I can't Prunus and so can you

Ranitomeya

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Instead of making a few different threads, I'm going to try and keep this one as something of a progress journal, note keeping, and a place to keep all my questions.

As of now, I've got an "Okame" seedling, and a gorgeous Kojo-No-Mai that were gifted to me. In an effort to battle the wind that comes with using an apartment patio, a corner of the patio has been blocked off with cardboard. The "cherry corner" gets good direct light until around 2p or so, and filtered light the rest of the day which I hope will spare me some of the mile-high sun's wrath as we move into the summer.

As of now, the seedling is recovering and acclimating after the cold and wind got to it last week. It dropped it's leaves but I'm hopeful itll make a recovery.

Today though, I'm gonna focus on the Kojo-No-Mai. I'm atrocious with a camera, and enlisted my fiance's help trying to get some decent photos to show you what I'm working with. image000000(15).jpgimage000000(14).jpgimage000000(12).jpgimage000000(13).jpg

I think this last pic is definitely going to be the front, but I'm not quite certain which direction to ultimately take this tree. I think there's the bones of a nice multi-trunk here somewhere, but I think the trunk would need to be considerably thickened or shortened. I don't want to sacrifice the nebari though. The soil is mounded, and I haven't really gone digging but there are some nice strong surface roots showing through the soil in spots. I may opt to shorten that right branch down the line. Good news is, I'm not doing any chopping soon so I have time to mull it over. I think heavy pruning is supposed to be mid/late summer so it'll bloom in the spring? I'll try to get some cuttings going whenever I decide to do a chop.

I think I read somewhere that the height should be 10x the length of leaves for cherries? With that I mind, I think I'm going to try and cultivate it at this larger size (about 18" from top of the pot). Either way no wiring until the winter, for now she gets to grow big and strong.

When I look at this tree I see a slender elegance, and the potential for grandeur. Assuming I don't kill the tree, my ultimate goal is to tease this out.

When it arrived, the tree was full of luscious green leaves. Now some are a little yellow, and others have died back a bit. I'm assuming this is from the stress of being shipped to CO and acclimating to its new spot. Here are some photos in case someone with a trained eye wants to weigh in.20220419_103128.jpg20220419_103137.jpg

There are some green fert pellets on the soil, so for now I'll hold off on fertilizing and plan for 0-5-5 spring-fall moving forward. Given a spray of pesticide for flowering trees and shrubs, to be repeated biweekly.

I'm also gonna list out some info specific to P. Incisa here I've come across in case anyone wants to add and/or contradict it to set me straight.

1. Wire slowly, over the course of a few days, in winter
2. Trim after blooms, but before leaf out
3. Slow to heal, always seal
4. Airlayer in early/late spring after leaf out
5. Keep roots cool, and don't slow to dry out in summer
6. Repot annually, after blooms
 

Shibui

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Agree that the shrivelled leaves appear to have dried out at some stage. Possibly also physical damage from rough handling cutting off sap flow.
Drying could be during shipping or from dry winds. Trees will usually recover.

Be careful with internet generalizations on care. Often based on limited experience.
Annual repot sounds like very young trees aiming for maximum early growth. Certainly not required as the tree gets older and more developed.
Trimming can be done any time of year but there's a risk of infection invading wounds while the tree is dormant so most opt for summer pruning when cherries are actively growing.
Sealing wounds is more about infection prevention IMHO.
Unfortunately cherries are subject to a number of pests and diseases so keeping these is not for the faint hearted. Beginners beware.

I've never heard of leaf size to tree height. That ratio seems to presuppose that leaf size does not change? Leaf size in pot culture is very different from landscape trees and can also change over time. I'm much more open when planning the future of a bonsai.

You've chosen a challenging group to start with so good luck with these.
 

Ranitomeya

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Oof I wish I had caught that weird formatting upthread. Oh well.

Thank you very much for weighing in @Shibui. At least some of the information (like annual repots) I posted upthread came from bonsai4me, I'd seen Harrington's name thrown a bit so assumed it was safe to take the advice as gospel. Thanks for setting me straight on repotting :).

