General questions

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General questions

Post  thebbqguy on Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:15 am

I got the bonsai bug again a couple of weeks ago.

I have now accumulated a few small trees as follows:

Mugo Pine
Natal Plum
Barbados Cherry
Brush Cherry
Boxwoods
Common Juniper

Most are in 4 inch pots and a couple in 6 inch pots. Since it's late in the season is it best to wait for repotting into some bigger pots until spring? Some suggestions/opinions would be helpful.

These came from two local bonsai nurseries as "pre-bonsai" material. They are all fairly low price material, but the brush cherry and natal plum are the "higher" of the "low quality" trees.

On a side note I went to these nurseries for "pre" ficus bonsai material and ended up with zero. LOL Both locations only had $100+ trees on hand, which for a beginner is a little intimidating.


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Re: General questions

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:30 pm

general answer:

deciduous = spring
tropicals = summer

generally specific answers:

http://www.bonsaitoolchest.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=63&zenid=3b2e20d306451055d6c1cce401c1dc7d


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Re: General questions

Post  Leo Schordje on Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:28 am

Nice selection of trees, how are you going to grow them over the winter, a light garden or a window sill? If your light garden is away from the chill of the window, you can get pretty good growth all winter from the tropicals. If they are on a window sill, the cold Michigan winter will keep their growth slow or keep them dormant most of the winter. You never repot a tree while completely dormant. So for the tropicals, you wait until you have had some 80 F weather, usually early summer to do repotting. But if your light garden stays warm, you may be able to repot, if the trees are showing lots of active growth, buds sprouting, new leaves, then the light garden is warm enough and you can work them any time they are in active growth.

Two of your trees are definitely best if treated as outdoor trees. The juniper and the mugo should be out in the yard right now so they have time to adjust and harden off growth. Then winter them in an unheated garage, or bury the pots to the rim in the soil of a flower bed that is in the shade for the winter. Cover with burlap or leaves and let them rest for the winter. If you put them on a shelf in the garage, remember to check them and make sure they don't dry out. Water them when necessary. If you try to keep them indoors, you will have poor growth the following spring.

Hope this helps.

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Winter Storage

Post  thebbqguy on Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:37 am

Thanks for the tips.

I have the mugo, boxwoods and juniper outside right now.

My garage has no windows, so I don't think that will work very well for very long. It gets down to -10 in my backyard, so burying them outside makes me a little nervous. I was hoping a light garden near some floor to ceiling windows in my living room would work.

The brush cherry, Barbados cherry and nato plum are thriving right now. They have lots of new growth on them just this week.




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Winter Storage

Post  geo on Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:55 pm

Vance Wood and others do not recommend putting Mugo in a garage to overwinter, They need to be outside,

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Re: General questions

Post  M. Frary on Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:25 pm

That mugo and juniper for that matter can take minus 10 standing on their heads. That is nothing compared to what my trees see. As all of them are outside all winter long.

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Burying outside

Post  thebbqguy on Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:13 am

If I keep the juniper and mugo outside, I assume I need to either bury them in the ground or mulch around them very well. Does it matter that they are completely covered by snow at various points? It's not uncommon to get 10 inches of snow here and drifts in my yard of 3 or 4 feet.

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Re: General questions

Post  M. Frary on Fri Oct 02, 2015 4:12 am

Snow is good! Pray for snow. It really helps to insulate and protect them from the wind.
Where in Michigan? I'm in Mio in Oscoda county. 90 miles south of the bridge.

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Re: General questions

Post  thebbqguy on Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:08 am

I live near Ann Arbor.

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Re: General questions

Post  DreadyKGB on Sat Oct 03, 2015 2:25 pm

I have buried and mulched in my trees in the past, beware of small rodents. I have had them chew the bark from the base of trees in the winter. The primary concern is keeping them out of the wind. I now winter my trees against a west wall of my house with a tall line of bushes and burlap protecting them from the wind. Through our last two vicious winters I have not lost a tree. Even trident maples have survived this winter treatment. Once there is enough snow I shovel it over them to fully cover them.

Todd

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Re: General questions

Post  Leo Schordje on Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:57 pm

Hey BBguy, by any chance does BB stand for Blueberry? If yes, I will be needing professional advice, I am a brand new (minority) partner in a blueberry farm. We've owned it less than 2 months. And we are definitely coming into that project with a severe lack of knowledge. Contact me through pm or my email which should be visible in my profile. Have been in contact with the local ag extension agent, and he has been very helpful, but the more resources we line up the better. We are trying to "go organic" which of course for new farmers is an extra challenge.

Anyway, you have gotten good advice about how to winter the trees. The mugo will do fine, even if it is exposed to the elements, they are high mountain trees, living up to the tree line. Long brutal winters are normal for mugo in the wild.

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Re: General questions

Post  DougB on Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:44 pm

Leo Schordje wrote:Hey BBguy, by any chance does BB stand for Blueberry? If yes, I will be needing professional advice,

Leo I'm sure you know, but can't help saying it again to you and everyone: Just about every county in the US has an agricultural extension agency that is affiliated with the states ag university. They have experts and that can help with just about every plant there is, commercial ag enterprises and the business side as well. Great program and great people.

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Re: General questions

Post  Leo Schordje on Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:13 pm

DougB wrote:
Leo Schordje wrote:Hey BBguy, by any chance does BB stand for Blueberry? If yes, I will be needing professional advice,

Leo I'm sure you know, but can't help saying it again to you and everyone:  Just about every county in the US has an agricultural extension agency that is affiliated with the states ag university.  They have experts and that can help with just about every plant there is, commercial ag enterprises and the business side as well.  Great program and great people.

Thanks Doug, yep, I have had my county Extension agent out to the property even before we closed the sale. He's been quite helpful, but each county only has one or two agents, my county only has one that specializes in fruit. I am trying to take this farm organic, and my agent is not "up to speed" on organic systems. But he has referred me to another local grower who is. And we hit it off well. It does not hurt to get additional information from other sources. I'm just lining up resources, at Michigan State University, they have one of the top blueberry breeding programs in the country (yes you guys in Washington State have a good program too). I was just hoping we at this forum might be lucky enough to have one of the blueberry breeders here on this forum. When we select new cultivars for new plantings it won't hurt to get the breeder's opinion.

But if BBguy is not involved in Blueberries, that is just fine, we do have some very knowledgeable resources, and will be muddle our way through.

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Re: General questions

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