Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Flower in the Garage (Prunus cerasifera)

The blooms of spring are venturing forth from their winter slumber. Of course this particular bloom along with 28 of his buddies are resting in my garage currently awaiting the moment when their rooted feet touch the soil of our yard. What do you think they are?


















If you guessed purple leaf plum (Prunus cerasifera) you would be correct! As for why there are 29 little saplings in my garage...that may need some explaining! If you've been following my blog for a bit you know I am a bit of a propagation "nut." Which to me is a good thing! This is a bug that I share apparently with others like Melanie at Old Country Gardens (She has a very nice blog go stop by and say "hi" sometime!) This basically means I can't resist the opportunity to help make a new plant. The story of these 29 wayfaring plums began last fall when there were two plum trees that needed pruning in my parent's yard. They had some crossing branches that would have eventually worn the bark down to the cambium layer. It was definitely time to prune them. Once the bark is worn away the rest of the branch is most likely a goner. Instead of just throwing out all the branches I collected them, clipped them to the appropriate size and propagated them. In this case I left most of them about 8 inches long. I just did the same old technique for propagating cuttings I usually do. I did 29 of them because I wasn't sure how many would root. Well to my surprise I think they all did! Some of them like the one in the picture are even blooming in that storage unit for everything we call a garage.

Now what do I do with 29 purple leaf plums? I definitely don't want that many in my yard. A couple sure but they can sprout saplings very quickly from their fruit. I'll probably put a few up on the slope and maybe one on our border. I might use 4-5 at most. The rest I may take to a plant exchange or give to friends and neighbors who may want them. I've potted up five of them so far and the rest are still in their propagation medium. Some people use them for hedges since they are fast growing and sucker freely, but I prefer to view them as an ornamental tree. They sure do have pretty flowers in the spring or at least in my garage!


14 comments :

  1. Wow 29 purple leaf plums? That's great! I wouldn't know what to do either.

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  2. Looks like a plum tree. What in the world would you do with them unless you plan on selling them or plant a row for a little privacy.

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  3. they smell good too! 29-yikes!

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  4. Thank you, Dave, for introducing me to Melanie's Old Country Gardens. A quality garden blog with great photos! I've become a subscriber!

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  5. Ok, well my comment must look silly. I see now the explanation and what it is--but it wasn't there when I was guessing. How did that happen?

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  6. I like the hedge idea, think how fragrant and beautiful, purple hedges are fairly rare! We have a purple leaf peach, very dwarf, that needed pruning, the sticks were put into the ground around the mother and look to have all rooted! I received it from a neighbor who had rooted his own prunings, like you did. Every house on the block has them now. This may be the year they bloom, can't wait.

    Frances at Faire Garden

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  7. Bill and Lola,

    I think I may take them to a plant exchange this spring in our area. Then I may be able to get something else I may want instead!

    Tina,

    Yes they do! I changed the format because I thought my pages was getting too long to scroll down easily. I'll only do this for the longer posts. Anything short will be easily readable on the main page.

    Keith,

    You're welcome! I think she has a great blog!

    Anna,

    If you click on where it says "Read the Rest of the Post" it will all pop up. I'm trying to make things easier to skim on the main page.

    Frances,

    I may reconsider the hedge idea. At least partially. I have a deciduous hedge I'm working on that they could be a part of. It would be a mix of Japanese dappled willows and plums if I went that route.

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  8. I enjoy trying to propagate things too. You had such great success with your plum trees. Maybe you could give them to neighbors so you can enjoy them from a distance.

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  9. What a bonus to see any sort of bloom this time of year! I think they'd make a wonderful hedge, too.

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  10. Dave,

    Wow...propagation success.

    I like the new format, great idea.

    gail

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  11. Hi Dave, Wow you are a great guy. Thanks for the nice comment here, I've had lots of friends stop by and visit. I'm late for volunteer work up at the high school but wanted to remember to thank you so much.

    Gardeners are the best people!

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