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How To Properly Winter a Native Bonsai Tree

Detailed advise on the proper way to winter a bonsai tree.

bonsai trees, bonsai plants, bonsai, bonsai care

Many people do not realize that most bonsai plants are outdoor plants. To properly cultivate and maintain most bonsai trees they should not be kept inside but should be outside year round.
There are a group of what are called indoor bonsai trees. These are from warmer climates and are usually non-traditional species such as palm trees. Because they are from a warmer climate they do need to be kept indoors in most locales.
However if you are keeping traditional native bonsai trees in the US then chances are that tree needs to be outside. Most people do not realize how important it is for these trees to be wintered outside in a natural climate. For your tree to have a healthy and natural growing cycle it is critical for it to have this period of winter dormancy.
To give your plant this necessary period you will need to winter it someplace outside. The best way to accomplish this is to remove the tree from it’s container and plant it in your yard.
In most native trees the roots are the part of the tree that is most sensitive to the cold. Most plants will start experiencing root damage at about 23 degrees Fahrenheit. To help avoid root damage you will need to take the plant out of its container and then bury it in the yard or garden.
If you bury the plant so that the bottom branches are just barely exposed this should help keep the roots below the frost line. You should bury it in a shaded area. During the winter days the sun can cause the plant to lose it’s water and the frozen roots will not be able to replenish it.
If you do not have a yard to plant the tree in for the winter you can use a large container. A large container about the size of a vegetable crate should be sufficient.
You bury the plant in the container just like you would in the yard. And set it somewhere outside where will be exposed to natural elements. If you use a container it is very important that you monitor the soil moisture closely and do not allow it to dry out.
You can also winter your tree in an attic or garage as long as it is not heated and has windows. Be sure to place the plant where it is exposed to the light from the windows. You will still need to water the plant almost daily if you choose this method. If you plant is a conifer you will want to rotate it about once a week to so that all sides of the plant will be exposed to the sunlight.
You can prepare your tree for it’s winter storage as soon as the last leaves have fallen off. At that time the plant is dormant and ready to be moved.
In the spring you can remove it from the yard and place it back in a container as soon as you see the first buds appear. If you allow your plant to winter indoors they will bud early. When they bud early the days will still be too short for proper growth and the leaves will have long gaps between them.


How To Bonsai - Critical Bonsai Care Tips

Bonsai Care

Well, you have got the watering and feeding of the Bonsai down. Think you're home free. Not a chance. There are still things you need to do successfully to realize the full beauty of these little Japanese wonders. Since the care of the root system is essential to the survival of the trees you need to know the how and when of re-potting your bonsai. This is one of the many steps to proper Bonsai Care.

The importance of Re-potting

The young bonsai trees gro...

how to bonsai,bonsai tree,bonsai plant,bonsai garden

Bonsai Care

Well, you have got the watering and feeding of the Bonsai down. Think you're home free. Not a chance. There are still things you need to do successfully to realize the full beauty of these little Japanese wonders. Since the care of the root system is essential to the survival of the trees you need to know the how and when of re-potting your bonsai. This is one of the many steps to proper Bonsai Care.

The importance of Re-potting

The young bonsai trees grow quicker and need to be repotted about once a year. The older trees not so often and eventually get to a point where repotting every 5 years is sufficient. Repotting should be done in the late winter or early spring. This is when the buds begin to swell. First, you should prune your bonsai. Take away any unwanted or long branches. If your bonsai is kept outside it should be placed undercover for a few weeks before repotting. This will help dry the soil. You need to carefully remove the tree from its original pot. Check the root carefully. If they are bound then it is definitely time to transfer it to another pot. If the roots still have some space to grow (a few inches is sufficient) then it does not need repotting.

Remember, repotting at the correct time is essential for Bonsai Care. Place it back into its original pot. Now the fun parts. You don’t simply stick the tree straight into a larger pot. Your tree has to be almost groomed before it moves into its new home. First, the original surface soil must be removed from the roots of the tree. This can be done by hand or by using a nylon scrubbing brush. Be careful not to damage the root system while doing this. This is a sure fire way to kill your tree and make all of your previous Bonsai Care skills worthless.

Preparing the roots

Once you have completed this task you need to use a small paint brush to remove any dirt that is stuck in the roots. Soil tends to collect around the roots and using a paint brush will help insure that you do not do any root damage. This process helps the trees look and feel healthier. The next steps require a Bonsai comb. The roots need to be combed out and due to the delicate nature of the trees it is doubtful that the use of a human comb would be advisable. You need to comb from the underneath and using scissors prune away up to 1 third of the roots. Once you have done this you need to cut small wedges out, around the base of the roots. Sounds radical, but this allows for fresh soils to collect and will keep your tree healthy.

Well if you haven’t run away by now you probably won’t, time for the last bit of Bonsai Care. Now that your tree is happily groomed it is time to prepare the pot. You should put a layer of grit on the bottom of the pot and then what ever compost you have chosen to use. Now that its pot has been prepared, our little friend needs to be positioned. Once you have him sorted out begin putting in the soil. You have most likely figured this out by now but place the soil in gently. Why? You guessed it, to avoid root damage. Hopefully the information that you have learned hasn’t sent you running and your Bonsai trees to the compost heap. There is a lot to learn and a lot to do correctly to insure your tree makes it to adult hood. It maybe easier just to have kids. Bonsai Care is an art and it has been said that the care and maintenance of these trees is an art form in and of itself. However, the rewards can be grand. The trees are beautiful when cultivated properly and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have mastered the art of Bonsai Care.


How to remove tree stump.

Last spring I was in for a treat. Little did I know, I was about to get one of the greatest physical challenges of my life. No, I wasn't entering an "iron man" competition or joining the army. It was something right in my own front yard. On her way out the door one sunny morning, my wife looked over at me and said, "Would you dig-up that tree today and just remove it. The thing must be dead." I stared out the window at the good sized tree. Oh, it was dead. But, weak it wasn't. It was going to take some brawn and endurance to get that baby out of the ground. I needed to know how to remove tree stump roots and all. No worries. I knew I could get the job done before she returned from work.

You may be wondering how to remove tree stump. Well, this is how I went about it. The first thing I did was give the old hunk of wood a once-over. It was about 7 inches in diameter. Not too awful large, but pretty hefty. Now it was time for a few tools. I knew I was going to need an axe, a strong digging spade and an all-purpose pry-bar. No problem. I had them all and was ready to go. I started by chopping the tree down at the base. It didn't really have much on it as far as branches and leaves went at this point. Once this task was complete, it was time to think about how to remove tree stump. I grabbed the garden hose and saturated all the dirt surrounding the tree, two feet around the base. I proceeded to dig a good sized mote around the tree stump. This allowed me to see how deep it went and how large the roots were. WOW, was it going to be a pain cutting through those roots. Nevertheless, I began to do so with the digging spade and my sharp pry-bar. Every once in a while I would stop cutting and start prying up the stump with the six foot pry-bar. An hour had passed. I was determined to get this stump out at any cost. Finally it happened, and man was it heavy. I lugged that sucker out of the hole and tossed it to the curb with the garbage. It was a synch to refill the hole with the extra dirt and smooth it out.

That is how to remove tree stump or dead trees. Or at least it worked well for me. It only took a few basic tools and plenty of energy. If the tree has already been cut down, you shouldn't even need the axe. It's certainly a satisfying experience once you're finished, but plan on being exhausted.


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