I’ve been curious, for the last month or so, if my ume was planning to drop its leaves this winter.
Ume with green leaves in December
Upon taking a closer look this week, I noticed that the lowest branch had lost all of its leaves.
The lower branch after losing its leaves
Although it’s not surprising that different parts of trees can drop leaves at different times, I found this interesting because the lower branch blooms and the upper branches don’t.
The upper branches also ramify better than the lower branch. Here’s the tree after removing the leaves.
Branch density is best on the upper branches
The only difference between the top and bottom branches is that the bottom branch is the younger than the others. Neither branch is grafted.
I pruned the tree from top to bottom by thinning crowded areas and shortening the longer shoots.
After cutback – 12″ tall, 21″ wide
I’m tempted to start grafting the tree again in hopes of seeing more flowers, but will hold off for another year while I work on improving the branches.
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Is the bottom branch being shaded by the upper branch and thus not producing as much ramification?
Jonas Dupuich says
Good question Lars – my guess is no because there are plenty of interior branches on the upper part of the tree. I plan to keep the top thinner next year to see if that helps balance the branch development.
Paweł Dembek says
Hi Jonas (sorry for my English)
Is it problem for mume to keep the leaves in winter (better cut off?, what temperature?). One of my mume’s has got a few (the temp below +5 to -4 C)
For flowering Hesi Boost, but be careful. Do not apply after flowering.
Jonas Dupuich says
Hi Pawel! I remove the leaves so the tree can be dormant for a short while. Removing leaves also makes it easier to prune and it reduces habitat for fungus and insects. Plus, I like the way it looks!