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Thread: young dormant tree

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    Your one and only pest! Ant's Avatar
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    young dormant tree

    I have a young tree I am trying to turn into a bonsai. How long should I wait until I wake it up? i am think in early March or late February.

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    If its an indoor tropical tree, like a Ficus or a serissa, it never goes dormant and stays indoors all winter..

    if its a native Massachusetts tree, like a maple or a pine, it should be outdoors 24/7/365, and will come out of dormancy naturally in the spring with all the other trees.

    so..what kind of tree is it?
    and where is it now?

    Scot

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    Your one and only pest! Ant's Avatar
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    Its a native tree, and is just a maple, I have not put it outside because its pot does not drain and it would die if I left it to nature. Basically I trying to grow it as a window plant and so far it is doing fine because I found it under my porch in the shade and my dad would have killed it.

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Ant..
    sorry..but you have probably killed the tree by keeping it indoors all winter..

    Bonsai made from native trees MUST be outdoors all winter..
    they need to go dormant in the winter just like any "normal" tree outdoors..
    they ARE "normal trees outdoors"!
    their seasonal needs dont change just because they are put in a pot..

    Bonsai must be grown and kept outdoors 24/7/365..they should never be brought indoors...ever..

    it might survive..but the odds are slim.
    it will probably run out of steam and die in the spring because it hasnt had a winter rest..

    sorry..but you totally did the wrong thing by bringing it indoors..

    if you are worried about drainage, many people take their bonsai out of their pots for the winter and bury the root ball in the ground, then heavily mulch...then re-pot in the spring.

    this is the exact same thing as trying to grow VFTs and Sarracenia indoors on windowsills all winter..
    Maple trees and VFTs *must* have a winter dormancy..its not an option, its a necessity.

    Bonsai have always been grown outdoors! for centuries!
    its how its done..

    the only exception are "tropical" or" indoor bonsai"..made from tropical plants like Ficus trees..
    but all Bonsai from native trees are always kept outdoors every day of the year..even, (and especially) in the winter..

    Scot

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    Your one and only pest! Ant's Avatar
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    It DID have a winter rest, or it wouldn't be dormant, right now it is in a fridge with small green buds on the tip of every branch. I am basically keeping it with my sars. I know that native trees, like sars, need to go dormant. Also this tree had a problem with winter moths last year and I didn't want it exposed to them this year like it would outside.

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ant View Post
    It DID have a winter rest, or it wouldn't be dormant, right now it is in a fridge with small green buds on the tip of every branch.
    oh!
    well you didnt say that!
    you said you were keeping it on the windowsill..

    keeping bonsai in the fridge is a bit odd..but it could work I suppose..
    its totally unnecessary of course..but it could work.
    its a lot easier to just keep them outdoors where they belong!

    Bonsai, unlike VFTs and Sarrs, can handle our northern winters just fine..they are fully adapted to it! so there is really no good reason to keep a bonsai in the fridge..

    next winter, just keep it outdoors!
    trust me..its the way everyone grows their bonsai..
    the Chinese and Japanese have it been doing it that way for a few thousand years now..
    never had any problems..

    just bury the root ball (without the pot) in the ground..build a wind break if necessary,
    and it will do fine..20 below zero wont even phase it..
    wind is the real enemy in the winter, not cold..
    wind can dessicate branch tips (dry them out) and kill some buds.

    but as long as its protected from direct wind, in good, normal soil, (not waterlogged) it will be fine.

    most people just pile snow on their trees all winter..insulates the roots and keeps moisture in the ground for the warm spells..bonsai almost never need to be watered all winter, if you have enough snow on the ground..

    Scot

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