A Blueberry

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A Blueberry

Post  Jay Wilson on Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:48 pm

This tree showed up in a picture over in the 'bonsai with animals' thread as an accompaniment to one of my dogs. Rob K. ask for a better picture so, here ya go Rob.

This is a blueberry I collected a few years ago. It's been in the same grow box since collection and I finally put it in a bonsai pot for further refinement.

Just for the fun of it, I put some moss around and took a couple of pics for my records.

The right side is coming along pretty well, but the left side is a couple of years behind in ramification.

Any comments and/or suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.

Thanks,

Jay Wilson
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Re: A Blueberry

Post  Fuzzy on Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:24 pm

Beautiful tree! Well done! Love it! That’s all I have to say. Smile

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Re: A Blueberry

Post  Jay Wilson on Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:38 pm

Fuzzy wrote:Beautiful tree! Well done! Love it! That’s all I have to say. Smile


Fuzzy, that's more than enough! Thanks! sunny

Jay Wilson
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Re: A Blueberry

Post  Rob Kempinski on Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:31 am

Thanks for the photo Jay. Interesting configuration of three trunks but pleasing still. Good job and nice photo. Does it make fruit?

Rob Kempinski
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Re: A Blueberry

Post  sitarbonsai on Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:40 am

Hey, Jay
really nice tree
I really like the moss, it adds a nice natural feeling to to accompany the bonsai
reminds me of Walter Pall's rock slabs
good work,

Justin

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Re: A Blueberry

Post  Jaco Kriek on Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:33 am

Jay

That is really nice. Was it one tree from the start or were three trees put together to create this triple trunk?

Jaco Kriek
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Re: A Blueberry

Post  Rob Addonizio on Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:03 pm

Well done Jay! Cool

I would like to see this in leaf/blossum.

I realize this is a young tree because of the angular quality in its trunk and main branches. Yet, I see some consistency with respect to angularity in some the secondary and tertiary braches. This is interesting to me. Perhaps this could be something to look at and continue in its overall design?

Thanks for sharing!

Rob Addonizio
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Re: A Blueberry

Post  Jeremy on Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:13 pm

Hi Jay,
Thank ou for posting.
Interesting tree. I too would like to see it in leaf, in flower and with fruit.

Jeremy
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Re: A Blueberry

Post  Jay Wilson on Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:05 am

Rob K, you're welcome. Thanks! The three trunks are the way it was when collected; fused at the bottom. I let it have a couple of bunches of berries last year. It's trying to bud out now and it looks as if some of the buds may be flower clusters. I'm hoping for enough to make some berries this year. I'll get some pictures if it comes through.

Tree at collection.




Justin, thank you. I enjoy putting some moss around for a nice picture. I can't leave it for long though, I keep my blueberrys wet and the moss will be all over the trunk before you know it.



Jaco, It was more or less one tree at collecting ( see above pic) This was probably a stump cut down with a bush-hog. Three sprouts came out at ground level and merged together over time.



Rob A.
I'll try for some pictures with some flowers and leaves. As far as the angularity thing: I see what you are saying. It's the effect of growing out and cutting back. I mostly have to clip and grow to get any movement. Blueberrys are too brittle to do much wiring on. I like the angular effect and as I look at the tree, I see the need to be more consistent with it in the smaller branches. Thanks for your input!

Jeremy, thanks for looking. I'll try to update as the tree goes through the stages.

Jay Wilson
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Re: A Blueberry

Post  jferrier on Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:55 pm

Oh man why did I have to look at this post. I never considered blueberries for bonsai. What a nice tree! And blueberries are so tasty! Now I'm going to have to get a few and give it a try.

Hey what type of plant is the little grass like plants to the right and left of the tree?

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Re: A Blueberry

Post  JimLewis on Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:22 pm

Hey what type of plant is the little grass like plants to the right and left of the tree?

Those are the fruiting spores of the moss. The moss is in "bloom" -- though mosses aren't flowering plants.

This is one of the best blueberry bonsai I've seen. They are VERY brittle and they tend to want to grow very straight branches. If you don't keep right on top of them every moment and snip away the growing tips, the branches will get away from you and become straight, stiff and unmanageable.

So far, I've had little luck with them.

_________________
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: A Blueberry

Post  coh on Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:18 pm

Was just reading about blueberries and found this thread...any updates? Perhaps a photo or two of the tree in leaf (especially fall color) or with flowers/fruit?

coh
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Blueberry

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:03 pm

I've seen a few blueberry bonsai at shows. Might try one.
Northern growers: Remember that the blueberries you & I see are Vaccinium corymbosum. The dwarf hybrids are crossed with the low growing blueberry.
If it was collected in Florida, Jay's blueberry is probably V. ashei, the rabbiteye blueberry, which may be quite different as a bonsai.
Iris

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Re: A Blueberry

Post  Jay Wilson on Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:45 pm

coh, thanks for asking about this tree. Unfortunately, I can't find any more recent good pictures of it or any with it in leaf or fruit or fall color. Embarassed

This tree did well for about a year after the original post and then started on a fairly rapid decline and started losing twigging and then limbs. I finally repotted into a larger box but it was a bit late and it's been slow to recover from the decline.

My experience with my variety of blueberries (native to my area) has been that they don't do well confined to a small pot for more than a year or two. They start getting finer twigging and leaves, and (maybe) bloom nicely but then start going downhill quickly. I know now to get them back in a larger pot sooner but I've lost a couple of nice ones in learning this.

