Spring round-up

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Spring round-up

Post  Nina on Sun Mar 22, 2009 3:24 pm

I'm always happy, in fall, to put my bonsai in winter quarters and forget about them for a while, but all of a sudden, it's spring! My flowering apricot is flowering: an optimistic portent, considering how cold it still is. I'm told the cherries in Washington DC will break out April 1. At any rate, it's time to start thinking about your trees's spring check-up.

The most likely problem you'll notice is die-back due to cold and dehydration. Based on how my rhododendrons look, it's been a bad winter here for cold and wind. You'll need to watch carefully how your damaged trees break bud: on some branches, leafing out will be delayed, but the branch will recover. Other branches will be completely dead and should be removed: check the extent of die-back by scratching the bark with a toothpick or penknife: if the green inner bark has turned brown, that portion of stem has died.

Although most of your trees are adapted to your climate, you may have some that don't understand the local customs. I have a sprinkling of mediterranean plants that are just barely hardy here in zone 7, and these are plants I have to be careful of now that spring has started: a late cold snap could damage new growth or flowers. My options are to let them tough it out, or to bring them indoors overnight.

Nina
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