tree identification

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tree identification

Post  dave on Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:22 am

I have had this tree 20 yrs.And it is has never flowered.It grew in the yard and was infested with aphids and nobody every paid it much attention.When we moved 10 yrs ago I was just starting to be interested in Bonsai so dug it up and it came with us.I thought it was an ornamental crab but not sure.The leaves do turn green with red in summmer.



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Re: tree identification

Post  David Brunner on Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:41 am

Hello Dave - the leaves are still a little small, but it sure looks like a crabapple to me. Its a bit surprising that is has not flowered in 20 years, but crabs can be very slow to do so in pots. Crabapples and related species produce flowers on developmentally distinct branch and bud types. You may be able to induce flowering by potting the tree up or by placing it back in the ground for a few years.

I will be very interested to read what others post, as there are many here with years of experience cultivating crabs as bonsai. (And of course I could also be wrong about your trees "crabbiness")

David B.

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Re: tree identification

Post  dave on Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:59 am

Thanks for your reply David.I have a green gage plum tree in my yard which flowered the second year I put it in the ground.However it looked so good my wife didn't want me to dig it back up.It now stands 7ft tall.So I think I will try a larger pot first.I have also read some info that i might of  been pruning at wrong time of year for crabapples so this is the first year for my pruning experiment.I am hopefull this might be the year.

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Re: tree identification

Post  arihato on Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:46 am

I must have the same ssp of crab, it has never flowered, had it since 1983. It was a stray seedling.


CRW_7608 by Arihato, on Flickr

My other crab apples flower profusely, this one never. This tree is easy to propagate by cuttings and it makes great ShoHin.

There is a way to determine if it is crab or cherry, the Prunus leaves have these little warts at the leaf stalk or on the leaf where the leaf meets the stalk:


IMG_2316 by Arihato, on Flickr

In Bonsai they can be hard to see because of the reduction of leaves. Crabs never have these.

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Re: tree identification

Post  Michael Cooper on Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:45 am

Looks very like the Crab I bought in 1990 at The Royal Bath and West Show and that as never flowered either. pale

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Re: tree identification

Post  JimLewis on Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:36 pm

Agree. Crabapple.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: tree identification

Post  dave on Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:32 am

Thanks very much for the responses.I feel confident that it is a crabapple then.I think I had a flower bud once but it never developed.I thought that i was pruning too much in spring and summer trying to keep its shape which was causing all energy to go to branch developement and not flower buds.So I am hoping that this is the year.Thanks again for the confirmations.

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Re: tree identification

Post  dave on Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:42 am

Arithato thank you for your tip about the warts at the stem for prunus.I will check when the leaves get larger.I like your tree,shame it has never flowered.Thanks again.

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Re: tree identification

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