Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => Fruiting and Flowering Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Owen Reich on May 30, 2015, 08:09 PM

Title: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: Owen Reich on May 30, 2015, 08:09 PM
A few years ago I started corresponding with another member of this forum (coh) who lives in Rochester, NY on the matter of porcelain berry after I started the root-over-rock thread.  Eventually, I was able to dig it.  It is the biggest one I've ever seen. 

During the chaos of the last National Exhibition, I zipped over and collected it.  Still can't understand how they grow so well in New England and the Northeast but not nearly as fast in the Southeast. 

This week, I shortened some trunks and shoots.  This will eventually be a semi-cascade once I really get the thing (I hesitate to call it just a vine) full and healthy. 

Had to cut an old steel support out before the trunk got too big  ;D
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: Owen Reich on May 30, 2015, 08:15 PM
Found boring insects in the dead tips of the trunks I cut at time of collection. 

Vine was planted around 2006-2008.  By 2014, it covered a large span of fence and was threatening to eat neighboring buildings.

After pruning shoots and cutting back to living tissue.

Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: Zach Smith on May 31, 2015, 03:47 PM
Super material, Owen.  Do you know the southern limit of their range?  I've seen photos of some great specimens, and every time I wish I had one.

Zach
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: Chrisl on May 31, 2015, 07:16 PM
Awesome tree Owen!  What a good find ;)
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: Owen Reich on May 31, 2015, 09:06 PM
Zach, Ampelopsis brevipedunculata has been spotted naturalized in Alabama according to the government types.  I'd say it should be just fine down there.  A few friends have grown it successfully in Memphis, TN.  I'd get a little one and don't let the fruit get distributed.......  Pretty sure Ryan Bell has one in Jackson, MS so you should be good to go.  It's not native to the United States and seems to be aggressive when given room to grow.

Looking forward to the repot next year and removal of the large exposed roots.  Vines are so rewarding.  Thanks go to Chris (coh) for the material.

Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: coh on June 01, 2015, 12:27 AM
Very much looking forward to seeing this in a future National Exhibition!

Interesting that you found borers. I've been having a major problem with them the last couple of years. They killed back the top of a styrax, a couple of mimosa (albizia), a magnolia, and a trident this spring (all in the ground, so far no problems with potted trees).  Some kind of very small black/brown beetle, they bore tiny holes into the trunks in early spring, infect the plant with a fungus, and the young grubs live off the fungus. There are many similar beetles so I'm not sure if these are shot hole borers, granulate ambrosia beetles, or something else. In any case, they can be very destructive. I hope you burned the branches that had them inside, though most likely the beetles are already in your area.

Chris
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: Owen Reich on June 01, 2015, 09:52 AM
Not sure what mine are.  They likely found the  cut stumps  last Fall.  We have Camphor Shot Borer and a slew of others.  Permethrin trunk sprays a few times from February to April seem to work best.
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: augustine on June 01, 2015, 10:42 AM
Owen,

this is super material.

I have 2 much smaller porcelainberrys, the cultivated, variegated type. They grow significantly faster in partial shade rather than full sun. (The naturalized plants thrive in full sun.)

I also had a collected plant. The foliage kept getting some type of fungus which would not go away even with daconil. Got rid of it but will try again if I find a good trunk.

Best regards,

Ray
Baltimore Bonsai Club
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: coh on June 01, 2015, 11:39 AM
Not sure what mine are.  They likely found the  cut stumps  last Fall.  We have Camphor Shot Borer and a slew of others.  Permethrin trunk sprays a few times from February to April seem to work best.

Could be (they found it after the chop). I never noticed  borers on the plant when it was here, but I did notice that there was a lot of dead stuff in the top every spring. Always just figured it was winter kill, though perhaps it was a combination of borers and cold.

I've already sprayed my trees once this spring with a pyrethroid, not sure if it was permethrin or bifenthrin but I've read that both can be effective. Just have to keep after it.

Chris
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: John Kirby on June 02, 2015, 08:41 PM
We had a monster on a fence in NW Arkansas, grew extrenely well there.
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: Owen Reich on June 03, 2015, 02:46 PM
Good to know.  This one will be created slowly and carefully. 

Speaking of the National Exhibition, will the next one be at a different time of year?
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: coh on June 03, 2015, 05:30 PM
Next one is scheduled for September 17-18, 2016 according to Bill's blog post summary of the 2014 exhibition.
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: Kodama16 on June 19, 2015, 11:37 PM
Owen that tree is bad ass!

As for keeping them I think they grow any were. I have one in louisiana in full sun. Dose fine.
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: Zach Smith on June 21, 2015, 10:20 AM
Zach, Ampelopsis brevipedunculata has been spotted naturalized in Alabama according to the government types.  I'd say it should be just fine down there.  A few friends have grown it successfully in Memphis, TN.  I'd get a little one and don't let the fruit get distributed.......  Pretty sure Ryan Bell has one in Jackson, MS so you should be good to go.  It's not native to the United States and seems to be aggressive when given room to grow.