Agree that the shrivelled leaves appear to have dried out at some stage. Possibly also physical damage from rough handling cutting off sap flow.
Drying could be during shipping or from dry winds. Trees will usually recover.
I can't speak to how it was handled prior to reaching my doorstep, but I made a point to baby the package during unboxing and apart from this mornings photoshoot the tree has been staying put on the patio. Definitely can't rule out being tossed around by FedEx, but the box was brimming with packing peanuts.

Be careful with internet generalizations on care. Often based on limited experience.
Annual repot sounds like very young trees aiming for maximum early growth. Certainly not required as the tree gets older and more developed.
Trimming can be done any time of year but there's a risk of infection invading wounds while the tree is dormant so most opt for summer pruning when cherries are actively growing.
Sealing wounds is more about infection prevention IMHO. Unfortunately cherries are subject to a number of pests and diseases so keeping these is not for the faint hearted. Beginners beware.
Thank you for the reality check here, I thought an annual repot seemed excessive but put some trust on the site. I need to remember that age old adage about not believing everything on the internet. I did know that sealing is to prevent infection, but wasn't aware about the "why" it should be done during active growth thank you. I've got a little booklet going with notes about the various pests and diseases I've been reading about, in the hopes that when 1 pops up I'll have an idea where to start.
I've never heard of leaf size to tree height. That ratio seems to presuppose that leaf size does not change? Leaf size in pot culture is very different from landscape trees and can also change over time. I'm much more open when planning the future of a bonsai.

You've chosen a challenging group to start with so good luck with these.
Okay that's actually kind of a relief to hear. I do like it's current size, and may opt to keep it down the line, but that explains why most pictures I've come across seem to show shohin trees.

Thank you for the well wishes, it was actually a bit daunting going from "it'd be nice to have one one day" to "WOW this tree has presence and grandeur, try not to kill it." I think I'm starting to get a joke someone made a few years back about only gifting bonsai to their enemies... On that note, if there are any Prunus specific resources/books you know of I would love to be pointed in the right direction instead of being at the mercy of Google-Fu.
 

Shibui

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Thank you very much for weighing in @Shibui. At least some of the information (like annual repots) I posted upthread came from bonsai4me, I'd seen Harrington's name thrown a bit so assumed it was safe to take the advice as gospel. Thanks for setting me straight on repotting :).
Like much of bonsai and working with living things there are often more than one successful way to do something. Often completely different approaches can end up with the same end product.
Experts in many fields often assume knowledge in the readers and omit some relevant details to shorten posts so even info from reliable sources needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
For bonsai local conditions, age of tree, stage of development, care, health and many more factors can change what we do and how we do it. Sometimes little advice is available so you take what you can get but when you read try to ascertain some of the above factors and how that relates to your particular tree and current needs.
Makes it challenging to find good advice but also makes doing this interesting.
 

ShadyStump

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if there are any Prunus specific resources/books you know of I would love to be pointed in the right direction
You're there, dude. 😎
I'm betting you joined the site for the same reason as many of us: Google kept popping up BNut results when you tried to research something, and you thought you'd cut out the middle man. Right?

Where are you in CO? Always wondering if I have a new bonsai neighbor, or if I get to make more cracks about Denver. 😜
 

Ranitomeya

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You're there, dude. 😎
I'm betting you joined the site for the same reason as many of us: Google kept popping up BNut results when you tried to research something, and you thought you'd cut out the middle man. Right?
You're not wrong for sure, but I was also hoping there might be a respected book worth looking into haha. Dare to dream. I'm at the point where I largely don't even know what I don't know, but I'm trying to track down as many scraps of knowledge as I can.

Where are you in CO? Always wondering if I have a new bonsai neighbor, or if I get to make more cracks about Denver. 😜
I'm 99% sure you asked me this in a different thread last week lol. I'm a little south of Denver, but still within the metro. If you end up this way in the near future lmk, I'd love to buy you a beer and pick your brain. Rip on denver all you want I've got no hometown loyalty for this place, it's home but not home yknow?
 

ShadyStump

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You're not wrong for sure, but I was also hoping there might be a respected book worth looking into haha. Dare to dream. I'm at the point where I largely don't even know what I don't know, but I'm trying to track down as many scraps of knowledge as I can.


