Contorted Japanese Flowering Apricot

JudyB

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fredtruck

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Well, it produces more leaf buds which produce more branches. Eventually there will be more flowers. However, as I've noted before, I don't know how many flowers I'll get, although I see lots of flower buds now.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Do you think that the triple flowering is part of the type of ume that yours is Fred? Interesting that the two methods outlined by you and Adair are so different, but work well for both of you. I have two, maybe I'll try one on each...
Looking really good Fred. I wouldn't let it lean much more, but you march to the beat of your own drum!

The method Adair described is in an article by Lynn Perry Alstadt in International Bonsai 1982 #1. It's out of print, but with @William N. Valavanis blessing, I could post scans of the 2-page article. I am testing the described leaf removal process on a couple of tagged branches of my Ume to see how it responds and will post the results next year. I tried it in 2015, but was a little late in the season, so the buds were already differentiated to flowers.

Bjorn told me that they defoliate Ume at Kouka-en in May, at which point they prune and wire them. Their climate is very similar to mine. Sometimes they don't leaf out again during the growing season; they just sit basically dormant. I have not tried it, but my assumption is that the pruning and defoliation results in more vegetative buds, similar to removing the first 2 leaves of each shoot. Mine grows about 24" shoots, and then I prune them each back to 2 leaves in May. The flower buds are usually good, but I do need to start encouraging vegetative buds back closer to the trunk.

I am also growing an Ume trunk in the ground (Anderson flat now), and have documented its response to trunk chops. Not much has been written on this topic, so it has been a bit of an experiment. They're great trees; nice in all seasons.
 

fredtruck

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Here are 4 pictures I just took of my Ume that show buds very clearly. In each case, the largest, and if viewed from the top, the roundest buds are flower buds. Usually the flower buds are in the center if there are vegetative buds on either side of the flower bud.

buds 1.jpg buds 2.jpg buds 3.jpg buds 4.jpg

I've often wondered about the Contorta cultivar of ume. They don't really seem to follow the examples of other ume used for bonsai. For example, my tree frequently backbuds on old wood with a new green shoot.
 

Adair M

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Here's a picture of mine after I removed the bottom leaves, trimmed the branches shorter, and wired. The portion I wired, is the first couple inches of each shoot.

The leaves are curling, so they will be producing flowers.

The picture was taken last June.

image.jpeg
 

fredtruck

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Sounds like we need to find a source for the contorta cultivar :)
I wonder how you would do that? I can tell you I got mine from Forestfarms in Oregon. They thought the tree was 13 or 16 years old when I bought it. It had never flowered. They occasionally have contorted Japanese flowering apricots, but I haven't seen one recently. Owen Reich, I believe, has worked with contortas, and the only other thing I know is that some of them are red flowered. But this info doesn't tell us much.
 

fredtruck

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Since I put my ume in a larger pot, and the tree put out a lot more shoots, it has been behaving differently than it has in past years. As you can see in the picture below, it has a lot more flower buds than in the past. It is also slower to bloom than in the past. But the ume seems to be doing very well, and it won't be long until the blossoms open.

prunus mume c. 1-10-17.jpg
 

discusmike

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She is really coming along nicely Fred,gonna really look good during flowering this year,I have a Komai that's roughly six or seven feet tall in my grow out garden that's has a load of flower buds getting ready to burst,I'm thinking about doing layers in spring,do you know how they respond if you cut low where there are no visible buds??the bark is getting rough and she is trunking up I need to start working on her this year.
 

fredtruck

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I really don't know about layers. Owen Reich would know, however. Thanks for the kind words.
 

thumblessprimate1

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She is really coming along nicely Fred,gonna really look good during flowering this year,I have a Komai that's roughly six or seven feet tall in my grow out garden that's has a load of flower buds getting ready to burst,I'm thinking about doing layers in spring,do you know how they respond if you cut low where there are no visible buds??the bark is getting rough and she is trunking up I need to start working on her this year.
I suggest grafting to get low branches. Check out bonhe's thread on grafting ume. I've followed his instructions. Had some good success trying it with ume for the first time. I did some in the spring and some in the fall.
 

fredtruck

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I'm assuming it flowers because you mention it has a ton of flower buds ready to burst. The main reason ume are grafted is that they often are difficult about flowering. Peter Teas said in his blog that to overcome ume's crankiness, good rootstock is grafted to stock is that known to flower. How did you acquire your ume?

Here's the url for the Peter Teas article:

https://peterteabonsai.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/japanese-flowering-plum-basics/
 
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bonhe

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It is really nice to look at it as such as it was under the moonlight. Thank you for taking time to show us.
Bonhe
 

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