Container Serviceberry (Amelanchier) Bloom Buds.
Hello everyone. I have not posted in here in quite some time, but I thought I'd like to share a story of a seed grown container tree I have, along with a question just to make sure I'm not seeing things with wishful eyes.
This story starts back in 2008 in Old town Alexandria, VA on a street I lived on. Wonderful small apartment complex in a great neighborhood. I lived on the ground floor and had a small "yard" if you will. Our street was lined with Serviceberry trees, which put on a spectacular show every spring and fall. Some of these trees were very old, with very thick trunks and over 2 stories tall. Others were only around 12-15 feet at most. We all used to eat some of the berries that the birds did not get, but believe me each summer it was a bird fest. Anyway, I kept trying to get some seeds, but usually the birds got most of them. Well in fall of 2009 apparently some seeds were left. Next spring I spotted a tiny seedling that had just sprouted under the tree directly in front of my place. I promptly dug it up and put it in a small pot before it was killed by the grounds crew that usually came and dumped mulch around the bases
It grew just fine the first year, just a few inches. In fact the first couple years or so it didn't do too much in the way of vertical growing. Maybe year 10" in that time. We moved to a house out in the country near the Blue Ridge Mountains in mid October of 2011, buy that time it was about 1 foot tall, and still in a very small pot. I have to admit it got neglected in that I never did much to it and just left it to grow. It even got hacked by a weed whacker and it almost lost one of its two main "branches.
It did recover from that, but that branch has stayed small. The rest of it really shot up in 2012 to almost 2 feet tall. Still, in its original small pot it remained, neglected, but still chugging along just fine. Each year it would put out leaves, grow quite a bit, put on a nice little fall show, and go dormant again. It remained in this small 6-8" pot until just 2 weeks ago. I finally decided that I needed to give this little guy the love it deserved, after years of neglect, being in very tight quarters, and being subjected to a vicious freeze / thaw cycle, in its tiny little pot. It is now over 5 feet tall with one main trunk and the small side branch which is now about 1 foot tall. It has formed a nice little crown in that time. I twas also growing at a severe angle and each year I would tip the pot so the main truck was upright. Suffice it to say it got blown over a lot.
Still, after all of that mistreatment, which is bad for me since I tend to pay very close attention to all of my plants and care for them diligently, it has grown and done so very well. However, still no blooms. After this extremely harsh winter here which saw a low of -9F, and countless nights below zero and days between 0 and 10F, 63.5" of snow, and multiple significant ice storms, on a warm late winter day it was finally placed in its new home, which is a much larger pot that it was in. To my surprise the roots were not quite as bad as I had anticipated. They were untangled a bit, and placed in the gritty mix which I use for trees in containers, and it was placed upright.
I've been monitoring it closely the past couple weeks since and to my surprise, it appears to have what I, with my reasonably VA Master Gardener trained eye, what I think are blossom buds! However I still wanted to post a few photos just to double check and make sure that I'm not just seeing this wishing it to be true. Many of the buds this year are dramatically different than when it usually does when it begins to break dormancy. These buds are much fatter, and fuzzy. They look to me like what I would see on the mature trees at my old residence a week or two before they flowered.
So, that said, what do you think? Flower buds?
My only other questions is, since it has not ever been fertilized, should I begin this year, and what with / how much? I usually lean Miracle Grow, but trees are different. I don't fert them nearly as much and I have had some great success with a light slow release osmocote. What do you think?
Here are the photos:
Two close ups of the current buds:
Here is a full picture of it in its new home. A bit hard to see the tree since it still has not leafed out yet, but its there if you look closely.