Pomegranate for bonsai

tanlu

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I've been interested in growing pomegranate bonsai for some time now, but I'm not sure how well they will do in the NYC area. I don't have any place in the house that's cool enough for winter storage, so the only options are to leave it somewhere very well protected outside or give it a brief rest period during the fall and grow it indoors for the winter. Would any of these options work??

Could anyone recommend good sources to purchase pomegranate bonsai as well?
 

Mike423

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Could anyone recommend good sources to purchase pomegranate bonsai as well?

What type of pomagrate/s are you interested in? And what type of nursery stock (or I should say how developed/undeveloped stock) are you oky with starting with?
 

tanlu

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Well, when I say Pomegranate bonsai, I mean material with potential to become bonsai. I'm looking for something small, like shohin size. I saw some nice cultivars on evergreengardenworks.com, but the shipping is quite expensive, and and the plant I get is probably a pencil in a 4" pot.

However, with my limited options I'm not sure if it's worth the effort.
 

bonsai barry

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Well, when I say Pomegranate bonsai, I mean material with potential to become bonsai. I'm looking for something small, like shohin size. I saw some nice cultivars on evergreengardenworks.com, but the shipping is quite expensive, and and the plant I get is probably a pencil in a 4" pot.

However, with my limited options I'm not sure if it's worth the effort.

Brent, the owner of Evergreen gardenworks, is well respected in the bonsai community. You'll get quality stock. But if you pay for a seedling, you'll get a seedling. Stick in the ground. Any 'nana' variety will have smaller leaves. Some species have a great twisted trunk once they get some age on them. You might try a local landscape nursery and see if they have any mature stock.

I like pomegranite.I like the flowers and I like the fruit. They are hardy. The biggest drawback is that the wood beomes brittle once it hardens off.
 

tanlu

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Thanks for the info Berry.

I've looked around other websites for Pom pre-bonsai, but Brent's site is def the best. I'll consider contacting him.

How hardy are Pomegranate? I live in Southern New York zone 6b. Do you have experience growing them?
 

mcpesq817

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Thanks for the info Berry.

I've looked around other websites for Pom pre-bonsai, but Brent's site is def the best. I'll consider contacting him.

How hardy are Pomegranate? I live in Southern New York zone 6b. Do you have experience growing them?

I'm not sure if they are hardy enough to grow in the ground where you are - then again, there might be cultivars out there that are more cold hardy. I have a 'nejikan' twisted trunk that I'm growing out in a big container, which I winter in my detached garage. The garage usually stays between 30 and 38 all winter, sometimes dipping to the high 20s. Mine has a 2" base, and I'd like to grow it out more and have toyed with putting it in the ground, but I'm skeptical of its long term chances if we get a deep freeze here.

My first winter I brought it indoors. It did so so, but because I don't have a good setup for indoor trees, it ended up dropping all its indoor leaves when I put it outdoors in the spring. After that, I figured if it died it died, and have been overwintering it in the garage ever since. If anything, it's come out much stronger in the spring doing that than bringing in the house.

Hope that helps.
 

tanlu

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Thanks Mcpesq.

However, I'm a bit confused about the overwatering part.. So after the leaves fell off during its winter indoors, when did the leaves return? When did you presumably overwater it? I'm assumming you mean the tree did better when it was wintered in the garage. When it was in the garage did you water it on a schedule or only when it seemed dry?

Do you have any photos you can post of your tree?

Mike, do you know of any cold hardy Pomegranates that would make good shohin? I'm not interested in the double flowered types used for larger bonsai.
 

mcpesq817

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Thanks Mcpesq.

However, I'm a bit confused about the overwatering part.. So after the leaves fell off during its winter indoors, when did the leaves return? When did you presumably overwater it? I'm assumming you mean the tree did better when it was wintered in the garage. When it was in the garage did you water it on a schedule or only when it seemed dry?

I'm a bit confused too - I didn't "overwater" it :) Do you mean overwinter?

The first year that I wintered it in my house, I think it lost a few leaves but generally maintained its leaves through the winter. Because of the difference in light levels in my house versus outside, when I put it back outside in the spring, it dropped a lot of the leaves and regenerated them.

When I winter the tree in my garage, it drops all its leaves like a normal deciduous tree. It puts out a new crop of leaves in the spring, a bit later than some of my other deciduous trees. Like the other trees that I winter in my garage, I only water it when it appears dry, which is every 2-4 weeks.

Do you have any photos you can post of your tree?

Not sure that I do. At this point, since I have been growing it out it is pretty tall (about 3' tall) and bushy, so I don't think a picture would help all that much. Too bad you're not local because I'm looking to downsize a bit and focus on other species, and my pomegranate is one that I'm thinking of selling.
 

Larix

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tanlu: Within 60 miles of NYC is AllShapes Bonsai, Ringoes NJ. Just off US Rt 202. Dave has some Nana Emperor poms still available. I have 3 from there and left them in the cold frame the past 2 winters here in central NJ, and they all bloomed and fruited.

Larix
 

Mike423

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As far as species if you are looking for something more in a shohin sized when finished I would definitely recommend a a dwarf variety. While the most common is the regular dwarf pomegranate (Punica granatum Nana) if you want a truly small species I would go with the Dwarf Pomegranate 'Emperor' Variety. The common dwarf variety will work alright but the fruit actually grows too large for a shohin grade fruiting tree getting sometimes close in reference between a golf ball to almost tennis ball sizes. The Emperor variety is probably the best (and is what I have) due to the fact that it grows a dense canopy to only around 3ft tall, has very fine foliage and the fruit only grows to about the size of a quarter.

