Winterizing my maple

416bonsai

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Hi there I'm from Toronto Ontario Canada and I'm fairly new to bonsai this is my first winter with this maple tree I currently brought it inside after it dropped all its leaves. I currently have it under a grow light with some of my indoor trees. My idea is to put it in my unheated shed six to eight weeks before winter is over and we're going into spring? I'm wondering how long is the dormancy period For this type of tree? My tree is in healthy condition at the moment it doesn't seem right to have it sit outside in the shed for 3 months please advise me if I'm doing the right thing.
 

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You need to leave the tree outside otherwise the warm indoor temperatures will wake it up prematurely. Bury the pot in the ground or at least cover it with some mulch/leaves. It will hopefully wake up at a natural time next spring.
 

416bonsai

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You need to leave the tree outside otherwise the warm indoor temperatures will wake it up prematurely. Bury the pot in the ground or at least cover it with some mulch/leaves. It will hopefully wake up at a natural time next spring.
 

dbonsaiw

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That's a nice looking tree. Maples don't belong indoors and surely not under lights during dormancy. Burying the pot outside is a good idea. It should wake itself up when the weather permits.
 

sorce

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You definitely don't want to put it right back out into the cold.

Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

Deep Sea Diver

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Dunno what cultivar of maple you have, yet likely will react the same as described below.

To answer your question, at this point I'd say stick it outside in the area you have that is sheltered from wind and pests for at least until temperatures moderate, say late March in Toronto. Then move it outside if possible, or at least near a window in the garage.

There is data showing that in maples, increasing the level of chilling accelerates the rate of foliar bud-break.

To get a bit more technical....

The less chilling units (an hour in the range of 7C/45F to freezing) a maple has, say 200 CU vs 1200 CU, the more heat units will be required to initiate bud break.

Say for example:

a. One keeps a maple in the CU gathering temperature range for 8 1/3 days or 200 CU, then put it in a slightly warm area. It could take about 72 days of gathering these heat units (HU) to break bud.​
b. Yet if you keep your maple in the CU gathering range for say 50 days, or 1200 CU, then put it in the same warmer area ... in this case it might only take about 100 heat units to break bud.​
c. Thus amount of chilling units accumulated in maples are inversely related to heat unit accumulation...​

Of course these are just examples based upon science likely with different maple cultivars then the one you own. Here's a link to a study that illustrates this concept.

One side issue is that its best to assure your tree has accumulated enough Chilling units to achieve maximum winter hardiness. That's why I recommended a longer period of time in storage.

Also one final point to remember it takes much less time for a tree to deacclimate and lose cold hardiness than to turn around and cold acclimate to regain cold hardiness. So if you decide to bring the tree inside, or outside during a late winter warm spell, the tree will lose its cold hardiness quickly and have to be protected from then on or suffer damage.

Cheers
DSD sends
 

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