elenac9
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winter juniper

I am new to Bonsai. My first tree is a Juniper. Its so confusing about what to do with it over the winter. I live in southern NY. It gets very cold and occasionally can get into the teens. I read to put it in an unheated garage or basement..then I read bury it ( I assume that means just the pot). I have an enclosed unheated porch, Can I leave it on the porch out of direct sun? I can always crack a window if the sun brings temperature up to high..(which is what). If it does go into the teens during the winter would I have to wrap the pot to protect the roots?

I also have a small chinese Elm, a Fukien Tea Tree and a podocarpus...they all must be inside for the winter I believe. Im going to purchase artificial lights for them.

Thank you for your assistance
Elena

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Re: winter juniper

elenac9,

Welcome to bonsai and the forum. If the tree has an established root-ball you can remove it from the pot (Inexpensive pots can crack if left exposed) and temporarily plant it in a sheltered location. The porch is an option as well but proper watering will be more in your court that way. Yes it will still need to be monitored for moisture while dormant.

As far as what is too warm, I would not worry too much. If too sheltered a deciduous tree can break dormancy too early but your Juniper, being an evergreen, is not at the same risk. Below forty is a good rule of thumb though.

Chinese Elms are a little trickier, they have a wide distribution in nature with some varieties being somewhat tender and others fairly hardy. I manage mine as deciduous trees but provide good protection in an unheated (but attached) garage.

Some claim to grow them indoors but the closest I have gotten to this is providing an abbreviated dormancy, say until Christmas then indoors where it will leaf out for an early "spring". But unless you have good supplemental lighting you are probably better off just leaving it dormant until spring arrives.

Norm

elenac9
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Re: winter juniper

Norm, Thank you for the input it was very helpful. I am opting for the porch..kinda of have to keep my eye on it..Im not sure about the elm..newly planted pre bonsai (by me no less) not holding much hope for the little thing. When I got it I didnt know its decidious..Im trying..I guess ill lose a few to learn..its ok I guess. My juniper is well established and so pretty..I hope it lives..Thanks again..Elena

tomc
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Re: winter juniper

"Up-state NY " can cover a lot of zones. When I was in central NH I used to nest my soil ball into ground and heap on leaves. IMO that left me with too many winter broken branches from snow-pack.

My fix was to build a cold house (think an unheated cold frame). It met most of my needs.

If you only have a couple hearty trees, dig up soil under your bench & nestle soil balls in it and give the tops a liberal cover of leaf mulch.

Its amazing what some newspaper and twine can do to keep a soil ball together while your tree baby is slumbering in a box or bed under a blanket of leaves.

Harvard has one of the old ambasadoral bonsai collections. Its amazing what'cha can build to winter house trees with a few million dollars, ;)
Think like a tree
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elenac9
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Re: winter juniper

OH, I think Im getting the idea. I have to get past putting my beautiful tree in the dirt covered with dead leaves and mulch
freezing to death..Its just amazing to me that it will live!..Im going to try and if it dies Ill buy a new one in the spring..

tomc
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Re: winter juniper

Elen we got hooked on bonsai cause US diplomatic corps members came home after their tour at Asian (Japanese in particular) stations, with collections they had been gifted with. Also after the Japanese/Russian war was moderated here. The nation of Japan gifted a thousand or more Mume (plum) trees to the District of Columbia. Many of those trees came as bonsai in the first decade of 20th century.

The Bronx Zoo (Brooklyn Botanic Society) made pamphlets that were reprinted steen-thousand times, bonsai was one popular topic. They still litter used book stores more than fifty years after their last reprinting.
Think like a tree
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elenac9
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Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:59 am

Re: winter juniper

How interesting...I never gave it a thought.

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