Spring cleaning on my Ilex Serrata

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Spring cleaning on my Ilex Serrata

Post  John Brocklehurst on Mon May 30, 2011 12:27 pm

Morning all, it's persisting it down outside today so I decided to bring my Ilex Serrata (Japanese deciduous holly) into the conservatory for a spring tidy up.
These trees seem to love the uk climate, growing profusely throughout the year.
This is the 2nd time I've cut the growth back this year and I'll need to do it again at least 2 more times before the end of the growing season.
These trees only flower on the 1st flush of new growth each year, so when pruning back you need to bear this in mind if you're planning to show the tree.
A male tree is needed to pollinate the female tree.



This picture shows the tree in her winter quarters last year. I usually defoliate the tree as soon as the leaves have turned yellow to allow as much sunlight as possible to get to the buds, I'd also moved the tree under cover quite early so that the birds wouldn't strip the berries from the tree as I was planning to show the tree on our club stand at the Swindown Winter Image show this year.
The pot is by Ian Baillie, I just love the glaze, I think it works so well with the bark of the Ilex.



Here is the tree on display at the Swindon show.
I'll be wiring the tree again later in the year with Peter Warren who has helped a lot with the design and progress of this tree.
The plan is to strengthen the back and right hand side of the tree over the next few years and further develop the ramification.



Apologies for the 1st and last picture quality, they're both mobile phone pics.
Hope you enjoy.

John Brocklehurst
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Re: Spring cleaning on my Ilex Serrata

Post  dick benbow on Mon May 30, 2011 5:46 pm

I did enjoy and thank-you for the efforts to post. One of my favorite trees. I have a tiny one that I use as a fall companion but would love to have a bigger one. Smile

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Re: Spring cleaning on my Ilex Serrata

Post  Ian Young on Mon May 30, 2011 6:18 pm

Beautiful John, I would love to try out this variety.
I love the shape and love the colour of the glaze on the pot with the colour of the bark.
Thanks for posting.

Ian Young
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Re: Spring cleaning on my Ilex Serrata

Post  Mark Cooper on Mon May 30, 2011 7:15 pm

Looking good John ! ..nice to see it in leaf too.

Here it is at the Swindon Show early this year....



Mark

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Re: Spring cleaning on my Ilex Serrata

Post  John Brocklehurst on Mon May 30, 2011 7:45 pm

Dick, we'd all like a bigger one... What a Face... but seriously....a very responsive & rewarding species, I'm also developing a shohin sized sumo. I'm glad you enjoyed.

Ian, thanks for your comments, believe it or not I bought the pot before the tree...lucky or what !
Well worth adding one of these trees to your collection.

Mark, thanks very much for the excellent picture, I was hoping you would help out.

Cheers

John

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spring cleaning on ilex serrata

Post  moyogijohn on Tue May 31, 2011 1:16 am

A very nice tree..i love the base of the trunk and the berries!!! it must be a old tree to have that trunk..great job take care john

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Re: Spring cleaning on my Ilex Serrata

Post  Randy_Davis on Tue May 31, 2011 1:36 am

John,

I can't say anything but wonderful, outstanding and I just love the winter berries! Great job. I'm trying to find some of our american native Ilex decidua to see how it performs. I sure hope it does as well as your's.

Randy
p.s. I'd love a pic for the library

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Re: Spring cleaning on my Ilex Serrata

Post  John Quinn on Tue May 31, 2011 3:08 am

Fantastic...one of my favorite species, and a fine example too.

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Re: Spring cleaning on my Ilex Serrata

Post  Russell Coker on Tue May 31, 2011 3:27 am

John Brocklehurst wrote: A male tree is needed to pollinate the female tree.

John, is your male/pollenator tree a serrata? I've often wondered how specific that pollenator actually has to be. Any thoughts? Like Randy mentioned, we have a few deciduous hollies here in the States. One that is commercially available is a decidua (or verticillata) - serrata cross, so my guess is that these would work too. Here, anyway!

Russell

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Re: Spring cleaning on my Ilex Serrata

Post  Randy_Davis on Tue May 31, 2011 12:20 pm

Russell Coker wrote:John, is your male/pollenator tree a serrata? I've often wondered how specific that pollenator actually has to be. Any thoughts? Russell

For Ilex, male pollenator trees need not be species specific. They are a genus that freely pollenates across species lines. They don't even have to be that close, just in the general vacinity as long as they flower around the same time.

Randy

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Re: Spring cleaning on my Ilex Serrata

Post  Russell Coker on Tue May 31, 2011 12:40 pm

Thanks Randy, that was my suspicion.

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Re: Spring cleaning on my Ilex Serrata

Post  John Brocklehurst on Tue May 31, 2011 5:38 pm

Randy, John & John,
Thanks everyone for your positive comments.

Randy thanks for answering Russell's question, I couldn't have answered with 100% certainty.
Also I'd suggest approaching Mark Cooper for his permission to use the photograph he posted as I don't have a shot anywhere near as good.
I'll send you the pictures I do have though, you're welcome to use them.

Russell, yes my male is a serrata and before seeing Randy's response I'd have guessed that any deciduous holly would work, the only issue would be if you wanted to grow seedlings from the berries then you couldn't guarantee the resulting plants characteristics.

I hope you guys have success with the American Ilex, please keep us updated.

John Brocklehurst
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Re: Spring cleaning on my Ilex Serrata

Post  ferdy-san on Tue May 31, 2011 6:45 pm

hello John,
very nice tree, how many years in trainning ?

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Re: Spring cleaning on my Ilex Serrata

Post  John Brocklehurst on Tue May 31, 2011 9:18 pm

Hi Ferdy-san, thank you very much.

I bought the tree from Ken Leaver at Windybank Bonsai in 2006, unfortunately I don't have a picture from when I picked up the tree.

This picture is from 2007



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Re: Spring cleaning on my Ilex Serrata

Post  John Brocklehurst on Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:00 pm

I removed more extensions from this Ilex over the weekend, mainly from the top of the tree and the minor trunk to the front right.
I've left the growth to the rear & rear right and some to the lower left branch to thicken the branches and strengthen the tree.




I'd not manually pollinated the tree this year as I'd allowed it to berry last year and was going to give it a rest, however, although the male pollinator is 20 yards (60 feet) away around a corner the flowers have been pollinated and the berries are in the early stages of development.
Next year it looks like I'll have to remove the flowers.





As you can see from the above picture the growth at the top of the tree is very strong.
Pete Warren is here on Wednesday so I'll ask him how much more growth needs removing and possibly do some wiring.
I've got a feeling I'll most probably end up trimming the tree at least once more before the end of this years growth cycle.

Regards
John

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Re: Spring cleaning on my Ilex Serrata

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