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"And the LORD God made ... trees that were pleasing to the eye ..." Gen. 2:9, New International Version.

"Bonsai isn't just something I do; it's part of what I am." Remark to my wife and daughter.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Half-hardies put to bed

Yesterday I got the last of my half-hardy trees prepped and into their winter quarters. "Half-hardy" is the term I use for any species that needs a regular winter dormancy for long-term health, but can't survive a typical winter outdoors, with "normal" outdoor protection, in a given locale. Think about it a moment and you'll see that geography plays the major part in determining what is half-hardy for any bonsaiist.

Winter quarters for my half-hardies is the "unheated mudroom" I described in my last post. I have a contraption called a Windowbridge (TM) over a south-facing window; there are two adjustable shelves on the Windowbridge. An inexpensive recording thermometer lets me keep track of daily highs and lows.

Besides my half-hardies, I use the mudroom to overwinter for one season any plant that might be especially susceptible to the cold, as well as smaller or younger plants that are entering their first winter in my climate. So, besides the trident maples and JBP, I have in there a shohin yew that was repotted at the beginning of October. (Not something I normally do, but this had to do with a late entry in a styling contest.) There is also a yew cutting going into its first winter on its own roots, a young Japanese maple, and a hedge maple. A bald cypress is in there for insurance. I'm at the extreme northern edge of its native range.

And that's where I keep my serissas. The books list serissa as a  tropical, but my own experience and that of a number of others whom I know indicate that it should better be called subtropical, or even warm-temperate. The true cold-hardiness of serissa is still being mapped. I will keep an extra eye on the serissas; whenever the temperature in the mudroom can be expected to fall below 20° F (about 6-1/2° C) I'll pull them into a milder spot for the duration.

There is still a little room on the shelves for one or two more. I have a shimpaku that I bought when my daughter was born. It's had a number of setbacks in 11 years, and I'm trying to grow it back out. That will probably fill the last spot nicely.
The pic quality isn't the best, but you get the idea.

:-)  :-) :-)

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