alexp
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:32 pm
Location: Canada

I am brand new to Bonsai, and read this post eagerly. I live in Canada and right now its seriously cold (dang cold snap!), and I just purchased my Bonsai 3 days ago. I have no clue to the age of the tree or anything, and was not going to put it outside due to not knowing how protected the root structure is at this point. Its honestly -20 out at the moment, and I have plans for it to stay outdoors from springtime on, that way I know it will go through its normal cycle, and be winter ready. Is this a good idea, or should I put it out asap? By the way, I have a juniper Pro Nana.

Thanks

Alex

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Alex,

Welcome to the site and the bonsai forum. This question seemed to come up a lot in recent weeks. A lot of people got trees for Christmas and are in the same situation that you are.
I have plans for it to stay outdoors from springtime on, that way I know it will go through its normal cycle, and be winter ready. Is this a good idea
Yes, from springtime on it should remain outside, perhaps with some protection next winter but we'll cross that bridge when we some to it.
or should I put it out asap? By the way, I have a juniper Pro Nana.
From the description you gave of the temperature I would be reluctant to put it outside now. Do you have any other options, perhaps a enclosed porch or a garage with a window? Try to find a cool spot for it and plan on getting it outside as soon a temperatures get above freezing.

In the meantime watch your watering, often less than ideal soil has been used for various reasons. Allow it to dry a bit between waterings. Soggy soil will kill a Juniper, but don't let it get dried out either, moist not soggy, If your soil is mostly peat plan on re-potting it this coming spring. Read the sticky threads at the top of the forum to begin learning about this, good luck.

Norm

alexp
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:32 pm
Location: Canada

Thanks tons for your reply! I watered today, and wont now for a bit. I have a toothpick in the pot so I can monitor the soil dryness, and I don't really have a covered porch or a garage at all.... :? The only thing I really have is a deck... Its been in my room the past 3 days.. Although I could open a window or something... Would this be beneficial?

Thanks!

Alex

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

Alex,

Welcome, It is good that you understand that this tree needs to be outside to insure it gets it's required dormancy.

It would be best if it were to get a dormancy this year, However it must become acclimatised to the cold over the course of several weeks.

Do you have any cooler area you could transition it to? An unheated room would be an excellent first step, Then perhaps moving it to an enclosed porch, And then an unheated garage which would be an excellent place for it to winter. [provided it's cold enough]

Here are a few links for you to peruse to learn about your Juniper and bonsai in general.

I would check out the general care articles at these two as well as the articles on watering, Overwintering, and Soil to get a start on your general bonsai knowledge base. Both of these links are to well respected pro's in the bonsai community. Their advice in the articles is invaluable IMO.

https://evergreengardenworks.com/articles.htm
https://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics.html

A species guide for your Juni:
https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Juniperus.html

Good luck
ynot

EDIT I didn't see your reply before I posted this.
The only thing I really have is a deck... Its been in my room the past 3 days.. Although I could open a window or something... Would this be beneficial?
Will it fit under the deck? Keeping it out of the wind IS important [More so than the temp for the most part.]

It requires temps below 40f [4C] for an extended period [Months] so opening your window is most likely not going to do the trick.

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Alex,
Thanks tons for your reply!
You're welcome.
I watered today, and wont now for a bit. I have a toothpick in the pot so I can monitor the soil dryness,
Good, if the toothpick is still damp wait one more day and check it again. In fact get in the habit of checking it every day. This will be important once warm weather gets here. Think of keeping a bonsai as like keeping a pet, both are living things dependant on your care.
Its been in my room the past 3 days.. Although I could open a window or something... Would this be beneficial?
I'm afraid if you kept your room cool enough to make any real difference you might have frostbite by morning. :lol: Do you by any chance have an unused room that might be kept colder?

Norm

alexp
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:32 pm
Location: Canada

Hey everyone! Thanks for the replies. I don't have a room I can keep cooler...... I have a back porch that is covered, but my parents smoke in there, and I definitely want to avoid exposing the tree to those kinds of toxic chemicals. The deck I have is on the second story of my house, so I don't think putting it underneath is going to help :P Having said that, I need to find a spot for this tree. I have a shelving unit thats on my deck, that I can cover with plastic (I was planning on doing this for next season). But I don't have the ideal setup to gradually adapt the tree to that kind of temperature. We have a couple days of above freezing coming next week, but I'm not sure if I want to do that, only to have it get insanely cold again. Ahhhhh!!

Thanks so much for the help so far! Hopefully I can get this tree placed sometime this weekend in a spot that will promote dormancy, and he will be good to go for spring.

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

....hmmm, Any ideas anyone?

Hey everyone! Thanks for the replies.
Your welcome

I don't have a room I can keep cooler...... I have a back porch that is covered, but my parents smoke in there, and I definitely want to avoid exposing the tree to those kinds of toxic chemicals.
Hmmm... Ok, Is the basement cold at all? [No light {I assume} down there but dormancy is a bigger issue at the moment.]
The deck I have is on the second story of my house, so I don't think putting it underneath is going to help :P
I see your point...lol
Having said that, I need to find a spot for this tree. I have a shelving unit thats on my deck, that I can cover with plastic (I was planning on doing this for next season). But I don't have the ideal setup to gradually adapt the tree to that kind of temperature.
Not a bad plan for next year but we need to get it through this one. :)
Thanks so much for the help so far! Hopefully I can get this tree placed sometime this weekend in a spot that will promote dormancy, and he will be good to go for spring.
The key to success here absolutely has to include the process being a gradual one, The shock of just being plunked into the cold could be fatal.... :) Is he in good shape at the moment? Any chance we could see a picture?

I am really really not wanting to say leaving it inside is your best [I mean only] option, But it may be all you have to work with if there is no chance of cooling it down gradually.

ynot

alexp
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:32 pm
Location: Canada

Hey!

Ya hes in great shape right now!! Everything looks A-ok My basement is heated which I guess is a bummer for this kind of stuff! I have a picture but I'm not sure how to get it on the site? is there a gallery I can link from?

Alex

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Alex,

Is there a window that opens onto the deck? If so I may have an idea, unorthodox but may work. How handy are you/family members with light construction? Got a few tools, fasteners, a bit of light weight lumber around perhaps. Let me know if you want to hear about my "Wiley Coyote" contraption.

Norm

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

alexp wrote:Hey!

Ya hes in great shape right now!! Everything looks A-ok My basement is heated which I guess is a bummer for this kind of stuff! I have a picture but I'm not sure how to get it on the site? is there a gallery I can link from?

Alex
Heated Basements aren't that great for bonsai....nope. They are good for the people types amongst us though. ;):)

[I know you already have one...but]
Here's how to take a good picture of your bonsai:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3557

Here's how to post that picture:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3724

ynot


ps
I think I have an idea of Gnomes ACME idea.... it could work.

8) :D 8)

ynot

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Alex,

Here it is. It may be more than you want to go through but with the addition of a thermometer you could easily regulate the temperature by adjusting the inlet and exit openings.

[url=https://img412.imageshack.us/my.php?image=thermosyphon2hu3.jpg][img]https://img412.imageshack.us/img412/5736/thermosyphon2hu3.th.jpg[/img][/url]

Ynot,

How close were you and do you see any improvements to be made. By the way this could easily be reversed to keep an out of leaf deciduous tree cold inside. But since the Juniper could use some light I drew it up this way.

Norm

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

Gnome wrote: Ynot,

How close were you and do you see any improvements to be made. By the way this could easily be reversed to keep an out of leaf deciduous tree cold inside. But since the Juniper could use some light I drew it up this way.

Norm
This is essentially the concept I was thinking of.
As it is for temporary use I would keep it as simple as possible though don't forget to allow yourself easy access to the tree [Don't pick a window that sticks or do hinge the outside of the frame...etc..] also consider if you will be watering it in situ [and where that water drains to] or moving it.

This would be effective IMO and could be accomplished with minimal engineering.

BTW, Nice lil pine in the pic 8) .

ynot

alexp
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:32 pm
Location: Canada

Holy how awesome is that!!!!! I'm gonna sit down and figure out what I have tonite, and be able to get something happening this weekend. As it stands right now, I'm keeping it in said back porch. Its much cooler in there, and should definitely drop it into its dormancy! Heres hoping! And btw guys, thanks so much for the help! You guys rule!


Alex

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Alex,
And btw guys, thanks so much for the help! You guys rule!
You are welcome, hope this helps you out. I did not go into much detail there. Take note of Ynot's suggestions regarding easy access, either inside or out. The window should still be able to move as this will help regulate the temperature. Make sure to provide adequate ventilation at the bottom to allow airflow.

The main structure could be light plywood or even Styrofoam and duct tape. Some Plexiglas or possibly even an old window sash as the slanted portion will allow some light in. Good luck and take some pictures of the contraption. We'll be waiting to hear back.

Norm

alexp
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:32 pm
Location: Canada

Ok guys! I'm going to figure it out tonite! The porch is cool enough that I can see it being an ideal climate for the tree.... Its about 6 degrees in there at the moment. I will let you know if I have any problems, and try and get pics up in the next couple days!

