Aristotle
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Location: Canberra, Inland South Eastern Australia

General checkup - very hot dry weather, watering etc

Hi,

Just wondering if someone could take a peek at my Bonsai and offer any thoughts. I am soaking it in a sink of water ever second or every day as the weather has been very hot and dry here in Canberra, Australia. It seems to be okay although the moss covering has dried out numerous times so I hope it is okay.

http://s124.photobucket.com/albums/p30/Aristotlespics/?start=0

Look for Bonsai images - Bonsai1 and Bonsai Moss Covering.

Feel free to take a look at the rest of the plants!

Cheers,

Aristotle

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Aristotle,

What is that, Buxus? It looks to be in good condition. Looks like you have the makings of an informal upright there. Be aware that Box are very slow to thicken up.

Unfortunately I think your moss has seen better days, I think that I would remove it. If you wish you can dry it to the point of being able to crumble it and then sprinkle the dust over your soil. Some of it may take and re-grow in a more natural pattern.

Without the thick layer of moss you will be able to better judge the condition of your soil and be able to water from above, which I feel is preferable. Buxus are susceptible to root rot if kept constantly wet so watch that.

Where are you keeping it, outside I hope. Since they are under-story trees and you say it is hot now, you should provide shade during the hottest part of the day.

Norm

Aristotle
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Location: Canberra, Inland South Eastern Australia

Thanks... it's hard for me to 'let go' and to try and revive the moss covering although you suggest this is not necessary? The bonsai is kept on a bench in the kitchen about 2 metres from a non sun facing window.

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Aristotle,
it's hard for me to 'let go' and to try and revive the moss covering although you suggest this is not necessary?
No, moss is by no means a necessity, in fact it is often applied just before a show.
The bonsai is kept on a bench in the kitchen about 2 metres from a non sun facing window.
Bonsai is really an outdoor activity. Even the few tender species that I grow go outside just as soon as the weather will allow. They will do much better in their natural environment. How long have you been keeping this tree in this fashion?

Norm

Aristotle
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Location: Canberra, Inland South Eastern Australia

The entire time we have had this (maybe two months) and I presume it was raised indoors (it was purchased at an indoor market).

The Australian summer sun is very harsh, and up to 40 degrees (100F) during the day (and it can get quite cold with heavy frosts over winter and still cool during the day.

Can a Bonsai tolerate a harsh environment? Perhaps under the shade?

Images for people late to the discussion:

http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p30/Aristotlespics/DSCF1404.jpg
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p30/Aristotlespics/DSCF1394.jpg

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Gnome
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Aristotle,

You are correct to be concerned about providing some protection from the heat of the sun. Box do fine under some shade in my environment and I don't have nearly the extremes you describe. Furthermore since your tree has been inside a gradual move may be prudent. Some do grow box inside and the foliage on your tree looks healthy enough so it is, of course, your call.

Look [url=http://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Buxus.html]HERE[/url] for more information. Don't miss the secondary link at the top of the article.

Norm

Aristotle
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Location: Canberra, Inland South Eastern Australia

thanks.. I have read that the light levels in the shade on a sunny day (especially in Australian summer) can be many fold greater (100x?) than indoor light even with a window open.

Anyone heard of a Wollemi? I have one which is outside at the moment. *fascinating* plant..

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Gnome
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Aristotle,

I have heard of the Wollemi Pine but my knowledge is only superficial. Was it expensive? And do you know is it being exported to North America? Thanks.

Norm

ynot
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Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

thanks.. I have read that the light levels in the shade on a sunny day (especially in Australian summer) can be many fold greater (100x?) than indoor light even with a window open.
lol....Your absolutely spot on, That is easily true [And not because of the gorgeous big Aussie summer sky-Been there done that 8) ].
Plants see the 'brightest room in the house' as practically darkness.

Light intensity reduces massively over a very short distance.
The technical geek way to put it is generally: The reduction in light intensity is equal to the square of the distance.

Which simply means that if you have a tree 1' away from the equivalent of 1000 lumens and then you double the distance to 2' you now have only the equivalent of 250 lumens. this number drops even more dramatically as the distance grows. 6' of distance and less than 28 lumens reach the tree. I know this is a bit off your original post but It's frustrating to hear people who put their indoor tree 5' away from the window for fear of the :shudder: direct sun when most likely it is the lack of humidity that is slowing it down [And it could really use the sunlight too. I accept there may be temperature issues with some species.]

Of course ...When it is a deciduous tree or a juni inside [Or Anything that needs a dormancy... not much at all helps....]
Anyone heard of a Wollemi? I have one which is outside at the moment. *fascinating* plant..
Wollemi Pines have become available on our shores in the last mmm...two years or so, I should say I think they are available... I know some retailers have had them for a while. Pretty interesting plant indeed. 8)

BTW...Even though It is too late there due to the time difference [And even though it hasn't happened here yet...I will say it anyway...]

:!: Happy Australia Day Mate!:!:

Grab a slab and go make Don Bradman proud with a few bowls [It's not the MCG but go for the century anyway 8).]

ynot
Last edited by ynot on Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Aristotle
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Location: Canberra, Inland South Eastern Australia

thanks, a very interesting reply!

Yeah good Australia Day, happy to not be at work at least, that's very kind of you to remember :-)

ynot
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Aristotle,

Your welcome about OZ-day.

Actually considering that too much sun is your problem...I didn't really address that at all in my last reply...lol

You will indeed have to find some form of shade for your tree to ride out the blazing high noon sun [and afternoon as well]

Too answer your question about 'harsh environments' [Heat- cold etc...] Yep they sure can [With a little help from us.] After all their full sized brethren live outside their entire lives.

Good luck 8)

ynot

For others who may be interested in the Wollemi:
http://www.wollemipine.com/
This latest issue is about acquiring one world wide.
http://www.wollemipine.com/watch/issue_10.php

Or maybe you would prefer to a Wollemi bonsai?....8) :D 8)
Scroll down a bit on this page to see a start on one: http://www.bonsaiexotique.com.au/page/the_wollemi_bonsai.html

Almost bar-branches' there IMO...but I am being picky...lol

Thanks for bringing up this species aristotle. 8)


Gnome, I pm'ed you a bit more about the Wollemi pine.

Aristotle
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Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:17 am
Location: Canberra, Inland South Eastern Australia

Wollemi

we also have a very lively discussion on Yahoo - group name is Wollemia.. It often receives replies from Wollemi International iteslf - so it is a 'volunteer driven' addition to the official Wollemi site and information. I can't recall the link right now but will post it later..

Check it out!

I live only a few hundred kms from where it was found (inland from Sydney)..

ynot
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Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
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Cool, Will do.
Much appreciated 8) 8)

ynot

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