JoeLewko
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winter care for temperate bonsai

ok forum is a little slow, and ive been meaning to adrees this for a while.....when it comes to temperate bonsai, during the winter, i know i should not water if the soil is frozen, but do i need to water otherwise? Also, if it snows, do i need to remove the snow from the top of the soil. (i know i need to remove it from the tree, as the weight might break it) but i have moss on the soil, so will this insulate the roots from snow?

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Gnome
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Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Joe,

You don't indicate where you are located or what temps that you experience. Even though it may be winter you still need to be aware of the level of moisture in your pots. So depending on the approach you take you may need to water at some point. I take it that you intend to leave your trees out all winter as opposed to storing them in a garage or shed. I do both depending on species. My trees that are inside need more attention than those out.

I don't leave my trees fully exposed. Last winter I lined them up against a landscape wall and covered them with shredded leaves. When snow fell I covered them with snow. Snow is actually a very good insulator. I did not have to water these trees all winter, if anything it may have been boreder-line too damp as I lost a few plants that were not well established.

If your trees can be removed from their pots without the rooball collapsing you can bury the root ball in your garden or flowerbed. Water in well and mulch.

Norm

femlow
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Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:37 am
Location: 5a - Maine

What kind of tree do you have?

In general: Water less often, but don't stop watering entirely, try to keep the soil from freezing (stick it in a larger pot with straw, wrap a blanket or newspaper around it, move it to a garage, etc) because if the soil freezes it can seriously damage the roots, you shouldnt need to fertilize your tree, depending on the tree you may or may not want to prune now, but there shouldn't be much new growth, if any. Snow on the soil itself can actually help keep it from freezing, as will the moss, but additional protective methods are probably advisable.

fem

JoeLewko
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Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 7:29 pm

thanks, but if this helps im in long island..which i believe is zone 7a...? i have a japanese juniper and a kingsville dwarf boxwood...if any of that helps..

femlow
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Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:37 am
Location: 5a - Maine

Well then I would just go with the things I said above. Most important is to keep the roots from freezing (leaves and needles and things are less important). If the roots freeze it can cause them to split or burst, which can lead to rotting when they thaw out again, not to mention it is plain and simple damage. Water them maybe half as often as you were before (more or less depending on the weather and how often you water now). They need enough water to keep the roots from totally drying out, but thats about it.

JoeLewko
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Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 7:29 pm

thanks for the help

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