This page has specific reference material separated by the time of the growing season.

More educational material will be coming soon!

.

SPRING

.It’s That Time of The Year Again… for Spring Bonsai Work in Upstate NY

Spring has finally arrived! Maples and flowering trees are starting to leaf out and bloom. By now, all your outdoor, winter-hardy bonsai should be outside in the full sun. If they are showing small leaves already then it’s a good sign that they made it through the winter in good condition. But, it’s too early to be sure.  Winter damage does not always show up until the really hot weather arrives in June. Be sure to protect bonsai that are in full leaf from sudden cold. The key temperature I look for is 25° F but 30° F is safer. If the temperature threatens to drop below what you feel comfortable with, then move your bonsai indoors for the night, then move them back out the next morning. It’s a big job, but it’s worth it to save the bonsai.

Members have lost some trees when fooled by the weather (and the weathermen)into leaving them out when they should have come in. At this time of year, it is best to just reconcile yourself to a lot of running in and out with trees. By now, my watering is a daily task, usually about 3-4 PM. Flowering bonsai require more water than conifers. Bonsai that have been recently transplanted will not require too much water, but do need extra protection from wind and for the first few days, from too much sun. Misting helps newly transplanted bonsai. If deciduous species have not leafed out by the time you transplant, you can put them directly in the full sun, but watch out for wind. Start thinking about fertilizing, but just think for now. The next three to four weeks are the most active and fun for bonsai enthusiast. Ninety percent of my transplanting and new bonsai creations are done now, so I have to go, because, It’s that time of the year… W.N.V.

.

SUMMER

.It’s That Time of The Year Again… for Summer Bonsai Work in Upstate NY

When the heat of the summer comes along, your bonsai tree will stop producing new leaves, telling itself that this is the right number – my root system can get through the summer supporting the leaves that I have, and no more. Eight things are important right now:

1.  Water. The old Japanese adage is to water your bonsai tree three time; Once for the pot, once for the soil, and once for the tree. By going back and forth over your collection three times, it allows the water to soak into the soil and the pot and leave water for the tree to soak into the soil
and the pot and leaves water for the tree to take in.
2.  Watering your bonsai tree is a tricky thing to get a handle on, even in the best conditions. When it’s 90+ degrees out, it’s a whole different matter. During the summer, bonsai trees are in maximum capacity mode.
3.  Your bonsai trees life or death depends on watering this time of year. A day or two of neglect and the soil, and the important little root ends at the bottom of the pot will die. Those are the roots that bring water into the roots system and up to the leaves.
4.  Avoid the temptation to water your bonsai tree just to “cool it down.” Wet foliage can increase the sun’s rays – each drop acting like a little magnifying glass that ultimately does more damage than good. Besides, the water belongs in the soil, not on the leaves.
5.  Fertilize! The abundance of watering you are doing now, combined with the inherent nature of porous bonsai soil means that nutrients stay around for a very short amount of time. They literally go down the drain. You should not skip fertilizing this time of year.
6.  Soil. Where did it go? With watering, some of it splashes out, some of it drains down the drainage holes and some of it is eaten by the root system. But that’s for another article… If you look at your soil level, it’s probably well below the rim of your bonsai pot. It’s smart to add soil to keep the world your bonsai tree lives in as big as it can be – or at least as big as its pot. Generally, it is best if the new soil can be placed at the bottom of the pot, not just added to fill the top of the pot to the brim.
7.  A bonsai tree plant that is classified as “full sun,” is not the same things as planting that tree in the ground and letting it grow to its full size. Full sun does not mean blazing, all afternoon, direct July sun. Every bonsai tree appreciates some afternoon shade. The pot itself in the afternoon sun can rise to temperatures that will cook its roots like linguini.
8.  Watch where you point that thing. The water in a hose laying in the sun can reach temperatures of scalding levels. One blast of hot water to your bonsai tree, whether on the foliage or into the soil could kill it. Turn on the hose and give a nearby ant pile a good dose of boiling water for a few moments before you water your bonsai tree.

Article Source: https://www.bonsaioutlet.com/bonsai-tips-for-summer-care/

.

FALL

.It’s That Time of The Year Again… for Dormant Season Preparation in Upstate NY

All your indoor species should be protected in the home by October. Do not be surprised if some of the leaves turn yellow and drop, it is natural to lose some foliage due to the reduced light. Plants tend to dry out a lot quicker indoors than they did outside for a while, then they will adapt to the dry conditions indoors.

It is much too early to put your hardy outdoor specimens away for the winter at that time. Wait until we have had a few good hard frosts, at least the end of November or early December. While you are waiting, now is the time to remove all the old needles on pines. Do not put them away for winter with old dead needles because they might harbor pests or diseases. Also, removing the old needles will provide good sun and air to the inner sections of the tree that will stimulate new buds from the old wood. After you remove the old dead needles, remove some of the new needles leaving a few clusters around the tips of each bud. New buds will grow more vigorously if you remove these needles.

If the moss is lush, green and thick around your bonsai, you might want to remove some of it before winter to allow better air circulation to the roots and to prevent fungus from growing in the thick moss. Enjoy your bonsai during their bright autumnal color -fest. Remember, it will not last long because it’s that time of year again…. W.N.V.

.

WINTER

.

It’s That Time of The Year Again… for Winter Bonsai Storage in Upstate NY

If you have not put your bonsai away for the winter December, you should have. The freezing weather has arrived and will brought the snow as usual. Winter winds can be very hard on some varieties of trees. Bonsai will need watering from time to time when they are not frozen, even though they are dormant. Be sure to water until water runs through the drainage holes. Clean snow is also good for a light watering during winter. It might be a good idea to spray again with a contact fungicide such as Captan.

This is a good time to begin studying tree silhouettes around town and in your own garden (exercise caution when driving). Note that the overall silhouette is different for each species. East Avenue is an excellent place to study large mature Beech, Weeping Beech and Ginkgo. Highland Park and Mt. Hope Cemetery are also good locations for large Japanese Maples and Paperbark Maples. A warmer winter project is to study books and magazines. Work schedules often prohibit studying during the active growing season. Keep warm and study bonsai styles in nature and in books and tapes, because… It’s that time of the year again! W.N.V.

Click below for additional PDF sheets which can help guide your winter tree storage plans: