Prunus mume questions

Nybonsai12

Masterpiece
Messages
3,154
Reaction score
4,470
Location
NY
USDA Zone
7a
Usuiro chirmen I picked up from Brent a year ago. I planted it on a tile just fed it over this last season. I tried searching but couldn't find much on chop times and the response to same. I thought BVF had one he was growing out but can't find it. I know mine is not ready for that yet as the trunk at the base is about as thick as a fat mans thumb.

But the lowest part is the only part with movement that I don't want to lose. so I guess my question is will these backbud well after a chop to create new leaders? Can I continue to grow out and chop when the thickness I am looking for is achieved and be safe that branches will come? Is there any reason I should chop next season to keep the already there movement? Thanks in advance folks.
 

Attachments

Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
Messages
11,561
Reaction score
30,640
Location
B’ham, AL
USDA Zone
8A
I looked and spoke with a few people and couldn't find a conclusive answer on timing chops either. I know they will back-bud on old wood, and my older ume will pop back around old cut sites...but, they seem to be unpredictable and not profuse like an elm or trident.

In late May, just as an experiment, I did a partial chop on an ume in the ground, removing one side of a forked trunk section. Unscientific for sure, but it was an attempt to gauge the response. The photos aren't great, but you can see the cut on the right, and the response a few months later. It did pop from the stub left, when it could have just as easily sacrificed it.

My rationale on timing was to chop after leaves started hardening off, but early enough that it would grow again. Ume seems to stop growing around July but consumes massive water and feed, developing buds for the rest of the year.

I think it would back bud from a hard chop, but not predictably in a useful spot. I'm going to let this one grow another year and then try to reduce it in stages, since it does have some growth down low. I would definitely keep your low growth healthy and strong.

Incidentally, yours looks like it might have some flower buds swelling on it...?
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Nybonsai12

Masterpiece
Messages
3,154
Reaction score
4,470
Location
NY
USDA Zone
7a
Thanks for the input Brian. Buds are definitely swelling on this one. It got done dropping leaves a few weeks ago. Do you think it would benefit to chop it next season and have energy put into all that low growth? Or just leave it and feed heavily for a few more season?
 

Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
Messages
11,561
Reaction score
30,640
Location
B’ham, AL
USDA Zone
8A
Thanks for the input Brian. Buds are definitely swelling on this one. It got done dropping leaves a few weeks ago. Do you think it would benefit to chop it next season and have energy put into all that low growth? Or just leave it and feed heavily for a few more season?
It might be a good idea to cut it off just above the second branch as shown in the first photo. It will cause those two branches to bolt, and could add good movement to the trunk.
 

nathanbs

Omono
Messages
1,306
Reaction score
19
Location
Altadena, Ca
I have about 30 ume in the ground that I chop in late winter with good response to back budding. Whether or not there is a better time than that I'm not sure. I think it should be almost identical advice for almost all deciduous. I just reread Brent from evergreens article and he essentially says before leaf emergence when building trunks and after leaf hardening when building branches.
 
Last edited:

Nybonsai12

Masterpiece
Messages
3,154
Reaction score
4,470
Location
NY
USDA Zone
7a
I have about 30 ume in the ground that I chop in late winter with good response to back budding. Whether or not there is a better time than that I'm not sure. I think it should be almost identical advice for almost all deciduous. I just reread Brent from evergreens article and he essentially says before leaf emergence when building trunks and after leaf hardening when building branches.
30?!!?!? Wow.

How big are they?
 

nathanbs

Omono
Messages
1,306
Reaction score
19
Location
Altadena, Ca
They are around 2-4" diameter bases and about 10 or so feet high. Will be pruning soon. The crazy thing is that they are only 3-4 years old
 

sikadelic

Chumono
Messages
900
Reaction score
367
Location
Southwest VA
USDA Zone
6B
I have about 30 ume in the ground that I chop in late winter with good response to back budding. Whether or not there is a better time than that I'm not sure. I think it should be almost identical advice for almost all deciduous. I just reread Brent from evergreens article and he essentially says before leaf emergence when building trunks and after leaf hardening when building branches.
That is interesting info. I always hear spring for chopping and deciduous. I would love to read that article if you can find the link. Thanks.
 

