Is this normal?

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Is this normal?

Post  Storm on Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:21 pm

Hello.
I have many trees inside, growing and are all pretty healthy. Tropicals.
I also have some natives. The weather is great. Sunny and warm. We have had some night frosts now and then, but some nights the
temperature is up at 11c. I had all my native trees outside during winter, most of them snowed down. I dug them out when the weather changed.
I have blackthorn, azalea, picea abies, and oaks mostly. I dont wonder why the oaks havent leafed out, but the others havent either. Where I dug the blackthorn, I saw that the roots sprouted last year, giving new growth up to over a metre, these are on a good way of leafing out and most other trees
here in Norway do too. But none of my bonsai's are. Ive scraped a small bit of bark off to check, they show a nice strong green color witch indicates that the branch is very much alive. But not a single bud on any tree has become swollen. Is this normal? I cant recall when they leafed out last year. They get a lot of sun every day, and I water and fertilize a bit. I dont think they have been killed by frosts, or gotten their roots destroyed.
Ive seen several post that they see great color on their trees in Denmark, and I aint that much further north.
I thought I would see some signs by now.

Sincerely
Storm.

Storm
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Re: Is this normal?

Post  JimLewis on Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:42 pm

It sounds as if this is the first year in a pot for these trees. They will be slower. Patience, watering moderately, and a dose of a balanced fertilizer will get them going eventually. And, you might be amazed at how much difference a few miles nother (and perhaps a higher elevation?) can make.

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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: Is this normal?

Post  Storm on Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:51 pm

Thanks for a fast reply Jim.
These trees have all been mostly in their pots/growboxes for several years. Ive repotted a few last year though. But mostly without damaging any roots.
Im only at about 50 metres above sealevel. But I guess its because of the uneven temperature. I just didnt think they would behave that much different from being in the ground and being in a growbox.
But I dont have a way to rush it anyways, so I just have to wait and see.

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Is This Normal?

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:31 pm

Why are your trees indoors when they were outside during the winter? scratch
Iris

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Re: Is this normal?

Post  Storm on Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:56 pm

A bit of misunderstanding there. My tropicals are inside. My natives are outside alll year. I put my tropicals outside when its warmer at nighttime.
I shouldnt have said anything about the tropicals, as they really dont have anything to do with this. Only the small fact that they have been starting to grow quite well now.

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Re: Is this normal?

Post  Storm on Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:00 am

A little spring sign from my one bonsai that bothers to cheer me up!

The pot was frozen solid all winter, and almost twice the depth was only ice. And it comes back stronger than ever.

The one that im so afraid might die on me:


And after scraping of a small piece of bark:


Meybe its just me not giving it enough time before I started a bit of work on it, and it needs a quiet year before it starts up again.
One of my oaks that I dug last year just got a few leaves, but all the branches were green inside.

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Re: Is this normal?

Post  Guest on Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:39 pm

Hello Storm. I would have thought the Blackthorn would have shown signs of growing by now. It could be that the roots are in a bad way. You can still have green under the bark with a dead rootball as the tree will die from the bottom up. Can you see any new white roots in the soil?

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Re: Is this normal?

Post  Storm on Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:44 pm

Hey Will.
I repotted the tree a few days ago and checked. There were alot of fine feeder roots, but no white ones. I hoped they were just dirty but I dont have much hope. I guess its the bad frosts that took it.

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Is this normal?

Post  Guest on Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:49 pm

Hello Storm. From memory you planted the Blackthorn in Cat litter. Could this be the problem refered to by Dave Martin on another thread? http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t6318-kitty-litter

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Re: Is this normal?

