Ornamental plum (red leafs)

akhater

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I have the possibility of getting a big Ornamental plum red leafs from my dad's garden

this little guy is about 2.5 meters tall and 10 cm at the base, it has been in the same pot for at least 10 years and I never recall I saw it flowering but it is well alive.


can it be worked as bonsai ? I did some search but didn't see results so I thought I'd ask

thanks
 

akhater

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I didn't get any reply on this tree last year, spring is here and it is now in flower.


Do I layer this year as per pic 1 to make it shorter or it is a non interesting section ?
 

daygan

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How tall would the original tree be if you layered at that point? I think the trunk above the layer point you're suggesting could have potential for interestingness... but, heck, what do I know - I've only been doing this for about a year now :p
 

akhater

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Everything in pic 2 is above. About 50cm
I am planning to layer below the c curve on the thick trunk

What do you think?
 

JudyB

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I would layer it just below the large branches, then you'll have some interesting movement to work with. Then I'd just chop the base down following the layer removal. Have you layered before? If not, just make sure you do the cuts deep enough, that is the mistake most people (myself included) make on layers the first time round.
G-luck!
 

akhater

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Thanks Judy, I have layered many times before with good success %

Can you please tell me where exactly you propose to layer? Are we talking about 1st pictures?
 

daygan

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Thanks Judy, I have layered many times before with good success %

Can you please tell me where exactly you propose to layer? Are we talking about 1st pictures?
I'm pretty sure she meant picture two, below where all those branches originate from the trunk.
 

JudyB

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Yup, daygan is right. But be careful, to pick a placement that doesn't give you reverse taper....
You could go beneath the crook in the first shot, but it's sorta not super interesting....
 

edprocoat

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I would layer it about a hands width below the bottom branch in the second picture, then I would chop it and keep the bottom foot, I think there is 3 feet in a meter?, the way it has all those shoots of new growth coming near the base says it will back bud well and it has a great thick base there with some nice movement in it. Have you ever layered one of these trees before, I was wondering the time length for it to develop enough roots to cut it off.

ed
 

akhater

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Yup, daygan is right. But be careful, to pick a placement that doesn't give you reverse taper....
You could go beneath the crook in the first shot, but it's sorta not super interesting....
I see,

one more question please, I got this tree back from my dad's house last spring it was totally neglected for about 10 years or so in its pot. All I did last year was to fertilize it and now it is flowering (I don't remember ever seeing flowers on it before).

I was wondering if it would be ok to layer it this year or better to repot it this year and then layer it next spring. The thing is that it is so tall now that repotting it now wouldn't be easy at all, I'd probably have to cut it off anyway before.


I would layer it about a hands width below the bottom branch in the second picture, then I would chop it and keep the bottom foot, I think there is 3 feet in a meter?, the way it has all those shoots of new growth coming near the base says it will back bud well and it has a great thick base there with some nice movement in it. Have you ever layered one of these trees before, I was wondering the time length for it to develop enough roots to cut it off.

ed
Thank you Ed for your input, that sounds indeed the best thing to do.

There is indeed a bit more than a meter between the base and the top you are talking about.

I have layered about 10 times in my life but never one of these trees and never so thick.
`
The thickest I've done was a pyracantha about 7 cm thick last spring, it was ready to be cut in the fall but I preferred to wait till spring. I just cut the layer a week ago or so and the bag was full of roots. I hope this one will response as well.
 

JudyB

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I wonder if it would be best to just stick it in the ground for the year, while it grows the layer. I'm not sure what advice to give you on this, I have only layered stuff off natural trees....Maybe someone else could help out?
 

daygan

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Sounds like if it really didn't flower before, it was because it was never fertilized enough previously.

Maybe air layer first, and then after the air layered half is removed, maybe slip-pot the original into a larger pot with better soil? (I mean, don't disturb the original root ball, but add good soil in the larger pot so the roots have more room to grow into a healthier soil) Experienced members ? Does that sound like a good idea?
 

akhater

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Guess I'll give it a try and see what happens.

The idea would be that, if all goes well, after the layer is done all the thick branches will be removed and branching will be rebuilt from scratch am I right ?
 

daygan

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I would think at least one of those branches would have good movement and taper and could be kept as the new main trunk...
 

akhater

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This is what I thought,

You guys are wonderful :) thanks for all the help. Guess I will layer it in a month or so and see how it goes

Cheers
 
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