Trees waking up early...

rockm

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#24
Sorry, had to switch to my work phone... Time for a new personal cell...

The hornbeams are just swelling...

Here is a picture of some of the buds on the elm and one on a maple.

View attachment 177444 View attachment 177445 View attachment 177446 View attachment 177447
Those buds are not swelling. They're open. This tree is now extremely vulnerable to winter die back and possibly even winter kill if it freezes again.

I'd say that if you have trees waking up early every year, you are keeping them too warm. Not a problem if you can keep them from frost and provide high light conditions. Those "long internodes" are not just long internodes. It is weak growth that is having trouble sustaining itself. I keep my hornbeam exposed outside all winter under mulch and in a cold pit. Even so, I've got swelling buds on a big Carolina hornbeam that's beginning to worry me.

We have another month and a half at least of possible (and probable--don't let the warm snap fool you) deep freezes. The next week is going to be challenging as temps are not supposed to drop below freezing after tonight. The rest of the week, temps will be in the 60's in the day and mid 40's at night. That means trees are going to be "moving" quickly. I am taking every possible step (exposing pots to the freeze tonight, keeping them outside, but under deep shade.) I don't want to be schlepping trees inside for the next month, nor can I keep them inside--I don't have the space for them.
 

Nybonsai12

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#25
This really sucks. it's freaking february. We keep having stretches of warm temps, mid 50's yesterday! Doesn't matter if they are in the dark garage or outside. Freeze coming tonight and tomorrow. but then maybe 4 or 5 days of lows 40 or above. I've already noticed buds swelling. Things are gonna get dicey in the next two weeks because although we have this warm snap, i know cold temps will be back.

Even worse is i will be out of town for a week at the end of the month. If things really move and I miss the optimum window on repots I'm gonna be pissed! I'm ok with the shuffle, but I am really concerned about timing repots just right and also getting the lime sulfur spray applied to applicable trees. Bonsai is not relaxing.
 

rockm

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#26
This really sucks. it's freaking february. We keep having stretches of warm temps, mid 50's yesterday! Doesn't matter if they are in the dark garage or outside. Freeze coming tonight and tomorrow. but then maybe 4 or 5 days of lows 40 or above. I've already noticed buds swelling. Things are gonna get dicey in the next two weeks because although we have this warm snap, i know cold temps will be back.

Even worse is i will be out of town for a week at the end of the month. If things really move and I miss the optimum window on repots I'm gonna be pissed! I'm ok with the shuffle, but I am really concerned about timing repots just right and also getting the lime sulfur spray applied to applicable trees. Bonsai is not relaxing.
It was SEVENTY at my house yesterday and muggy. Felt like a late April day. Unusual for Feb., but not unheard of. I've learned that these kinds of warm stretches are typically followed by a plunge back into frigid weather. I would highly doubt we get a pass on the rest of the winter. That's why it is extremely important to keep trees as COLD as possible out of the sun, preferably under a covering of mulch that can help lag the temperature for a few days. Pots that aren't insulated from the warmth can get warm enough and stay warm enough to force buds and push growth. You don't want to be stuck inside for the next three weeks with maple bonsai on every shelf/table/open space in the house.
 

Omar

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#28
The same happened to me the last 2 Februaries with my zelkova and bald cypress, 4-5 days of 50+ degrees followed by a stretch of freezing weather. I was forced to repot both and just kept indoors until about the last week of March when the threat of temps below 40 was just about over. No buds this year so far but we might see 50+ degrees later on in the week so guess I'll get my tools handy just in case...:rolleyes: Pain in my bony little ass.
 
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#30
It’s getting pretty clear that this erratic winter weather is the new norm. The question is how are we going to deal with it? Still gets too cold to feel comfortable leaving trees outside all winter.

A reefer truck attachment? I’ve seen something that hacks a window ac unit into a refrigerator. Going below ground is working ok this year, but wasn’t enough last year.
 

JudyB

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#31
It’s getting pretty clear that this erratic winter weather is the new norm. The question is how are we going to deal with it? Still gets too cold to feel comfortable leaving trees outside all winter.

A reefer truck attachment? I’ve seen something that hacks a window ac unit into a refrigerator. Going below ground is working ok this year, but wasn’t enough last year.
I've looked into this reefer chiller, and they are not as good of an answer I don't think as the coolbot thing. Which I'll probably be getting for next winter. I'll let you know how it works out.
 

rockm

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#32
It’s getting pretty clear that this erratic winter weather is the new norm. The question is how are we going to deal with it? Still gets too cold to feel comfortable leaving trees outside all winter.

A reefer truck attachment? I’ve seen something that hacks a window ac unit into a refrigerator. Going below ground is working ok this year, but wasn’t enough last year.
Uh, too cold to be leaving trees outside?--WHAT ABOUT THE TREES OUTSIDE IN THE WOODS? They're pretty much OK. They don't need an air conditioner.

I deal with winter by overwintering trees outside under mulch and in cold pits. Have done that for a very long time. We've had worse (and even more erratic) winters --had one back in the 90's with consecutive -10 F degree nights here in Va. I didn't lose any trees, including a La. Bald Cypress.

Refrigeration units are an "answer" looking for a question...
 
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#33
We all have our overwintering protocols. Some more conservative than others. And some vary because of the cold hardiness of the particular trees we are keeping. It’s an uncomfortable thing to experiment with because much is at stake, and each method had its own risks/benefits. The bottom line will be that some of us are being forced to do that experimenting as our current methods aren’t working reliably any longer.

Judy, coolbot is what I was thinking of. Please let us know what you learn.
 

rockm

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#34
We all have our overwintering protocols. Some more conservative than others. And some vary because of the cold hardiness of the particular trees we are keeping. It’s an uncomfortable thing to experiment with because much is at stake, and each method had its own risks/benefits. The bottom line will be that some of us are being forced to do that experimenting as our current methods aren’t working reliably any longer.

Judy, coolbot is what I was thinking of. Please let us know what you learn.
Fair enough, but sometimes overthinking something lead to overspending. I'm overwintering Texas and Louisiana trees (a few over 100 years old) in Virginia, so I know a bit about cold hardiness concerns. Haven't seen any reason to think winter is getting less "reliable" or that refrigerator tech is more "reliable" or effective than nature....
 

GrimLore

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#35
Fair enough, but sometimes overthinking something lead to overspending. I'm overwintering Texas and Louisiana trees (a few over 100 years old) in Virginia, so I know a bit about cold hardiness concerns. Haven't seen any reason to think winter is getting less "reliable" or that refrigerator tech is more "reliable" or effective than nature....
As you mentioned many times in many threads the location of the plants outside is important - more important then most think. It really helps keep things dormant even when there are warm spells... :)

Grimmy
 

GGB

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#37
South facing garages are a bummer. I have one that I just can't use for that reason. If I were you I'd only use it for the coldest days next year. I've fallen into this dance myself
 

Dav4

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#40
South facing garages are a bummer. I have one that I just can't use for that reason. If I were you I'd only use it for the coldest days next year. I've fallen into this dance myself
If it's got a northern facing foundation/side, that's a perfect place to mulch and overwinter your trees (assuming roof snow doesn't fall there.