prunus ume

stevm65(z7ri)January 15, 2007


Does anyone know what zone prunus mume(in a pot) is hardy to? It's medium sized in a deep pot. I usually overwinter my trees mulched well,in a very protected area. This winter has been so strange here 40's and 50's thru New Years, barely a hard frost, but it's going down into the teens and I'm wondering if it will be ok. Any tips on getting it to bloom.



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bonsaikc(z5-6 KCMO)

I quote from Evergreen Gardenworks:

Prunus (Cherries, Plums, Almond, Apricot) S\M\-30ø\Ls\B Evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs. A huge genus of well known and often used plants. Nearly all Prunus prefer full sun, well drained loose soils and moist but not wet soil in summer. Nearly all are cold hardy to -30F.

I bought my first prunus mume which is the correct title, this week. Of course it is a deep freeze here, so even in the unheated garage it's frozen solid. I am hoping Brent is correct, but from his reputation and progidious work with bonsai stock, I am betting on him.


Here is a link that might be useful: Sashi-eda Bonsai

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 1:21PM
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brent_walston(zone 8 No. CA)

Prunus mume isn't as hardy as a lot of other Prunus species. It is rated down to zone 7, which should be about 10F, but I suspect that it is hardier than that, perhaps to zero. The problem with this species is that is comes out of dormancy easily and often very early. This is why it flowers in February. Once it begins to flower and move out of dormancy, it should not freeze again, or you will get severe branch dieback and opportunistic fungal diseases.

Because of this problem, it is only suited for either mild climates with steady temperatures or colder climates where late spring freezes are very uncommon. These would be mostly maritime influence regions or warm inland valleys like the great Central Valley of California. That is why almonds and apricots do so well there (very closely related species.) If you have only a few trees, you may be able to protect them from these late freezes. Unfortunately, in our new location, spring freezes are the rule rather then the exception and I have had to give up mume growing altogether.

Flowering should not be a problem, it is almost impossible to keep them from flowering. But you may have a seedling. Seedlings take five to seven years to reach flower and fruit maturity.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 12:01AM
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buddaboy(qld aust)

This is the same question from the other way round.
How heat sensitive is the Mume? We are in the middle of a nice cool summer here, highest temp so far this year has been 95 F. It can get up to 110-115 F sometimes. My other trees love sun + humidity + heat etc, etc. Central Queensland is simmilar to lower Florida/Mexico(I think). Can I let Mume out in the sun or do I shade cloth it? I dont have to worry about cold, last year our lowest temp was approx 50 F.
Thank You

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 5:37AM
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brent_walston(zone 8 No. CA)


In containers, it should be under shadecloth in your climate, which is similar to mine in summer. planted in the ground it may tolerate full sun, but would do better with an eastern exposure shaded from hot afternoon sun.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 11:11AM
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buddaboy(qld aust)

Thanks for the info, I was thinking about planting it in a big container for a few years to trunk up a bit. I brought it through ebay(I know, I know)as a 6 inch high twig. Survived the post very well & seems happy. I was thinking a 1.5 X 1.5 foot patio planter is a good size?
Thanks :)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 9:01PM
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Assuming one has a prunus mume which has commenced flowering this early(january) and you have to keep it frost free from now until like April what suggestions have anyone about keeping it from getting long etiolated branchesS (shoots) etc, if it has to be brought indoors. I'm thinking extra lights like one would use to grow plants inside, spraying it a lot for extra humidity. I believe I got a prunus mume which had been grown in California and that if I can keep it alive through this winter, it will acclimate itself to my area's climate (Cape Cod).

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 9:06PM
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brent_walston(zone 8 No. CA)


Don't overpot. Shift upward one step at a time. Using too large a soil volume can lead to constantly wet conditions. If you shift in stages, you will find that you can transplant upward every winter.


I wouldn't bring it in the house, you are just asking for fungal problems. Keep it outside in a frost free shelter. The longer you can keep it between 32 and 40F, the greater the chance of survival. Adaptation to climate is very limited, it will do nothing for the potential for late spring freeze damage and freeze damage from very low temperatures (0 to 10F). These things are genetically controlled.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 11:28AM
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I just got a nice 15-year old or so ume, great roots and trunk, but it's basically "broom" style, very ugly, needing to be pruned quite a bit to get a form that tells some sort of story. The trunk has a great dead streak running from just above the roots to the top of the "stump." And all around the top of the stump are overgrown shoots; ideally I'd like to work with two or three to develop the tree from. Also, can I encourage the tree to sprout from lower on the trunk somehow?

I've read that Ume should be pruned after flowering, and also heard that you can kill an Ume by over-pruning.

Who has experience with Ume? Thanks!


    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 10:25PM
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I bought a small ume in Tokyo, brought it back to Beirut in my carryon, where it gloriously bloomed in January. The original 8" shoots with blooms are now 14" branches with lots of leaves. I saw many of these trees cheaply for sale, so I think they may be throwaways, but I don't want to do that. It has a wonderful, fat, tapering trunk, and I want to help it live to bloom again. How can I help?
Robert in Beirut

Here is a link that might be useful: Tough Times in Lebanon

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 10:56AM
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