Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
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Charlotte area, North Carolina
It's been hot here. Surprising for Southern California (or at least the Southern California before global warming), but every day in the high 80's with direct blazing sun. Inside my house it was 85 or higher until after 7:00 PM. This is the "cool" weather that exists when there is low pressure over the desert. The next time a high pressure ridge moves in we are gonna get fried - highs over 100 easily.

My poor trees...
Six of one, half a donzen of another....

We're slipping into the mid to low 20's (Celcius); the poplar west of me is beginning to turn yellow already, my tomatos are done. People keep reminding me the snow is coming. I love the change of seasons but am sad at the idea I won't be able to garden outside through our long, nails-down-the-chalkboard winters...still there's hope.

The grow lights I got should keep me green, if not just a lifeline until the spring thaw in April/May. I dont' wanna put my trees away yet! *stomp* ;)

I'll trade you! :D
In Michigan, we just got through a few weeks of 90 degree weather, now that's hot.

Here on the Gulf Coast of Florida, just North of Tampa about 45 miles, we have 90+ weather from May to October..... as I get older every summer seems so much hotter than the previous one. sigh.
Change of season? what is that? I didn't come here volutarily and I hope to get out of here before I die.............
..... as I get older every summer seems so much hotter than the previous one. sigh.

I am happy to hear the above from others, I thought that I am the only one feeling this way.

No wonder that the older generations complain more about global warming down here.:) Of course, the opposite is true in the far north, when the winters get ever colder, as we get older.

I keep visiting Northern California, and dream about the day when I can move up there to enjoy the cool, misty summers and autumn colors. The grass is always greener....., isn't it?
Ah, don't worry about global warming, it will be balanced out by a nuclear winter anyhow. ;)

It's been hot here. Surprising for Southern California (or at least the Southern California before global warming), but every day in the high 80's with direct blazing sun. Inside my house it was 85 or higher until after 7:00 PM. This is the "cool" weather that exists when there is low pressure over the desert. The next time a high pressure ridge moves in we are gonna get fried - highs over 100 easily.

My poor trees...

I thought of your post while watching the morning weather show this morning. We (California) will be cooking until the weekend thanks to the dreaded high pressure area building up over Arizona and California. Even though I'm in Northern Cal. (Sacramento) it's supposed to be 100 or more until Sunday. When it's this hot, I have a hard time not burning the leaves of some sensitive plants just from watering. Whoo hoo, just love these heat waves (she says wiping the sweat from her brow).
Mary B.
Yesterday my truck thermometer said 105 at 5:30 pm, today is supposed to be hotter, but the week mid to high 60's for most of the week with some rain!!!!!! What the heck is that all about??? It did this about a month ago, super hot for a few days then 70 for a few weeks.... crazy!

When it's this hot, I have a hard time not burning the leaves of some sensitive plants just from watering.
Mary B.

What do you mean by burning the leaves by watering?

Jason 105 in your area must be horrid with the humidity. I remember growing up in Hillsboro and when it hit 100 it was like a sauna. Over here at my place it was 110 today but the humidity is pretty low like in the 20'-30's so its a dry heat and doesn't feel too bad in the shade, feels much hotter where you are I'm sure.
I guess that was a rather generalized statement. To clarify.... when it gets that hot, and I water too late in the morning (overhead watering from a hose), the leaves of some plants are burnt, especially if they are in the sun at the time of watering. It's broad leafed plants like a couple quince, a crabapple, ect. The tips on some of my J. maples start to crispify also, even without water on the leaves.
I know you're probably thinking I should make it a point to get out and water earlier in the morning to prevent it. I work evenings and sometimes can't help sleeping in when you usually don't get to bed until 1 or 2 A.M. Most of my plants can handle it. The few that don't, I have for thier spring show anyway and I'm O.K. with them looking a bit ragged by summers end.
Mary B.
Watering your trees in the hot of the day will not cause the leafs to burn. Many people believe that the water droplets cause a magnifying effect and the leaves burn, but it just isnt true. Try watering your lawn in the mid day and it wont burn, try watering your trees in mid day and they wont burn. Your trees will actually like getting their leaves wet during the hot sun to help aide in moisture take up and reduce the loss of moisture.

The reason that your maple leaves are getting crispy is that the moisture in the leaves is evaporating quicker than the tree can supply it from the roots. So either provide it some more shade or keep it out of drying winds. I have also found that applying shredded moss to the surface of the pot helps keep the medium more moist longer.
Well, I disagree. I've included some pictures to prove my point.
The first picture is of trident maple seedlings next to my pond. They never get overhead watered. In fact they are watered every 2-3 days when I top off my pond and I'm careful to only apply water down low at thier base.
The second picture is of trident seedlings only 12 feet away but watered overhead daily due to a couple potted plants near them. I noticed some major crisping once it got hot and I had to water late in the morning a couple times during our last heat wave.
I believe some plants will burn more easily than others. I have 3 potted crabapples (different varieties) and only 1 burns every year. They are next to each other on the same shelf.
Mary B.


