New to this... I got a Cranberry Cotoneaster

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New to this... I got a Cranberry Cotoneaster

Post  jonkatzmail on Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:58 am

I have been messing around trying to bonsai different things for a couple months with no in-person help from anyone. I asked somewhere else what a good non-pine/juniper/prickly evergreen would be good for learning to bonsai and they said a Cotoneaster would be good. It took a while to find one but I finally bought a small Cranberry Cotoneaster in a 1-gallon pot at a nursery. bounce It has some berries on it. Is there anything I should know that is peculiar to Cotoneasters to look out for? Also, are they self-fertilizing or are they separate sexes like hollies? I wanted a Pyracantha for the orange berries but they tell me I live in the wrong climate Zone (5) to be able to find one at a nursery. Sad

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Cranberry Cotoneaster

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:17 am

I have a Cotoneaster 'Tom Thumb' but can't report success yet. It is barely alive, but that is often the case with miniature cultivars. The standard ones are much tougher. One thing that is advised with cotoneasters is don't trim the roots much when you repot, just shake the old soil off. Also, it belongs to the rose family & you may have to spray for blackspot.
Of course you know that you can't repot now. You can do some training and repot it in the spring. If it seems potbound, just put it in the ground with the rootball intact and pot it next spring. Cotoneasters are self-fertile. It should bloom & set fruit without having any other specimens around.
Iris

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Re: New to this... I got a Cranberry Cotoneaster

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:05 pm

I have a couple of C. dammeri, a miniature form, as bonsai. I have not found they are particularly troublesome about having their roots worked -- but this is NOT the time of year to work on roots. They prune and wire easily, and grow easily from cuttings, so save likely pruning leftovers.

They're suitable for most styles of bonsai. I think they are an easy Genus for beginners. mind you, I have not worked with any of the larger forms.

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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: New to this... I got a Cranberry Cotoneaster

Post  coh on Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:02 pm

I am also (still) struggling with a mame-sized cotoneaster "Tom Thumb". Had discussed it in a previous thread - was worked on in the fall, kept indoors over the winter, now outdoors. Has struggled all along - leaves come out, quickly develop spots/turn yellow and fall off. It's received multiple fungicide applications which seem to have no effect. I'm hoping if I can nurse it through the summer and then get it a proper dormant period this winter, it will have renewed vigor next year. Not real optimistic, though...

Chris

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Re: New to this... I got a Cranberry Cotoneaster

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:24 pm

'Tom Thumb' is a cultivar of C. dammeri, which is the mini that I'm growing. C. dammeri has fewer flowers than other Cotoneaster, and 'Tom Thumb' apparently has even fewer, according to what I read. Mine -- 'Streib's Findling' -- gives me a pretty colorful display in the spring and summer and into the fall, so it must be a bit of a better bloomer.

Also according to what I read, it should survive (with some protection in a pot) outside in Rochester, so that may be your problem, Coh.

Reading, I find there are more different Cotoneasters in the trade than I knew about. They all are "self fertilizing."

They are a cool-weather Genus. I am, down here in the cusp of zones 7 and 8, I am at the VERY upper range of the temperatures they will tolerate. I keep them damp, and shaded at all times during the summer. Up in New York they oughta be in Hog Heaven. The should be happy enough in Indiana, too.

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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: New to this... I got a Cranberry Cotoneaster

Post  coh on Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:52 pm

Jim, I've seen some conflicting info about the cultivar "Tom Thumb" on the web...one place said it basically never blooms, while another said that it bloomed abundantly. Can't get a much wider range of opinions than that. I guess time will tell, if it makes it.

I had previously discussed this plant in this thread. I'm hoping the out-of-season work followed by lack of a proper dormant period is the cause of the problems. However, I will admit to having some difficulty getting the watering right for such a tiny plant. I'm sure at times it has gotten too dry.

Chris

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Cranberry Cotoneaster

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:11 am

The current thinking is that 'Tom Thumb' (cultivar names take single quotes) is a cultivar of C. apiculatus. As you can see from Parsons juniper, problematic cultivars may get moved around. From my experience with 'Tom Thumb,' I suspect it is very sensitive to overwatering, & I try to check if it's damp before I water it. I also noticed the conflicting reports about whether or not it blooms. Two possibilities: it is very sensitive to growing conditions, or there are actually two cultivars running around with the same name.
Iris

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Re: New to this... I got a Cranberry Cotoneaster

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