Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  bdavid82 on Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:45 am

Hi friends. I am now 7 months deep into the hobby of my life. The growing season has been great! Here comes winter. Ironically, I'm concerned that it is not going to get cold enough to provide my white pines (Zuisho; very small and my Aoi; 1.5' tall; both potted) a proper dormancy.
I have a garage and an outdoor closet that is attached to the house. So I could store them (sunless) there. But Florida winters hit single digits only a handful of times and only late at night. Last Christmas, it was 79 degrees. I'm ready to convert a mini fridge and drill ventilation holes in side of it if I must. I want them to have a solid healthy dormancy in otherwise tropical local. Any how-to advice would be invaluable.

Thanks Much,
Dave "Bunjin Bacon" Williams

bdavid82
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  fiona on Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:52 am

Moved to Questions.

_________________
"Espouse elucidation"
_____________________________________

my website

fiona
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  JimLewis on Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:56 am

It should get cold enough in Gainesville for most trees to go into dormancy. The only issue might be if it gets cold enough for long enough.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

JimLewis
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:26 pm



Dave, wouldn't life be a lot simpler if you'd grow the trees that are actually happy living in our subtropical climate? Japanese five-needle pines ("white" pines) are mountain trees after all.

I wouldn't go to any extreme measures. I'd leave them out and see what happens over a couple of years - the 'zuisho' may surprise you.

R

Russell Coker
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  GašperG on Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:12 pm

Maybe there is a local bonsai nursery that offers overwintering in controled environment for hardy species (not so hardy in your area) with subzero (°C) temperatures and sufficient light conditions? Just a thought.

Best...

Gašper

GašperG
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  Bob Pressler on Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:30 pm

Russell Coker wrote:

Dave, wouldn't life be a lot simpler if you'd grow the trees that are actually happy living in our subtropical climate? Japanese five-needle pines ("white" pines) are mountain trees after all.

I wouldn't go to any extreme measures. I'd leave them out and see what happens over a couple of years - the 'zuisho' may surprise you.

R
But what's the fun in that?

Bob Pressler
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:03 pm

I agree with "leave them out."
GO GATORS
Billy M. Rhodes c/o 64

Billy M. Rhodes
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  marcus watts on Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:44 pm

i 'officially' live in a climate zone 9 and enjoy the challenge too - overwintering is usually the opposite of everyone elses worries - you need to find the coldest most exposed areras of the garden for many of the trees.

I have one bench that is mostly shaded in the winter and exposed to all the elements - the white pines sit here all winter and are very healthy, 4 weeks of zero temps is good but more is better if it happens- i let the acers freeeze when possible too, or they break dormancy too soon, black pines only down to zero so they sit in the greenhouse (door open), yew roots to -5 deg so the pots are shielded in polystyrene if it gets colder. Satsuki flower buds do deform if they freeze too much so they go in the grreenhouse in January if i want the first flowers.

I honestly think more bonsai are ruined or killed by over protection than by frost

buy a few max/min mercury thermometers, then you can learn about the microclimates in your own garden.

cheers Marcus

marcus watts
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:58 pm

I think the Zone 9 of south west UK is a lot different than the Zone 9 of Central Florida. For some plants it isn't the winter low that wears them out, but the long, hot summer. Trust me, Gainesville, FL can be very hot and humid much of the summer. There will be limited days in winter at or below 32F/0C and seldom two in a row.

Billy M. Rhodes
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  D&L Bonsai Nursery on Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:23 pm

Unfortunately you aren't going to have any luck with the White Pine here in C. Florida, we do not get the chilling hours and our summers are too hot and humid, it has been tried with no success, you can however grow Black Pines here.

D&L Bonsai Nursery
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  bdavid82 on Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:36 pm

Hey there D&L! It's David. I guess you would know if it could be done here. Now I feel really bad for my little Zuisho...

bdavid82
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  bdavid82 on Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:46 pm

Oh yeah and
GO GATORS

bdavid82
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  marcus watts on Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:59 am

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:I think the Zone 9 of south west UK is a lot different than the Zone 9 of Central Florida. For some plants it isn't the winter low that wears them out, but the long, hot summer. Trust me, Gainesville, FL can be very hot and humid much of the summer. There will be limited days in winter at or below 32F/0C and seldom two in a row.

yes i agree totally Billy - this zoning does not work at all for bonsai, or as a worldwide measure for plant suitability - it works on the continent of America, but not the entire world. I get a zone 9 due to the average year round temps - not too hot and not very cold either - 3 years with snow in my garden in 22 years living here.

However..............It will be possible to keep these trees if you invest time and money to create a suitable climate but it depends how badly you want to do this. Summers need proper shading and probably fans to move the air across the trees. Winter will need a refridgerator so the tree can sit in it for 10-12 weeks. All these methods and more are used commonly when getting plants ready for shows like Chelsea Flower show but like i say - how badly do you want the white pines?. The local guys are going to be exactly right when they say the tree will not do much just sat on a bench and left to it though, many will have tried that before.

cheers Marcus


marcus watts
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  bdavid82 on Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:02 am

Cheers Marcus! I am as committed to this process as one can be. I water and PH test my tree's soil every day. I feel like I can fridge a white pine if I approach it scientifically. The alternative is letting some of my favorite stock die so... I will document my white pine endeavors with pics. Thanks to everyone for the fast feedback. This looks like it's going to be a challenge; I wouldn't have it any other way.

-BB

bdavid82
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  marcus watts on Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:47 am

bdavid82 wrote:Cheers Marcus! I am as committed to this process as one can be. I water and PH test my tree's soil every day. I feel like I can fridge a white pine if I approach it scientifically. The alternative is letting some of my favorite stock die so... I will document my white pine endeavors with pics. Thanks to everyone for the fast feedback. This looks like it's going to be a challenge; I wouldn't have it any other way.

-BB

excelent. my kind of bonsai-ist. Very Happy

The fridge will work well, you can control the thermostat to take the tree down to about 2 degrees C over a few weeks, open the door each day and mist a little water on the tree occassionally, then go in reverse and warm the tree up slowly 8 weeks later. A good winter improves the colour, vigour and budding an amazing amount - I see that in my trees on years following a period of decent cold.

good luck and take some progrression pictures - you could be the white pine pioneer for the area... Very Happy

cheers Marcus

marcus watts
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  JimLewis on Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:51 pm

I think the Zone 9 of south west UK is a lot different than the Zone 9 of Central Florida. For some plants it isn't the winter low that wears them out, but the long, hot summer.

And summers are NOT factored into the climate (plant hardiness) zone computations developed by the US Dept. of Agriculture and recently updated. (I have NO idea what relationship the various other climate zone systems around the world have with the USDA zones and whether warm temperatures figure into them or not. I DO know that Sunset Magazine's zone system takes heat into account in its computations, and the American Horticultural Society has its own "Heat Zone Map," but again, neither is included in the USDA's zone system.)

"(The USDA) Plant hardiness zone designations represent the average annual extreme minimum temperatures at a given location during a particular time period. They do not reflect the coldest it has ever been or ever will be at a specific location, but simply the average lowest winter temperature for the location over a specified time."

So we may be talking about apples and oranges here.

That said, North Central Florida's summer heat and lack of winter chill certainly will affect the survival of white pines. If I were you, no matter how much I loved them, I'd sell or give them to someone who lives a bit farther north rather that watch them decline into death. And no, I don't want them. I don't DO pines.


_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

JimLewis
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  marcus watts on Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:03 pm

its funny how a fairly large percentage of the readers here keep tropical bonsai and happily give them heat and light when the weather is unsuitable, but the idea of doing the opposite and giving a tree some artificial cold weather has got people saying get rid of the trees?? why not get rid of all the ficus - they are very boring in comparison to a JWP Twisted Evil

the hobby doesnt progress without pioneers, fiddlers and experimenters -

cheers Marcus

marcus watts
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:08 pm

marcus watts wrote:its funny how a fairly large percentage of the readers here keep tropical bonsai and happily give them heat and light when the weather is unsuitable, but the idea of doing the opposite and giving a tree some artificial cold weather has got people saying get rid of the trees?? why not get rid of all the ficus - they are very boring in comparison to a JWP Twisted Evil

the hobby doesnt progress without pioneers, fiddlers and experimenters -

cheers Marcus


Sorry Marcus, but it's just not that simple. Yes, it's easy for me to bring in a few tropicals for freezing nights, then carry them back outside because I don't have a greenhouse. The fact is that they are perfectly happy here in the "SUBtropics" receiving simple protection from what seperates us from the "tropics".

We don't have four seasons in a true sense of the word. Our days are very long. Our nights are very hot. It is very humid here. Plants that are adapted to higher elevations and cool temps just aren't worth the effort becuase they simply can't handle this. Of course that's just my opinion (the effort part) - like your opinion about boring ficus. I can't figure out why anyone would put much effort into something they're going to watch slowly deteriorate and die, especially when there are SO MANY wonderful plants that are happy and easy here.

Russell Coker
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  JimLewis on Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:24 pm

marcus watts wrote:its funny how a fairly large percentage of the readers here keep tropical bonsai and happily give them heat and light when the weather is unsuitable, but the idea of doing the opposite and giving a tree some artificial cold weather has got people saying get rid of the trees?? why not get rid of all the ficus - they are very boring in comparison to a JWP :twisted:

the hobby doesnt progress without pioneers, fiddlers and experimenters -

cheers Marcus

I could probably agree with the Ficus comment (most of the time, for trees grown "up nawth). But it is a heckuva lot easier to give trees heat and light in the winter than it is to load a dozen or so into a refrigerator. And besides, MY fridge is filled with food and beer.

I can't figure out why anyone would put much effort into something they're going to watch slowly deteriorate and die, especially when there are SO MANY wonderful plants that are happy and easy here.

A-men, Brother!

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

JimLewis
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  Russell Coker on Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:21 am



But don't get me wrong... Personally, whenever someone says "that won't grow here" I take it as a challenge. I don't believe it until I've killed it at least twice.

BUT there is a big difference between providing a few days of warmth to a ficus compared to providing months of cool weather to a pine, spruce or larch here in the deep south.

Russell Coker
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  bumblebee on Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:31 am

Yeah, I bemoan that fact that I can't have Larches and whitebark birches here, but I don't try to
grow them any more. There's lots of trees that I can't have in this climate, but there's a whole lot
that I can grow, too. I am still trying to grow almost everyone of them in my backyard. Not yet at
the stage where I'm able to start culling the lesser trees and focus on the few I'm going to do best
with. I'm still rooting just about every cutting of any size at all just to see how to do it.

Libby

bumblebee
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Winter Care In Not So Cold Central Florida

Post  Sponsored content Today at 11:35 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum