Author Topic: Has any one here ever done a grape Bonsai?  (Read 5910 times)

Don Dunn

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Has any one here ever done a grape Bonsai?
« on: January 06, 2013, 06:01 PM »
I have three large grape vines I pulled out of my garde about a year and a half ago. One in particular has a nice looking 3 inch trunk.  Grapes grow extremely fast and strong so they could be a  bit of a chalenge to keep at a managable size. I have seen some online that are very interesting with just a short leader branch and one cluster of grapes. I would be interested in seeing pictures of hearing what your experience has been if any one has tried grapes.
 

nathanbs

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Re: Has any one here ever done a grape Bonsai?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 10:56 PM »
Grapes can make fantastic bonsais but I would recommend working with very old vineyard grape vines that are crazy, twisty, lot of dead wood(needs to be preserved). Sorry no pics
 

Dirk

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Re: Has any one here ever done a grape Bonsai?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 12:15 AM »
Grapes can make fine bonsai. I remenber having seen pictures of them. Also gardencentres often sell old twisted trunks that could be made jnto bonsai.

Here I fiund skme pictures:
http://sandevbonsai.blogspot.nl/2011/08/and-now-something-completely.html?m=1
 

Don Dunn

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Re: Has any one here ever done a grape Bonsai?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 01:03 AM »
I think what I want to end up with is something about 16 to 20 inches tall from pot to tip. I have three plants that are in 15 gallon pots. I took one up on the hill awhile back and wounded the side about 12 inches from the top.  I then dug a hole and turned the pot on its side to allow that area to lay into the hole. I covered that section with dirt leaving a couple of branches out of the ground. I know that a grape will root if a section is left covered in the soil. If this works then I can chop it off and have a nice 2 inch wide trunk for a Bonsai. This will leave the plant intact to do the same the next year. Each year the trunk will be larger as I move to the lower section of the trunk.  Time will tell
 

nathanbs

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Re: Has any one here ever done a grape Bonsai?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 01:51 AM »
Sounds interesting but sometimes there's nothing other than time to make something look very old.  The grapes that are being used for bonsai are 40-100 years old I would guess. The negatives of grapes are the coarse growth with huge leaves but that all can be forgiven because of an ancient looking twisted, gnarly trunk.
 

Judy

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Re: Has any one here ever done a grape Bonsai?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2013, 10:04 AM »
They had some nice bare root ones recently at Wee Tree Farms, you should check them out if you are interested in older stock. 
I tried one of these a few years back, but it was a wild grapevine, and didn't survive the collection. 
Good luck with yours.
 

nathanbs

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Re: Has any one here ever done a grape Bonsai?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2013, 06:31 PM »
here's a cool little cascade grape that i feel exhibits the age that i am talking about.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Has any one here ever done a grape Bonsai?
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2013, 07:50 PM »
I have had a couple over the years.the best are on the west coast. In the middle of he country Pierce's disease is a real problem. You can grow in containers and get the look of great age fairly quickly, but the od vines being dug up to limit production and get phytopthera under control. Try and enjoy.
 

Don Dunn

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Re: Has any one here ever done a grape Bonsai?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2013, 02:23 AM »
Nathan, that one looks like it has a lot of shari already. I hope I end up with something that good.
 

Don Dunn

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Re: Has any one here ever done a grape Bonsai?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2013, 02:33 AM »
John, I have a large vineyard not far from me (Ridge Vineyards ), If this one turns out ok  then I might try getting up the mountain to see if they ever remove their old ones. The problem is driving up to it.
 

sekibonsai

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Re: Has any one here ever done a grape Bonsai?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2013, 01:26 PM »
I have wild grapes growing in a wooded area of my property- very large trunks but the nearest growth is 20' in the air... If I dig them and then chop them will they backbud??
 

Judy

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Re: Has any one here ever done a grape Bonsai?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2013, 03:11 PM »
I've tried this with nothing but failure to report.  Tried in fall and in spring, same thing, no love. 
 

Don Dunn

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Re: Has any one here ever done a grape Bonsai?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2013, 03:57 PM »
sekibonsai
 I have had grapes for years but not as Bonsai. It has been my experience that grapes will bud all the way back to the base. Since they die back every winter I would cut the top off and leave it a couple of feet long with at least a couple of internodes.  I can't guarantee it will survive but I'd say at least a 90% chance.  What have you got to loose if it's a wild grape. Seeing it's a wild grape it probably has several trunks so pick the best two and cut off the rest. Then later you can cut off one of them.
 

Don Dunn

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Re: Has any one here ever done a grape Bonsai?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2013, 04:03 PM »
You have to prune grapes when they are dormant from January through the first of March. The later you wait then the more they will weep. You can get away with minor pruning later on but don't go crazy on them.
 

sekibonsai

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Re: Has any one here ever done a grape Bonsai?
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2013, 04:56 PM »
They have no internodes- that's what concerns me- I have "garden" grapes that of course get pruned that way.  These are 20 ' long and the trunks vary from 4-8" in diameter.   I presume there is no lower budding due to a minimal light penetration (forest)

I know Dan Robinson collected a bunch when he was down there but sounded like he took them out of a hedgerow.

I'm thinking I may dig one and see what happens, Replant the cut vine end back in the soil and see if it will re-root...