When it rains for a long time?

yenling83

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I feel silly for asking this but: It's been raining all day, is there a point where it would be better to move some trees indoors to avoid too much water? I have a couple trees in formal pots using 1/3 akadama, 1/3 pumice, 1/3 lava. I'm just worried they will get root rot or something.

thank you,
 

GOZTEK

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if you have good draining you don't have any problems, and this is coming from someone that lost alot of trees with over watering. With those 3 you mentioned i am sure that you have enough drainage
 

rockm

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Um,

Well, are there trees in the woods near you? It's raining on them too. They're OK--unless it floods and the soil doesn't drain...

If your pots are up off the ground, even if your soil is a mess--you have little to worry about from rain that lasts a couple of days.
 

mcpesq817

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I second the earlier comments. If you are still concerned, you can always tilt your pots a little which might improve the drainage, though I usually just let my trees sit as is. They always seem to be much greener after rains versus when I water from the tap.
 

bonsai barry

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I've seen photos of bonsai that the owner propped them up on one side to accelerate the drainage. But it never made sense to me if you have fast draining soil.
 

yenling83

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I assumed these are the responses I would get. It was kind of a dumb question. But, in theory I just don't get it. Say we get a week of almost non stop rain, with no sunshine. If you were to artificially create that environment, It would not be good for your tree in it's pot.

To create the environment i'm talking about I would just continue to water my tree non stop for a week under complete shade. I know this would not be good for the tree, so i'm wondering if it would be better to put my trees out of the rain

Thanks for the responses-I'm probably just being an idiot about this. I know my trees will be fine, I appreciate the reassurance.
 

greerhw

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I second the earlier comments. If you are still concerned, you can always tilt your pots a little which might improve the drainage, though I usually just let my trees sit as is. They always seem to be much greener after rains versus when I water from the tap.
Lightning provides the intense energy needed to combine atmospheric nitrogen and oxygen into nitrates. The rain then carries these nitrates down to the earth's surface enriching the soil. Acting as a fertilizer.

keep it green,
Harry
 

mcpesq817

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Lightning provides the intense energy needed to combine atmospheric nitrogen and oxygen into nitrates. The rain then carries these nitrates down to the earth's surface enriching the soil. Acting as a fertilizer.

keep it green,
Harry

I was wondering what it was - my pines and junipers in particular put on a nice green color right after a good rain. Thanks for the info.
 

rockm

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"But, in theory I just don't get it. Say we get a week of almost non stop rain, with no sunshine. If you were to artificially create that environment, It would not be good for your tree in it's pot."

The degree of artificiality is on a sliding scale. Bonsai are in the local environment, same as landscape trees, receiving similar amounts of light, humidity and air circulation as those trees. They're not on Mars.

"To create the environment i'm talking about I would just continue to water my tree non stop for a week under complete shade. I know this would not be good for the tree, so i'm wondering if it would be better to put my trees out of the rain."

You assumptions are a bit exaggerated. Just because its raining, things don't die. Hasn't worked that way for several millenia. Even if the soil is soaked by a week of rain, it doesn't mean the roots are drowning, especially if the soil drains. Additionally, you assume the tree is not getting ANY light under clouds. Both assumptions are completely false. Light is a relative thing, as is "too much" water. Sure, the extremes of either will kill trees, but the distance between "excessive" and "extreme" can be a long one.

Your soil drains water well from the sound of it. The water draining through it does not leave a vacuum behind. Air is drawn into the soil during rainstorms. If your soil drains extremely well, then you soil also has alot of air being drawn in as well. Even if the soil doesn't drain exceedingly well, if it's up off the ground and its drainage holes are clear, the roots aren't going to drown and rot in a few days.

Also your assumption that root rot can set in within a few days is erroneous. Root rot isn't due to too much water. It can be brought on by a number of things. Repeated overwatering of inadequate soil sets the stage for root rot.

Your trees aren't growing in complete shade when it clouds up and rains. They are getting light, more light than they would get inside even under flourescent lighting set ups. Even prolonged cloudy periods can't kill trees--the effects are variable species to species, but rest assured, a cloudy rainy spell isn't going to kill your trees.

If rain on your trees upsets you, simply angle the pots, so most of the water runs to one side (Which can, ironically set up a situation where your soil won't drain-if you've got a pot with limited drain holes which aren't located on the downhill side of the slant) or get them under the eaves of the house. It's mostly unnecessary, though.



Again, I refer you to the trees in woods near you...
 

yenling83

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Rock, thank you for taking the time to explain that to me. It was kind of a silly question from the get go. But, I understand now and appreciate your response.
 

greerhw

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"But, in theory I just don't get it. Say we get a week of almost non stop rain, with no sunshine. If you were to artificially create that environment, It would not be good for your tree in it's pot."

The degree of artificiality is on a sliding scale. Bonsai are in the local environment, same as landscape trees, receiving similar amounts of light, humidity and air circulation as those trees. They're not on Mars.

"To create the environment i'm talking about I would just continue to water my tree non stop for a week under complete shade. I know this would not be good for the tree, so i'm wondering if it would be better to put my trees out of the rain."

You assumptions are a bit exaggerated. Just because its raining, things don't die. Hasn't worked that way for several millenia. Even if the soil is soaked by a week of rain, it doesn't mean the roots are drowning, especially if the soil drains. Additionally, you assume the tree is not getting ANY light under clouds. Both assumptions are completely false. Light is a relative thing, as is "too much" water. Sure, the extremes of either will kill trees, but the distance between "excessive" and "extreme" can be a long one.

Your soil drains water well from the sound of it. The water draining through it does not leave a vacuum behind. Air is drawn into the soil during rainstorms. If your soil drains extremely well, then you soil also has alot of air being drawn in as well. Even if the soil doesn't drain exceedingly well, if it's up off the ground and its drainage holes are clear, the roots aren't going to drown and rot in a few days.

