Thinking of winter preparations

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Thinking of winter preparations

Post  JudyB on Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:11 pm

I have a wide variety of deciduous trees, a few conifers, and very few semi-trops. I overwinter in a number of different ways depending on the tree. I have a cold greenhouse that most go into. The very hardy conifers stay outside in a mulch bed. Brazilian Rain Tree comes inside, as does the European olive into a bright cooler rom. (and my one - (mumble) um... ficus)(puny willow leaf, 1st tree, can't ... throw... away...)

I have many questions about spraying the trees before storage for the winter. I've never done any insecticide or fungicide spraying before storage before, but this year has been pretty stressful on the trees,(weather) and I'm wanting to make sure that I do all I can to make next year a good start. I would like to know what is effective without being too chemically involved, and also how the application is done.

I have a bottle of neem oil, but have read that you should never use it on Japanese Maples. Are there any other trees that have problems with this? Also what is the correct ratio to use?

I've read about copper and sulfur as components in sprays, but have never used them. Do you buy a mixed product, or buy the component and mix it? What is the correct ratio to use?

I've also read that some oil sprays and fungicides are not compatible, how can you tell? And also that oil sprays should never be applied within 1 month before or after spraying with sulfur.

Whew, lots of questions. Please answer whatever you can, and if you have a program that works for you, I'd like to hear about it. I do try to use mostly organic methods, unless there is no other alternative.

Thank you - Judy


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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  coh on Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:53 pm

I'd like to hear more about this too.

In the past I haven't done any spraying before putting trees into storage. However, this year I've had a couple of trees that have exhibited what I think are fungal problems...started in late winter/early spring. I think I've brought that under control, but suspect I may have been able to avoid it if I had sprayed before putting them into storage.

I've heard recommendations to use lime sulfur and do have a bottle of that. Others have suggested captan or daconil (both fungicides).

I haven't used neem but would think (speculating here) that the advice regarding japanese maples applies when they are in leaf, so it might be OK when they've dropped their leaves. Hopefully others will weight in on this and your other questions.

coh
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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  Steven on Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:49 am

Not an expert by any means and I too am interested in hearing what others do for their trees, but this has been my routine for the last few years.....

1. I spray my trees with neem oil, I use a more diluted mix for my many japanese maples without any issues (again just what has worked for me)
2. I buy bulk ground cinnamon (cheaper to buy a bulk lb bag) and lightly dust the surface of my soil as this acts as an anti fungal, it also helps keep moisture loving larvae from hatching suck as fungus gnats and the like
3. After watering (which I do sparingly over the winter depending on the species and the soil make up I have it planted in.
4. I open my green house and or cold frame regularly on warm afternoons and even add a box fan to circulate more air around my trees to help prevent the soil from staying too moist, or the development of any fungal problems.

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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  drgonzo on Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:08 am

I can answer one of the questions.

Neem is only an issue for some trees when in leaf. Japanese Maples and some members of the rose family react badly when neem oil gets on thier leaves, If the plants are out of leaf... spray away.

I treat all my trees with a good dose of neem before going into and then coming out of storage, I do not spray it on anything in storage that has green on it, boxwood, cotoneaster (rose family) pines, spruces etc...

I believe many folks us captan as an anti fungal dormant spray.

-Jay

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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  coh on Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:38 am

Jay, what have you been using (if anything) on those species (boxwood, cotoneaster, etc)?

coh
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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  drgonzo on Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:38 am

coh wrote:Jay, what have you been using (if anything) on those species (boxwood, cotoneaster, etc)?

Nothing.
-Jay

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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  JudyB on Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:59 am

Thanks coh,steven, and jay for the answers. I'd still like to see more peoples input here if possible.

what is the ratio of neem that is both safe and effective?

Jay, is there a waiting period between using the neem and the captan?

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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  my nellie on Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:20 pm

Neem oil is insecticide not fungicide.
Maybe you'll be interested to read this http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t3565-preventative-spraying?highlight=preventive#35723

my nellie
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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  Hoo on Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:12 pm

First winter with trees, so following this thread intently.

I don't want to hijack your thread, Judy, but I'm also curious about the timing for switching fertilizer npk ratios. When should I start weaning the trees off nitrogen? Fall is in the air here in PA.

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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  Poink88 on Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:15 pm

Hoosteady wrote:... I'm also curious about the timing for switching fertilizer npk ratios. When should I start weaning the trees off nitrogen? Fall is in the air here in PA.
Ooh...a potential can of worms. Razz (staying on the side line with popcorn in hand)

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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  Dave Murphy on Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:46 pm

Hoosteady wrote:First winter with trees, so following this thread intently.

When should I start weaning the trees off nitrogen? Fall is in the air here in PA.

