winter storage in UK

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winter storage in UK

Post  colin mackness on Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:48 pm

Can I keep my Bonsai collection in the garage with minimum light throughout the coldest winter months.They are all medium to large trees,deciduous  and evergreen.
Regards Colin


Last edited by colin mackness on Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:41 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: winter storage in UK

Post  Thomas Urban on Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:36 pm

Hi Colin,

This is great for the deciduous but the evergreens would suffer. They still need light through the cold months. Why not just place the evergreens with their pots into the ground or on the ground and cover them up with mulch?
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Re: winter storage in UK

Post  Kev Bailey on Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:45 pm

I agree with Thomas, but add that he means to cover the pots with mulch, not the trees. ;-) Whereabouts in the UK and what elevation are you at. All the variables add up. Also it does depend on the sort of winter we get. It is looking like a colder one, this year. After 30 years of growing with no winter losses, I lost three of my best trees a few winters back due to an exceptionally long spell of freeze thaw.

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winter storage

Post  geoffm5eay on Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:46 pm

I do not protect any trees apart from Trident and a Mulbury. They and White Pines are under open cover. They get frost but are drier than in the open. The White Pines need to be drier in the winter, so that is why they are there. The rest are in the garden and get whatever comes. For the last 16 years this is what I have done, and yes lost one or two but I have no choice. and we have had -12C at times. Most growers do not have the means to put under cover. I go to several nurseries and the majority of their trees are in the open,
Geoff.

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winter care

Post  Dirk Hoorelbeke on Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:53 pm

I've wintered in a garage/ shed for 5 years. Didn't see ill effects on evergreens, placed them at the clearest spot. Prevent the trees being in the sun and wind after pot is frozen, that's when the damage happens often. Make sure to ventilate to avoid fungus. I've made a wind shelter for the evergreens for a few years, just all went ok outside. Now i have a greenhouse, is more practical but with the drawback of heating up to fast when sun strikes. For most trees -5°C is fine. For other trees you might be a bit more careful. The drawback of freeze - thaw is when you use akadama and have the pot saturated with water, breakdown of akadama speeds up a bit. When you want to keep them in the akadama without repotting for a longer time, keep them sheltered more. No experience with much, always was afraid for fungus. Might be a good thing to do with prebonsai material.

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Re: winter storage in UK

Post  BobbyLane on Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:01 pm

Mine are all on a roofed, first floor balcony, this is where they stay all year round. some stay under cover, some stay out on the edges of the balcony, in balcony troughs, i like them being out on the edge, the wind n rain helps to weather the bark, if any of the pots get too wet i just rotate them.

2016-12-05_06-53-57 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
2016-12-05_06-54-10 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
2016-12-05_06-57-59 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

The only trees i really fuss over are the Yew, all three are being kept dry on my front balcony.
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Re: winter storage in UK

Post  AlainK on Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:17 pm

Very nice trees you've got there Bobby.

As for winter protection, I agree with Thomas, Geoff and Kev.

I use dried zelkova leaves up to the rim of the pot, or for the smaller ones up to the first branches. If you don't have a big zelkova in your garden, maybe you can get some straw from a local farmer, it's an excellent insulation material that lets some air circulate inside so the risks of root rot is limited.
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