Ilex vericillata x serrata "Sparkleberry"

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Ilex vericillata x serrata "Sparkleberry"

Post  Gary Swiech on Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:26 pm

I took this picture of my Ilex vericillata x serrata "Sparkleberry" bonsai this morning. I grew it from a cutting about 4 years ago. 10" (25.4cm) tall. It's finally starting to shape up.

The berries just started to turn red this week.


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'Sparkleberry'

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:23 am

Cultivar names take single quotes.
Do the leaves reduce?
Do you need a pollenizer (a male tree)?
Iris

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Re: Ilex vericillata x serrata "Sparkleberry"

Post  Gary Swiech on Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:45 pm

Ilex Verticillata X serrata 'Sparkleberry'. There you go Iris. My mistake.

Do the leaves reduce?
Yes they do, at least they are smaller than the Ilex Verticillata X serrata 'Sparkleberry' it came from which is about 20 feet away from my bonsai benches.

Do you need a pollenizer (a male tree)?
Yes it does need a pollenizer. To my knowledge all female hollies need a male since they are a dioecious plant. I use 'Apollo' for a pollenizer however I have a grouping
of Hollies 30 feet long 20 feet from the benches and there are many different types. My males include 'Apollo' (Verticillata x serrata), which is the standard pollinator for 'Sparkelberry'
'Jim Dandy', which flowers early, as does an old cultivar simply known as 'Early Male' and 'Southern Gentleman', all Verticillata males.
'Southern Gentleman' may pollinate 'Sparkleberry' also since it flowers later, at the same time as 'Apollo'.

My females include, Verticillata 'Afterglow'(orange berries), 'Berry Heavy', 'Berry Nice', 'Red Sprite' and 'Winter Red'.

I chose Ilex Verticillata X serrata 'Sparkleberry' for bonsai because of it's smaller leaves, tiny berries and the reddish new growth that it genetically inherits form Ilex serrata.

Right now, here in Wisconsin where Ilex verticllata grows wild in wet areas, it is a riot of red and orange berries. The grouping is beautiful and will stay that way into Winter
unless I get a flock of cedar waxwings that stop by to feed on them. This hasn't happened yet but used to at my old residence. They would pick them clean. They just haven't
found this grouping yet.

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Re: Ilex vericillata x serrata "Sparkleberry"

Post  juniper07 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:41 pm

Your tree is off to a good start. It's not very clear from the picture but I think the roots look decent for this stage in development. This tree has the bones of a graceful feminine tree.

My 2 cents; if the picture you posted is the front, then the slingshot shape bothers me a little. How about rotating it 15deg. anti-clockwise. This way, both the trunks will be visible (the larger one being slightly in front), and at the same time the slingshot will be gone.

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Re: Ilex vericillata x serrata "Sparkleberry"

Post  Gary Swiech on Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:07 pm

Hi juniper07,

How's things in Chicago? I was born there and spent my first 30 years there. I left the city and moved to a town called Berkeley about 15 mi. west of the city when I was 6. It wasn't
so crowded then. We used to play in the prairies back then. I regress.....

I went out and turned it 15ยบ counterclockwise and it doesn't help much but I may do that next Spring, it still looks that way with the fork.
I meant to wire it this year but never got around to it......too many bonsai.

Although these deciduous hollies have fairly brittle branches, the branch to the your right is still pliable enough to bend downward quite a bit and fan it out. It has a lot of little branches.

Right where that crotch is was a third branch I used as a sacrifice branch to thicken up the lower trunk. I cut it off last year and it healed nicely. Perhaps you can see where it was if you look real hard. It
ran almost parallel to the branch you see on the left. Last year I just let the plant grow wild to get that trunk to thicken.

Thanks for the recommendation. When I repot next year, I'm sure it will come to mind.

Gary Swiech
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Re: Ilex vericillata x serrata "Sparkleberry"

Post  Oliver Muscio on Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:29 am

Oops! I need to read more carefully! Until I saw the reference to hollies, I thought we were talking about the native sparkleberry, Vaccinium arboreum (Sparkleberry or Farkleberry). My first clue was when Iris referred to "cultivers," since the name sparkleberry is just the common name of this vaccinium species, not a cultivar of it. Obviously, it is important to pay attention to the scientific name, not the common name, something I neglected here.
By the way, I once collected a specimen of Vaccinium arboretum, but lost it, eventually.
Oliver

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Re: Ilex vericillata x serrata "Sparkleberry"

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