field grown prunus mume material .. a few questions on how to continue development.

Malix

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I have this twin trunk mume I just obtained ( very happy to find this! I have a seedling mume planted in my yard but its years behind this new one) . Purported to have pink flowers. It has nice movement and the nebari looks good ( but I'll know more next year when I transplant it). the main trunk is about 2 1/4" thick the nebari looks about 5" wide.

I would like to continue to increase primary trunk thickness to at least 4"- 5" inches. So I will fertilize well starting now. I did a bit of cleanup in the interior removing dead or unusable branches. I'll need to reduce some of the large branches , at some point on the main trunk as its too crowded in there now. I don't think any reverse taper will develop based on the current branches coming out of the main trunk but I definitely need to continue movement into the upper part of the trunk lines by pruning.

I have a mume seedling in the ground in my yard that still has not flowered. cutting it back seems to not cause major dieback and it seems to bud back well..

but on this larger material Do I need to preserve interior buds and branches at all? or do mume usually bid back well when trunk chopped? How would you balance the next few years to balance thickening and adding movement to the upper trunk sections?
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Awesome find. Please continue to share as you progress. That tree looks like it has some serious potential. Can’t wait to see what you do with it.
 

JoeR

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Man this thread didn't get much of a response, what did you end up doing with it this year @Malix ? Definitely has potential
 

leatherback

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What I am finding is that they do backbud, and certainly by drastic cuts of established trees you should get some buds, albeit not reliably.
 

JoeR

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What I am finding is that they do backbud, and certainly by drastic cuts of established trees you should get some buds, albeit not reliably.
I was listening to the Asymmetry podcast discussing flowering/fruiting bonsai, and they mentioned that ume do *not reliably backbud on *old wood. No personal experience but that is what was said, stating this is why they are so often grafted. The key here is the difference in cultivars, just like maples some are drastically more vigorous. What cultivar/flower color are you working with?

Pics!
 

leatherback

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I guess the asymmetry podcast (?) has listened to me. They said exactly what I wrote.

I have several, pink, red.

 

Malix

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Decided to do a hard cutback to hopefully trigger some back budding. After doing some searching there seems to be no consensus in the community on wether these bud back much on old wood. Thanks to the comments above with respect o that question.

This tree grew very strongly this year as prunus seem to do. I waited till most of the leaves had turned color or dropped. I left approx 2 to 3 buds on all cut ends. Additionally I left the majority of the middle of the three large upper branches of the main trunk. I had been hoping to remove more but buds are pretty small on the branchlets coming off that middle section and I'm not looking for it to die back. I plan to remove that entirely a soon as is feasible. As well the lowest side branch on the right side of the main trunk will likely go as soon as possible. Mostly because it seems likely to cut into the visual space belonging to the secondary trunk.Possibly next year after leaf hardening depending on how it responds to transplanting. The plan is to transplant this tree in early spring. am guessing early spring as buds begin to push is the best time for a thorough transplanting (like most deciduous)?

Does anyone know how much of a root pruning these take? I know 50% is probably real safe. Tho I usually like to clean house as much as possible on a new tree bare rooting it and removing unnecessary large roots. this tree has grown well fed and watered this year and has been growing strongly prior to my purchase of it last spring. . Happy to hear any advice on how well these tolerate work on the roots. Trying to advance as much as possible but keeping the health of the tree in mind.

Since it very strong right now with the amount or resources its gathered. I figure a thorough transplanting will be tolerated if timed well. obviously subject to what I find when I get in there.


The nebari looks pretty good considering its likely not been worked on in the past. At least the front does. the back not as much. I know Prunus mum are not not usually known for having excellent nebari.. But still not bad so far.
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Wow I think it looks great. I hope more experienced keepers can chin in to answer some of your questions as I am still learning.

congratulations on a great looking mume

michael
 

leatherback

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If I do pruning of trees with the aim to get backbudding, I in general do not do rootwork, for any species.

That being said.. This one was pruned back to the core in summer in the field. In fall pulled from a field. Cleaned the roots, trimmed back and planted in this fairly small pot:
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Early summer:
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Brian Van Fleet

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Decided to do a hard cutback to hopefully trigger some back budding. After doing some searching there seems to be no consensus in the community on wether these bud back much on old wood. Thanks to the comments above with respect o that question.

