But there are others around here that are truly willing to help and I learned so much from them.
I have two threads that may help ya out one is very lengthy but has great questions and answers that may help.
Keep in touch and looking forward to seeing your tree progress.
Michael

below are the fertilizer and some pics I just took of mume leaves to show you how they look this time of the year from NYC.
57C26F8B-E690-429A-B5B5-1C13A18D1A99.jpeg77EB6D4C-B308-4F58-BB25-81B1CB32E185.jpeg716B9805-A769-4A50-B78F-6154066AC9CA.jpeg1BDF7F14-076B-48BB-A244-CE5C26DD680E.jpegCF798FA5-B6C0-4FB8-B157-26667276DD97.jpeg7A785719-20A1-43F1-BE9C-9D7795A48642.png74A400A4-A981-4A5B-AF1C-D42E7F799D96.pngB2BBC311-E092-4CBB-B5AE-9EC476250342.png
 

Adair M

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I don’t worry about the leaves. You’re growing these for the flowers. If you prune in December, you will cut off the flower buds! Wait until after they bloom to do major pruning.

Oh, you can trim back excessively long shoots, but keep the flower buds!
 

badatusernames

Chumono
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I am new to bonsai and have read countless hours of post and articles on Prunus mume and prunus incisa.

I will say that my trees are doing great and I can attribute it to many factors not just one. But with that said Brian’s schedule is awesome but keep in mind it may vary a little based on where you live so my trees were about two months behind his.
His tree flowers in January if I read correctly and mine did in March. The tree itself will tell you when to follow the schedule if that makes sense. As for fertilizer I used NPK of 12/4/5 organic slow release by tiny roots from March until end of June none in July.
Now that it is August I started feeding NPK 1.5/9/4.5 by superfly also organic and time released as well both were placed in little baskets like yours.
I learned the hard way that the fertilizer burnt my moss when placed directly on top of it so I would suggest doing it the way that you are.
The first round of fertilizer allowed my trees to put out some serious new shots and leaves that are deep green in color both the incisa and the mume using this fertilizer. Not trying to make you buy it or follow my schedule just sharing what worked for me.
I also repotted both of my trees this year. The mume in March and the incisa shortly after because I needed for her to loose her flowers first.
I used 50% to 60% akadama and the rest was a mix of Pumic and Laval rock if that helps you out.
I wish you the best of luck with your tree as I think it’s amazing.
If you need any more info let me know as I can share my experiences. But there are others around here that are truly willing to help and I learned so much from them.
I have two threads that may help ya out one is very lengthy but has great questions and answers that may help.
Keep in touch and looking forward to seeing your tree progress.
Michael

below are the fertilizer and some pics I just took of mume leaves to show you how they look this time of the year from NYC.
View attachment 390476View attachment 390477View attachment 390478View attachment 390479View attachment 390480View attachment 390481View attachment 390482View attachment 390483

That is super helpful thank you! Yes, any help is appreciated, this is some new information for me and yours looks great. I was wondering about the timing of the schedule due to the difference in geography, so it's very helpful to know how someone nearer to me has seen success as well!

I don’t worry about the leaves. You’re growing these for the flowers. If you prune in December, you will cut off the flower buds! Wait until after they bloom to do major pruning.

Oh, you can trim back excessively long shoots, but keep the flower buds!

Thank you! Yes, that's a great point about flowers vs. leaves. I've read up what I could find and have Peter... Adams'? book on flowering bonsai so I'm hoping to at least learn how to tell how to identify them as the time approches.
 

badatusernames

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Actually, here's a question - is there any reason to think this should go in a bonsai pot next year? From my understanding, I'd really want the leader to thicken and bark up in a grow pot. Seems extremely - years - early to be thinking about matching it up, but after a couple conversation I have had, I wanted to confirm that in case there was some secret "except for umes" rule.
 
