Impatient trees...Repotting time?

daveskib

Sapling
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Location
Bear, Delaware
USDA Zone
7
My Jap maple, dawn redwood, trident maple, flowering cherry and Crabapple are pushing buds that are about to burst. In fact the trident has leaves starting to come out and the cherry has some flowers about to burst. Can i safely repot these now? Temps are in the mid to upper 40s during the day and low thirties at night. If it helps i overwintered them in a garage during the winter.(unheated with no light with temps averaging in the high 30s to low 40s)

Sincerely,
Daveskib
 

jjbacoomba

Mame
Messages
112
Reaction score
0
Location
San Antonio, Texas
USDA Zone
8b
Hi Dave. I just did my Trident about 2 weeks ago. There were buds and 2 leaves just starting to come out. I think the more experienced people here will add to this, but I was told to repot before it started to leave. I think I did it just in time. All the buds sprouted very nice leaves and my trident looks very healthy.I too kept mine in the garage when I knew the temps would be in the lower 30's. Our winter was very cold this year.Good luck!! Joe
 

irene_b

Omono
Messages
1,415
Reaction score
2
My Jap maple, dawn redwood, trident maple, flowering cherry and Crabapple are pushing buds that are about to burst. In fact the trident has leaves starting to come out and the cherry has some flowers about to burst. Can i safely repot these now? Temps are in the mid to upper 40s during the day and low thirties at night. If it helps i overwintered them in a garage during the winter.(unheated with no light with temps averaging in the high 30s to low 40s)

Sincerely,
Daveskib
When is the last freeze expected for your zone?
Irene
 

daveskib

Sapling
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Location
Bear, Delaware
USDA Zone
7
I know the last frost day around here is Mothers day..May 8..i don't know if thats the same as last expected freeze day..

Thanks
Daveskib
 

BoneSci

Sapling
Messages
43
Reaction score
1
Location
North Eastern PA
USDA Zone
6
Based on my minimal experience I would repot them now. I have the same issue every year. I'm in zone 6, which has a last freeze day of mid-May. I bury my bonsai in the garden and mulch them over for the winter. When I dig them out in the spring they usually are budding out. I always have re-potted them then (which is late from what I have read), even though they could freeze sometimes if we get a cold spell. If freezing temps are coming, I think it'd be OK to bring them back into that unheated garage for that time. This year the buds on my landscape beeches are starting to swell and my bonsai are still covered in snow so it may be even later than usual.

I'd be interested in seeing other's responses though, as I am a bonsai novice...
Chris
 
Last edited:

irene_b

Omono
Messages
1,415
Reaction score
2
I know the last frost day around here is Mothers day..May 8..i don't know if thats the same as last expected freeze day..

Thanks
Daveskib
Yes with the understanding that if you get a frost/freeze they have to be protected...The tridents need to wait till the leaves have hardened off.
Irene
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,682
Reaction score
12,357
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
I posted the following in another post on spring/repotting:

Below freezing is NOT OK for leafed out deciduous trees--even if sheltered from the wind.

This is the most dangerous time of year for deciduous bonsai. Trees that have begun to push new leaves HAVE LOST ALL THEIR ABILITY TO WITHSTAND FREEZING TEMPERATURES. Once leaf edges are visible on buds, deciduous trees have exited dormancy and lose their winter hardness.

That means if temperatures around the roots drop below freezing, roots will be killed--which can result in the loss of the tree, as it will have expended most of its stored energy pushing new growth... The smaller the pot, the greater the danger to the tree in it. Smaller pots have less soil volume and freeze more quickly than larger ones.

Freezing temperatures around new leaves will freeze tender new cells completely, turning newly emerged leaves to black mush.

The best thing to do now --in areas that haven't seen their last frost date pass--is to be VERY vigilant about nighttime temperatures. A rule of thumb--if the temp is forecast to drop to 35-38--bring the plant inside the house for the night--even if you have 30 trees. Find a temporary place for them.

Also think about when you put them back outside (hopefully it won't be more than a couple of days). Placing trees back out in the morning before the sun has had a chance to warm things up, could expose them to freezing also...
 

sfhellwig

Mame
Messages
192
Reaction score
1
Location
Pittsburg, KS
USDA Zone
6a
I knew this first winter was going to be a real eye opener. Keeping them sheltered through the winter wasn't a terrible ordeal. I made it through without a lot of die back. But now I have to have a safe place above freezing for two months:(. I know it's part of the game, and some years are worse than others. At least we have a week of decent lows for me to think about it. There is no way these are coming in the house. Going to have to look into some supplemental heat for the garage to get me through.
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,682
Reaction score
12,357
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
You're finding out the downside of perhaps too much protection--early growth that requires additional (and more demanding) protection.

The trick to successful overwintering is to provide an environment that is cold enough for long enough--This environment should not only protect trees from the coldest of winter temps, but the ever present risk of warm periods during the winter, or the wild jumps from warm to cold that are common in March and April.

Winter is not over here in Va. Zone 7. March and April can bring more snow and hard freezes.
 

sfhellwig

Mame
Messages
192
Reaction score
1
Location
Pittsburg, KS
USDA Zone
6a
Right, and for my first winter I think I did OK, but next year will require a much different plan. I originally wanted to do cold frames for absolute winter protection but did not like the idea of daily venting needs to keep from waking the plants in early spring. I ended up with a wind break/glass pane lean-to that gave me wind protection but still allowed air exchange and some precipitation for water. The only thing that could have helped me is if it was in the shade (duely noted). Otherwise the maples were going to wake up any which way about it. The daffodils are almost blooming, maples are breaking bud and I have heard of one forsythia popping already. I don't think I would be able to influence them too much.
 

sfhellwig

Mame
Messages
192
Reaction score
1
Location
Pittsburg, KS
USDA Zone
6a
Took another look around at Lunch. And just to clarify, when I say the maples are waking up I mean the buds started to swell very quickly in the last few days. And I am mostly looking at Silver maples (grown for experimentation only). The JM are only now starting to swell and the only maple that is actually opening is an Amur maple, which I suspect is due to it's extreme cold tolerance. I don't think that any of MY trees are premature compared to what everything else in the neighborhood is doing.
 
Top Bottom