Indoor and Cold

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Indoor and Cold

Post  bostrt on Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:49 pm

Hello, I'm fairly new to bonsai and here's my first post.

Can anyone recommend a bonsai tree species that is good for indoors but also cold weather? The problem is that my apartment does not have central heating and I live in the mountains...which means it's gets pretty cold at night and sometimes during the day when I'm not there to turn on space heaters.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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Re: Indoor and Cold

Post  Poink88 on Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:51 pm

Welcome to IBC!!! cheers

How cold will it get inside?

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Re: Indoor and Cold

Post  bostrt on Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:59 pm

Thanks for the welcome Smile

It can get below freezing; upper 20's is about the worst

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Re: Indoor and Cold

Post  Poink88 on Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:14 pm

Wow that's cold. I don't know any plants that fits your criteria (indoor and that cold hardy), lets wait for other members who are from north or cold weather.

Can't you have trees outside? That will greatly increase your choices.

Good luck!

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Re: Indoor and Cold

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:38 pm

A buddy of mine who lives in Boone, successfully wintered 2 Japanese maples in his "shed" at about 4,000 feet. It easily gets in the 20s in this shed maybe even lower, but it does completely protect them from the howling winds he gets up there. I'm still skeptical as he is heading only into his second winter. His biggest problem was taking them out too soon in the Spring. It snapped down after leaf-out and he lost all that growth and some branches. This was for a Koto-Hime and some kind of Dissectum. Reach out to Jim Lewis. He lives out that way and has been doing bonsai for a long time, although he may be lower in elevation than you. There are so many plants I saw out in Boone (we come there every other month or so) I would think there is a huge variety of plants you can keep. I don't know how high you are but you might even be able to keep larch up there if you can protect them in the summer. You'll have to leave them fully exposed though. They LOVE the cold from what I understand. Downtown Blowing Rock has old Japanese maples and old Trident maples lining the street fully exposed at 3,500 feet.

I hope this helps, and again, Welcome to the forum.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Sam

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Re: Indoor and Cold

Post  bostrt on Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:06 pm

Poink88 wrote:Wow that's cold. I don't know any plants that fits your criteria (indoor and that cold hardy), lets wait for other members who are from north or cold weather.

Can't you have trees outside? That will greatly increase your choices.

Good luck!

Yes, I currently have a very young juniper outside and it's doing fine in the cold so far!

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Re: Indoor and Cold

Post  bostrt on Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:14 pm

Sam Ogranaja wrote:A buddy of mine who lives in Boone, successfully wintered 2 Japanese maples in his "shed" at about 4,000 feet. It easily gets in the 20s in this shed maybe even lower, but it does completely protect them from the howling winds he gets up there. I'm still skeptical as he is heading only into his second winter. His biggest problem was taking them out too soon in the Spring. It snapped down after leaf-out and he lost all that growth and some branches. This was for a Koto-Hime and some kind of Dissectum. Reach out to Jim Lewis. He lives out that way and has been doing bonsai for a long time, although he may be lower in elevation than you. There are so many plants I saw out in Boone (we come there every other month or so) I would think there is a huge variety of plants you can keep. I don't know how high you are but you might even be able to keep larch up there if you can protect them in the summer. You'll have to leave them fully exposed though. They LOVE the cold from what I understand. Downtown Blowing Rock has old Japanese maples and old Trident maples lining the street fully exposed at 3,500 feet.

I hope this helps, and again, Welcome to the forum.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Sam

Thanks for the info, I'll definitely keep an eye/ear out for Jim Lewis.

If I were to choose to keep a Japanese maple indoors during the winter, would there be a negative effect on the tree if it became too warm inside; if I left a heater on or something.

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Re: Indoor and Cold

Post  rps on Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:16 pm

It could be a real challenge if temperatures don't hold in the chosen tree's comfort/dormancy range. You indicate high 20sF --- is that through the day and night? or do temepartures climb and drop significantly over a 24hour [or weekly] cycle? High 20s is a desirable dormancy range for many species, but that's rendered null&void if if temepratures repeatedly climb higher. The trees may be prompted to break dormancy.

If the temperatures are generally higher, but slip into the 20sF occassionally, you might convince a privet or cotoneaster to tough it out [ie: remain actively growing], but that's something of a high-wire act --- well outside my limited expertise.

I think Dario and Sam are right. Your best bet is to find a sheltered outdoor corner, if you can, and leave your temperate tree/s there. I maintain both indoor and outdoor species through our cruel winters, but keep a strict eye on temperatures the indoor tropicals and sub-tropicals are exposed to.



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Re: Indoor and Cold

Post  bostrt on Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:17 am

rps, it gets down to 20sF at night. The temperatures can raise and drop significantly as well, checkout the average temp history for Boone -> http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/28607 . I am concerned, just as you are, that a tree may break dormancy. Especially if I keep it inside.

I agree that Dario and Sam are right. I think I'm going to look into an outdoor shelter of some sort.

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