Demosouthpaw
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Dwarf Pomegranate help

Hi guys, I picked up a few dwarf pomegranates from Home Depot over the weekend. Now I have a few questions, Dwarf Poms are deciduous trees? How well do they respond to heavy, pruning/defoliating. The trees I bought are a mess there are branches everywere, I was thinking cutting back to the stump and letting it back if. My last question, do I need to wait till Fall to do all this work? I live in central Florida.


Thanks in advance
-Jonathan

imafan26
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Re: Dwarf Pomegranate help

Pomegranates dwarf and otherwise are not deciduous trees in Hawaii. If they drop leaves, they are distressed. They do form a mass of branches and you can either take the time to thin them or just shape them. Spring and fall are the best times to do this. Pretty much nothing likes to be pruned in the heat of summer.

There was a dwarf pomegranate in the yard when we bought the house. It was almost unrecognizable from the neglect. It came back nicely. We moved to another house for a year and the renters turned the water off, when we came back the plant was too old and sick to recover so it was lost. It was about 20 years old.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Demosouthpaw
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Re: Dwarf Pomegranate help

Well, after much contemplating and with permission of my trees I decided to trunk chop. Here are some pics.
Dwarf Pomegranate.jpg
Dwarf Pomegranate.jpg (44.29 KiB) Viewed 1367 times
Dwarf Pomegranate trunk line 2.jpg
Dwarf Pomegranate trunk line 2.jpg (32.14 KiB) Viewed 1367 times
Here I decided to leave one branch that had leaves on it just in case
Chopped.jpg
Chopped.jpg (25.45 KiB) Viewed 1367 times
Once I was done I removed the top 1" of soil and bark and replaced it with some Miracle grow. I did no root work.
repotted.jpg
repotted.jpg (33.42 KiB) Viewed 1367 times
Thats it for now, I will keep a close eye on them, and keep them under shade and make sure they have enough water.

tomc
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Re: Dwarf Pomegranate help

Bonsai soil contains almost no peatmoss, loess, or coir. Prepared potting soil, contains only--peat, loess, or coir.

I don't recommend pruning past a terminal bud. Very often no terminal bud means a dead branch.
Think like a tree
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Demosouthpaw
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Re: Dwarf Pomegranate help

tomc wrote:Bonsai soil contains almost no peatmoss, loess, or coir. Prepared potting soil, contains only--peat, loess, or coir.

I don't recommend pruning past a terminal bud. Very often no terminal bud means a dead branch.
Not sure what your reference to bonsai soil was for. I use 100% calcined clay. BUT for this job I just scrapped off the top 1" of nursery soil and added some Miracle grow, I did this so that as I water the nutrients of the fresh soil can wash down into the older soil.

YOU don't recommend it, but from what I have read it has a lot to do were you live. In Central Florida I see a lot of Bonsai people doing trunk chops like this, I don't see any reason why deciduous trees that back bud really well would need a terminal bud. We had some bushes that grew out of control around our screen enclosure area. We did some serious trunk chopping and every single trunk has new growth sprouting all around the trunk. Why would this differ in any way?

Don't take my post as being defensive I'm just trying to make sense of what I've read, and now what you are telling me.

tomc
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Re: Dwarf Pomegranate help

Demosouthpaw wrote: Once I was done I removed the top 1" of soil and bark and replaced it with some Miracle grow. I did no root work.
Miracle Grow is primarily made of peat and or loess.
Think like a tree
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imafan26
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Re: Dwarf Pomegranate help

Tom is correct in what he says about how bonsai are potted. But I consider your dwarf pomegranate to be a starter plant and not really bonsai yet. However, a chop may not necessarily kill a pomegranate, it will make it difficult to achieve a natural looking bonsai. Bonsai mimics nature in miniature, so you want to artfully shape and form the branches to display the beauty of the wood, trunk and branches.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Demosouthpaw
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Re: Dwarf Pomegranate help

imafan26 wrote:Tom is correct in what he says about how bonsai are potted. But I consider your dwarf pomegranate to be a starter plant and not really bonsai yet. However, a chop may not necessarily kill a pomegranate, it will make it difficult to achieve a natural looking bonsai. Bonsai mimics nature in miniature, so you want to artfully shape and form the branches to display the beauty of the wood, trunk and branches.

I bought these Poms from Home Depot I guess I should have specified that. They are still in nursery soil. Given the nature of the work I just preformed on them I was scared to even think about repoting them until new growth was well under way. The trunk is also about an extra 3" tall than what you can actually see. Most of it is buried in the soil. I don't expect this to be an instant bonsai. But given the lanky nature of the plant before I am hoping to increase ramification of leaves as well as better branch placement.

tomc
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Re: Dwarf Pomegranate help

Everybody hacks up a few trees. I might attribute impatience to my early days with a chop-saw.

The more you treat your tree babies, as though they were emergent bonsai the better they'll fare.

This also goes to taking your time to downsizing a field grown tree.

If both you and your tree-baby are going to live forever, there aint no rush. :)
Think like a tree
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Demosouthpaw
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Re: Dwarf Pomegranate help

tomc wrote:Everybody hacks up a few trees. I might attribute impatience to my early days with a chop-saw.

The more you treat your tree babies, as though they were emergent bonsai the better they'll fare.

This also goes to taking your time to downsizing a field grown tree.

If both you and your tree-baby are going to live forever, there aint no rush. :)

To be perfectly honest I am not in a rush. I was wanted to try out the trunk chopping method. All I have learned from Bonsai has been what i have read through Forums and books. And id say 80% of the stuff Ive read scared the SH*^ out of me to attempt on my own. But in reality its the only way to know what works and what doesnt. My dad has a saying "Experience is expensive" I have to agree with that, just think all the trees bonsai masters killed when they were starting out. lol

imafan26
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Re: Dwarf Pomegranate help

Live and learn. Most people starting bonsai start with something simple. Junipers, geometry trees, jade and ficus. They usually start with seedlings. One of the things bonsai should teach you is patience. Junipers are easy because you train them to the shape they want to be. You would not try to cascade a plant that only wants to grow upright. Geometry trees practically shape themselves and ficus can handle a lot of abuse.

I have not tackled a 40 year old starter yet, so I commend you on your ambition. While it looks like the bonsai master is hacking, what you don't see is all of the time he has spent looking at the tree, the curves, and crevices in the bark and how he envisions the tree to look further down the line. I have yet to attempt a lightening strike without killing a tree. I have filed down the chop cuts. That can take awhile and I don't do it all at once, it just takes too much time and I want to make sure I do not stress the tree too much. Every branch I cut, I have to figure out how it affects the balance of the rest of the tree, where I want to direct the growth and what shape I can achieve. I don't always choose from the start to make a tree a formal upright or a mountain cascade, the tree usually talks to me and tells me what it wants to do and it is easier not to mess too much with mother nature.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Demosouthpaw
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Location: Central Florida
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Re: Dwarf Pomegranate help

Trunk chop was a success both trees are back budding very well.

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