Mohawk Hudson Bonsai Society

Dedicated to the art of bonsai

Coming Out of Winter Hibernation

As Spring approaches and trees awaken, here are some March tips from Pauline:

March Indoors
Temperatures in the greenhouse are very warm. Night temperatures may be increased by a few degrees to match the increasing daytime temperatures and decrease temperature shock for the plants. Be sure to vent excess heat. (During late winter much of our house heating comes from my attached greenhouse venting into our basement and spreading throughout the house.)
Everything is growing. Fertilizing is definitely on a regular basis. All indoor repotting is complete. Tropicals must wait until their summer “dormancy” period for repotting.
Many trees are flowering in the greenhouse. I do not fertilize while a bonsai is in flower. As the flowers fade, the trees are pruned and repotted as needed and fertilizer is restarted. (Note: Do not fertilize trees after a heavy root pruning. Instead use a root stimulant hormone and a transplanting fluid when you transplant.) Flowering trees are always given superphosphate in addition to their regular fertilizer to promote flowers and fruits.

March Outdoors
This is the month of indecision in the Northeast. Some years I have been able to bring all trees out of storage, other years we are still in winter. The key word is watchfulness. I use my yard plants as a guide. As I see bud swell in the yard, I bring out the trees. But many a year, has seen me gathering trees with tender buds in my garden cart and wheeling them into the garage for protection during an unexpected cold snap. If the trees go onto the yard stands, repotting starts and does not end until all trees are examined and transplanted as needed. Wait until after flowering on appropriate trees. If the weather is not cooperative– wait! Super hardy trees like larches are out on the benches. (Remember I never put them into closed in storage but rested them under the old trees of a spruce grove out of the wind.)

Upcoming Events

April 23-24, MHBS will host Kathy Shaner, fresh from MABS Spring Festival. It’s a great time to follow up with Kathy if you plan on going to this MABS event. More MHBS events to come as they are confirmed.

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