Here's a picture of the tree today. It's probably regained enough strength to start reducing the leggy growth and working on limbs and twigs next year so possibly in two or three years I can get it back to where it was two years ago.

Jay Wilson
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Re: A Blueberry

Post  coh on Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:11 pm

Jay,

Thanks for the update! But sorry to hear of the troubles with the tree. I wonder if all blueberries behave like this? Has anyone else had similar experience? I am "up north" so would be working with a different variety, as Iris noted. Picked up one with an interesting trunk at a sale last week and will be experimenting with it...depending on results I may look around for an older tree with a good trunk. Lots of farms with older blueberries around here...

coh
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Re: A Blueberry

Post  Gary Swiech on Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:08 pm

I have a few Blueberries in my garden here in Wisconsin. They are very hardy varieties but they seem to loose some larger woody branches every year. Here and there a couple of branches will just

die off. I wonder if this happens in a pot?

Very nice tree BTW. As I said in another thread, I'm going to try one next Spring.

Gary Swiech
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Re: A Blueberry

Post  coh on Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:13 pm

Gary Swiech wrote:They are very hardy varieties but they seem to loose some larger woody branches every year. Here and there a couple of branches will just die off. I wonder if this happens in a pot?
Everything I've read indicates this is a common occurrence with blueberries, but at this point I don't have any actual experience with them.

coh
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Re: A Blueberry

Post  Jay Wilson on Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:34 pm

I guess another problem that might affect the health my of blueberries in small pots is not getting the soil acid enough.

I may have tended to put more peat and pine bark in the grow box mix than in the smaller pot where I probably have at least 50% turface. Even though I fertilize with acid type fertilizer it may not be enough. I might try a little vinegar in the water occasionally to see if that makes a difference.

I also am growing different purchased variety's of blueberries in large (30 gal) pots for fruit. Around here folks recommend growing in straight pine bark so that's what I'm doing. I'm only in the second year with those and so far they are for the most part healthy. The weather has them mixed up though... They are blooming and setting fruit now. Shocked

Jay Wilson
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Re: A Blueberry

Post  Gary Swiech on Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:31 pm

I guess another problem that might affect the health my of blueberries in small pots is not getting the soil acid enough.


I had the same problem with an Ilex verticllata X serrata hybrid called Sparkelberry. Even after fertilizing with an acid fertilizer and adding coated slow release sulfur,

the leaves were yellowish, indicating clorosis. It's in a small pot. I agree that for acid loving plants, they should be grown in a little more soil than usual. It seems

that when the roots start to get a little pot bound, they start to suffer. I'll have to pull out one of my Bonsai magazines and do some more studying.

We never stop learning in life!

Gary Swiech
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Re: A Blueberry

Post  JimLewis on Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:14 pm

I had the same problem with an Ilex verticllata X serrata hybrid called Sparkelberry.

Hmmmmm. The only "Sparkleberry" I know is another native in the blueberry family -- Vaccinium arboreum. It certainly would insist on acid soil. I've tried and tried to dig one of these over many yers and have not been successful. They would make wonderful bonsai. Mature wild trees have ropy smooth, cinnamon-red bark. The leaves are round and seldom larger than 5-cent piece. Nursery trees just don't "have" it. It also is called "Farkelberry." (!)

_________________
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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A Blueberry

Post  bonsaisr on Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:03 pm

From an online catalogue:
Ilex 'Sparkleberry'
Sparkleberry Holly Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Introduced by the National Arboretum, Sparkleberry is a showy deciduous holly hybrid between Ilex verticillata or Winterberry and I. serrata. Unlike typical hollies that have thick evergreen foliage, Sparkleberry's leaves turn yellow in the fall and then fall off. But it is the spectacular berries that create such a show. Masses of 3/8 inch bright red berries persist into late winter creating quite a display in the winter landscape. Sparkleberry looks great planted in large groups or in front of evergreens. Shrubs are distinctly upright growing to 10 feet or so and like wet to average soil in sun or light shade. Male and female plants are required in order to produce berries and the perfect male to pollinate Sparkleberry is 'Apollo'. Cat# 1120
Iris

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Re: A Blueberry

Post  JimLewis on Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:31 pm

Ya! A man-made "Sparkleberry."

_________________
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: A Blueberry

Post  Gary Swiech on Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:35 pm

Ilex 'Sparkleberry'
Sparkleberry Holly Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Introduced by the National Arboretum, Sparkleberry is a showy deciduous holly hybrid between Ilex verticillata or Winterberry and I. serrata. Unlike typical hollies that have thick evergreen foliage, Sparkleberry's leaves turn yellow in the fall and then fall off. But it is the spectacular berries that create such a show. Masses of 3/8 inch bright red berries persist into late winter creating quite a display in the winter landscape. Sparkleberry looks great planted in large groups or in front of evergreens. Shrubs are distinctly upright growing to 10 feet or so and like wet to average soil in sun or light shade. Male and female plants are required in order to produce berries and the perfect male to pollinate Sparkleberry is 'Apollo'. Cat# 1120
Iris

That's the Sparkleberry I'm talking about. The fruit on mine it only an 1/8 in. 2.5 cm.

Very nice for bonsai.

Thanks Iris.

Gary Swiech
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A Blueberry

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:07 pm

Please edit last post. 1/8 inch = 2.5 mm.
Iris

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Re: A Blueberry

Post  Mitch Thomas on Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:24 pm

Jim
I too have tried to collect wild sparkelberry to no vail. It seems most are sprouted from runners from other trees and not entirely on thier own root systems. I do plan to try a root ringing technique in the future. maybe?

Mitch

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Re: A Blueberry

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