nathanbs

Omono
Messages
1,306
Reaction score
19
Location
Altadena, Ca
That is interesting info. I always hear spring for chopping and deciduous. I would love to read that article if you can find the link. Thanks.
Late winter or early spring is essentially the same in deciduous. Most importantly before leaf emergence. Where the ground is frozen I would likely lean more towards early spring and wait to see buds swelling. In warmer climates not sure its as crucial to wait for bud swell as the tree is still semi active even during winter dormancy.

here you go: https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/trunks.htm
 

nathanbs

Omono
Messages
1,306
Reaction score
19
Location
Altadena, Ca
Are they grafted ?
no they are not. I'm assuming you're asking for reasons of flowering? Some do some dont, single white flower. Ive already surrendered to the fact that umes need to be grafted for purposes of flowering no matter what as they tend to outgrow their form if you simply focus on trying to get it to flower. I think I read that they graft umes ever 5-7 years or so in Japan.
 

sikadelic

Chumono
Messages
900
Reaction score
367
Location
Southwest VA
USDA Zone
6B
Late winter or early spring is essentially the same in deciduous. Most importantly before leaf emergence. Where the ground is frozen I would likely lean more towards early spring and wait to see buds swelling. In warmer climates not sure its as crucial to wait for bud swell as the tree is still semi active even during winter dormancy.

here you go: https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/trunks.htm
Thanks for the link. I have been reading off and on all morning. There is a lot of good info on that website!!

I will likely be chopping my JM towards the end of Jan or beginning of Feb. That will be about a month before buds begin swelling here.
 

Nybonsai12

Masterpiece
Messages
3,154
Reaction score
4,470
Location
NY
USDA Zone
7a
Figured I'd update this thread with my result from the chop. I had previously removed a section which you can see the scar in the pic showing the chop. With some time in the ground over a tile since spring 2013 this one was growing stronger. so this spring around mid April I decided to see what the chop would do.

There were only two buds showing when I chopped. I didn't know how close I could safely chop next to that top bud so I left a little space. Since then it has responded nicely with good growth and some backbudding. Not sure how this will impact my plan with all the new branches as they will likely cause lots of odd swelling and taper issues but we will see what happens since this still has plenty of growing to do anyway. I added a few more ume to the stable this year to grow out. Those of you with ume much further along, I'm watching your threads!
 

Attachments

Nybonsai12

Masterpiece
Messages
3,154
Reaction score
4,470
Location
NY
USDA Zone
7a
Here's the tree now and I can see reverse taper getting away from me. What would you do to combat the issue now, or not do anything? I pushed some soil away so you can see the base which does seem to have a good little flare going on.
Please Ignore the haggard looking branches that the squirrels pruned for me this past winter.

image.jpeg


image.jpeg
 

Nybonsai12

Masterpiece
Messages
3,154
Reaction score
4,470
Location
NY
USDA Zone
7a
That was my initial thought. Any swelling at chop site could be carved out if needed. i wonder of chopping the top right branch off and then leaving the other two on opposite sides would give more movement. But still a taper issue to deal with. It's been in the ground a few years, I'm wondering how far away the roots have gotten as well.
 

MichaelS

Omono
Messages
1,874
Reaction score
4,240
Location
Australia
I would remove the heavy stuff as in the pic below. You may get some sap withdrawal but that will just add to the character of the tree in the future when you carve it out. Don't worry about a bit of reverse taper in this species either. You want it to look as wild and ''uncivilized'' as possible.
pm.PNG
 

Nybonsai12

Masterpiece
Messages
3,154
Reaction score
4,470
Location
NY
USDA Zone
7a
Chopped down again. Getting some nice movement in the trunk and base has widened some more. Next spring I will dig it up and check the roots. The decision will be whether to put it back in the ground for a few more years or pot it up and start working on branching. Should really go back to the ground but I want to see it in a pot.

This one is a Usuiro Chirmen variety and produces white flowers. I pruned this one constantly not letting it grow freely which was a mistake but let it go last season. I have an omai no mama variety that I let grow freely as well that I have owned for less years. I'm not sure if certain cultivars are more vigorous but the omai was vigorous and is almost the same size as this tree which has been in the ground longer.
 

Attachments

Top Bottom