Lemonade Berry (Rhus Integrifolia)

Hey folks!

Does anyone have any experience with Lemonade Berry (Rhus Integrifolia) as bonsai in SoCal? I dug one up as yamadori a few years back thinking it was a live oak along a driveway, and have since understood it to be a LB, which are extremely common here.

As far as I can tell, it makes spectacular bonsai. Leaves are small and similar to Coast Live Oak except thicker cuticled, needs extremely little water, remarkably resilient, and does incredibly well during transplantation.

This huge specimen also had a less than spectacular root system when I dug it up, but sprouted new growth within just three or four months.

I have found zero information on them about bonsai online. Just curious if anyone’s worked with Lemonade Berry, especially as yamadori!



Hi Tobin, That is an incredible looking Lemondade Berry. I have a couple of very small nursery stock plants in a 1 gallon can. I’ve only had them for a year and haven’t repotted them into bonsai pots yet as I want them to develop to be more than sticks. All I can say is they seem to bud back easily in response to pruning and they are pretty easy to care for (which you already know) where I live in Santa Barbara. I look forward to what you will do with your tree.

Best of luck,

Thanks Jeff!

Yes, it’s backbudding is CRAZY. I guess I’m just surprised that they aren’t more prevalent as bonsai here, since they literally line driveways and hillsides everywhere and make fantastic urban yamadori.

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Holy Je… oh, I can’t I mean Mighty Mos, no actually what I normally say is Dear Darwin! what a tree!. Joke aside, what information do you really need that the tree didn’t give you already? You even already know that it responds really well to repots, it backbuds easily. I am actually surprised it isn’t more widely used in bonsai. Seems like you found an area where you can make a lasting contribution to the bonsai world! And what an amazing specimen to do it with! just wow.