I'm 99% sure you asked me this in a different thread last week lol. I'm a little south of Denver, but still within the metro. If you end up this way in the near future lmk, I'd love to buy you a beer and pick your brain. Rip on denver all you want I've got no hometown loyalty for this place, it's home but not home yknow?
Ok crap, that was you!
Sorry. Can't keep track of what I'm doing any more.

Lots of books out there, BTW. It might be worth a thread just on reviews, but you'll find a fistful tend to crop up in conversation regularly.
I'll be tracking some down once tax return hits.
 

Colorado

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Instead of making a few different threads, I'm going to try and keep this one as something of a progress journal, note keeping, and a place to keep all my questions.

As of now, I've got an "Okame" seedling, and a gorgeous Kojo-No-Mai that were gifted to me. In an effort to battle the wind that comes with using an apartment patio, a corner of the patio has been blocked off with cardboard. The "cherry corner" gets good direct light until around 2p or so, and filtered light the rest of the day which I hope will spare me some of the mile-high sun's wrath as we move into the summer.

As of now, the seedling is recovering and acclimating after the cold and wind got to it last week. It dropped it's leaves but I'm hopeful itll make a recovery.

Today though, I'm gonna focus on the Kojo-No-Mai. I'm atrocious with a camera, and enlisted my fiance's help trying to get some decent photos to show you what I'm working with. View attachment 431238View attachment 431237View attachment 431235View attachment 431236

I think this last pic is definitely going to be the front, but I'm not quite certain which direction to ultimately take this tree. I think there's the bones of a nice multi-trunk here somewhere, but I think the trunk would need to be considerably thickened or shortened. I don't want to sacrifice the nebari though. The soil is mounded, and I haven't really gone digging but there are some nice strong surface roots showing through the soil in spots. I may opt to shorten that right branch down the line. Good news is, I'm not doing any chopping soon so I have time to mull it over. I think heavy pruning is supposed to be mid/late summer so it'll bloom in the spring? I'll try to get some cuttings going whenever I decide to do a chop.

I think I read somewhere that the height should be 10x the length of leaves for cherries? With that I mind, I think I'm going to try and cultivate it at this larger size (about 18" from top of the pot). Either way no wiring until the winter, for now she gets to grow big and strong.

When I look at this tree I see a slender elegance, and the potential for grandeur. Assuming I don't kill the tree, my ultimate goal is to tease this out.

When it arrived, the tree was full of luscious green leaves. Now some are a little yellow, and others have died back a bit. I'm assuming this is from the stress of being shipped to CO and acclimating to its new spot. Here are some photos in case someone with a trained eye wants to weigh in.View attachment 431240View attachment 431239

There are some green fert pellets on the soil, so for now I'll hold off on fertilizing and plan for 0-5-5 spring-fall moving forward. Given a spray of pesticide for flowering trees and shrubs, to be repeated biweekly.

I'm also gonna list out some info specific to P. Incisa here I've come across in case anyone wants to add and/or contradict it to set me straight.

1. Wire slowly, over the course of a few days, in winter
2. Trim after blooms, but before leaf out
3. Slow to heal, always seal
4. Airlayer in early/late spring after leaf out
5. Keep roots cool, and don't slow to dry out in summer
6. Repot annually, after blooms

Nice looking tree! Sounds like you’ve got a fine plan and have gotten some good advice already. :)

I’ll throw in my 2 cents which is to ditch the 0-5-5 fert and feed with a more balanced ratio. Certainly something with some nitrogen - regardless of whether it is a flowering species or not.
 

Ranitomeya

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Nice looking tree! Sounds like you’ve got a fine plan and have gotten some good advice already. :)

I’ll throw in my 2 cents which is to ditch the 0-5-5 fert and feed with a more balanced ratio. Certainly something with some nitrogen - regardless of whether it is a flowering species or not.
Haha thanks TJ, I gotta admit all the freebies you gave me were the start of throwing my slow dip into the hobby out of the window. Thanks for the proper introduction to "Crazy".