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If it was mine I would wait until after the flowers fall and trim down and repot into a bonsai pot in the new year. The tree looks amazing. But it’s your tree and what ever you decide is up to you. What are you looking to get from it ? It’s not a young tree it has age lots of age and remember from what I have read they do not back bud so you need to prune back correctly. Lol
but I will leave that to someone who has more experience than me on that topic.
By the way what color flowers does it have? Did you ask?
 

badatusernames

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If it was mine I would wait until after the flowers fall and trim down and repot into a bonsai pot in the new year. The tree looks amazing. But it’s your tree and what ever you decide is up to you. What are you looking to get from it ? It’s not a young tree it has age lots of age and remember from what I have read they do not back bud so you need to prune back correctly. Lol
but I will leave that to someone who has more experience than me on that topic.
By the way what color flowers does it have? Did you ask?

oh i absolutely didn’t mean now, i meant next year at the right time. even then it seems it needs a lot more time maturing before that though.
 

R3x

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Well if you want the leader to be thicker and bark up your best choice is to plant in the ground and let grow freely for few seasons with some occasional cutback. In pot the growth/thickening/barking will be much slower.
 

Dav4

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Actually, here's a question - is there any reason to think this should go in a bonsai pot next year? From my understanding, I'd really want the leader to thicken and bark up in a grow pot. Seems extremely - years - early to be thinking about matching it up, but after a couple conversation I have had, I wanted to confirm that in case there was some secret "except for umes" rule.
Ume actually thicken up pretty quickly in a training pot verses running feral in the ground, so if you're just wanting to thicken up an existing leader, it can done over a few years using sacrifice branches. My ume trunk grew like a beast in an anderson flat and developed quickly, going from the ground to a finished bonsai pot in 4 seasons. By the way, you did good getting this one ;) .
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Nice big fat trunk. Wonder what happened to the rest of it. Looks like it was sawed off and now needs to be regrown. I was able to add 1/2” thick trunk sections in a year of growing in an Anderson flat. That’s what I would focus on for the next few years. Unless you’re going for a sumo style…then you can jump right into styling in the spring. Careful wiring though, branches are brittle, unless they’re new growth.

Since it’s new to you, hold off pruning anything until next spring. Be patient and enjoy the new addition. Killer bark and base, plenty to enjoy while you plan your attack.

Keep feeding it until the leaves fall. Ume don’t always look great by late summer, but they make up for it when leafless and when blooming. You won’t reverse the yellowing this year, but you’ll bulk it up for a good year of growing next year.
 

badatusernames

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Ume actually thicken up pretty quickly in a training pot verses running feral in the ground, so if you're just wanting to thicken up an existing leader, it can done over a few years using sacrifice branches. My ume trunk grew like a beast in an anderson flat and developed quickly, going from the ground to a finished bonsai pot in 4 seasons. By the way, you did good getting this one ;) .

Thank you! That's great to know about the anderson flat, I have one handy and that's where it'll go next year. Someone was showing me pots for it and I was like, I am pretty sure this is insanely early and that this is never going to thicken and bark up that way.

Nice big fat trunk. Wonder what happened to the rest of it. Looks like it was sawed off and now needs to be regrown. I was able to add 1/2” thick trunk sections in a year of growing in an Anderson flat. That’s what I would focus on for the next few years. Unless you’re going for a sumo style…then you can jump right into styling in the spring. Careful wiring though, branches are brittle, unless they’re new growth.

Since it’s new to you, hold off pruning anything until next spring. Be patient and enjoy the new addition. Killer bark and base, plenty to enjoy while you plan your attack.

Keep feeding it until the leaves fall. Ume don’t always look great by late summer, but they make up for it when leafless and when blooming. You won’t reverse the yellowing this year, but you’ll bulk it up for a good year of growing next year.

Yes, that's exactly what happened from the looks of it. I have what appears to be a not-that-artfully-done chop and a new leader. Definitely work to be done, but I think it will be rewarding if I keep it alive. Looks like a second vote for Anderson flat from folks who have had a lot of success, so that's how we'll kick off next year!
 

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