Tridents in CA

bonsai barry

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I'm new to bonsai and especially new to maples. I have a trident that is starting to bud slightly. It seems too early but I need to repot it. I live on the Central Coast. Weather has been variable, but I expect half a dozen nights to dip below freezing and quite a few days in the 70's before spring officially arrives.

Any suggestions?
 
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BrianBay9

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My tridents haven't started bud swelling yet, so I'm waiting a few weeks more before repotting.

Brian
 

Tachigi

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I need to repot it
Hi Barry, Is there a reason why you need to repot it now, that couldn't wait till later when you know its positively the right time.

This isn't really directed at you Barry, but it brings a good point up. That people try to rush things. If it isn't time, then it isn't time. No matter what it is, potting, pruning, wiring. The art of growing a bonsai is in the timing and the patience it takes to wait for that time. I am beginning to believe that the one attribute of a master or really skilled person that makes them great (above all else), is that they have learned to be patient. As with anyone that has learned to do something extremely well....they wait for the moment and then they strike. I find it almost humorous that people who pursue bonsai as a eastern discipline vs. a western style. Are setting the Japanese as a standard, yet they don't want to display the patience that the Japanese have demonstrated in their masterpieces. I believe in being aggressive and look for opportunities to achieve results, I also know when to pull the reins back.

Like I said Barry this isn't directed at you, it just a statement I hear on a daily basis or read on the forums to much. I just wanted to give my 2 cents worth.

My suggestion ( not knowing your micro climate) is look at the trees around you. What are they telling you. Are the buds swelling on them as well? Google your past weather history for your area, does it indicate that you'll continue having mild temps. or historically does it still stay pretty chilly. The answers are all around you, just take a look and do a little research.
 
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Bonsai Nut

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I live in South Orange County and none of my tridents (or other japanese maples) have started to swell. I am waiting before I repot my maples.
 

bonsai barry

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Hi Barry, Is there a reason why you need to repot it now, that couldn't wait till later when you know its positively the right time.

No matter what it is, potting, pruning, wiring. The art of growing a bonsai is in the timing and the patience it takes to wait for that time... I believe in being aggressive and look for opportunities to achieve results, I also know when to pull the reins back.


My suggestion ( not knowing your micro climate) is look at the trees around you. What are they telling you. Are the buds swelling on them as well? Google your past weather history for your area, does it indicate that you'll continue having mild temps. or historically does it still stay pretty chilly. The answers are all around you, just take a look and do a little research.
I agree with what you're saying, that's why I asked the question in the first place. I'd just as soon wait closer to Spring, but is the tree telling me it's time to do it now?
 

bonsai barry

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I live in South Orange County and none of my tridents (or other japanese maples) have started to swell. I am waiting before I repot my maples.
I live several hundred miles north of you, so it makes me wonder why this tree's bud's are begininng to swell. In fact, a trident that BrianBay gave me last year isn't swelling at all. I'm wondering if this tree is reacting differently because of a different environment. It is a tree that I bought in Modesto. Perhaps winter on the coast is similar to spring in the Central Valley. Yet, the hours of daylight are not so different.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Perhaps winter on the coast is similar to spring in the Central Valley. Yet, the hours of daylight are not so different.
How long have you had the tree? Central Valley is a little colder than the coast, but not much. I would watch the tree and see what happens. Does it continue to bud or was it just a "false start"? You only want to transplant if the tree is exhibiting real spring growth.
 

Ashbarns

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What Tom has said is true the tree will tell you when it is ready. But if the tree has been fooled by freak weather conditions and you have re-potted then sheltering under the house eaves or out of a late frost situation is the preferred option. Tridents are the most resilient of the maples and later last year most of mine suffered total leaf burn because summer came early in spring. With shade and careful watering they are now in full leaf but smaller. Natural defoliation took place. So Barry if your trident starts to burst forth, go for it and take steps to protect when necessary.

Regards Ash
 

Smoke

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60 degrees is the magic number. 60 degrees for 5 to 6 hours a day will start the budding process. At this temperature the sap will start flowing and buds will swell. Your ocean buffer will also not allow for significant cool downs at night to keep them in check. Here in Fresno there is no activity yet. In fact we only have a 10 to 15 degree change between night and day right now. Yesterday was 23 which are record breaking temps for us.

My repotting should start around the second or third week in Feb, but you can be assured that with this colder temps and unseasonably lack of traditional markers I will repot untill it is assured there is no danger of frost. That may me March at this point.

With Tridents even after it buds this early I would wait and repot in Feb. You can always defoiliate at the repot as long as frost is gone and the temps are steady. The trident will not even burp.
 

bonsai barry

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60 degrees is the magic number. 60 degrees for 5 to 6 hours a day will start the budding process. At this temperature the sap will start flowing and buds will swell. Your ocean buffer will also not allow for significant cool downs at night to keep them in check. Here in Fresno there is no activity yet. In fact we only have a 10 to 15 degree change between night and day right now. Yesterday was 23 which are record breaking temps for us.

My repotting should start around the second or third week in Feb, but you can be assured that with this colder temps and unseasonably lack of traditional markers I will repot untill it is assured there is no danger of frost. That may me March at this point.

With Tridents even after it buds this early I would wait and repot in Feb. You can always defoiliate at the repot as long as frost is gone and the temps are steady. The trident will not even burp.
Thanks, Smoke. Some good advice. I was hoping to meet you at BABA but I didn't make it this year.
 
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Barry, how does your microclimate differ from Alameda, CA? Boon is always repotting in January, although this year it was the coldest part of the year and we mostly repotted for show. However, following the repot, the trees were sheltered in the poly house.
 

bonsai barry

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Our climate is a bit warmer than the Bay area, but I don't use any type of protection. This cold snap has slowed things down a bit. But its interesting to know that they're repotting up there already. Thanks, Chris.
 
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