Can I bonsai a weeping cherry tree?

batu_chinuaMay 7, 2010

I am still new to the bonsai art and I recenty bought a weeping cherry tree to bonsai... Can this be done or am I wasting my time trying? The tree is about 3-4' and I was thinking of cutting it back to about a foot. Any ideas?

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You have a good plane in mind it seems. But I will say this. A weeping cherry is usually a grafted tree. I bet (without seeing the tree) it has a tall straight trunk with the weeping branches at the top. Am I correct? If this is true, you will see a bulge in the trunk directly under the weeping branches with a diagonal line or scar. This part is a graft. The weeping branches were grown onto a straight cherry trunk. If you cut this part off so that the tree is smaller, it will no longer be a weeping cherry. I am sorry but this tree was created for the landscape and not a bonsai container. But here is good news. If you still want to bonsai this tree I would cut off the graft and leave a two foot trunk. Water it a lot and it will back-bud on the trunk. After a year or so the tree will have great branches to wire. It should be a very strong tree because the root stock for grafted weeping cherries needs to be very hardy to keep good vigor. After this has been done and branches have grown, you can easily create a weeping cherry bonsai. It is your creativity at work that will create great bonsai. Wire the branches into a downward weeping habit. That is all. It should be a fun project for you. I wish you the best of luck.

Gardener Guy

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 8:54AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If branches occur along the length of the trunk that have the same growth habit (pendulous) as the upper branches, the plant is grafted at the crown and you can do a trunk chop and work with it. If it IS grafted at the crown, you need to take a close look at the graft union and ask yourself if it is unobtrusive enough that you will be ok with looking at it for as long as you have the tree.

You can also prune dormant hard wood segments this fall and stick the cuttings. A large % will root, but of course you won't have the trunk caliper of the tree you're referring to.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 3:25PM
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Thanks for all the feedback!!! I cut the tree back right above where the graft was... I hope that was right! I guess we will see how it turns out...Again thanks for the feedback!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 11:45PM
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In other words, you want to use the graft? By cutting above it, you have chosen to keep the characteristics of the grafted part, losing what it had already grown in terms of the cut off branches and foliage, rather than cutting below the graft to see what you get with the original trunk.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 4:58AM
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Should I cut it lower then? I want to keep the weeping part of the tree...

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 5:03AM
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How far up the trunk is the graft? Do you have a picture if possible?

Gardener Guy

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 8:00AM
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No I dont have any pics right now... How do I post them here so I know for the future?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 4:57AM
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Do not add the - dash next to the its in the beginning and in the end. I added a great link to help with this. Just remember you have to have a picture on a website and then it will place it on to your message here.

Here is a link that might be useful: HTML Image Link

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 9:47AM
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