A conversation with Enrique Castano on Ume

Nebari Bonsai

Have you ever heard the way to tell if an ume will bloom? The leaves of a blooming ume have smooth undersides, and the underside of leaves on an ume that isn’t going to bloom are rough. For fun, or maybe to torture myself a bit, I decided to try and cature rough leaves on camera. What do you know, they’re furry…


As contrasted with the leaves from a blooming ume:


Non-blooming shoot has only vegetative buds at the base of furry leaves:


And flower buds appear on either side of vegetative buds:


1 & 3 are flower buds, 2 is a vegetative bud. Sometimes, oftentimes, ume will produce flower buds, and no vegetative buds, making it a challenge to prune them to keep foliage close to the trunk. More on that another day. I’ve been photographing another experiment for the last couple years…but I digress…


Swelling:


Pop!


But I…

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