Monday, October 22, 2007

Newsletter March 2007

Looks like Autumn has dawned, caught most of us unawares, but here it comes. It really is a glorious season, all the colour, anticipation of great ramification you will see on your deciduous trees, and an end to frantic watering! (which is a lead in for this newsletter)

Yes I know watering again, but this time its for a very good reason. As you may or may not know we have 75% of our dam filled at the moment. BUT in the governments wisdom they have brought down huge water restrictions. Brisbanes dams are very low but they have included Gold Coast in this, yet we have had RECORD rainfalls all over Australia (Al Gore has a lot to answer for, this is one of the most deceptive Presidential campaigns yet!) Someone sternly told me the other day we just recorded the hottest day in March since 1965! So are you telling me it was HOTTER in 1965? If you care to read anymore click on the below link.

APC: United Nations > Articles > There is No Global Warming
I don’t want to use the newsletter as a place of debate, but hopefully people will be challenged to do some research for themselves.

If anything Bonsai will grow dramatically as people always want to have some sort of trees to look after and admire.

So I thought I would take the opportunity to help you with watering under the new guidelines. At least we are coming into winter and watering has already started to slow down.
One way of watering a lot of trees yet using very little water is done by submerging your trees for a short period of time.

What you need is a container that will take your largest tree, it doesn’t matter what its made of.
Starting with your small trees first place them in the bottom of the container and begin to fill the tub until the water is about 40-50mm above the trees ground level. Do this gently so as not to disturb the pebbles or moss.

Leave the trees in the water until all the bubbles have stopped rising to the surface. Different trees will take longer, depending on the density of the root ball. (5-15 mins)

Whilst you are doing this, you can also add your favourite liquid fertilizer to the water. This will seep through the whole rootmass. Fertilising can be continued now until the night temperatures drop to about 12 Cel. This only needs to be done every fortnight though with the fertilizer!
You can keep using the same water, obviously you will have top it up depending on how many trees you are doing, and correspondingly add more fertilizer.

You can even put a tray on top of the tub and let the water drain out and save even more especially when it is using fertilizer.

A word of caution, you wont need to water like this everyday as you have perhaps been doing when you hose. The reason is that this is a very deep watering, and much more water gets to the trees roots, and will sustain it for 2-3 days. You will just need to check your trees individually, but you will soon get the hang of it.

You will probably find your trees become a lot more healthy. It will also promote more even root growth rather than new roots just forming on the extremities of the rootmass. The reason is more often than not we water and only the outside of the rootball gets watered.

Using a gravel tray is another option for keeping your plants hydrated. This is done by using a shallow tray with the bottom covered in sand or gravel. Fill this with water until the sand or gravel is just covered. Now when you place your trees on this they will be “watered” by the evaporation that takes place. Now this is not to replace watering but will prolong the time between watering. (this is a great option during very hot weather, or for very small “mame” bonsai) Again you will need to check your trees individually. What actually happens is that the water contained in the botoom of the tray will continue to evaporate, misting the leaves of your trees. Trees can absorb moisture in this way also. One word of warning, make sure that your trees are not sitting in the water. Roots on trees such as swamp cypress are ok, but keep everything else above the water line.

Just remember that because the growing season seems to be over not to neglect your trees especially when it comes to wire. During this time of the year, often your trunk and branches will continue to thicken up. One reason is the optimal temperatures (they are very much like spring) the other is that the tree is starting to store all its goodies before winter in preparation for next spring. For this reason wire can start to cut in quite easily and leave nasty scars. Just check all your trees and have a close look to make sure wire doesn’t need to come of. Keep this in mind if you are currently wiring your tree, it will need to be checked in a month or so.

Another thing to remember at the moment is to not do anymore trimming on your azaleas. All your new flower buds will have formed, and if you cut them you wont have any flowers!
In regard to flowers and fruit, don’t forget to start using liquid potash once a fortnight (can be used with your new watering system) to produce an abundance of beautiful fruit and flowers come spring.

Its also time to move your deciduous trees into more sun. This will give greater colour as autumn approaches.

In the valley we are experiencing cooler nights already, and colour is really starting to show. My liquid amber is really starting to turn, (see picture) its going to be a great autumn!!

Happy Bonsai-ing, and remember henny penny was wrong!!

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