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M.B., this is a myth, plain and simple...been discussed ad nauseum here and elsewhere. The laws of optical physics would not allow for it...has something to do with the the light focusing ability of a drop of water not being strong enough to focus the light energy on the leaf surface, or anything else for that matter. Think about it, wouldn't the drop of water absorb the heat it was creating on the surface of the leaf and evaporate before causing a burn. That's why we sweat, to dissipate heat. I don't generally get the heat you do, but we've had plenty of hot weather this summer. When temps are in the mid 90's, I'll water around midday for a week or more, and I'll spray the leaves as well without any 'burning', as you put it. The leaves on those tridents look a bit wind burned. You might also have a root/soil issue, as that will affect and plants ability to transpire during the heat of the day.

Dave, I'm confused. I don't think it's the reflective properties of water on the leaf. I've wondered if it might have something to do with the heat intensity over a period of time. Then douse the hot leaves with cool water and constrict the cells or pores so they can't transpire temporarily during the worst of the heat. I don't know, just throwing a dumb unproven theory out there. It just doesn't make sense to me that the seedlings that are overhead watered burn, and those that aren't, don't burn.
I can't agree with wind burn either. The ones that burn the most are fairly sheltered by a deck and the house. There are seedlings that are also nearby that are taller than a 6 foot wooden fence. Logic says the leaves of the plants above the fence, unsheltered from the wind from all sides, would burn more than the ones by the house. But they don't. They do have a few burnt leaves. Where? Down low where I splash water cleaning the turtle's water dish daily and sprinkling around to keep the humidity up for the turtles. The burn is not as bad as the plants by the house, but there is some.
A soil/ root problem? Possible I guess, but my soil is fairly consistent throughout the yard. Particularly compacted by the pond. So why aren't those seedlings burned? The only difference I can figure is overhead water.
To me, the low to mid 90's are just average summer temps, not a heat wave. The leaves burn when the temps hit over 100. This happens several times over the summer months for several days in a row. We've had 4 days straight of over 100. Our natural air conditioning (delta breezes) kicked in tonight. YAY!
Mary B.
Again, I can say with confidence that the water drops themselves aren't focusing light energy effectively enough to create a 'burn'. After that it's a guessing game I suppose. I assume a lot of maples in your neck of the woods get wind/sunburned by this time of year, with the characteristic browning to the edges of the leaves. The more established a given tree is, whether it is in a pot or planted in the ground, the less it will be effected, as its ability to transpire effectively at higher temps will be greater. Off the top of my head, things that affect transpiration include root mass/health along with soil water content, the overall health of the tree, ambient heat and humidity, exposure to direct sun and wind...I'm sure there are many more. Some of these things may have a role in the browning of those leaves. It might not even be just related to the heat, meaning insects, fungus or viruses maybe playing a role, as well (don't worry, I'm just playing devils advocate now, though it is something to consider). Anyway, when I see leaves like that, the first thing I think of is wind/sun burn which can be exacerbated by root zone issues. Maybe some of the folks living in your neck of the woods and south of you with experience growing maples/tridents might be able to chime in with their experiences. Good luck with the heat,


I just reread your post. You say the trees most affected are near your house. I thought of two things to consider. Wind may actually be periodically(depending on the prevailing direction of the wind) more intense in the area immediately around the house then further away from the structure. Secondly, your house/deck may actually be reflecting heat onto those trees, particularly if they are on the south/west side of the house.
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A westward facing wall of the house could explain why the seedlings by the house are more burnt. I have thought about reflective heat casuing it, but why would the leaves burn down low where I water in the turtle area. I call this area my trident forest because there are so many seedlings. There are few burnt leaves in this area. There is a slight visual line from about my waistline down of burnt leaves. Why are they only where the water hits?
Mary B.
Here in Vegas I am not sure if claims of "hot weather" hold much water. ;-) However we have had far fewer days over 115 this summer. Trees are fine. Midday watering and all! ;-)

I swear it is the pond baskets that have allowed for frequent enough waterings to keep them alive.

PS: radiant heat is a killer
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heheh...Fortunately or not, I grew up spending time watering bedding plants at my grandmother's greenhouse business...and true or not, I can tell you that the sharp tongue of a matron proved to me that if I watered the plants from the top, they'd burn and I wouldn't get paid. :D My pocketbook taught me otherwise.

Just to keep you guys southside sayin your gratitude moments, we had a frost up here in the low areas two nights ago. I'm starting to bring in my tropicals and this week-end will be the great ficus leaf loosing festival. Banyan beware. Canadian with snippers cometh. And there's some potential in my front garden as well...bringing in some mexican heather (?) with great potential, little leaves and awesome little flowers.

UGH. Anyone from California/Florida interested in a 38 year old foster child???? :D
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