I don't...even when I lived in MA.

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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  drgonzo on Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:07 pm

JudyB wrote:
Jay, is there a waiting period between using the neem and the captan?

I have'nt had fungal issues in my storage area (yet) so I don't use captan. If my memory serves Bill V. mentioned last year that he gives his trees a spray with it before they go into storage, I think I'm remembering that correctly.

@mynellie
Neem oils are indeed anti-fungal here is a pdf that lists and discuses various research studies that have looked into it.
http://www.usingneem.com/ANTIFUNGAL.pdf

-Jay

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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  JudyB on Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:13 pm

That's a valid question hoosteady, but I think the answer is dependent on your fert program. If you use a balanced fert, then I would say there is no need to pull it back much or soon. I use mine almost right up till dormancy. But I'm one of the lower strength, very frequent fert people...

Thanks my nellie, that thread has good info. I guess my question about the captan/neem waiting period, is that I've read that some oil sprays and fungicides are not compatible. Perhaps these two products are ok to use one day/next day before storage. I also read that neem oil contains fungicidal qualities, but not so?

Dario, would you like to tell us what you do for your trees to prep them?

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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  JudyB on Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:14 pm

Sorry Jay, about the double up, your post just beat me....thanks for the info again.

Looks like I'll just do the neem oil alone this year, as I'm new to this regimen, and will play it on the safe side. Sounds like it's all I need anyway, as I don't have too much trouble on either front, but have had some fungal issues this year.

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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  Poink88 on Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:26 pm

JudyB wrote:Dario, would you like to tell us what you do for your trees to prep them?
Judy,

First, I am in TX so we do not have as harsh winter as most.

I am (also) new and only had a few tropicals I kept in my garage last year. This year I have too much, I am not sure my garage set up can handle them all but I will try. Honestly, I am watching this thread for tips but not sure if it will apply since mine are tropical/evergreen so my issue is more about lighting and humidity...though pests and fungus is also a consideration. I plan on watching them as they go and address any problems then.

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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  Hoo on Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:29 pm

by Dave Murphy on Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:46 am

"I don't...even when I lived in MA."

So you continue to fertilize with the same ferts during the winter, but less frequently?


by JudyB on Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:13 am

"That's a valid question hoosteady, but I think the answer is dependent on your fert program. If you use a balanced fert, then I would say there is no need to pull it back much or soon. I use mine almost right up till dormancy. But I'm one of the lower strength, very frequent fert people..."

I typically use Neptune's 2-3-1 fish/seaweed liquid fert and occasionally some slow release, fairly balanced, organic pellets. I would say that I'm a fairly infrequent fertilizer, relative to what most people seem to do. I think I'm a bit cautious since most of my trees are relatively new to me... Still trying to figure out what makes them happy.

Hoo
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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  JudyB on Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:03 pm

Hoosteady wrote:
I would say that I'm a fairly infrequent fertilizer, relative to what most people seem to do. I think I'm a bit cautious since most of my trees are relatively new to me... Still trying to figure out what makes them happy.

Just be careful that you don't starve them with that caution, trees need food. (which of course your soil content has great bearing on, but that is a whole different thread!) Smile

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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  Hoo on Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:26 pm

JudyB wrote:
Hoosteady wrote:
I would say that I'm a fairly infrequent fertilizer, relative to what most people seem to do. I think I'm a bit cautious since most of my trees are relatively new to me... Still trying to figure out what makes them happy.

Just be careful that you don't starve them with that caution, trees need food. (which of course your soil content has great bearing on, but that is a whole different thread!) Smile

Yea, they seem to be doing well enough. No kidding, I'll stop my hijack here. Thanks for your input. Hope people continue to post good info here in regards to your initial questions. It's quickly approaching that time of year.

Hoo
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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  Dave Murphy on Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:44 pm

With my soil being mostly 100% inorganic, I fertilize with 20-20-20 (miracle gro, peters, etc), and fish emulsion, every 7-10 days, throughout the growing season...for me here in GA, that's March through November, depending on weather, temps, etc. I used to adjust NPK ratios to prepare for winter dormancy, but have found that it doesn't seem to matter. I assume the plants will use what they need when they need it, and I don't buy in to the "nitrogen late in the season causes excess vegetative growth that is susceptible to winter damage" theory...I've never seen it and believe it to be one of many bonsai horticultural myths.

Dave Murphy
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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  Hoo on Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:11 pm

Thanks for your input, Dave. How about your take on sprays for winter prep?

Hoo
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Re: Thinking of winter preparations

Post  Dave Murphy on Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:18 pm

I use a dormant oil at the beginning and, again, at the end of the dormancy period. The fewer bugs you have entering the growing season, the better.

Dave Murphy
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