Florida vs Nevada

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Florida vs Nevada

Post  Biggie on Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:59 pm

I'm considering relocating to Nevada and I'm trying to figure out what plants will make it there in the dry heat of Nevada. My stock includes the following. 2 Japanese Black pines, 5 Japanese white pines, 1 Willow leaf ficus, 1 Fukien tea, 1 Green Island Fig, a couple Dessert Rose (seemingly the only plants that will likely thrive better there than here), 2 Junipers, 1 Azalea. I also have an Elm that's being air layered and I was planning on separating this spring once the leaves come back around mid to late May. I have a few other tropical I'm going to give to friends but these are the plants I want to transport and have worked on for many years. Keep in mind I likely wont have a green house where I'm going so If your in Nevada and could give me any info on what might survive there it would be a great help. I have looked into the Bonsai culture out in the west and it seems its mostly dominated by folks from California who are growing redwoods and such. My plants are hardy as of now they are all in great shape and all have good soil so they can travel well but over the long haul I have no idea what bugs, dry heat and wind they can take. How can I prepare for this and what can I do to minimize the shock of climate change.

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Re: Florida vs Nevada

Post  Leo Schordje on Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:52 pm

I don't live in Nevada, but I have visited there often enough to know I could never live there. I love visiting the desert, but it does have two essential problems that make it uninhabitable, too hot and too dry. I'm assuming you will be living in a lower elevation area, like Las Vegas, or Reno, or such. If you are going to be living somewhere at an elevation above 5500 ft, the climate is quite a bit different, much colder winters, and significantly more rain and snow. Still dry by eastern standards, but enough moisture to support a wider variety of trees in the wild, and possible to grow a wider range of trees in the garden.

Your biggest problem will be low humidity combined with the heat of summer. Around the Las Vegas area many outdoor restaurant areas have evaporative mist coolers. Spray nozzles that create a fine fog of moisture, which cools the air as it evaporates. Even though the fog is spraying over the customers while they are dining, it evaporates completely before it reaches the customers. The cooled air then comes down on the area. There are patio versions of this system at any place that sells lawn furniture. A system like this, or perhaps a greenhouse style swamp pad evaporative cooler would be necessary. Even though you won't be growing in an enclosed area, this will help if it is in the immediate vicinity of your trees. A lath house or shade cloth would be necessary for the hottest months, you want to cut out 50% or more of the sun in the heat of summer, later half of May, all of  June, July & August and part of September.

Japanese Black pines - might do okay - the low humidity will be a problem, though they might be able to pull through. This is probably your best bet. For new recruits, look to local native pines like the single needle pinyon, the two needled pinyon, ponderosa and others.

Japanese white pines - not likely to survive the extreme heat. They might do okay above 5500 ft elevation. It is just too hot and too dry at lower elevations. Perhaps a limber pine might survive, or P. strobiliformes Southwestern white pine. Again, at higher elevation these are native, but down low the heat and low humidity are problems.

Willow leaf ficus - the heat won't bother them. They will probably defoliate, and then the newer leaves might be hard enough to tolerate the low humidity. While they can take full sun most places, they may need some shade May, June, July & August.

Fukien tea - probably won't survive the low humidity.

Green Island Fig - as for the willow leaf, there is a good chance it can be grown there.

Dessert Rose - Las Vegas is not that different than Somalia, it will think it is back home, except for the couple weeks of winter where you get frosts and freezes in Vegas. (I only mean the climate of Las Vegas is similar to Somalia! Not trying to slam Nevada  Very Happy )

Junipers - With the water you supply, these should do okay. They are native to elevations only a little higher up than Las Vegas.

Azalea - Doubtful it would last a week.

Elm - maybe. Definitely shade needed in heat of summer.

Lack if humidity will be your biggest problem.

Those are my thoughts, but I don't live in Nevada, and haven't personally tried to grow anything there. People who live in the drier parts of Texas might be able to offer good advice too.

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Re: Florida vs Nevada

Post  David Brunner on Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:22 am

Hello Biggie - given that Nevada has a diversity of climates could you help us out a bit and tell us where in the state you might relocate?  You can also refer to the Sunset Climate Zones (http://www.sunset.com/garden/climate-zones/); for the western US I find these much more useful than those provided by the USDA.  Most of your trees should do fine, but, depending on where you might be relocating to in Nevada, they could require special care.  Particularly if you are moving to a high elevation area of the state where cold weather will be a real consideration.  Alternatively, if you are planning to move to a low elevation area your primary concern might be heat as Leo suggests.

Yours,
David B.

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Re: Florida vs Nevada

Post  klaery on Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:42 am

I think they could probably all survive except for maybe the white pines. Where I live is hot and dry (perhaps not as dry as Navada) and I can even keep jap maples alive despite the common belief. Sure they get get burnt in summer but with protection they are okay. I have been told white pines won't survive here but I am yet to try them. Where you keep your plants really does develop it's own microclimate as you are watering twice a day etc. Especially if it is a protected area, the humidity can be higher. Just watch the windy days  Mad

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Re: Florida vs Nevada

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:26 pm




If it's any consolation, your Japanese white pines have about as much of a chance of surviving long term in Nevada as they do Florida.


R

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Re: Florida vs Nevada

Post  JimLewis on Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:47 pm

Changing climates so abruptly is a gamble -- but hey. it's Nevada.

Maybe there's some dry land info on the Phoenix Bonsai Society webpages. http://www.phoenixbonsai.com/

_________________
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: Florida vs Nevada

Post  Biggie on Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:17 pm

Russell Coker wrote:


If it's any consolation, your Japanese white pines have about as much of a chance of surviving long term in Nevada as they do Florida.


R
Huh, I've been growing White Pines I Florida for over 3 years now and they are candling quite nicely right now. Not sure why but I don't question mother nature just happy they are alive.

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Re: Florida vs Nevada

Post  Biggie on Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:24 pm

David Brunner wrote:Hello Biggie - given that Nevada has a diversity of climates could you help us out a bit and tell us where in the state you might relocate?  You can also refer to the Sunset Climate Zones (http://www.sunset.com/garden/climate-zones/); for the western US I find these much more useful than those provided by the USDA.  Most of your trees should do fine, but, depending on where you might be relocating to in Nevada, they could require special care.  Particularly if you are moving to a high elevation area of the state where cold weather will be a real consideration.  Alternatively, if you are planning to move to a low elevation area your primary concern might be heat as Leo suggests.

Yours,
David B.
My plans are to relocate around the Summerlin area which is the southern tip of Nevada and low lying as it would be. After reviewing the comments here its quite obvious the humidity or the lack of it is going to be the greatest concern. I can try and combat that but its going to eventually be an ongoing nightmare. I suppose the first thing I'm going to do is go out there and see what Bonsai clubs are available and then get with the locals and see what they are growing and doing. Right now its seems pretty bleak for my trees to make them try and adapt to a place they cant thrive so Im hoping its only a matter of setting up an area with minimal cost to make things better suited for them.
Thanks for your reply its much appreciated.

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Re: Florida vs Nevada

Post  Biggie on Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:51 pm

Leo Schordje wrote:I don't live in Nevada, but I have visited there often enough to know I could never live there. I love visiting the desert, but it does have two essential problems that make it uninhabitable, too hot and too dry. I'm assuming you will be living in a lower elevation area, like Las Vegas, or Reno, or such. If you are going to be living somewhere at an elevation above 5500 ft, the climate is quite a bit different, much colder winters, and significantly more rain and snow. Still dry by eastern standards, but enough moisture to support a wider variety of trees in the wild, and possible to grow a wider range of trees in the garden.

Your biggest problem will be low humidity combined with the heat of summer. Around the Las Vegas area many outdoor restaurant areas have evaporative mist coolers. Spray nozzles that create a fine fog of moisture, which cools the air as it evaporates. Even though the fog is spraying over the customers while they are dining, it evaporates completely before it reaches the customers. The cooled air then comes down on the area. There are patio versions of this system at any place that sells lawn furniture. A system like this, or perhaps a greenhouse style swamp pad evaporative cooler would be necessary. Even though you won't be growing in an enclosed area, this will help if it is in the immediate vicinity of your trees. A lath house or shade cloth would be necessary for the hottest months, you want to cut out 50% or more of the sun in the heat of summer, later half of May, all of  June, July & August and part of September.

Japanese Black pines - might do okay - the low humidity will be a problem, though they might be able to pull through. This is probably your best bet. For new recruits, look to local native pines like the single needle pinyon, the two needled pinyon, ponderosa and others.

Japanese white pines - not likely to survive the extreme heat. They might do okay above 5500 ft elevation. It is just too hot and too dry at lower elevations. Perhaps a limber pine might survive, or P. strobiliformes Southwestern white pine.  Again, at higher elevation these are native, but down low the heat and low humidity are problems.

Willow leaf ficus - the heat won't bother them. They will probably defoliate, and then the newer leaves might be hard enough to tolerate the low humidity. While they can take full sun most places, they may need some shade May, June, July & August.

Fukien tea - probably won't survive the low humidity.

Green Island Fig - as for the willow leaf, there is a good chance it can be grown there.

Dessert Rose - Las Vegas is not that different than Somalia, it will think it is back home, except for the couple weeks of winter where you get frosts and freezes in Vegas. (I only mean the climate of Las Vegas is similar to Somalia! Not trying to slam Nevada  Very Happy )

Junipers - With the water you supply, these should do okay. They are native to elevations only a little higher up than Las Vegas.

Azalea - Doubtful it would last a week.

Elm - maybe. Definitely shade needed in heat of summer.

Lack if humidity will be your biggest problem.

Those are my thoughts, but I don't live in Nevada, and haven't personally tried to grow anything there. People who live in the drier parts of Texas might be able to offer good advice too.

Thanks for your vast input Leo, I suspect your right on the money with what your saying about survival and I had the same plants pegged for troubles all but the Azalea which is a new plant for me and a first. I'm not all that familiar with its requirements thus far and am just pot training it and still learning more about it. Seems very hardy actually but this is FL and its hard to fail in this climate as long as your diligent about the water requirements in the summer and watch the rainy season for over watering.

The white pines are a fluke here I don't why mine are even still alive. I have had them for 3 years and they just keep growing and candling nicely. I keep them in half shade and next to my pool so they may get the benefit of a slight frost in the coldest winter months here.. I seriously thought Id have killed them by now but they survive to spite me.
I've read people toss them in the freezer for a few days to give them the illusion of being covered in the snow and had success but I'm not that brave.

My black pines, they are vigorous, trained and very healthy but I also give them a lot of attention. Of all my trees they are the ones I would hate to lose the most as I have nurtured them from seedlings to nice formed bonsai over many years.

The willow leaf fig is also a nice plant, a good healthy size and I know itmight not do well at all in the dry heat as it drops leaves pretty good here in the dry winter. Summer is another story its out get out of control quickly. Id have to build it a humidity box to stay alive probably.

The Green Isle, that's a hardy plant not real old and still in training. I'm trying to develop a better trunk on it and just trimmed it way back before the spring. I think It would do fine with a good watering schedule there and shielding it from direct wind and sun. It may also do well inside on a window sill if it had morning sun. Don't really know for sure.

The juniper...My first ever bonsai. I bought this plant at the Japanese section of Epcot 10 years ago and its been with me every since. I learned to love bonsai because if this one tree and have transformed it into a cascade style. I had many ups and downs with this plant and finally found out what it likes and Id hate to lose it as well. I think I saw juniper in a casino landscape actually but it faced the west and was supplied with irrigation and had palms over head to shadow it somewhat. I think it too could be ok there if it was shielded properly from the lack of humidity. I have neglected to water mine for a week or so on more than one occasion and it hasn't slowed its growth at all.

Lastly, a note I was thinking about on the humidity. My soil content here right now is light and very loose for drainage because I water regulary and we get bad downpours here sometimes 5-6 inches of rain in an hour and sometimes for days. Perhaps a bit more composted material might aid to protect my trees from drying out there? I could also put humidity trays under the pots and dam up the drain holes some to slow drainage? Just spit balling here. Trying to negate the negatives and pre-emp a plan.
I may even look into a mini green house I really don't know what I will ave in the way of a yard so any ideas feel free to toss them out I'm open to suggestions.

Thanks for the great reply!




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Re: Florida vs Nevada

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