Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn) Survival Part 3

Since writing my previous blog posts on collecting and establishing P. spinosa I have had a number of emails asking for more information. Hopefully +Tony Tickle  will publish the technique in full soon as currently I am still experimenting and perfecting my method. I can however add a little more information from my findings.

I have added an extra couple of elements to the method that Tony described to me and believe that they may have been beneficial to my results.

The importance of mycorrhiza fungi in establishing healthy root systems is well publicised and so I have been using Vitax Q4 Plus to kick start the mycorrhizae in all my yamadori collected this season.

Before covering my Prunus with black trash bags, I watered them with Maxicrop Seaweed Extract. The benefits of seaweed extract upon trees are many. Seaweed is said to aid root growth, encourage healthy mycorrhizae and boost chlorophyll levels (Which the trees will be short of after their spell in the dark).

Friends who are also experimenting with the black-bag-technique have all reported problems with mould occurring whilst the trees are bagged. I have not experienced issues with mould and believe that this may be down to the me using seaweed. As the trees dry out, I mist again with seaweed.

Maxicrop Plant Growth Stimulant and Vitax 'Q4+'
Since the photos I posted earlier this month a healthy colour has returned to the leaves and some strong areas of growth can be seen.

Seaweed extract helps to boost the tree's chlorophyll levels and bring back a healthy green colour to the leaves.

Twin trunk showing strong back-budding.
With a few of my Prunus, I have used slightly different, experimental techniques. The tree below was kept in the dark, but was not as warm or humid as the above trees. At first it appeared to have died until a single bud appeared a couple of weeks ago. I immediately moved the tree to a warm, humid and dark environment (misted with seaweed extract) and within a week, a one inch shoot had appeared and another two buds were popping!

I have another tree which has recently been moved back into a black bag because since removing it, the leaves have been showing some signs of shrivel. From similar results in friends' trees, I believe this to occur when the bags are removed too early.

Fingers crossed for this one!

As mentioned earlier, I am still experimenting with the information given to me by Tony Tickle and Simon Jones, so more experimentation with varying temperatures, humidity levels and timespans spent within the bags would really be needed alongside control specimens before I could offer any firm advice. Tony is the one with the experience in this field so Tony, please publish the method soon! (I hope I haven't misquoted you or given too much away!)


  1. Hi, I have collected a couple of blackthorn plants and have followed your instructions regarding black bin liner and humidity/heat. I am pleased to say I have a lot of new growth from the buds. What I would like to know is how long before I remove the bags please. After removing bags, is it better to keep the plants in the greenhouse (warmer but dryer) and mist/water regularly or move them out in a shady/sheltered spot?

    Thank you in advance for your time.


  2. Hi Kostis,
    The technique was originally taught to me by Tony Tickle who finally posted the full detail on his blog earlier this year... https://yamadori.co.uk/2016/01/04/improving-the-success-rate-of-yamadori/