JoeLewko
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fruit tree bonsai

i know i have seen olive trees as bonsai, but is there any other way to make fruit trees, such as maybe an apricot tree a bonsai? i think it'd be really cool to have a fruit tree growing dwarfed fruits. Anybody know of any ways to do this?

femlow
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Fruit trees are very common for bonsai. Cherries are a very popular variety and have been used for centuries and can be seen in Chinese artwork dating back a couple hundred years.

I am starting apple trees right now (only three to start because I wanted to make sure I kept the seeds in the fridge long enough to pull them out of their dormancy, but if these germinate, then I will be starting about 12 all together) to be used for bonsai. I also have some cherry and plum pits in the refrigerator right now, but those won't be ready for a couple of months atleast.

Apricots can be hard to start sometimes, because the variety we get in the supemarket (is you are thinking of using those pits atleast) are sometimes to genetically changed that they have a hard time with propagation, but you can certainly try them. However I think an easier fruit tree atleast to start with would be an apple. The seeds germinate a lot faster and more reliably, and though they may not be exactly the same as the parent tree and fruit, they will still be fowering apple trees and very nice.

For some pics of fruit bonsai, try these:
[url]https://www.bonsai4me.com/Gallery/gallerywalterpall/Prunus%20mahaleb%20European%20wild%20cherry.jpg[/url]
[url]https://www.worth1000.com/entries/35500/35706nakp_w.jpg[/url]
[url]https://web-japan.org/kidsweb/virtual/bonsai/ume.jpg[/url]
[url]https://soly.st/Bonsai/Plum1.JPG[/url]

With whatever you choose, good luck!

fem

johnfrancis
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trialling citrus

I am currently trying to grow some citrus (lemon and Lime) as bonsai.
I'll keep the forum posted as to how they grow.

Cheers

JoeLewko
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Apricots can be hard to start sometimes, because the variety we get in the supemarket (is you are thinking of using those pits atleast) are sometimes to genetically changed that they have a hard time with propagation, but you can certainly try them. However I think an easier fruit tree atleast to start with would be an apple. The seeds germinate a lot faster and more reliably, and though they may not be exactly the same as the parent tree and fruit, they will still be fowering apple trees and very nice.
i read somewhere that you need to give the pit a period of dormancy, for 4 weeks for an apricot. Is this correct? Because i am about to finish the first week this friday. How long do you have to keep apple seeds dormant?

btw the second link doesnt work.

femlow
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Location: 5a - Maine

I don't know why the second link isn't working. If you copy and paste it, it seems to work.

As for apricots, the only information I could find said three to four weeks, however I've never heard of anyone who had an apricot pit germinate. Apples take about 4 weeks normally, however I tend to have apples that just roll to the back of the fridge and get forgotten for unkown amounts of time and stay there until I get the planting bug. One of my seeds has germinated in a day, but the other two are not showing signs of starting yet. All of the seeds were probably in the fridge for about three weeks.

fem

JoeLewko
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thanks...ill try the aprioct pit, and see what happens.

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Gnome
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Joe,

If you practice bonsai techniques on a standard apricot, or any other full sized fruit tree for that matter, you will not experience dwarfing of the fruit. Although you can most definitely keep a tree within certain design constraints, and even reduce leaves to a degree, the practice of bonsai will not alter the genetic makeup of a given tree. If you wish to have small sized fruits you will have to start with a variety that exhibits this characteristic naturally such as crab apple. You have to remember that, with the exception of genetic dwarfs, bonsai are full sized trees that are manipulated by us to maintain the image that we seek.

Norm

femlow
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Norm,

I believe you are mistaken about that. The fruit will be smaller on a mature bonsai for the same reason that the leaves are smaller, and the flowers are smaller too. The fruit is not an exception to this. Seeds from the fruit will not produce small trees of course, because as you said they are genetically the same, but the fruit will be smaller on the bonsai.

fem

JoeLewko
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fem,
that seems to make sense, but the leaves are usually smaller, because the tree is cut of its larger leaves, and trained that way. Are you saying that larger fruit is removed until only small ones are produced? or are you saing since the tree only has limited space to grow, the fruits will be smaller?

femlow
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Location: 5a - Maine

Joe,

When you have a young tree, the leaves are larger, so you cut the first flush and the second flush comes back smaller, however, as the tree matures, because of pruning both above and below the soil, the leaves will starat to grow smaller on their own, without having to cut the first flush leaves. For the same reason, because the tree has been pruned above and below the soil (roots, branches, etc), the fruit will also be smaller. This is why young bonsai often look out of proportion in relation to their leaves, flowers, etc, but older, more mature bonsai do not and do not require cutting first flush leaves.

fem

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Fem,

I suppose that it all depends on your definition of reduction. There can certainly be variation in fruit size even on the same tree. Fruit size can also vary from year to year due to climate even on full sized trees.

While you may get a partial reduction in fruit size a full sized apple tree, for instance, will always produce fruit that is out of scale on all but the very largest of bonsai. That is why crabs are used much more frequently than their full sized counterparts.

[url]https://static.flickr.com/53/116485051_fbcb032e44_m.jpg[/url]

Norm

ynot
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Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

femlow wrote:Norm,

I believe you are mistaken about that. The fruit will be smaller on a mature bonsai for the same reason that the leaves are smaller, and the flowers are smaller too. The fruit is not an exception to this. Seeds from the fruit will not produce small trees of course, because as you said they are genetically the same, but the fruit will be smaller on the bonsai.

fem
I would be very very interested in seeing an example of this.

Put simply:
This is incorrect, To be specific: Neither Fruit nor Flowers reduce in size. The reason you often see bonsai with smaller sized flowers is that people use cultivars or sports that have smaller blooms in the first place. Because they are much more in scale with their intended design.

If it were possible to reduce them you would see bonsai being made out of some species that have suitable woody interesting growth habits and huge flowers..
['To be reduced later, Large flowers? No problem, Pick any species you want...']
But you don't in fact see that at all because there is nothing we do wrt the enviroment of bonsai that changes the genetic factors which affect fruit/flower size. Try to change a full size rose into a mini rose and see.

As Gnome mentioned Malus are very popular for those who desire fruiting bonsai, They have alot of appeal in all four seasons IMO.

Btw- femlow you mention this:
When you have a young tree, the leaves are larger, so you cut the first flush and the second flush comes back smaller
The aim of defoiliation in bonsai is not in fact leaf reduction, It is to promote ramification. Leaf reduction is a natural beneficial side effect of this [Given good lighting] but not the primary aim.
See https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/leafsize.htm for a few notes about leaf reduction for bonsai. It is the last thing on the list, after all of the other training is achieved.
ynot



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