Looking forward to the repot next year and removal of the large exposed roots.  Vines are so rewarding.  Thanks go to Chris (coh) for the material.


Thanks, Owen.  Being ignorant about the species, why shouldn't the fruit be allowed to spread?  Is the species invasive or something?  We have a great history down here of importing such awesome plants as kudzu and Chinese privet (which is useful as bonsai, fortunately, but still a pest).

Zach
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: Leo in NE Illinois on July 05, 2015, 05:23 PM
not letting birds disribute the fruit is the reason. many states have it on their invasive specieslists. I believe Michigan and illinois list it.
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: Zach Smith on July 05, 2015, 06:45 PM
not letting birds disribute the fruit is the reason. many states have it on their invasive specieslists. I believe Michigan and illinois list it.
Makes sense.
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: coh on July 05, 2015, 09:16 PM
Interesting...I have a million seedlings coming up around the location of the mother plant, which suggests the seeds sprout pretty easily. But, I've never seen birds going after the fruit, and I don't have it coming up elsewhere on the property. On the other hand, poison ivy and pokeweed, that stuff is everywhere.
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: The Hidden Gardens on July 06, 2015, 08:26 PM
Owen, I have one in the back fence it is very large. I need to go look at the stump as it has been there for 18 years. I keep it there because it is the first plant to be attacked by the Japanese beetle, then I know it time to set the traps for my other plants.
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: Owen Reich on July 07, 2015, 01:48 PM
They make great bonsai Jeff.  Perhaps Bill Valavanis would like to share a few photos of his nice ones here......  ;D
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: GastroGnome on July 15, 2015, 02:38 AM
Zach, Ampelopsis brevipedunculata has been spotted naturalized in Alabama according to the government types.  I'd say it should be just fine down there.  A few friends have grown it successfully in Memphis, TN.  I'd get a little one and don't let the fruit get distributed.......  Pretty sure Ryan Bell has one in Jackson, MS so you should be good to go.  It's not native to the United States and seems to be aggressive when given room to grow.

Looking forward to the repot next year and removal of the large exposed roots.  Vines are so rewarding.  Thanks go to Chris (coh) for the material.


Pretty sure he has a 6 or 7
Of them, actually.  They seem to thrive for me here. 
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: William N. Valavanis on July 15, 2015, 06:53 PM
Here are a couple photos of my Porcelain berry bonsai. I've learned that all the branches must be retrained each year to create a bonsai. Only the trunk and heavy limbs remain.
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: GastroGnome on July 15, 2015, 09:16 PM
How heavy of they need to be To prevent dieback Bill?
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: William N. Valavanis on July 15, 2015, 10:40 PM
Branches about pencil size do not die back. Japanese beetles love Porcelain berry foliage. I always have the pots sitting in a shallow saucer during the summer when the berries are forming after blossoming.
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: augustine on July 17, 2015, 11:52 AM
I have two that were purchased from Mr. Valavanis' catalog and love them. Easy to grow and very beautiful. They form nice gnarly roots.

Will post pics.

Ray
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: Owen Reich on September 01, 2015, 12:26 AM
Quick update on the project.  Chopped off more "trunks" and started the final decision making process for the future style of the monster.  A sculptor in San Antonio and I are working on an outdoor suitable sculpture to contain this thing.  We're going to use Surecrete.  This stuff is wonderful.  When you have a minute, watch a few videos on YouTube where they bend concrete. www.surecretedesign.com (http://www.surecretedesign.com)

The final design will either grow up and out, or cascade.  While full cascade is likely with the side of the container being vertical, I'm not sure what happens when you cut off most of an old porcelain berry vine.

The final photo will likely be the "back", but my intention is to create something viewable from three sides.
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: Judy on September 01, 2015, 07:32 AM
Seems like the more you take off of this thing, the bigger it looks.  How heavy is that concrete stuff going to be?
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: coh on September 01, 2015, 11:54 AM
Good to see progress! Can't wait to see how this continues to evolve.

Owen, the fence is completely covered by porcelain berry vines again...all the seedlings this one left behind. Also, some of the roots we left behind have sprouted. Some of those might be collectible.

Chris
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: Owen Reich on September 01, 2015, 01:51 PM
Perhaps others here will want them  ;D
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: coh on September 01, 2015, 02:39 PM
Yeah, I wasn't suggesting you should come and get them  ;) I will probably dig some of them out and offer them to club members or via the facebook groups. They're all small...ultimately I want to eliminate all traces of porcelain berry vine from that area. It may take a while!
Title: Re: Monster Porcelain Berry
Post by: Owen Reich on September 25, 2015, 10:52 PM
Judy, the concrete won't be super heavy as the cylinder will be largely hollow.  Will it be light? No. Perhaps 100lbs.  But, it will be suitable for a heavy plant growing out the side of it. 

Given the alternatives to concrete, achieving my goal with other media may actually be heavier and/or with a much higher fail rate.  Looking forward to the repot next Spring into better mix at closer to the final planting angle.