Ume update.

The ume has been speeding up with blossoms.  The weather has been cool in the mornings and high 70's in the afternoons.  The blossoms are at about 70 percent.  I wish you could smell the blossoms.  The white ume has a wonderful sweet fragrance.  You could come to the nursery and experience it for yourself.  I have included a photo of the ume.

Before and After.

I had a few customers today that came by to buy bonsai's for Christmas gifts.  In between customers, I worked on thinning out some procumbens nana junipers that I dug out of the field earlier in the year.  These junipers are really full.  I start them from cuttings and stake them up.  Then I create movement and taper.  After I achieved the taper and movement, I let the tree grow uncontrolled.  After a few years, I get a nice size trunk and a very full tree.  I start out by thinning the tree and cleaning the bottoms of the branching.  Then I remove any crossing branches and any branches that stick up.  After I am done with that, I clean up all the dead material that is stuck on the interior of the tree.  When I am done, I have a really nice tree with good branch placement.  I leave the tree alone for a few months.  In the spring, I will begin to feed the tree and wire the tree.  I took pictures of the tree before I started and after I was done.  If you are interested in digging up a surprise, come by in the spring and dig yourself a nice procmbens juniper.  You never know what you are going to get until you begin pruning.  I have over 100 field grown procumbens junipers to chose from.  On a lighter note, I hope everyone has a very nice Christmas and a very Happy and prosperous New Year!
tree before pruning

tree after cleaning bottom of branches

tree after final pruning.  All pictures were from the same angle.

Working on trident maples.

after pruning

before pruning

I have been continuing to work on the trident maples in the field.  I weed around the trunks first.  Then I prune the tree back to create taper and movement.  I leave a leader toward the top of the tree to speed up trunk growth.  I took a picture of a trident before I cut it back and after.  I also took some pictures of other tridents that I have worked on.  The problem with the pictures is that the sand in the background is the same color as the trunk of the tree.  I also took a few pictures of the u

me's.  The white tree is about 20 percent in bloom.  The pink one is just starting.  You can get a close up of the pictures by clicking on them.

Eyes watching over me.

I have been working on the last few rows of ume's.  I noticed that every time that I weed a row, little yellow birds would follow and search the ground for food.  I think that when I weed through the rows, I dislodge weed seeds.  Today was no different.  As I started to throw the weeds in the middle of the rows  to dry out, the little yellow birds came out of seemingly no where and were picking at the ground.  A couple of these little guys were within inches of me.  They seemed to know that I meant them no harm.  They would watch me carefully, but they would not shy away when I began weeding.  I think they knew that I was their new source of food.  I took a few pictures of these little yellow birds.  They are truly very small.  They can land on dandelions and not make the plants fall over.  You can click on the photos to get a close up view.

Ume in bloom!

Today I have been continuing my work on pruning back the ume trees in the field.  There are quite a few trees in the field that have suckers that are coming up from the base of the tree.  Sometimes leaving these suckers are good to fatten up the base.  If they are left to grow too long, they sap the energy from the main tree.  I removed most of the growth.  Some of the growth that I removed from the base had small roots attached.  I took this opportunity to replant some areas where I had trees missing.  When I was done for the day, I was walking up toward the shed when I noticed a nice sweet fragrance.  I know that the fragrance is coming from my white ume tree.  The tree has many blossoms developing and some of them are starting to bloom.  Last year I had a late bloom because of the cold winter.  I think the same thing will happen this year.  Why are some of the blossoms in bloom?  We has a spell of warm days about a week ago.  The afternoon temperature was in the mid 80's for almost a week.  I think that triggered the blossoms of the ume.  I have included a picture of some of the blossoms in bloom.  I will update the progress of the bloom cycle as more blooms blossom.  Normally there are no leaves on the tree when the tree is in bloom.
You can click on the photo to get a closer look.

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