Post  Storm on Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:22 am

I was just outside checking a few om my trees. Most of them are in 100% cat litter. They've thrived earlier, but still no signs.
I dug into a few of the growboxes. Didnt check too much, but I couldnt see any white roots. I took off a few roots here and there, all brown inside.
If it means what I think it does, that means that almost every native tree I have, have died this winter. I have my spruce that I showed, and thats it.
I still have my tropicals, but with them struggling in the winter and just sits outside a few months every year, why should I stay in bonsai? I love the hobby, but how can I overcome the fact that we can have summers at about 25c and over in the shade at summer, and 25c minus at winters.
I cant see how I can keep my small ones alive here. I dont have a garage I can put my trees in, and when it suddenly decides to melt alot of snow, then become dead cold during nights its not so easy to know what steps to do.
Most of my trees have been burried in snow the whole winter but it doesnt seem to have helped much.
The spruce I took out was the first one I dug from the snow. It was sitting beneath 50cm of snow, and the pot was at a moment almost twice as deep as the rim with hard ice.
So the casualties were an azaela, sageretia, six oaks, blackthorn, (not sure about my pine yet), and some more tropicals that have been at the brink of death but seems to come back.

Storm

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Re: Is this normal?

Post  paulf on Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:36 pm

My beech's broke buds this week - and 2 weeks ago my oaks broke out. I'm in southern england so il be a little ahead of you. a little patience there is still hope for them all.

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Re: Is this normal?

Post  Storm on Tue May 31, 2011 9:04 pm

Gonna update this one today. Just took a few images. And I dont have any hope for my tree. Its still green underneath the bark, but I guess its slowly drying out.

I hollowed a bit of the tree when I had it cut, and it has cracked a bit inside. So I guess it has been fried in the sun, and I didnt think it was so necessary to seal it, since I wanted it to seem a bit aged.



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Re: Is this normal?

Post  RichLewis on Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:05 am

Condolences for your trees. We also have had an unusually cold winter in the UK (-20 in South Wales on a couple of occasions).

I too use cat's litter with about 10% bark mixed in. I managed to keep my trees under cover in a gazebo with fibreglass boards around the sides, so they stayed on the dry side and out of the wind. They survived but were noticeably weaker than in previous years, although this may have something to do with the sudden shift to hot and dry weather at the end of April. They include pines, firs and maples mostly. In light of Dave's thoughts I will definitely review this mixture.

Your best solution at this point may be to focus on growing more spruce, seeing as that one really seems to be thriving. Are you able to build a winter tree shelter using a wooden frame and covered with dust sheets / tarpaulin, and mulch your pots with straw? It would at least keep the wind off your bonsai. Space might be an issue but if you don't have a garage it's an idea. Or even burying the pots into the ground during winter.

Good luck buddy

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Re: Is this normal?

Post  Loke Emil on Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:24 am

Hi Storm

I quess, as long as the small branches and twigs haven't gotten all wrinkled/dryed out completely, the tree might come back with new growth, all though this years buds seems dead.

By the way...no point in giving up on local decidious species...there are more nice trees out there for you and you have all the best years in life ahead of you. And as an encouraging thought, you are obviously good at growing spruces...which is a difficult species. So hang in. I'm sure you'll find a way to succeed with more trees Smile

BR from Loke Emil

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Re: Is this normal?

Post  Storm on Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:32 pm

Thanks guys.
So, if you think there might still be a slight hope left, could I expect to see some growth this year?
I got my hands on an oak that I found after a machine had pulled it out to make a new road. It had been lying there for a few hours, but it wasnt sunny, and all the roots hadn't dried out. I cut the trunk, took it home and planted it asap.
I havent seen anything on it untill today. I think I see a new bud midway up the trunk, and I hope it will grow out. Its the only one if so.
Should it take that long? It doesnt have any branches from before. Also, a third of the trunk bark had been scraped off. If I get it to survive, I hope to make some interesting carving with a hollow trunk in the future.

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Re: Is this normal?

Post  Henrik Stubelius on Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:23 am

I think the best for us up north is to bury the trees in their pots in the ground. However cold above ground, soil temperature rarely gets colder than a couple below freezing. Another benefit is that the soil temperature is fairly constant, no freeze/thaw cycles from one day to another. Don't be tempted to dig them out too soon, wait til the spring night frosts are over, they have killed several trees for me. When trees in pots break their dormancy they are VERY prone to frost damage. This is usually not an issue for trees in nature as their roots are fully protected and more than well established. You can never expect a potted tree to be as tough as a tree in the wild. They need some TLC Wink

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