Kumquat as Bonsai?

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Kumquat as Bonsai?

Post  Ryan on Tue May 29, 2012 2:41 am

Hi everyone,



A local nursery down the road from me has a tall Kumquat on sale. Normally $330, on sale for $50 Laughing . The tree is pretty tall, about 6 feet. There are a few smaller branches down low, but most of the growth is up top, and there is a bare section of trunk for about 4 feet. Now, if I wanted to chop the tree down low, how would it respond? Would it throw out a good amount of shoots and backbud well? How do these do as bonsai in general? I've been searching the net, but have come up short with decent results. Thought I'd ask on an international forum. Any comments/advice is much appreciated. Thanks!

Ryan
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Re: Kumquat as Bonsai?

Post  Ryan on Tue May 29, 2012 4:11 am

I should also add that I have seen information about Hong Kong Kumquats, but I'm not sure as that is what this one is. I'll check tomorrow when I go back to the nursery.

Ryan
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Re: Kumquat as Bonsai?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue May 29, 2012 9:53 am

Personally I have not been impressed with the positional of the Citrus family for Bonsai.

Billy M. Rhodes
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Re: Kumquat as Bonsai?

Post  Andre Beaurain on Tue May 29, 2012 10:35 am

Hi Ryan

Be carefull, normally all citrus, especially Kumquats are grafted. I suspect the 4 feet of bare trunk will be the Root Graft wich is normally a Rough lemon type. You will be able to see clearly where the graft is.

...just for interest sake, I' sell 2m tall kumquats, full and bushy for R250, thats about 28 Dollars, and people here consider it expensive! Its strange how value differs all over the world.

Billy is right Citrus doesnt make easy bonsai, they are gross feeders, and will always get woolly apids in late summer, but its is possible!

Andre Beaurain
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Re: Kumquat as Bonsai?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue May 29, 2012 11:26 am

The original post comes from Virginia, USA an area where most Citrus will not survive outdoors because of low temperatures. Kumquats are among the most hardy of Citrus so it would be a plant to grow in a protected garden in Virginia, that is why it hasn't sold and why it was so priced. I live in the Space Center area of Florida, that at one time was a center of Citrus production, but cold winters have even pushed a lot of the Citrus out of our area.

Billy M. Rhodes
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Re: Kumquat as Bonsai?

Post  Sakaki on Tue May 29, 2012 12:09 pm

Andre Beaurain wrote:Hi Ryan

Be carefull, normally all citrus, especially Kumquats are grafted. I suspect the 4 feet of bare trunk will be the Root Graft wich is normally a Rough lemon type. You will be able to see clearly where the graft is.

...just for interest sake, I' sell 2m tall kumquats, full and bushy for R250, thats about 28 Dollars, and people here consider it expensive! Its strange how value differs all over the world.

Billy is right Citrus doesnt make easy bonsai, they are gross feeders, and will always get woolly apids in late summer, but its is possible!

Andre, they are sold for just 8-10 USD in my city, but still noone buys since it is very easy to find these trees here for free (they are even given as bonus together with another tree that you'll buy) lol!
Ryan, I agree with Billy & Andre, dont waste your time (& money of course) Sad

Taner

Sakaki
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Re: Kumquat as Bonsai?

Post  Russell Coker on Tue May 29, 2012 2:29 pm



I'd be shocked if it were a Hong Kong kumquat, it's probably either 'nagami' or 'meiwa'. And do look for the graft union, it's usually pretty obvious (and terrible) in citrus.

Russell Coker
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Re: Kumquat as Bonsai?

Post  Tom Simonyi on Tue May 29, 2012 3:27 pm

I agree that the Citrus family does not offer the best in terms of bonsai potential...the journey over many years with this Key Lime has been a bumpy one....I will admit there are more negatives than positives but I have also learned much while caring for this particular tree. I can say that this species, Citrus aurantifolia is very tolerant regarding drastic pruning and it does back bud fairly well and the leaves do reduce somewhat...at least in my experience.
Tom

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Kumquat

Post  bonsaisr on Tue May 29, 2012 4:19 pm

I tried a kumquat last year or so. It was not difficult to grow under lights, but it was tooo... slooow. As someone mentioned elsewhere, Citrus aurantium 'Chinotto,' the myrtleleaf miniature orange, is a much more satisfying candidate. You can get them from Meehan's Miniatures, & possibly Evergreen Gardenworks. No graft to worry about.
Iris

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Re: Kumquat as Bonsai?

Post  Ryan on Tue May 29, 2012 5:20 pm

Thank you everyone for the advice!!

Here are some pictures of the tree. The graft isn't too noticeable, but I think I can spot it.









Ryan
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Re: Kumquat as Bonsai?

Post  Russell Coker on Tue May 29, 2012 5:47 pm



They want HOW MUCH for that plant?????

Seriously, that's a 27$ kumquat at my Home Depot. 'Meiwa' (am I physic or what?) isn't a bad kumquat, especially if you're looking for something besides lime for your vodka tonic. I doubt it would make a good serious bonsai candidate.

And, yes, that's the graft union. The understock is already sprouting, and that's not good.

Russell Coker
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Kumquat

Post  bonsaisr on Tue May 29, 2012 8:21 pm

The understock that is sprouting below the graft union is probably Poncirus trifoliata. Forget the kumquat. You can usually get Poncirus trifoliata, mostly the cultivar 'Flying Dragon,' already grown for bonsai. I believe it is hardy where you are, so you can grow it outdoors.
Iris

bonsaisr
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Re: Kumquat as Bonsai?

Post  Ryan on Tue May 29, 2012 8:46 pm

Thank you both.

Yeah you're telling me Russell! They charge ridiculous amounts for all of their plants/trees. It's just sad.

You're good, Iris! I googled that, looks pretty interesting. Thanks!

I think I'll pass on this one, however. Upon closer inspection I see why it's on sale for such a drastic price change, the thing is infested with Wooly Aphids.

Ryan
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