What trees CAN we work on over Autumn/Winter.

Graft

Shohin
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Just wondering about this. Are there trees we can work on over the colder months. Wiring, pruning, re-potting etc. As my time is limited, I am thinking that I might be able to do some of the work over winter when I have less to do.

Also another quick question. Do you carry on feeding indoor bonsai (Ficus Benjamina in my case) during the winter.

All advice as always will be much appreciated.

Graft
 

PA_Penjing

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I prune and wire conifers in the winter, but always protect them from freezing temperatures until spring. Sometimes I mess up and they take a freezing night or two but it has never killed anything
 

Adair M

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Is that for later branch growing?
Yes. With most conifers, if you cut off the buds, you probably have killed the branch. Some “might’ make a bud, but it’s very risky. New shoots grow from buds. Buds are set when the tree stops growing during the current growing season, and “sets buds” to grow the following spring. If you remove those, it’s likely the tree wont grow from that branch again.
 

sorce

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I reckon it's not that you "can't" work on anything, it just more dangerous sometimes.

Further, come spring, if something is dead, you'll bet winter killed it and will start overprotecting which removes years off your life.

This, fall, while trees are gaining antifreeze for winter, isn't a good time to "change the amounts of antifreeze". Good, safe wiring is all I would do.

When everything is sleep sleep, you can prune more.

Think work can always be done!

Sorce
 

Graft

Shohin
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Thanks everybody. Anyone know the answer to my other question regarding feeding indoor ficus during winter. I assume you do keep feeding as they are not dormant. Am I right?
 

jmmzpsu14

Mame
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I prune and wire conifers in the winter, but always protect them from freezing temperatures until spring. Sometimes I mess up and they take a freezing night or two but it has never killed anything
Do you even use a frost net? I just healed in my trees in mullah in the ground protecting roots even when I do wiring. Now most of my wiring isn’t as bad as that Itoigawa I promise haha
 

LittleDingus

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Thanks everybody. Anyone know the answer to my other question regarding feeding indoor ficus during winter. I assume you do keep feeding as they are not dormant. Am I right?

I only have a few ficus, but I slow down/stop fertilizing when they are indoors for the winter. They don't grow as vigorously indoors for me until the weather starts to turn in late winter. I start fertilizing them again then.

One problem with chemical fertilizers in the winter is that they are dissolved salts. In the summer most people water until water flows out the bottom. When watering indoors, people tend to water a little less copiously since there's less places for the overflow to go/it gets messy. Because of this, salts build up in the pot much quicker since we're not flooding it out as often. You'll see it around the pot rim or drain holes...wherever the water is evaporating from...as a yellowing crust. As the water evaporates, the salts fall out of solution and makes a crust.

This build up is not good for roots and can burn/kill them. Not to mention that it's ugly :( It can be avoided somewhat by flooding the pot every couple of watering to flush out the extra salts.

Since my ficus grow but not as vigorously, I cut back on the fertilizer when indoors to prevent salt buildup. When the days start to lengthen and the sun starts to feel warm again, my ficus tend to wake up and start growing more. That's when I start fertilizing again...but still about half strength until they are back outside.
 

Graft

Shohin
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Thanks for the information @LittleDingus I still water my indoor ficus until it flows out of the bottom. I will try doing half strength and see what happens. 👍
 

leatherback

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You are in 8B. I would say you can work most trees throughout winter.

Today I wired & pruned one of my beech and my carpinus Coreana. Yesterday I worked on several maples, Malus and small leaf lilac. Over the next weeks my hibiscus, other beech and carpinus are to be done. After that it is larch and juniper, over christmas break probably, unless winter decides to visit.
 

Graft

Shohin
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You are in 8B. I would say you can work most trees throughout winter.

Today I wired & pruned one of my beech and my carpinus Coreana. Yesterday I worked on several maples, Malus and small leaf lilac. Over the next weeks my hibiscus, other beech and carpinus are to be done. After that it is larch and juniper, over christmas break probably, unless winter decides to visit.
Thanks @leatherback that gives me confidence to work on some of my trees. Hopefully one day they will be as good as yours!
 

Colorado

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Thanks everybody. Anyone know the answer to my other question regarding feeding indoor ficus during winter. I assume you do keep feeding as they are not dormant. Am I right?

I am trying for the first time this year feeding all of my tropicals with a light application of liquid kelp/seaweed once a week. The results so far have been very good, all of my tropicals are continuing to put out new growth after being brought inside to the sunroom 2 months ago.

I use “Neptune’s Harvest Organic Seaweed Plant Food” which is only 0-0-1 but contains many beneficial components. And it has no foul odor, no odor at all actually that I can detect.

Thought about using the Neptunes Harvest Fish/Seaweed combo I use on my outdoor trees which has a higher NPK...but my sunroom is also my home office and I decided against smelling like a fish factory all day every day 😂

I won’t go anywhere near my bonsai trees with chemical fertilizer. I’d rather go all winter with zero NPK than go the chemical route. Did that last year and completely burned one of the ficus and it didn’t start growing again until summer.

Tried light application of Biogold indoors and it just didn’t break down very well, was a pain with watering, and looked like shit (literally).
 

Graft

Shohin
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Thanks for advice @Colorado My Ficus stay in all year. Well they will do, they are not one year old yet. Still, saplings but they have put on strong growth since repotting them.
 

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