The fert was something I came across in this thread, OP was going to use 0-10-10 and someone else weighed in saying 0-5-5 was better. Granted I haven't gone through the whole thread yet, but it's full of a lot of great info. That being said, what would the benefits of balancing the nitrogen be for the tree and why "regardless of whether it is a flowering species or not"? That seems to imply that nitrogen may be less used with flowering trees in some situations?
 

Tums

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Usually the formulas with low nitrogen and higher phosphorus are marketed as "bloom booster" fertilizer but I think that's kinda BS. Certainly a tree or almost any plant for that matter needs nitrogen to actually grow and photosynthesize. I agree with the posters on page 2 of that thread.
 

Ranitomeya

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@Tums I'm assuming you mean the guys saying there'd be an eventual P/K surplus and 0-10-10 is a waste of money? Duly noted and great feedback
 

Shibui

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All plants need nitrogen regardless of whether they are flowering species or not. Balanced fertilizers including N, P and K also tend to have trace elements where special mixes like 0.10.10 often don't have the much needed trace elements.
0.10.10 and 0.5.5 are exactly the same ratio. Just there's less nutrients in the bag you buy of 0.5.5. Check the application rate. It is likely the 0.5.5 is applied to the plants at twice the strength of the 0.10.10 so both are really giving exactly the same nutrients to the plant.
Higher N tends to encourage strong growth lost of green leaves. Check NPK ratios of lawn fert and vegetable fert.
Lower N to K ratio is used to encourage flowering rather than zero N. Any fert formulated for flowering or fruiting species will supply the nutrients needed. Check tomato, citrus, rose , etc fert for the NPK ratios to see lower N and higher K ratios.
Does not need to be specific bonsai formulation. Note that I use 'normal' fert through spring for the growing season then switch to a flowering formulation for flowering species after mid summer because that's when the tree begins to produce embryonic flower buds for the following spring.
Some may disagree but it seems to work for me.

Fertilizer for plants, especially potted plants can be complicated. Need to make sure you're getting accurate info and that can be hard these days when everyone is an instant expert and does not have to prove what they say is accurate.
 

Ranitomeya

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That was a very thorough breakdown, thank you. I don't think it clicked that the plant would have been deprived of a vital nutrient, until you put it like that. It's gonna be a little to digest, up until now there's been no need to really look into fertilizers since most of my plants need to be frog-safe and fresh poop does a decent job of providing nutrients. I was just reading up on kelp+fish emulsion as an organic fert for P.Incisa, in the thread linked above, and now I'm weighing that against your normal/flowering suggestion. Something tells me there is no real "right way", but for my edification could you name the fertilizers you use?
 

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Omono
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That was a very thorough breakdown, thank you. I don't think it clicked that the plant would have been deprived of a vital nutrient, until you put it like that. It's gonna be a little to digest, up until now there's been no need to really look into fertilizers since most of my plants need to be frog-safe and fresh poop does a decent job of providing nutrients. I was just reading up on kelp+fish emulsion as an organic fert for P.Incisa, in the thread linked above, and now I'm weighing that against your normal/flowering suggestion. Something tells me there is no real "right way", but for my edification could you name the fertilizers you use?

Can’t go wrong with Biogold pellets plus the fish/seaweed liquid.
 

Ranitomeya

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The progression here on the leaves seems a little disheartening. Some leaves are turning brown at the edges, but more worrisome to me are these little black spots eating through some of the leaves. I just did a pretty thorough check for pests, but didn't see anything. Do yall still think this is likely from acclimation? Id say maybe 5-10% of the leaves look like 1 or the other below.
20220421_105715.jpg20220421_105508.jpg

Also, I've decided I'm going to try and tease out the the twin trunk look with the tall lower branch so my main goal for now is going to be trying to fatten it up a bit. There's a not-quite apical bud at the top of the branch, that I'm contemplating keeping as a sacrifice branch but I'm also considering the "tourniquet method". I'm hoping whichever route I ultimately go will help to fatten the main trunk as well before the split. Would it be too much to attempt one method on each trunk at the same time? Should the tourniquet wait until wiring in the winter? It seems to me that it'd be most beneficial during active growth..