I actually had quite a hard time finding a source for this variety myself. I contacted Evergreen gardenworks this spring but Brent told me that his last specimen might die and he might remove this one from his list due to late frost which the tree is overly susceptible too. That being said you would probably have to wait around 2 years on the waiting list as is. But you could always contact him for more up to date info if you are interested in going through him. If you need another resource for emperors send me a PM.

In your zone I would definitely want to overwinter them in a protected location (unheated garage or green house, cold frame etc..) if you want this species to be adequately protected during winter.
 

tanlu

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@ mcpesq, My bad, I miss read it as overwatering. Is yours a dwarf? I would def like to check out what you have, but the distance is a factor. Good luck with sales!

@ larix, That's good to know. The only bonsai nursery near me is Shantibithi and it's quite pricy. I'm wondering if your area is the most northern limit of the nana emperor. I don't have my own space to build a cold fame, but I do share a metal shed with the landlord. I'm thinking that's my only option unless the basement gets below 40F.

@ Mike, I'm going to settle on a dwarf. A golfball sized fruit on a 15 inch tree would be rediculous. I contacted Brent, and he recommended Evergreen's Red Dwarf. Surprisingly, he said it can survive temps down to 15F, which is perfect for my area, but he recommended keeping it around 20F, which is still below freezing. Though he still would have to check if he has anything a little larger than a 3y/o cutting.
 

mcpesq817

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@ mcpesq, My bad, I miss read it as overwatering. Is yours a dwarf? I would def like to check out what you have, but the distance is a factor. Good luck with sales!

Mine is the nejikan/"twisted trunk" variety, which I don't think is a dwarf. Of course I come across this picture on the net, which makes me reconsider selling mine :rolleyes:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_YfV6BphtHno/RbrqdI1V4tI/AAAAAAAAAD0/hUWCOZJq7Jg/s1600-h/14+008b.jpg
 

rockm

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"Surprisingly, he said it can survive temps down to 15F, which is perfect for my area, but he recommended keeping it around 20F"

This is far from "perfect" for this species. Just because it can take 15 F, doesn't mean it will last through a New York winter without substantial protection. A sharp freeze that drops its root temperature below that for a night or two will probably kill the tree outright, if not weaken it considerably the next spring. An unheated garage is MINIMUM protection for this species. A constant 25 F would be great. If this species is stored in a shelter with a roof, it will have to be monitored for water needs. Dry roots freeze and are damaged a lot faster than moist (not wet) roots...

This is one of those species that creates a lot of "Zone envy." Crabapples and other northern flowering cold-hardy species can create the same feelings in people in warmer climates. I'd say if a species takes that much coddling, it really isn't worth the effort. All that work can make you resent the tree over time--and neglect it. Unfortunately, I speak from experience...:eek:
 

Barry

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I am in NYC and have a five pomegranates both dwarf and twisted trunk. I keep them both in an unheated greenhouse and in a small coldframe. They have all done well over the past 3 winters.
 

Mike423

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"Mike, I'm going to settle on a dwarf. A golf ball sized fruit on a 15 inch tree would be rediculous." I was referring to the common dwarf pomegranate when saying the fruit would be the size of a golf ball (the non dwarf variety's are usually around the size of a fist or bigger). The Emperor pomegranate is also know for being one of (if not) the best dwarf species when concerning cold tolerance which was also one of its selling points for me (being in zone 5). I would highly recommended this variety if you are looking for a small tree with everything small along with it (fruit and flower wise). But to each his (or her) own.

Rockm is correct in his comment about winter temps. You have to keep in mind that most of the stated temperature tolerances given about any given species are also in accordance to a tree planted in the ground, not in a shallow pot. When a tree is in a pot the root system is extremely sensitive due to the lack of being insulated by the ground and is left open to drastic temp fluctuation by the ambient air surrounding it.
 
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tanlu

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@ Rockm, I was thinking the same thing, and I'm not sure if it's worth the trouble. I also agree with there being a "zone envy". Luckily my interest lies mostly in northern species. I've thought about trying crab apple, but I just haven't gotten to finding the material.

@ Barry, since you're literally just 40 min south of me your input is very encouraging.

I've gotta think about this a bit more, and be more realistic. It's not in my nature to go too much out of my way for a tree.
 

mcpesq817

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@ Rockm, I was thinking the same thing, and I'm not sure if it's worth the trouble. I also agree with there being a "zone envy". Luckily my interest lies mostly in northern species. I've thought about trying crab apple, but I just haven't gotten to finding the material.

I've gotta think about this a bit more, and be more realistic. It's not in my nature to go too much out of my way for a tree.

I haven't found overwintering for my pom to be all that much different from what I do with other trees, but then again, I live in zone 7 and have a decent sized detached garage with insulation that does not get too much below freezing in the winter.

I hear you though about not wanting to go too much out of your way for a tree. After going through the hassle of bringing it indoors my first winter with it, I figured that I would overwinter it just like my other trees and if it died, it died. It wasn't worth the extra effort.

Of course if my tree looked a little more like this one, I might reconsider that position :rolleyes:

http://www.betterbonsai.com/profiles/pomegran/pomegran.html
 

tahoe

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i just spoke with don herzog last month and he still has a bunch of emperors
if you call him he might ship to you
they're the pencil in a pot size though
 

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