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Umemodoki, Ilex serata

October 19, 2013

I like Umemodoki a lot. Love the berries and its qualities as bonsai. It has fine twigs, it back buds on old wood, and calluses wounds fast.

Best position is sun to semi shade, and be aware it dries easy in summer,  looses its leaves and they might not be replaced until next spring. Spray the leaves in hot summers.

Acid soil loving plant, so pine bark or peat can be included with more grit in the soil. Acid fertilizers are recommended for it too, every two weeks during the growing period.

Miracle-Gro, 0-10-10 and half strength fish emulsion are suggested from bud swell, until mid-autumn.

Suitable pots are colors that contrast with the berries…blues,  and oval for the flowers.

repot in spring yearly for young trees and every two years older trees.

Miracle-Gro, 0-10-10 and half strength fish emulsion are suggested from bud swell, until mid-autumn.

Pruning produces many fine twigs. One source warns that the branches are brittle so “handle with care” when wiring. It is also suggested that a stub be left when taking a branch off to the trunk because hollies tend to produce a huge callus. The stub is removed at the end of the active growing period. Look at the location of buds when pruning, selecting the direction you wish the growth to take. Larger cuts should be sealed. A healthy holly will grow rapidly, any wire should be checked frequently to prevent scaring the bark.

I personally had no problem with wiring very young shoots and bending them Hardened twigs break easy.

For berries, a male and female trees are required.

This Umemodoki, I bought in Japan. Due to the poor transportation methods, all the branches broke. This little shoots have grown since it arrived home during the past month. I dont have shoots everywhere I would like to have, but it is better than nothing. Grafting might be necessary. As you can see this is supposed to be the front or the other side of the pot which is the next picture. I dont think this is suitable at all.

This is the other side of the pot. One of this should be the front but I dont think the tree was positioned well. Which means that the fist thing I need to do is search for a front.

Left side:

A close up reveals some scars on the trunk which combined with the luck of movement of the trunk, makes it also unsuitable for front.

right side:

From this side it looks like the situation can be salvaged. The left branch can be used as first primary branch, and with some wiring and bending the new shoot can be used as first right branch. The only problem is that the apex is leaning back. I shall have to bend it or create new apex from the area where the shoot for the right primary branch comes from.

Also from this side the trunk has the best taper and no scaring.

From this side the apex leans forward but the scars are unacceptable.

As you can see on the right there is a shoot that I can use as new apex., grow the next  shoot and create the first right primary branch from it. The rest of the branch can be cut off.

But I shall first see, when I trim the branches, if I will not get some buds in more suitable places, and then re position the tree during the next repot.

Notice the wire infront of the trunk. It is a habit from school to mark the front of the tree.

The new front:

And here it is. All wired up, though there were only two branches and  the apex that could be wired. Had to lower the the right branch since the  the second  part of the trunk is just too long for a shohin. Hopping some back budding in the second part of the trunk will allow me to do some drastic chops and regrow a new apex. But it is not that bad.

I had a better look at it again, and I think this tree needs to be compacted. Lets hope I will manage.

To be updated as soon as I chop the branches for taper and movement.

Thank you for reading.

From → Assorted trees.

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