Best Location for Japanese Maple While Away

Sital

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A question for all the maple bonsai experts. I have a Japanese maple that is just starting to show spring buds, but I'm going away for a week starting tomorrow. Would it be best to keep the maple in the garage where it's been all winter (in low light conditions) or bring it into the house for better lighting.

There are still a couple of nights while I'm away that it could go below freezing so I'm reticent to leave it outside. Assume with either location watering is not an issue. Thanks.
 

sorce

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Neither place will offer safety or light better than outdoors.

Who or what will water?

If you can get it or them to water over the freezing nights it may keep you from frosting.

Even if a freeze does kill your tips, it's a Japanese Maple, so I'd just thank Ma Natche for doing your pinching for you.

They've adapted to understand nature's curveballs, nature never puts them indoors. It's just safer outside.

FWIW....
I don't think the predicted colder weather is going to be damaging. The ground will likely be too warm to frost. The birds are singing it, the bugs are out, and things are waking up.

Perhaps a thermostat controlling a fan to turn on when below 32F would work.

Sorce
 

Gabler

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I leave all maples out on benches and allow the pots to freeze solid into ice cubes over the winter (although I don't have any trident maples, and I hear they're more sensitive). Maybe that's a bad idea, but I haven't regretted it yet over the handful of years I've done it. Even if your trees are used to warmer temperatures right now, they should be fine with a mild springtime frost. Worst case scenario, it kills the new leaves, and the tree has to push dormant buds, right?
 

bwaynef

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How far below freezing? Freezing while the buds are moving doesn't usually damage anything. It will slow their movement, but shouldn't kill buds.

I'd sit it on the ground under my bench and water it well before leaving if temps are going to be >25ºF.
 

Pitoon

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If it's leafing out now and you leave it outside unprotected and we get hit with another hard late frost you can kiss those new leaves goodbye. I would water it good and place it near a window inside that gets sunlight. If you keep it in the dark or in low light levels etiolation can take place.
 

penumbra

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As stated by others, a hard freeze will kill new leaves. A light frost, not so much. I have experienced this several times with my JM collection over the past 30 years. With a hard freeze, yes, you will loose leaves that are pushed and the plant will produce new leaves, but also in the case of a hard freeze your plant can loose the equivalent of a seasons growth. It has happened with me a few times. The plants do always survive though.

Personally, I would put the maple in a shady cool spot next to your house, heap mulch, soil, leaves or something around the base of the plant, water it thoroughly and enjoy your vacation.
Or, take the plant with you. ;)
 

PA_Penjing

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How far below freezing? Freezing while the buds are moving doesn't usually damage anything. It will slow their movement, but shouldn't kill buds.

I'd sit it on the ground under my bench and water it well before leaving if temps are going to be >25ºF.
I second this, on the ground, undercover after a heavy watering right before you leave. Expanding buds aren't bothered by light frosts . Once the leaves are out it's a different story. It's pretty bad timing if the leaves are unfurling, you could protect it by using the garage but the lack of light at such an important time will encourage larger leaves and longer internodes. Depending how much growth it pushes in that week. Maybe I just get paranoid though... Either way I wouldn't put an actively growing tree inside a house without water for a week. Very dry air, terrible light and a potential shock when it goes back outside
 

LanceMac10

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Extended forecast looks fine....DO NOT bring it into the house. As long as someone can water it once or twice, your fine.


.....don't know how long you have lived in Mass.......but realize there is one good snowstorm coming....

...any "freeze" at this point would be pretty limited to the wee hours of the morning, not long enough to damage, unless your out in the Berkshires or something..........snow will be your biggest foe moving forwards.... :)
 

leatherback

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My budding trees are all outside and have had a few freezes this week. No concerns. It is early season and trees are barely waking up. Just be carefull of frost <-3c
 

Sital

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I ended up leaving it in the garage, but moved it to in front of the window. I watered it and wrapped the pot in Saran Wrap. All was fine.
 

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