Alex

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

Holy how awesome is that!!!!! I'm gonna sit down and figure out what I have tonite, and be able to get something happening this weekend. As it stands right now, I'm keeping it in said back porch. Its much cooler in there, and should definitely drop it into its dormancy! Heres hoping!
8) 8) 8)
And btw guys, thanks so much for the help! You guys rule!
[img]https://img241.imageshack.us/img241/1939/u4jchinaec9.gif[/img]
Your Welcome

ynot

PS Do be sure to read the links that have been posted [Then read them again..:wink: :D ].... And how about posting that picture? :P 8) :lol:

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Alex,
Its about 6 degrees in there at the moment.
I'm wondering if that might not be too extreme too soon.

Ynot wrote:
The key to success here absolutely has to include the process being a gradual one, The shock of just being plunked into the cold could be fatal....
Probably should have asked sooner but do you know how this tree has been handled up to now?

My Juniper is outside and it was 5f last night but it has been outside all fall and winter and it is out of its pot planted in my growing bed, mulched well and has some snow on the ground as well.

Norm

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

The porch is cool enough that I can see it being an ideal climate for the tree.... Its about 6 degrees in there at the moment.
6C=43F While I agree that is a suitable temp [For an acclimated tree] I share Gnomes concern that it may be a bit too drastic of a change for it to endure without a 'step in-between'.
Perhaps on the porch it is significantly warmer during the day? If so you could spend a while doing the 'tree shuffle' for a while. {In the house at night, Porch during the day.} A pain I know but from near 20C to 6C is quite a drop.

Is it possible to contact the retailer and find out where it lived [Inside or outside] through the fall? I am not optimistic about it's having been outside but it doesn't hurt to ask.

This is mostly a timing issue [Jan as opposed to having experienced autumn] Had your tree been outside all the time it would be just fine for the winter [with proper precautions].
I only point this out to reassure you that it is normally far less of a project to prepare a tree for winter.

I will let you know if I have any problems, and try and get pics up in the next couple days!
8)

ynot

alexp
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:32 pm
Location: Canada

Well to be honest, the temp in there doesnt really change much from the day to the night, at least not lately with the weather we have been having. Because the porch faces north, the tree wont get any sun out there in the day anyways. What I could do is leave the door open, thus letting warm air from the house creep in and I could regulate it that way. I think I may leave the tree out there tonite, to see what happens. Is this a terrible idea? Let me know!

Alex

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Ynot,

I am a bit confused, I had 5f last night all the way down in PA. Alex is in Canada and if he meant 6c = 43f??? I guess it is possible but Alex can you specify which scale are you referring to.

Norm

EDIT:

In reviewing the previous posts I see that I probably have misinterpreted the temperature business. If your porch is enclosed then those temps seem much more reasonable. Sorry for any confusion that I may have caused.

alexp
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:32 pm
Location: Canada

As of right now (1:16am) it is -7 C. The porch would be about 6 degrees C.


Alex

ps damn conversions! :)

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Alex,

Sorry about that I should have realized. That temp may be a bit on the cool side being that it had been inside recently but it is by no means the extreme situation that I had envisioned. You will probably be alright, get the tree up against the house to help moderate the temperatures.

Norm

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

Gnome wrote:Ynot,
I am a bit confused, I had 5f last night all the way down in PA. Alex is in Canada and if he meant 6c = 43f??? I guess it is possible but Alex can you specify which scale are you referring to.
Gnome, I think your above edit is correct. The 43f is [If I am correct] the inside the porch temp.
Sorry for any confusion that I may have caused.
:lol: Nobody likes to do math on after midnight. :P :P :D

It's all good.

ynot

alexp
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:32 pm
Location: Canada

Hey everyone!

Well the tree made it through its first night ok! No adverse effects or anything. I'm closely monitoring it just to make sure it does'nt decide to do a full needle drop on me or anything. I have it as close to the inner wall as possible, and the temp in the porch is holding between 4-7 degrees. I'm going to go out and get one of those digital thermometers so I can get instant temp readings out of there. Thanks for the help everyone!

alex

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Alex,

If it is not too late, get one that registers the high and low temperatures. That information is very good to know.

Norm

alexp
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:32 pm
Location: Canada

Ok will do. I'm so glad I can finally start to relax with this tree a bit... It was freaking me out a bunch!


Alex

ps. any particular thermometer I should look for specifically? Like a brand name or whatever? I'm going to get one tommorrow.

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

Ok will do. I'm so glad I can finally start to relax with this tree a bit... It was freaking me out a bunch!
:lol:...That's counterproductive, This is supposed to be relaxing. :razz::wink:
ps. any particular thermometer I should look for specifically? Like a brand name or whatever? I'm going to get one tommorrow.
I don't know, I don't have one of those. I would call just anywhere local with a gardening dept. and ask what they have, Or surf their website for possibilities [This helps a bit to determine costs too.]

Since it will not be out in the weather it need not be the most expensive 'hurricane proof bells-n-whistles' model they carry. Just trying to save you a few $$ here.

Later on
ynot

alexp
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:32 pm
Location: Canada

Ha!!! So much for relaxing!!! I'm sweating like OJ on trial with this thing...

Its ok though! It seems to be sorting itself out. The tree seems happy for sure!!! So thats a plus!

Heres hoping the next 20 years go a bit smoother than this winter :P

Alex.

ps - anyway to tell when it goes into dormancy? Could be a stupid question, but figured I would ask. Thanks!

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Alex,

Dormancy in evergreens is an entirely different mechanism than dormancy in deciduous material. [url=https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/dormever.htm]Here[/url] is a short article about dormancy in evergreens. If you read this carefully it may give you some insights into how to manage your tree in the coming months.

Norm

alexp
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:32 pm
Location: Canada

Thanks tons for the article! Seems to be what im doing is good. In the porch with not much light (although some from the window). w00t!

Alex

alexp
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:32 pm
Location: Canada

Hey guys! Just had another thought. Feeding. Should I feed over the winter? I don't want to promote growth when its dormant, but thought I should ask just to make sure.

Alex

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

alexp wrote:Hey guys! Just had another thought. Feeding. Should I feed over the winter? I don't want to promote growth when its dormant, but thought I should ask just to make sure.

Alex
Since you are trying to get it to go to sleep....Giving it ferts [to promote growth] seems a bit counterproductive to me.

Some say to feed once or twice during the winter, Some say monthly.
For this tree I don't think it is required at all for the moment, When spring rolls around you can start a regular fert regimen.

Did you read the beginner basics on the Bonsai4me site [as well as the Juniper specific page] ??? Many of your general questions can be answered [Some before you even think of them ;):)]

IMO in the history of everyones 'first bonsai' none ever died from a lack of feeding.

I wouldn't worry about the ferts for the time being.

ynot

alexp
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:32 pm
Location: Canada

ynot - Yes I did read the articles. TONS of information thats for sure. I do however have a question that I did'nt spot :P

Tonight is going to be really cold. Like insanely cold. Even the porch where my tree is its starting to freeze up. I think I should bring my tree in at least for tonight. Will this harm the tree? Is it best left out in the porch? Any help would be appreciated!


Alex

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

Alex,

I don't think your little rascal is quite ready for a freeze yet.

There are two ways to go here:

1. Insulate him from the cold. Perhaps putting him in one of those cheap styrofoam coolers [if he fits, And you happen to have one] or some other method to prevent his temp from dropping too low.

2. Bring him into whatever the coldest spot inside is, Provided of course you put him back into the chill in the morning.

Either of these should do fine.

IMO one warm night won't screw him up as he is just starting to prepare for dormancy. Inside is most likely the safer [and honestly easier] option.

Good luck
ynot

alexp
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:32 pm
Location: Canada

Thanks!

I have him inside in the coolest part of my house. He should be good there till morning. It seems we have an alberta clipper coming, so we should have double digit temperatures very soon! At least for a little while.


Alex

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

Your very welcome.

[img]https://img241.imageshack.us/img241/1939/u4jchinaec9.gif[/img][img]https://img241.imageshack.us/img241/1939/u4jchinaec9.gif[/img][img]https://img241.imageshack.us/img241/1939/u4jchinaec9.gif[/img]

ynot

alexp
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:32 pm
Location: Canada

I have some pics of my tree to put up. Sorry their not the clearest pics in the world, but I'm working on my camera skills!

Alex

[img]https://www.dropmachine.com/media/data/500/alex_054.jpg[/img]

[img]https://www.dropmachine.com/media/data/500/alex_053.jpg[/img]

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

alexp wrote:I have some pics of my tree to put up. Sorry their not the clearest pics in the world, but I'm working on my camera skills!
Just edit in some better focused ones when you get a chance, The brick wall looks to be in fine shape btw. :P :P :wink: :lol:

ynot

PS:If you could resize them [current or the new ones] that would alleviate all the scrolling back and forth that the
over sized pictures causes. Kind of a pain in a longer thread you know.

alexp
Full Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:32 pm
Location: Canada

Thanks ynot!


With all the snow going on up here right now, the only thing to do is school, and bonsai at the moment!!!!! So I will get some new pictures today!

Cheers!

Alex

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

lol.....ok.

ynot

Return to “BONSAI FORUM”