Can any cherry survive a glassed-in patio?

Discussion in 'Ornamental Cherries' started by sukisukinow, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. sukisukinow

    sukisukinow Member

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    Can anyone recommend if Akebono or any comparable ornamental cherry can be potted to survive in our home's glassed-in balcony somehow?

    I've always wanted a cherry blossom like the "Birthday Blossoms" on sale, but have no yard. Here are some factoids:

    - south facing "balcony," 8' ceiling, enclosed by windows, some slide open
    - uninsulated balcony-room ranges from -3 Celsius in winter to +35 in summer
    - tall trees in area allow only 3hrs max direct sun (so part/full shade)
    - can move cherry indoors during summer heat / winter cold if it will help

    My sincerest thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Active Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    It's not an ideal environment. There are few cherries small enough that might tolerate these conditions. Maybe 'Snofozam' (Snow Fountains) or 'Yae-beni-shidare' (one of the birthday blossoms). Flowering almond (Prunus triloba 'Multiplex') is another (it has cute little pompom flowers). You'll need a large pot to insulate the roots from extremes and if it doesn't get enough water, it'll only be good for kindling. Shade will seriously limit flowering and poor air circulation will encourage mites. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  3. sukisukinow

    sukisukinow Member

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    Thanks for your reply! I'm a total newcomer to tree care and appreciate such expert advice. BTW, links to your "Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver" booklet don't work on the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival website. Where can I buy it?

    My reading so far says Akebono is one of the most common, hardy, disease/rain-resistant varieties. I wonder if it'd be quite foolish to try growing a potted Akebono indoors?

    Otherwise Snofozam (Snow Fountains) appeals to me most of your 3 greatly appreciated suggestions. I prefer single flowers and spreading crowns but must be open due to my indoor constraints. Of the others listed on the VCBF cherry cultivars page, would Yoshino, Sargent, Tai Haku, Umineko, Beni-shidare, or Okame work potted indoors?

    I couldn't bear to risk killing any cherry though. Before I try to buy one, can you elaborate on:
    - what you mean by using "a large pot to insulate the roots from extremes"?
    - will installing a full-spectrum light in the room help flowering?
    - will opening the windows frequently for air circulation inhibit mites?
    - should I ever move it indoors to protect from extreme heat / cold?
    - how long can it survive potted, i.e. should I transplant outside by a certain age?

    Pardon the lengthy question list. Any input is greatly appreciated.
     
  4. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thanks for mentioning the link to the Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver book not working on the vcbf.ca website. You meant on the Scout Corner page? I've fixed it there. You can get the book at VanDusen Botanical Garden and at UBC Botanical Garden's Shop in the Garden.

    I shouldn't speak for Douglas, but I think he was saying "no", it's not likely to be a rewarding enterprise. There is a forum discussion about some trees that are growing outside in the ground but in shade, that are spindley enough that we couldn't recognize the cultivar that should have been one we'd know ('Umineko').

    The new one posted in this thread:
    Brand New One - P. incisa Little Twist® - single white, short, zig-zagged branching
    says on the grower's website "Perfect for small spaces and as a patio tree", but even that says "Prefers full sun to part shade".

    And the one in this thread:
    "New" One That May Appear in Vancouver - 'Taizo' - Angel's Blush - double pinky-white
    that says on the grower's page "Wonderful small size tree for urban and patio gardens" also says "full sun".

    The trees you've listed are all large trees, except for 'Okame', which seems to be pretty sick-looking around here. Our scout Mariko, who lives in Japan now, wrote about her bonsai 'Asahiyama' in this posting, but she keeps that outside too and I have no idea if those are available here.

    Sorry to be so negative. Maybe your building would like to plant some cherries outside?
     
  5. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Maybe you could try a Surinam cherry indoors. It's not a cherry as in Prunus, it is a tropical plant calledEugenia uniflora. The flowers look like cherry blossoms and it makes an edible fruit. They are grown as bonsai, so they should be adaptable to limited space. Might actually have to be kept warmer than your balcony in winter--probably has a min. temp. of around 10° C.
     
  6. sukisukinow

    sukisukinow Member

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    Thank you Wendy! Honesty is not negative to me. I'd rather know now than be devastated later. Mariko's bonsai is so beautiful! I understand Taizo won't work for my needs at all. I also like the possibility of "Little Twist" on the link you posted. But yes, light is definitely the biggest obstacle to my goal, one of many I'm sure. Maybe it's a fantasy, but if artificial full-spectrum lighting can support part-shade trees, I'll gladly invest in electric work for my patio/balcony room. Otherwise I'll have to persuade my building into adding cherry blossoms to the landscaping. :)

    Eric, thank you also for mentioning Surinam cherry! Y'know, I was already pondering this or a West Indian cherry for my pet birds to perch & munch on. Again, limited sun is a factor so I must learn more about this.

    All advice & suggestions are welcome & gratefully received. Thanks kindly.
     

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