Will a small greenhouse get me through winter?

Mudd31415

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Hey everyone. This is my first winter with my bonsai trees and to be honest I'm a bit nervous. I was reading and seen about putting my trees in a cold box where my roots are secure. I was looking online and was wondering, would a small greenhouse be sufficient? I live in Northeast Pennsylvania so it can get a bit cold in the dead if winter. So that's my question. Will getting a small greenhouse get my trees through the winter? If I can get some feed back on the subject ide really appreciate it. Thanks for your time! :)
-Mudd
 

BrianBay9

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You may want to list what kind of trees you have. You'll get different advice for trees native to your area vs zone 7/8 trees, vs subtropicals vs tropicals.
 
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I'm thinking about elevating a plastic tub, drilling holes in it and throwing a blanket over it at night
 
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There are clubs in Nashville, and, I believe, in Memphis, Chattanooga, and Knoxville. Depending where you are in Tennessee, you could check with (and join) one of these. I belong to the Nashville Bonsai Society. If distance is a problem for you, consider that I live about 2 hours from Nashville.
 

Tieball

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Hey everyone. This is my first winter with my bonsai trees and to be honest I'm a bit nervous. I was reading and seen about putting my trees in a cold box where my roots are secure. I was looking online and was wondering, would a small greenhouse be sufficient? I live in Northeast Pennsylvania so it can get a bit cold in the dead if winter. So that's my question. Will getting a small greenhouse get my trees through the winter? If I can get some feed back on the subject ide really appreciate it. Thanks for your time! :)
-Mudd
Curious....what's "a bit cold" in northeast Pennsylvania? Below zero for extended days? Extreme wind chills? Lots of snow accumulation...that stays and stays....or do you get quick melt-downs with temperatures up-and-down a lot?

And.....just wondering.....what kind of trees are you storing?

I think the tricky thing with a greenhouse of any size, and even a cold box, is keeping it consistently cold during the winter until the real spring arrives.
 

Dav4

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For most people, successfully overwintering temperate trees (assuming that's what you keep) has nothing to do with keeping them warm and everything to do with keeping them consistently cold/frozen for the majority of the winter. Finding a location out of the wind and sun, placing them on the ground and placing mulch around and over the pot will generally do the trick. Your mileage will vary depending on specific location, microclimate and species in question. There are scores of threads to be read here on overwintering techniques which are just one search away from your finger tips...http://www.bonsainut.com/search/5348610/?searchform=1&q=overwintering&o=date&c[title_only]=1
 

jeanluc83

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Short answer: No. The greenhouse is likely to cause more problems than it solves.

As @Dav4 pointed out consistency is what you are looking for.

Your main options are:
Mulch your trees in on the north side a building that is sheltered from the wind. Depending on the hardiness of your trees this is an easy option.
Overwinter in a unheated shed or garage. Beware of major temperature swings and desiccation from very dry conditions.
Build a cold frame. More work but you can achieve the most consistent temperatures if done right.

There are many others also but they are dependent on what kind and how many trees you are overwintering.

Do your research and decide what is best for you. Be quick about it winter is not too far off.

Also add your location and USDA zone to your profile.
 

BrianBay9

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Short answer: No. The greenhouse is likely to cause more problems than it solves.

.
Unless you're growing tropicals, then it must be consistently heated of course - heater, vents, fan, good thermostat.
 

rockm

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Location, Location LOCATION is the big deal with overwintering. Species, species SPECIES is the other top overwintering issue. All this depends on what USDA Zone you're in and what kinds of trees you have. We can't help you without knowing what kinds of trees you're overwintering.

Also, one of the biggest mistakes beginners make is assuming they're trying to keep their trees "warm" during winter. That is the WORST thing you can do. You want to keep temperate trees AS COLD as they can stand. It's not about warmth. It's about inducing adequate dormancy and sustaining it.

A greenhouse is an extremely bad overwintering choice for most temperate zone trees. A small greenhouse is the worst variation of that. Greenhouses trap heat, which can spike root zone temps and delay or even prevent a tree from entering dormancy. A small greenhouse will be subject to the worst--spiking temperatures, followed by plummeting temps in cold weather.--the small the greenhouse, the less mass it has to sustain the heat it gathers.

Most folks in your area mulch temperate zone trees into beds in sheltered spots in their yards. A thick covering (-6-10 inches) of mulch over the pot on the ground, will maintain a more even temperature range for many trees.

This all depends on what kinds of trees you have, though.
 

Jarath

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Greenhouses work great if kept warm with a heater.
 

rockm

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Greenhouses work great if kept warm with a heater.
No, they don't if you're overwintering temperate zone trees. If all you have are tropical, they're great. Warming with a heater is a very bad thing to do with deciduous trees in the winter. Deciduous trees REQIRE cold soil temperatures between 25-30 degrees to keep them healthy. They don't need to be kept warm.
 

Jarath

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Yes, I didn't mention that. Thanks for clarifying this. I live in Fl., so I didn't think of that. 90 % of my trees are tropical
 

Mudd31415

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Thankfully I'm in Tennessee and the winters are not too harsh
Awe your in. Great zone. See pa had the potential to get brutal. The past couple of winters have been on the mild side. But my luck, the first year I'm doing bonsai is the winter we get slammed.
 

Mudd31415

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There are clubs in Nashville, and, I believe, in Memphis, Chattanooga, and Knoxville. Depending where you are in Tennessee, you could check with (and join) one of these. I belong to the Nashville Bonsai Society. If distance is a problem for you, consider that I live about 2 hours from Nashville.
Hi Oliver. I think you read the other guys message. I'm in Northeast Pennsylvania. But I wish I lived down there. GREAT area to do bonsai.
 

GrimLore

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Hey everyone. This is my first winter with my bonsai trees and to be honest I'm a bit nervous. I was reading and seen about putting my trees in a cold box where my roots are secure. I was looking online and was wondering, would a small greenhouse be sufficient? I live in Northeast Pennsylvania so it can get a bit cold in the dead if winter. So that's my question. Will getting a small greenhouse get my trees through the winter? If I can get some feed back on the subject ide really appreciate it. Thanks for your time! :)
-Mudd
You won't need one and as @rockm pointed out it would most likely be more harmful then good. In our area(s) it is pretty easy to winter most anything that requires being outside all winter... Feel free to call me and toss around ideas for your specific plants. I am pretty certain you will find it to be stress free and a lot easier then you expect ;)

Grimmy
 

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