Ume is a strange tree…they grow hard in the spring, and basically go dormant in the summer, only to wake up in mid winter to bloom.
They also don’t reliably set buds along the current year’s extension growth, so if pruning isn’t timed right, the growth gets further and further from the trunk each year. Due to this, the right timing for pruning spring growth in Ume is late April to early May, and it is cut back to 2 nodes. Timed right, the remaining 2 nodes have viable buds that open and produce some growth before the summer hibernation.
Don’t forget, the annual Spring Show is at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens next weekend, stop by, see some great bonsai, and say Hi!
Happy Mother’s Day, to my beautiful wife and to my own wonderful mother, and for all you do every day!