Just read Jonas’ old ‘Summer Prune - Ume’ blog post from 2009. So I think he, or maybe others here, might be experienced w Ume.
I have 2 in-ground garden Ume. Both young bare-root whips just planted last winter (Note: I chopped the trunks to around 24-28” before planting… for a smaller garden tree and also to stimulate branching).
One of them is super vigorous and sent out +6’ long shoots during the summer, and it even also started secondary-branches already from those new shoots, 1-2’ long. Wow.
(Pics attached, before & after cutback)
I left those long shoots alone for the entire summer and late summer and also September (to collect/allocate energy for next spring)… but, I was impatient, also worried any adventitious-buds lower on the shoots might die off (in favor of higher buds), so I cut back all those long 6’ shoots down to 18-21” last week (I know it’s nothing like a drastic super short cutback like for a shohin bonsai, lol… but, I still want to build a liiiittle/sliiiight taper and ramification…but still kept as a garden tree… just a smaller garden tree though. As I don’t want it to have straight, leggy/lanky, and same-thickness main scaffold-branches in the future… I prefer the up&down&up&down “dragons back” branch form).
I guess I did this to force energy on the buds lower on the shoots.
I was really planning to do this cut-back next spring after flowering (as suggested by most); but I guess I was impatient and got carried away when I was planning to only just lightly prune it last week (for a slightly smaller and cleaner silhouette to show flowers). Oh well…I guess I’ll have a much smaller flower display next spring, lol.
Was this October cutback detrimental or inadvisable?
I assume, not much? Because it’s already fall? And it’s only cutback on leafy green-wood and from this-years wood?
I’m in SoCal, zone 10b
There’s still a few months left of autumn here, so I know leaving it alone would’ve been more beneficial for energy collection; but I was also scared the lower buds would die off.
Lastly, are Ume Air-layer’able?
I’ve read Peter’s old Ume blog post that said it’s almost impossible to air-layer. Is that true?
Any help appreciated.