Can’t go wrong with Biogold pellets plus the fish/seaweed liquid.
Well there we go then, I know what route I'll be going. How long should I wait for 1st application since there are fert pellets in the soil? Until they're gone?
 

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Omono
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The progression here on the leaves seems a little disheartening. Some leaves are turning brown at the edges, but more worrisome to me are these little black spots eating through some of the leaves. I just did a pretty thorough check for pests, but didn't see anything. Do yall still think this is likely from acclimation? Id say maybe 5-10% of the leaves look like 1 or the other below.
View attachment 431591View attachment 431592

Also, I've decided I'm going to try and tease out the the twin trunk look with the tall lower branch so my main goal for now is going to be trying to fatten it up a bit. There's a not-quite apical bud at the top of the branch, that I'm contemplating keeping as a sacrifice branch but I'm also considering the "tourniquet method". I'm hoping whichever route I ultimately go will help to fatten the main trunk as well before the split. Would it be too much to attempt one method on each trunk at the same time? Should the tourniquet wait until wiring in the winter? It seems to me that it'd be most beneficial during active growth..


Well there we go then, I know what route I'll be going. How long should I wait for 1st application since there are fert pellets in the soil? Until they're gone?

The nice thing about organics is that the danger of burning the plant with too much fertilizer is greatly reduced.

Since yours are in development and you’re not trying to refine them right now, you could go ahead and start fertilizing now if you want to/have the time.

I have already put an application of Biogold on some of my trees and I also did an application of fish/seaweed last weekend for the first time of the year.

Some say to wait until later in the year to begin fertilizing, but with our short growing season I like to try and maximize it for trees in development.
 

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Omono
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Regarding the leaves, I’m not sure of the cause of that damage. Looks to me like some kind of insect feeding on the foliage, but hard to say. Personally I wouldn’t worry about it too much unless it becomes more widespread or definitively indicates a fungal infection at some point.
 

LittleDingus

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The progression here on the leaves seems a little disheartening. Some leaves are turning brown at the edges, but more worrisome to me are these little black spots eating through some of the leaves. I just did a pretty thorough check for pests, but didn't see anything. Do yall still think this is likely from acclimation? Id say maybe 5-10% of the leaves look like 1 or the other below.
View attachment 431591View attachment 431592

Also, I've decided I'm going to try and tease out the the twin trunk look with the tall lower branch so my main goal for now is going to be trying to fatten it up a bit. There's a not-quite apical bud at the top of the branch, that I'm contemplating keeping as a sacrifice branch but I'm also considering the "tourniquet method". I'm hoping whichever route I ultimately go will help to fatten the main trunk as well before the split. Would it be too much to attempt one method on each trunk at the same time? Should the tourniquet wait until wiring in the winter? It seems to me that it'd be most beneficial during active growth..


Well there we go then, I know what route I'll be going. How long should I wait for 1st application since there are fert pellets in the soil? Until they're gone?

Did it get bit by a frost? It doesn't look like insect damage to me.

In the first pick, the tiny leaflet tip damage and the larger leaf damage look like the same source to me from when they were smaller and wrapped up.

The large leaf looks like spot damage to me that dried out and stopped that spot growing while the leaf was still expanding. Since the circle was dead, the leaf started to tear away as it continued to expand.

It could be some spot frost damage or maybe some spring fungus if the weather has been damp there. Either way, it doesn't look wide spread enough to worry about yet...but keep an eye on it.
 

Ranitomeya

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Did it get bit by a frost? It doesn't look like insect damage to me.

In the first pick, the tiny leaflet tip damage and the larger leaf damage look like the same source to me from when they were smaller and wrapped up.

The large leaf looks like spot damage to me that dried out and stopped that spot growing while the leaf was still expanding. Since the circle was dead, the leaf started to tear away as it continued to expand.

It could be some spot frost damage or maybe some spring fungus if the weather has been damp there. Either way, it doesn't look wide spread enough to worry about yet...but keep an eye on it.
It did dip down to 22f either the first or second night I had it... should I bring it inside moving forward I its leafed out and gonna freeze? I just assumed that it would be okay since they're good for my usda zone... the more you know

Thankfully the air is super dry here, so I don't think it's a mold issue.
 

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