Also your assumption that root rot can set in within a few days is erroneous. Root rot isn't due to too much water. It can be brought on by a number of things. Repeated overwatering of inadequate soil sets the stage for root rot.

Your trees aren't growing in complete shade when it clouds up and rains. They are getting light, more light than they would get inside even under flourescent lighting set ups. Even prolonged cloudy periods can't kill trees--the effects are variable species to species, but rest assured, a cloudy rainy spell isn't going to kill your trees.

If rain on your trees upsets you, simply angle the pots, so most of the water runs to one side (Which can, ironically set up a situation where your soil won't drain-if you've got a pot with limited drain holes which aren't located on the downhill side of the slant) or get them under the eaves of the house. It's mostly unnecessary, though.



Again, I refer you to the trees in woods near you...
It has been the wettest fall in a long time here in Oklahoma, after a couple of days of steady rain, I moved my trees in my shade house where they only get a trickle, but enough that I don't need to water them.

keep it green,
Harry
 

rockm

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It's not a silly question. It's just a little confusing. We spend alot of time saying our trees live in an artificial environment and tell people that growing in a container is not like growing in the ground--except to some extent it IS --except when it's not:D.

Overwatering is a problem, but with today's soiless mixes (pumice, expanded shale, Truface, etc) it's not as big of a problem as it once was. Additionally, the biggest problem with too much water is usually when temperate trees are stored for the winter, or trees that are growing in vastly inappropriate soils-- usually based on potting soil--to begin with (mallsai).
 

Attila Soos

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My trees look the best after a week of rain (on rare occasions, when it rains that long), but don't take advice from Californians when it comes to rain. Here rain is as precious as gold.
 

DaveV

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Yenling83. Always take advice with a grain of salt. Your trees in bonsai pots are no where near the same as trees in the forest ( from the sake of horticulture, no where near the same). This is not a stupid question. Your best answer comes from years of experience. What you have correct is that your trees are in good draining soil. If it was in the middle of summer and 80 - 90 degrees outside I would certainly consider bringing your elms and pines out of the constant rain ( not inside the house however) more for the sake of fungus. Elms are very prone to black spot, pines to needle cast. Not a silly question at all. One more thing. Tipping you pot is not a bad idea. I have found that a shallow pot does not drain as well and tipping it can help, especially if you have days of non-stop rain.
 

rockm

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"Your trees in bonsai pots are no where near the same as trees in the forest ( from the sake of horticulture, no where near the same)."

Like I said, they are and they aren't. For the sake of horticulture, there are big differences and there are big similarities. You just have to understand which is which--which can take time.

The bigger picture here is that beginners assume that trees immediately become vulnerable to what are otherwise natural phenomena when they're placed in pots. They think bottled water is the best thing to use, trees can't stand rain or snow, or that once placed in containers they instantly become houseplants. None of this is true.

Truth is, they do become somewhat vulnerable to some things, primarily temperature, when containerized. However a temperate zone tree in a temperate zone roughly comparable to its native environment doesn't become a hot house flower that's vulnerable to all external variables in a temperate environment.

Excessive rain simply won't hurt your pine/elm/maple if you've got reasonably well-draining soil....Fungal problems can arise, sure, but short of moving the tree inside the house or where humidity levels are SUBSTANTIALLY different, this threat isn't really that much of a threat.

Fungal problem can arise without much rain. Elms can be treated for black spot--if it develops--and some species are more susceptible than others. I've never had an elm (and I've got five different species and ten different trees) that has developed black spot or root rot from rainy weather. Same for fungal infections on pines. Unless you live in a constantly rainy environment, all these things aren't worth worrying about during a week long rainstorm.

As for tipping pots, I've had direct experience with that fouling drainage, allowing water to settle in the downhill corners of the pot. It also can shift considerable amounts of soil if the rain gets heavy.
 

greerhw

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"
Truth is, they do become somewhat vulnerable to some things, primarily temperature, when containerized. However a temperate zone tree in a temperate zone roughly comparable to its native environment doesn't become a hot house flower that's vulnerable to all external variables in a temperate environment.

Here in Oklahoma when the temps reach 90 degrees, the foilage on my conifers can take the heat with misting, but you need protection for the pots, they can get very hot in direct sun and you know what that will do to the roots, so I either cover the pots or move them in the shade house. They spend most of July and August in the shade house, because of the temps and the hot winds. Shohins sometimes need to be watered three times a day.

keep it green,
Harry
 

Rick Moquin

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I assumed these are the responses I would get. It was kind of a dumb question. But, in theory I just don't get it. Say we get a week of almost non stop rain, with no sunshine. If you were to artificially create that environment, It would not be good for your tree in it's pot.

To create the environment i'm talking about I would just continue to water my tree non stop for a week under complete shade. I know this would not be good for the tree, so i'm wondering if it would be better to put my trees out of the rain

Thanks for the responses-I'm probably just being an idiot about this. I know my trees will be fine, I appreciate the reassurance.
... have another toke...
 

Rick Moquin

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I assumed these are the responses I would get. It was kind of a dumb question. But, in theory I just don't get it. Say we get a week of almost non stop rain, with no sunshine. If you were to artificially create that environment, It would not be good for your tree in it's pot.

To create the environment i'm talking about I would just continue to water my tree non stop for a week under complete shade. I know this would not be good for the tree, so i'm wondering if it would be better to put my trees out of the rain

Thanks for the responses-I'm probably just being an idiot about this. I know my trees will be fine, I appreciate the reassurance.
I don't understand what you mean? I mean I understand what toking it up means. But, I don't get what you are implying.
in response to the aforementioned.
 
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