Contorted Japanese Flowering Apricot

fredtruck

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My Contorted Japanese Flowering Apricot has flowered early this year. Many of you have probably seen this tree here in previous years. Judging by the number of flower buds that are still developing, I am hoping a long flowering season.

I’m posting this picture to encourage others to post pictures of their ume in flower or in leaf from last year or this year. I would like to see more bonsai enthusiasts growing this tree because of its beauty and because it blooms in the late fall or winter.

If you have a smart phone with a QR Code reader, the larger code gives copyright info and the smaller takes you to my web site. Many of the articles I’ve written there are about bonsai.

prunus mume c. 11-30-12 ul.jpg
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Looks good Fred, how is blooming season earlier in IA than AL? ;-)
Here is a rare good shot of mine in leaf this summer...buds are swelling at the moment, but no blooms yet this year...
 

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fredtruck

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That really looks good, Brian. I see more and more pictures of ume in leaf and they can look very attractive, though they aren't often shown this way.
 

milehigh_7

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Not to hijack but quickly could you post a closeup of a leaf bud and a flower bud? Please and thank you!
 

fredtruck

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Actually, I did it tonight. Generally, leaf buds are smaller and much more pointed than flower buds, which are large and round. Sometimes on some cultivars, a flower bud is accompanied by 2 leaf buds. On my tree, not so. Sometimes there is one leaf bud, sometimes not, and sometimes, there are two. The Contorta is a little different than the standard.

flower & leaf buds.jpg

As you'll see in the picture, I have labeled which is which. Leaf buds are often hard to see. The resolution isn't what I'd hoped for, but I think you can see the leaf buds.
 

milehigh_7

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Thanks! I guess I will post my little survivor next chance I get to take a pic.
 

nathanbs

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My white ume is just about to pop as well but my pinks seem to be a ways to go. I will post when they flower
 

fredtruck

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Great! I'm looking forward to seeing your ume. You might post a picture of the tree just with unopened buds. Sometimes this creates a very interesting visual image.
 
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JudyB

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must.....get......ume.........

always jealous of these shots!
 

fredtruck

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I hope you do get an Ume, Judy. But, before you do, you should read this post from Peter Tea Bonsai:

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

He explains a ton about how the Japanese do Ume. Note that he calls the tree a Flowering Plum. In Asia, apparently that's the name it goes by. Here, because of its genetics, it's called a Flowering Apricot.
 

bonhe

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hihi, please allow me to post my little ume here. Those pictures were taken on 1/8/2012.
At this time, its leaves completely fell off and lot of flowering buds are swelling up. I expect it will start blooming on 12/29/2012 (this tree has been started blooming in exacted date every year!)
Enjoy.
Bonhe
 

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milehigh_7

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My little survivor (Prunus mume 'Bonita')

I realize that at first glance this Ume is nothing to look at. However there is a back story that might change your mind. I made this thread about a month after I received 10 cuttings from William Valavanis. The flower posted is the tree below.

http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?4952-Ume!-)-Post-Em-If-Ya-Got-Em&p=93475&highlight=ume,+mume#post93475

Shortly after this flowered, (Feb 2011) nine of the ten promptly died. This one lost all of its leaves but the stem stayed green. It stayed leafless and not visibly growing all during the summer of 2011.

What did I see in the Spring of 2012? It was covered in blooms! Shortly after it leafed out and all the growth you see is from this past summer. I love this tree because it is a fighter! Plus it has really pretty flowers. How to develop it from here? I know I need taper, movement and girth.

12%u00252520-%25201.jpg 12%u00252520-%25202.jpg 12%u00252520-%25203.jpg
 

daygan

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Okay, I'm going to have to go out and buy one (or a few) of these things now... I was in a small shop just the other day that was crammed full of umes with swelling flower buds.. hmm...
 

fredtruck

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You should be able to get some fine ones there. Can you photograph the shop??
 

nathanbs

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finally snapped a pic of one of my umes. it started flowering on January 1st.

 

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