Tident M. in SoCal

alonsou

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yayy!! 1st post, :D

I have this TM (first I ever own) that I got from a nursery about 2-3 weeks ago. At that time it started to show off some leaves with some red coloring areas, now almost all the leaves are red colored, and its been dropping several of them, (I guess its natural process/cycle right?) I will think its getting dormant perhaps?.. My question is:

Do I have to do/Can I do anything to it?.. Prunning, Shaping, styling?...

Its about 12-15" tall, trunk about 1-1.5" dia. and seems like its never been wired/styled before, theres a lot of long branches just sticking out of everywhere, needs a good ramification..

Is it safe to do any work on it once its done dropping leaves or just wait until spring and work on it?

Thanks in advance


 
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Bonsai Nut

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It will drop all its leaves in the Fall, even down here in Southern California. However, it will start to bud in February/March (depending on the weather). You will want to protect it from the sun in the Summer, or else it will get leaf burn or lose its leaves entirely. I have found they need at least 50% shade cloth.

Best time to prune is in the Spring when the buds are starting to swell. You can do some minor trimming in the Winter when the tree is dormant, but don't do too much.
 

Si Nguyen

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I second what BonsaiNut said, especially the part about summer shading. In the OC area, it is also good to keep maples in a completely shaded spot in the winter too. By keeping the pot out of direct sunlight in the winter, the tree can stay cooler and go dormant a bit easier. I usually try to keep my deciduous trees on the shady side of the house from November to March. Disclaimer: this is actually against conventional wisdom. Most people and books will say that one should expose trees to more sunlight in the fall and winter. I have tried this for years, but I have found that the opposite is better for our warm climate. In southern California, the maples leaf out too early, so the leaves get exhausted and burned easily by July or August when it is too hot. This is one of the many reasons why maples seem to get scorched too easily in our area.
Good luck!
Si
 

rockm

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Si,

I've not heard the advice about putting trees in sunlight in fall and winter. I've heard and read the exact opposite--keep them out of full sun--especially in winter. Here in the colder regions, it's understood that placing trees (even landscape trees) in areas where they get full sun on their trunks in wintertime can cause "Southwest disease" which basically is a freeze/thaw cycle that can actually damage or kill a tree's trunk on the SW side. The sun thaws tissues on that side as it is exposed to the most direct rays in winter. When the sun goes down, the thawed tissues freeze immediately, resulting in ruptured cells, which results in dieback in siginificant areas.

Most importantly, however, is the exit from dormancy, unlike the onset, is triggered by soil temperature. Direct sun on soil will trigger earlier "springtime" growth, however that growth can be pushed as early as late Jan. or early Feb, if the soil gets too warm in winter storage. That's a very bad thing.

I keep store all my trees in complete shade for the winter. I try to shade areas that get some sun. This is to keep them dormant for as long as possible.
 

Si Nguyen

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Hi Rockm, well, I read about placing trees in more sun in the fall and winter all the time. In fact, in our local club newsletter Kofu Kai, a very experienced bonsai teacher/author had just recommended it. Just Google KofuKai Newsletters November 2010 and see what I mean. I can find you a few more sources that say this same thing.

Now maybe in your area people have been taught the opposite. But from what I have read, what people do sounds more like frost protection than trying to reduce the temperature even further for more dormancy. Your zone has got plenty of cold days for the D. trees to go into dormancy nicely. I don't think you would need to do anything extra. I know a few people in the Virginia/DC area, and they don't do any of that moving trees around. Mostly they just mulch their trees in full sun. They move their trees into the garage only for a major freeze. For us here in Southern California, the sun's heat and radiation is still too much in the winter time to induce dormancy in these foreign trees. In fact, sometimes it is even warmer in the coastal region in the winter because of the lack of a marine fog layer. People have to pay attention to their own micro climate. For example, for the mountain region in southern California, I would not recommend moving the trees into more shade in the winter. because that would be a big waste of time.
 

sfhellwig

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What Rockm is addressing is two different phenomena. You can address the two separately but the way he is suggesting addresses both at once. We generally want to store our trees in the shade to avoid warm early start in the Spring. The other issue I have been taught as sun scald and can happen to any tree, especially younger landscape trees. We were told never trim the shoots off of a tree trunk for it's first 3-5 years to assist shading of the trunk. I had a young Southern Magnolia that had this happen last winter. This year I will need to wrap it to insure it doesn't happen again. The tree may be stronger but if I burn the surface again it might be enough to really upset the tree and loose the entire top. Severe sun scald is basically killing the cambium on one side of the tree.

Si, I guess if you're in an area so warm it's hard to get dormancy then winter sunburn might not be an issue (it is a freeze related.) I guess if you see it suggested often or from several credible sources then I would say that is how it works for your area. Everything I see referenced for dormancy pertains to bonsai and suggests protection from the sun and it's associated heat, as this will cause early waking. I bed them in and leave them where they will be within their hardiness temp. I don't move anything once it's set for the winter. Everything I read for planting landscape trees (here in the mid-west) warns about winter sun scald or "Southwest disease". We are however raising similar plants in very different locations.:eek:

YMMV. For anyone reading these advices, please note where you/we are at and what your weather does. Advice from one zone may/will not fit your situation!
 

rockm

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"Your zone has got plenty of cold days for the D. trees to go into dormancy nicely. I don't think you would need to do anything extra. I know a few people in the Virginia/DC area, and they don't do any of that moving trees around. Mostly they just mulch their trees in full sun. They move their trees into the garage only for a major freeze."

If you live in Zone 7 or below, don't take overwintering advice from somone living in Zone 8 or above. Works in the opposite direction too.

I don't move anything during the winter--including tridents. I place trees in shaded areas, mulched under eight or nine inches of pine bark. They stay put until mid-late March--or later if things are still cold.

Moving trees inside when a "major freeze" happens here would entail moving them in every day between Dec. and March and would push them into growth sooner. Mulching in full sun can also lead to early bud break in many species-- which can lead to winter kill not only on branches, but entire trees. Had it happen--what do you do when a tree buds out in Feb. and there is still a month left with temps dropping into the teens? --you cry a lot:D.

In colder zones (or even warmer ones), the longer you can prolong cold dormancy the better. Spring is the most vulnerable time for bonsai, as once their buds have broken into leaves (even if you can only make out the edges of a leaf on a bud), they lose almost all their tolerance for freezes. If they're in leaf and their roots freeze right after dormancy there is a very very large chance the tree will be killed. The late March freeze they would have survived if they were kept cold and dormant becomes a fatal event if they're awake and pushing leaves.
 

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