Old Grape Tree

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Old Grape Tree

Post  davehsydney on Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:57 am

Hi all.

My first post on this forum Smile

I recently acquired this old grape vine from a friend's backyard which was being cleared for landscaping. It's been 8 months since collection and was repotted (old clay soil washed away without root pruning) and slipped into a large training pot with good quality soil.

The tree has settled down nicely, however, it is unlike any other species I'ved worked with before and I'm at a loss in relation to horticultural care (apart of the obvious basics) and future styling options as I've not seen any decent trees of this variety before for inspiration.



Any knowledge / thoughts / ideas would be greatly appreciated. Also, can anyone identify exactly what species this tree is and it's likely to produce fruit or is purely ornamental?






Cheers,

David.

[left]

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Re: Old Grape Tree

Post  JimLewis on Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:59 pm

I like the last picture as the front.

I think I'd let the branches grow long and "viney" then cut them back to two leaves, let them grow again, then repeat as needed until you have a few fairly mature and fairly stubby branches.

THEN you can decide on styles (though I think the tree will tell you).

Grapes are easy growers, but they -- being vines -- can get away from you.

Welcome to the forum.

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Re: Old Grape Tree

Post  John Quinn on Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:17 pm

Looks like you have some good potential! I had a grape from a cutting years ago, which unfortunately died after several years... Sad


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Re: Old Grape Tree

Post  davehsydney on Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:22 pm

thank for the reply guy, much appreciated.

Yes, the trunk itself has loads of potential, will just have to wait and see how it develops. I think it's almost styling itself in a way - I'll just keep prunning it back as suggested and see how it progresses over the next few seasons.



Wow John, that was a really nice tree - shame it died Sad Did you ever have much luck trying to reduce the leave size with low nitrogen feeding or even something like "bonsabud'?

PS - does mine look similar to yours in terms of being a fruiting variety?

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Re: Old Grape Tree

Post  bonsainotwar on Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:00 pm

John Quinn wrote:Looks like you have some good potential! I had a grape from a cutting years ago, which unfortunately died after several years... Sad


About seven or eight years ago,I found both a grape vine,and a yellow rose bush in a dumpster.They had been put there with a large number of pruned tree branches.Based on the age of the house,and the size of the plants,I estimated them to be forty to fifty years old.This was February,and they had not leafed out yet.I took them,and planted them each in big plastic trash cans,filled with bonsai soil.They had great trunks,and no real bonsai roots.

Both did real well at first.I even got some grapes,some kind of red variety.They did real well that first year,but did not leaf out the next spring,and died.I have heard that some older plants,like this will die,from the stress of putting out too much new growth,or is that a myth?

I have tried a lot of other older collected,or discarded plants,including a stunted native western evergreen oak,dug up by landscapers,road workers,and construction crews.None have made it beyond the second year.

Good luck with your grape,though.

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Re: Old Grape Tree

Post  drgonzo on Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:16 pm

davehsydney wrote:
I'll just keep prunning it back as suggested and see how it progresses over the next few seasons.

If you want to grow side "branches" that would eventually be strong enough to support a grape cluster you will need to allow the new growth unrestricted extension for several years. Grapes are VERY slow to thicken branches if they are pruned regularly, and by regularly I mean once per season.

I grow 5 different commercial varieties in my orchard and after 4 years the primary fruiting branches are still little more then pencil thick because I cut them back each year to promote flowering instead of vegetative growth. With your Bonsai grape you will want to do the opposite at least for a few more years.

Correctly ID'ing a grape variety is very difficult as leaves can often be different shapes even on the same plant. The flowers and fruit will give you the best indication when they appear eventually.

-Jay

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Re: Old Grape Tree

Post  John Quinn on Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:32 am

davehsydney wrote:

Wow John, that was a really nice tree - shame it died Sad Did you ever have much luck trying to reduce the leave size with low nitrogen feeding or even something like "bonsabud'?

PS - does mine look similar to yours in terms of being a fruiting variety?
I fertilized it regularly and never sought a reduction in leaf size. When I got it, it had no roots at all - looked like a broom handle but it managed to root with considerable aftercare.
Good luck!

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Re: Old Grape Tree

Post  davehsydney on Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:40 am

Ahhh I've had experience with what's happened to you as well. Sometimes when you collect a tree and replant it, the root system for some reasons fails to develop although the folliage keeps developing as per normal. The tree eventually runs out of steam due to the failed root systerm and dies Sad

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