Pre-bonsai trees will not go dormant this winter

jorge.reto

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I live in Portugal and we are in the middle of the winter right now! All deciduous trees should be almost or completely leafless! At night we get around 7-10ºC which is as low as it gets where I live!
This summer (in June) I bought two new seedling from an online nursery, Acer Dehojo and Larix (Larch). As soon as they arrived I slip potted into bigger containers without messing with the roots! They did struggle a lot and almost died but now, in the middle of the winter, they are pushing new growth! The maple seems healthy and the leaves are not even starting to turn red but the larch looks really weak... Since they are both deciduous trees I am not sure if I should force them to go dormant somehow!
Does anyone have some advice on how I should handle this issue? Is it normal for a tree that was struggling in summer due to moving to a new environment, to skip the dormancy period that year?
Also, I was hoping to repot them in early spring to remove the original soil! If they skip dormancy can I still do it in early spring?
 

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Bnana

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But I do doubt whether your climate is suitable for larch, it is a species of the north and mountains. They might not understand this is winter, those are night temperatures in summer where they are from.
Of course day length is an important trigger as well, are they near a nocturnal light source? Night should be dark.
 

sorce

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I know Abraham Lincoln is right....

But.....

Capture+_2021-12-09-04-32-51.png

They'll skip it to live....even if it means dying.

Sorce
 

Rivian

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(When dealing with plants that are not fully dormant yet) Any significant disturbance of roots or cutback above ground can induce new growth, and new growth sends out hormones that prevent dormancy. Ive been dealing with this issue a little bit myself.
My number one tip is buy plants that are appropriate for your climate zone
 

jorge.reto

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December and January are the coldest months here
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I assumed this is winter for plants and my other deciduous are already leafless (bougainvillea, prunus and zelkova)
 

Cofga

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I have a slippery elm that I air layered this summer. I kept the root and let it resprout. Well it now is a nice clump of shoots with the leaves still on it. We’ve had a number of nights well below freezing down as low s 25 F but the leaves have remained nice and green. The leaves on the part that I layered has turned and the leaves are dropping but have no idea why clumpit won’t drop it’s leave. So I guess I’ll just leave it out until they freeze solid and drop off. It’s gotta happen about mid-January or February. You never know what might happen when you mess with their normal deveelopment.
 

penumbra

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I am experiencing this with Parrottia that were air-layered late. I'm not concerned. They look healthy and eventually they will go to sleep. Japanese maples is another thing. Most of mine had late growth spurts but were put on hold when new growth froze. The look fine though, it just took a long time to lose their leaves.
 

Shibui

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Agree that you may struggle to maintain larch in a warmer climate. It is little cooler here and only Japanese larch survives and even it is marginal.
JM also appreciate a real winter. The will sometimes survive in warmer areas but never really seem to thrive. Autumn color is one of the biggest drawcards for JM and they are unlikely to give a good show unless you get cold nights.
Maples can be triggered to grow late and leaves sometimes last all winter. The tree should sort out the seasons next year if it can cope with the warmer climate.

Definitely look at species suitable for the local climate.
 

Gustavo Martins

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Winter has not began. Trees in Lisbon are only now starting to change into their fall colour. See the trees around you. Leave the trees be and don’t worry. I don’t know about the larch though. I have no experience with these.
 

Potawatomi13

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You are NOT in the middle of winter - you are in the first WEEK of winter...
Winter does not start until 21 December.🧐 Trees will or not go dormant when they feel the need. Much better than having to not wake up in Spring.
 

leatherback

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Worst case scenario is that your trees do not fully drop their leaves and in spring start off with old leaves, which it will probably drop as soon as now growth starts. I would not worry about it too much. One of my japanese maples is holding on to the last leaves still, after several weeks with night time frost spikes. You are at the most southern part of the range where you will have to figure out how to keep the species happy. I would put them at the coldest part of the garden, out of the sun and let them be. See how they grow next year.
 

RJG2

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I assumed this is winter for plants and my other deciduous are already leafless (bougainvillea, prunus and zelkova)
I hope you're not leaving the bougainvillea outside. They are tropical, and deciduous only in areas with long dry seasons - not due to cold.
 

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