Carolina
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Location: Central America

Japanese Maple Bonsai - Possible to Grow in Central America?

I recently brought a bonsai from Japan -8yr old miniature japanese maple (acer japonicum). I am concern about the following:

A, change in temperature - I am in Central America at 5,000 feet (1,500mts) above sea level. Template all year round. So unlike Japan, the tree will not have a 'dormant' period... i guess...?
What should I expect from this change in zones and how to help the tree adjust to its new environment.

B. Is the quality of water important to water a bonsai?

Thank you for your kind replies.

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djlen
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Hi Carolina and welcome to the forum -
Your tree is Deciduous and therefore will require a period of dormancy in order to rest and thrive. Since your climate does not allow for it to have that naturally, you will need to supply it artificially.
In the northern hemisphere the trees get a period of lessoning light over time in conjunction with cooler and then colder temperatures which trigger the dormant cycle.
If you have access to and can put your tree into a dark refrigerator for a few months I know that that will hold it's dormancy but I don't know how it would react to sudden darkness and then cool that the refrigerator would give it.
If I were there and in your place I would begin putting it into the refrigerator at night and then bringing it out into the house and giving it less light over time during the day to see if this would trigger leaf fall. Once the leaves were off the tree I'd leave it in the refrigerator for at least 2 months to give it a rest.
I'm not sure that this would work. Only that this is what I'd try to do, knowing the requirements of the tree and having no other choice that I know of.
Good luck.
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
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Rosaelyn
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Welcome to the forum. :)

Hmm, if you're in central America, does that mean all your days are the same length? There is no season where the days are shorter?
Rosaelyn @}>---'---,---

If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees. ~ Hal Borland

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djlen
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Location: Just East of Zone 7a

The closer you get to the equator the more equalized daylight periods and dark periods become.
I know that when I lived in So. Florida we recognized all the seasons even though the fall was very mild and had little affect on most trees......none on palms etc. that was noticeable to me. I remember that in the midst of summer, dusk did not happen until 9:30pm or so which I thought was cool.:)

I will be interested to hear if someone has other suggestions regarding Carolina's tree.
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
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Carolina
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Location: Central America

Will follow advice

Len, Rosaelyn -- thank you for your answers -- and advice !

Quite excited about this first bonsai and should post its progress...

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rainbowgardener
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Agree with djlen that the Japanese Maple being decidous and requiring a period of cold dormancy will be quite difficult for you there in Central America. It would be easier to work with something more suited for your climate. I was going to say tropical, but at over 5000 ft it probably does get pretty cold where you are? Central America is very beautiful. I have visited Costa Rica several times and probably going back next summer...

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Gnome
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Carolina,

I'm in agreement with the others, your tree is going to require a dormancy and if you cannot provide it naturally you will have to make other arrangements.


rainbowgardener wrote:
It would be easier to work with something more suited for your climate. I was going to say tropical, but at over 5000 ft it probably does get pretty cold where you are?
If you find yourself in the position where you are too warm for temperate trees and too cold for tropicals (the tropicals can always come inside during the cooler parts of the year) there are always sub-tropicals. Two plants that might work for you are Chinese Elm and Pomegranate. Both are hardy to a point so you would not need to rush things inside at the possibility of a cool night. Perhaps you could give us some details about your climate.
Is the quality of water important to water a bonsai?
Yes, but in general if you can drink the water it is safe for your plants as well.

Norm

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