A little help requested..

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A little help requested..

Post  Storm on Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:22 pm

Hi everyone!
I've been away from this forum for a bit, and have just been reading up some again.
The thing is that I had moved to the other side of the country to go to a music school, but then moved back and got myself a new place to live for me and my girlfriend. And now its time for bonsai again!
The thing is, im keeping all my tress outside. Its getting colder and Im not sure what to do. They are mainly tropicals. A couple of ficus'es, a Podocarpus(?), and a few others. An elm and some natives. They are outside, getting some sun, but not so much that they are getting burned. I have a garden, but only a small appartement. I have no chance of having them in a cold room, and with artificial light. They have to be inside, or outside. With some cover.
Any suggestions about what I should do woul be very much appriciated.. They arent so strong atm, and I havent been feeding them for ages. Im going to repot them into some "gravel" wich is really decoration stone, with a nice size on it. I used this on my elm when it was nearly dead, and got new leaves all over the tree in only a couple of days.

Thanks
-Storm

Edit: Just a little thing, the place with the most cover shouldnt get too much snow, but if they would get some sun, there is a chance they will get covered by 1.5 meters of snow..

Storm
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Wintering trees

Post  Mike Pollock on Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:20 pm

Storm,

The tropicals should come inside. I bring mine in when the temperatures regularly get to around 45 degrees F. They will probably adjust to the conditions by dropping some leaves, then grow very slowly all winter. Put them out again when temperatures get above 50 degrees F in the spring. Be sure to put them out gradually, only on cloudy days at first. Within a few days they'll adapt to the strong sun again. Robust growth will start after nighttime temps stay above 60 degrees F.

Mike Pollock
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Re: A little help requested..

Post  Storm on Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:42 pm

Thank you for the answer!
I will pay attention to the temperature and take the trees in when needed.

Storm
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wintering trees

Post  Mike Pollock on Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:08 pm

Close to half of my trees are tropical and I live just north of New York City. So I know all about protecting the fragile ones. Mine usually come in around the end of October.

I've gone a bit crazy and have a 1,000 watt metal halide light in my basement for my tropicals. You are just smarter than I am...

Mike Pollock
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Re: A little help requested..

Post  Cliff on Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:17 pm

Storm wrote:Hi everyone!
The thing is, im keeping all my tress outside. Its getting colder and Im not sure what to do. They are mainly tropicals. A couple of ficus'es, a Podocarpus(?), and a few others. An elm and some natives. They are outside, getting some sun, but not so much that they are getting burned. I have a garden, but only a small appartement. I have no chance of having them in a cold room, and with artificial light. They have to be inside, or outside. With some cover.
What type of elm, and how cold does it get where you are? That makes a big difference. Some elms are very hardy and others aren't.

Native species will be fine outside. Set them on the ground in a spot where no-one will trample them, and let them get buried by the snow. They won't need light when the ground is frozen.

Like Mike said, tropicals have to come inside before it gets too cold. A warm room is fine, just give them plenty of light. Get some four-foot florescent lights and put them a few inches above the trees. Some tropicals like it humid so that might pose a challenge depending what species you have; one way to deal with that is to build an indoor mini-greenhouse so you can keep the trees in >60% humidity while keeping the rest of your home at comfortable levels.

Cliff
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Re: A little help requested..

Post  NeilDellinger on Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:58 am

Correct that the natives can stay outdoors, chances are the elm would be fine there also...with maybe a bit more protection. I would not bring the elm inside and try to limp it along through the winter in an apartment. You're asking for weak growth and over/under or watering issues.

As for the tropicals, I haven't heard anyone suggest a window yet (easy & simple). Sunniest window you can find, rotate every week or two. I've got a one big bougainvillea thats very healthy, I water it in the show when the leaves begin to droop during the winter. I don't live in a tropical climate, and don't have room for a lighting set up...hence only one bougainvillea (hint). The rest are fine outdoors in my climate. Makes life much simpler. Tropicals are a pain in the arse if you're not in a tropical climate and don't want to add the complication of trying to mimic mother natures light set up to keep them happy. Just my own 2 cents.

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Re: A little help requested..

Post  Storm on Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:16 am

Thank you all for good answers. I have no possibility to build anything inside, since I live with someone and the appartement is small. But I can have them in the windowsill. Ill keep the elm outside too. I actually dont know what kind of elm it is.
I guess its going down to normally -20 degrees during winter. Sometimes as crazy -30 aswell.
I posted a picture of the elm a while back here on the forum. Ill see if I can find it again.

Storm
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Re: A little help requested..

Post  Storm on Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:20 am

Yeah, and another thing. Im wondering about building growboxes for all the trees. This summer, they nearly grew. The big ficus I had lost several of the big branches on the bottom, and most of the leaves. Then I placed it on a different spot and it got bunches of leaves again. But the problem is.. My trees looks like something that was hit by a car. So What do you think of just putting every tree in growboxes and making them into biger bonsai's? (I know its kinda stupid to ask when you havent seen them..)

Storm
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Re: A little help requested..

Post  NeilDellinger on Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:39 am

That's pretty cold. Wow. Your elm WILL need more protection that your natives. If you purchased it from a retailer as bonsai, its likely a Chinese elm.

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