Black Cherry Prunus Serotina Good for Bonsai?

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Black Cherry Prunus Serotina Good for Bonsai?

Post  krapart on Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:27 pm

I just got a notice that there is a tree sale happening near me soon.
One of the options is this Black Cherry and I am wondering if it would make good bonsai material?

https://wild-ones-west-cook.myshopify.com/collections/trees/products/black-cherry-prunus-serotina-1

At $26, this seems like a good price.  
But I'm new, so I'd love to hear others' input if this would be a good tree for a beginner.

Or if you have any good resources where I can read about this myself, I'd also like to see those.
I did a search on my own, but its sometimes difficult to discern the good info from the bad.

Thanks!

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Re: Black Cherry Prunus Serotina Good for Bonsai?

Post  Anitasfarm on Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:51 pm

This might be fun to work with as bonsai, but no, I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner, as there is so little specific information on how it reacts in pot culture. Secondly, it seems that your tree source is offering them grown for yard trees, which means their stock will likely be tall and straight with no low branches at all, and likely no interesting root bases.

If you're interested in this species, why not look around your area or chat with people at your local bonsai club, see if you can find some seedlings to dig this fall, or mark some for collecting in the spring. They're quite common in my area (mid-East Coast US), and often grow in overgrown fencelines or former fields.

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Re: Black Cherry Prunus Serotina Good for Bonsai?

Post  krapart on Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:58 pm

Great reply, thanks Anitasfarm.

I was concerned about them being intended for yard trees, so thanks for confirming my suspicion!




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black cherry

Post  Robert Taylor on Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:54 am

I only have experience with one tree that I grew for six years. I did some root pruning early on in developing it but then field grew it for a few years and just pruned branches. It was beginning to look good until I decided to pot it up and then it died. I'd read somewhere that they didn't like their roots disturbed and decided not to try working with them again.

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Re: Black Cherry Prunus Serotina Good for Bonsai?

Post  krapart on Wed Aug 17, 2016 5:38 pm

Thanks for the insight Robert Taylor

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Black Cherry

Post  TextMe on Wed Aug 17, 2016 5:49 pm

I picked up 6 bare root seedlings from the forest service at the beginning of spring. I trimmed back the roots, cut some off the top and planted them in the ground on tiles. They are all doing great although I suspect only 1 or 2 may eventually go in pots. They grow fast and have put out many low branches. I think they are a great tree to play with and I will post some pictures of how mine are coming along if you are interested. I am hoping for a burst of growth over the next 1-2 years. If you do decide to get it, let me know and we can share ideas, tips, etc.

Bill

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Re: Black Cherry Prunus Serotina Good for Bonsai?

Post  krapart on Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:12 pm

I would love to see your photos TextMe, maybe that will encourage me to just go for it.

Smile

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Will post pics this weekend

Post  TextMe on Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:29 pm

Krapart,
I will try to post some pics this weekend.

Bill

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Re: Black Cherry Prunus Serotina Good for Bonsai?

Post  Zach Smith on Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:31 am

krapart wrote:I just got a notice that there is a tree sale happening near me soon.
One of the options is this Black Cherry and I am wondering if it would make good bonsai material?

https://wild-ones-west-cook.myshopify.com/collections/trees/products/black-cherry-prunus-serotina-1

At $26, this seems like a good price.  
But I'm new, so I'd love to hear others' input if this would be a good tree for a beginner.

Or if you have any good resources where I can read about this myself, I'd also like to see those.
I did a search on my own, but its sometimes difficult to discern the good info from the bad.

Thanks!
Prunus serotina is a difficult bonsai subject, mostly because they don't respond well to either trunk chopping or the pruning of larger branches. Dieback is very common, and they seem to attract fungal disease. So if you just want to play around with the species, have at it. But don't make it your starter tree or the centerpiece of your collection.

Incidentally, I have a lot of black cherries growing where I live. I found a volunteer seedling earlier this year and am trying my hand at growing one from scratch (I'll avoid big chops).

Zach

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Re: Black Cherry Prunus Serotina Good for Bonsai?

Post  krapart on Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:30 pm

Thanks again for the reply.
I think I'm going to opt-out on this one and try to find something more suitable to my experience level.
..kp

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Re: Black Cherry Prunus Serotina Good for Bonsai?

Post  augustine on Fri Aug 26, 2016 1:50 pm

Save your $26 and buy a variety suitable for bonsai. Mr. Valavanis sometimes offers them in his annual catalog which is normally published around Jan 1. Site is InternationalBonsai.com. (You can look now and see last season's catalog to give you an idea of what he sells.)

Also, evergreengardenworks' website has several types good for bonsai.

Both of these sources sell young material but if you're going to spend time growing out work with a good species. And as you said, they are fast growers and you may see cherry blossoms even on these young plants.

Two years ago I bought Prunus Yedoensis "Akebono" in a 4" pot from International Bonsai. This is the second year in nursery pots and getting ready to go into the ground to develop. I had beautiful flowers this past spring. Tree was small, inexpensive but very gratifying when it flowered. Growing fast and well.

Let's support these excellent vendors, they do a lot for our community and have to make a living in a tough business.

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Re: Black Cherry Prunus Serotina Good for Bonsai?

Post  krapart on Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:29 pm

That is very helpful. I've been wondering where to get young material, so I will check out those sites.
I took a workshop with Mr. Valvanis but didn't think to check his site for trees.
I'll also take a look at evergreen.

Thanks for the reply!

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Re: Black Cherry Prunus Serotina Good for Bonsai?

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