My Plum tree

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#1
I dug this up from the side of the road years ago. About 20 I think. At the time it was 6 feet high with a couple of low branches which became the 2 trunks here. It's 30 high and 40 wide and looks wider than it appears here because of my stupid camera. This is it's best time of year. With just a few flowers open you can see through to the branches. Later all you can see are blossoms and it gets tiring to look at.
I now defoliate it every year to build up ramification which is not so easy. I'm trying to develop finer twigs. Perhaps leaving without repotting for 2 years might help? (suggestions?)
Mainly clip and grow with a bit directional wiring during winter. Repotted every year without fail and I use soil in the mix with bark and sand. Some trees seem to like a heavy soil and this is one!
Enjoy!

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GrimLore

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#7
I dug this up from the side of the road years ago. About 20 I think. At the time it was 6 feet high with a couple of low branches which became the 2 trunks here. It's 30 high and 40 wide and looks wider than it appears here because of my stupid camera.
Very nice! Am I correct to think you referring to centimeters and not inches ;)

Grimmy
 
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#10
Very nice! Am I correct to think you referring to centimeters and not inches ;)

Grimmy
Yes cm. It will be inches long after I'm dead.. When I think about it, there is only about half an inch or so (maybe a bit more or less) added to the overall measurement every year by the time you prune after flowering etc. At that rate it will take a very long time to get to even 20 inches high. But it's the only way to get realistic movement in the branches. There just ain't no short cuts. You certainly can't do it with wire!
 
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#12
Fabulous contrast between the bark structure of the tree and the pastel color of the flowering blossoms. I can understand why you enjoy this time of the year where you see both the skeleton and the flowers at the same time. Your care of the tree is well done....excellent ongoing work.
 

bonhe

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#14
I now defoliate it every year to build up ramification which is not so easy. I'm trying to develop finer twigs. Perhaps leaving without repotting for 2 years might help? (suggestions?)
Mainly clip and grow with a bit directional wiring during winter. Repotted every year without fail and I use soil in the mix with bark and sand. Some trees seem to like a heavy soil and this is one!
Enjoy!
]
Well done job MichaelS. Very beautiful bonsai! I love it.
I have some questions.
1. What is ratio of bark and sand?
2. What time of the year did you defoliate it?
3. What is your purpose to do yearly repot? Did the tree have a root bound when you repotted it?
Thanks.
Bonhe
 
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#16
Well done job MichaelS. Very beautiful bonsai! I love it.
I have some questions.
1. What is ratio of bark and sand?
2. What time of the year did you defoliate it?
3. What is your purpose to do yearly repot? Did the tree have a root bound when you repotted it?
Thanks.
Bonhe
Thanks Bonhe. First I should say that for smallish pots, the bark I use is ''Orchiata Precision'' http://besgrow.com/orchiata. It is very hard and very clean.
The sand is quartz about 1 to 3 mm. Decomposed granite is very good too.
The ''soil'' is very similar to Akadama (red clay) also about 1 to 3mm.
The ratio is about 1-1-1. You can vary that quite a bit. If you think that is a bit fast drying, you can add a little peat.
I always add some dolomite to the soil mix for the rosacea.
It is important to cover the soil with some finely chopped moss or something to protect it and stop the soil dissolving from frequent watering. Many people forget this important step when they use akadama.

I defoliate in November here (your April) There is a thread on this here: http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=132&t=18995
Until now the tree was in a smaller pot. Even though it was not completely root bound, I find I get more vigorous growth with washing the roots completely and pruning well every year if the tree (small deciduous) is in the development phase. Now that the tree is in a larger pot and a bit older. I think I will leave it 2 years.
 

bonhe

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#17
First I should say that for smallish pots, the bark I use is ''Orchiata Precision'' http://besgrow.com/orchiata. It is very hard and very clean.
Thanks MichaelS for your reply.
It is very interesting because I also bought this bark about 2 years ago in my local orchid supply store. At that time, I also bought orchid seedling mini bark which is much cheaper than Orchiata (I fully understand because the store has to import it from New Zealand)
You can see orchid seedling bark bag is sitting next to it.
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The sand is quartz about 1 to 3 mm. Decomposed granite is very good too.
The ''soil'' is very similar to Akadama (red clay) also about 1 to 3mm.
The ratio is about 1-1-1.


I have been using pumice: lava cinder: akadama: ground fir bark with ratio 1:1:1:1 for the ume which I expect it will behave as same as plum. I also have flowering plum just liked yours, but never change the soil in 4 years since the time my friend gave it to me. It has got full blossom every winter! I will transplant it this year and will try your formula. I have coarse sand but rarely used it due to its weight! :)


You can vary that quite a bit. If you think that is a bit fast drying, you can add a little peat.
I have been used the ground fir bark to keep the soil stay moist longer.


It is important to cover the soil with some finely chopped moss or something to protect it and stop the soil dissolving from frequent watering. Many people forget this important step when they use akadama.
Very good experience. I usually use pine mini bark to cover the top.

I defoliate in November here (your April) There is a thread on this here: http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=132&t=18995
Thanks for the link.

Until now the tree was in a smaller pot. Even though it was not completely root bound, I find I get more vigorous growth with washing the roots completely and pruning well every year if the tree (small deciduous) is in the development phase.
My teacher told me that I should wash out all the old soil during transplant the ume. I guess it is the same principle for the plum.


Now that the tree is in a larger pot and a bit older. I think I will leave it 2 years.
I think so.

p/s: I like to see your tree in full blossom.
Again, thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Bonhe
 
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#18
@MichaelS - Beautiful tree,well done. Your tree shows what 20 years of diligent care can do. I love it. Clip and grow is slow but the results are outstanding.

I use Orchiata bark for my orchids, it is very long lasting. Normal Fir bark is decomposing within 12 months, Orchiata will often be in good condition 4 years later. Orchiata is great stuff, especially since I normally let trees, even deciduous go 2 to 4 years between repotting.

Your tree is a breath of spring for those of us northerners who are in the ''dog days'' of summer.
 

JudyB

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#19
So wonderful. What type of plum is this if you know? Thanks to bonhe too for asking great questions!
Thank you M.S.
 
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#20
So wonderful. What type of plum is this if you know? Thanks to bonhe too for asking great questions!
Thank you M.S.
Judy, it is a Prunus cerasifera. They often grow wild on road sides here. There are also many cultivars. Pretty easy from cuttings too. The purple leaf ones have lovely pink flowers.
 

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