This tree grew very strongly this year as prunus seem to do. I waited till most of the leaves had turned color or dropped. I left approx 2 to 3 buds on all cut ends. Additionally I left the majority of the middle of the three large upper branches of the main trunk. I had been hoping to remove more but buds are pretty small on the branchlets coming off that middle section and I'm not looking for it to die back. I plan to remove that entirely a soon as is feasible. As well the lowest side branch on the right side of the main trunk will likely go as soon as possible. Mostly because it seems likely to cut into the visual space belonging to the secondary trunk.Possibly next year after leaf hardening depending on how it responds to transplanting. The plan is to transplant this tree in early spring. am guessing early spring as buds begin to push is the best time for a thorough transplanting (like most deciduous)?

Does anyone know how much of a root pruning these take? I know 50% is probably real safe. Tho I usually like to clean house as much as possible on a new tree bare rooting it and removing unnecessary large roots. this tree has grown well fed and watered this year and has been growing strongly prior to my purchase of it last spring. . Happy to hear any advice on how well these tolerate work on the roots. Trying to advance as much as possible but keeping the health of the tree in mind.

Since it very strong right now with the amount or resources its gathered. I figure a thorough transplanting will be tolerated if timed well. obviously subject to what I find when I get in there.


The nebari looks pretty good considering its likely not been worked on in the past. At least the front does. the back not as much. I know Prunus mum are not not usually known for having excellent nebari.. But still not bad so far.
I have grown out one over the last 10-12 years and found that at this stage, they will bud back on “old” wood. They will not as they get older, I have found, with a much older one growing in a bonsai pot for the last 10 years.

My Ume that is similar in age to yours is here:
@Dav4 has one similar in age too that he has moved into a semi cascade pot and started training.

Root pruning: I do very little root pruning, and more “soil changing” each spring. If a root or two gets particularly heavy, I will remove it, but I try to leave as much of the finer roots as possible. I skipped repotting my older one this year for the first time in a decade, and this year’s growth was a bit stunted as a result.

My older one is here:

Timing to repot: after maples. My Ume bud out later...around the same time as zelkova, and just before beech. Repot as the buds are swelling, but be careful not to dislodge any. If you can keep it above freezing, I’d cheat and repot earlier to prevent this.

Nice looking Ume you have there, and a double trunk to boot! Enjoy and good luck with it!
 
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meushi

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Based on an old article (circa 2006) about the mume growing techniques used by master Iijima, prunus mume must be able to bud back on old wood. He field grows them for 30 to 40 years, using clip and grow to obtain gnarly trunks. Then they're chopped back to the trunk line and dug up, before moving to a recovery area. They're potted two years after that, to develop the ramifications. However, if I recall correctly, he's using a specific cultivar that is grafted on a very strong rootstock.
 

Dav4

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I'll agree with everything Brian has said above, including his proposed cuts... the future branches on this one need to match and accentuate the curvy trunk, so they need to have lots of movement which you don't have right now, imo. I've found that you can remove lots of roots and they don't seem to mind, either. Here's the thread on my semi cascade ume- https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/another-ume.32214/- and here's the thread on a shohin ume I've been developing- https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/developing-a-shohin-ume.21220/- same vintage as the cascade, but it's been in a pot a lot longer so it's not as girthy ;) .
 

Dav4

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@Dav4 your links aren't working
Hmmmm... https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/another-ume.32214/
 

JoeR

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I have grown out one over the last 10-12 years and found that at this stage, they will bud back on “old” wood. They will not as they get older, I have found, with a much older one growing in a bonsai pot for the last 10 years.

My Ume that is similar in age to yours is here:
@Dav4 has one similar in age too that he has moved into a semi cascade pot and started training.

Root pruning: I do very little root pruning, and more “soil changing” each spring. If a root or two gets particularly heavy, I will remove it, but I try to leave as much of the finer roots as possible. I skipped repotting my older one this year for the first time in a decade, and this year’s growth was a bit stunted as a result.

My older one is here:

Timing to repot: after maples. My Ume bud out later...around the same time as zelkova, and just before beech. Repot as the buds are swelling, but be careful not to dislodge any. If you can keep it above freezing, I’d cheat and repot earlier to prevent this.

Nice looking Ume you have there, and a double trunk to boot! Enjoy and good luck with it!
Brian, with the ume you had planted in the ground did you have problems with just a few roots growing too big? I have several in grow beds, that were grown in colander a year or two before out planting, but it seems some have formed large roots anyway. I think they have been in the ground 2 years, with no root work. Possibly 3. Really wanted to get them growing good. I plan to chop hard and dig them out this spring, but am trying to figure out how to tackle the larger roots.
 

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