over winter juniper in apt

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over winter juniper in apt

Post  sajison on Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:15 pm

Hello, I am new to bonsai and this will be my first winter. I live in a condo so will not be able to put the tree to ground over the winter. I have had it on a west facing balcony since I got him and am not sure how to prepare him for the winter. I live in Michigan, think I'm in zone 8 tho not 100% sure. Any advice as to how I can protect it from the cold and wind?

Thanks in advance !!

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Re: over winter juniper in apt

Post  JimLewis on Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:38 pm

I looked you up. You're either in zone 5a or 6b. That's pretty cold. Still, I'd recommend overwintering your tree outside, if you can. Go to Home depot and buy one of those plastic cones gardeners put over their veggies to protect them from frost. That will still allow sunlight to get to your juniper, but should cut off the cold winter winds and help ameliorate the temperatures while at the same time allowing plenty of ventilation.

Junipers CAN be wintered inside for a year or two, but they need their dormant period. If you decide to bring it in, keep it outside until you have a night in the low teens. That should allow the tree to go dormant. When you bring it in, keep it near a window and, if possible, keep the window open slightly so the tree is cool. That may raise Hobb with your heater, though.

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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

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Re: over winter juniper in apt

Post  sajison on Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:05 am

JimLewis wrote:I looked you up. You're either in zone 5a or 6b. That's pretty cold. Still, I'd recommend overwintering your tree outside, if you can. Go to Home depot and buy one of those plastic cones gardeners put over their veggies to protect them from frost. That will still allow sunlight to get to your juniper, but should cut off the cold winter winds and help ameliorate the temperatures while at the same time allowing plenty of ventilation.

Junipers CAN be wintered inside for a year or two, but they need their dormant period. If you decide to bring it in, keep it outside until you have a night in the low teens. That should allow the tree to go dormant. When you bring it in, keep it near a window and, if possible, keep the window open slightly so the tree is cool. That may raise Hobb with your heater, though.

Thanks for the info! I don't want to bring it inside so I'll definitely check out the cone. do you think that would be enough? the reason I ask is because the balcony is over my garage so there is no ground anywhere near it. I just worry that the draft below it will freeze the tree. I do have a garage, but I think the coldest that gets is about 55-60. that's too warm yea?

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Re: over winter juniper in apt

Post  Ashiod on Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:18 am

JimLewis wrote: Go to Home depot and buy one of those plastic cones gardeners put over their veggies to protect them from frost.

Would it be possible, if the cones were unavailable or as a cheap alternative, to use a clear plastic bag, or upended clear plastic storage container with holes cut to allow some air flow? I've seen 2 liter bottles cut in half and used as a sort of mini greenhouse, and wondered if the same idea could be applied to cut wind and frost damage to trees during the more severe parts of winter.

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Re: over winter juniper in apt

Post  rps on Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:26 am

consider one of those heavy plastic storage totes, large enough to hold your tree and some mulch.
mulch under the pot, around the sides and part way up the trunk. leave the lid off for ventilation and a bit of light, except for the windiest days.
if convenient, haul some snow up for additional coverage [and moisture] within the box --- actually, even if not convenient.

note: i have not personally employed this method, but a friend has used it successfully for a few years. if you decide to give it a go, i would suggest drilling a few drainage holes in the bottom of the box. my friend doesn't and every spring deals with a soggy mess.

another thought: is there a window in your garage? you might be able to try Jim's suggestion [nestling next to a cracked-open window] in there, without compromising the heat in your dwelling proper.

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Re: over winter juniper in apt

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