Care of Bonsai
Seasonal Care of Outdoor Bonsai Trees:
Like other creatures, life activities of plants vary depending on temperature, humidity, and sunshine. When making a bonsai, you must nurture and manage the plant as its growth requires. For example, for plants growing in areas with four distinct seasons, their yearly growths can be divided into the following several stages.
Winter is when plants lay dormant. Plants store the nutrition produced in the previous summer in their bodies and enter dormancy in this state. Generally speaking, nothing but watering is necessary during this period. If your bonsai tree is deciduous, you can simply keep it indoors or under the eaves. As you can view the tree's graceful shape during this period, this is the perfect time for bonsai exhibition.
When winter is about to end and spring returns, plants come to life again.
During this period, you can prune the tree's thick branches, fix the branches with wires, or repot the plant. These works typically will damage the tree, but at this stage there is still enough nutrition left in the tree, so the damage can be kept at minimum. Moreover, when the plant becomes active again in spring, the damages will be easily repaired. Repotting during this period can make space for the roots' growth in spring. If your tree is deciduous and has been kept indoors during winter, you should take it outside the house. As the weather gets warmer in spring, the plant's growth becomes increasingly active. Under the influence of the nutrition stored in the body, new buds and roots grow simultaneously. The soil in the pot also dries up easily now, so you need to frequently water the plant. After the new buds appear and new leaves grow out, you can then prune them. For some species of trees, you need to prune the new buds before the leaves grow out. Since the tree grows rapidly during this period, you should closely monitor its growth condition and prune any protruding or unwanted new buds. Trees grow to the full in summer, and by this time they have depleted the nutrition stored during the previous year.
Meanwhile, leaves growing from the stem produce nutrition via photosynthesis and the new nutrition is stored in the plant's body. During this period the tree uses up all the energy in its growth, and its vitality is low. So you should only water the plant and avoid other kinds of work. As the soil in the pot dries up quickly, watering is the main task during this period. When the temperature rises, trees will also enter a period of dormancy in order to protect themselves. In addition, high temperature and high humidity can induce diseases and insect pests. Since it is difficult to cure trees plagued by pests, everyday prevention is crucial. In autumn, the growth of branches and leaves slows. As the plant needs less nutrition for its growth, the rate of storage of nutrition produced in the leaves accelerates in the body. This is the best time for the tree to replenish its vitality. If you have a pine tree, it is also the time to create its shape by wiring. As the temperature in the soil is higher than that on the surface of the soil, the roots are still growing. So this period is also suitable for repotting. After repotting, the roots will keep growing in the soil and firmly take root there. To maintain sufficient vitality of the tree, you may consider
fertilizing it. After the red leaves of a deciduous tree fall, you can have a clear view of the tree's shape. So this is the perfect time to prune the small branches. You should prune the protruding branches that disrupt the tree's shape and any other unneeded branches. Finally, the tree enters dormancy in winter.
Changing the shape of your tree:
One of the great differences between pen tsai and bonsai tree is the latter’s use of bonsai wiring as a common technique for changing the shape of the tree (pen tsai relies heavily on the clip and grow method, supplemented by hanging weights). Bonsai wiring can do a great deal to change the shape of the plant, but it can also do a great deal of damage to the plant if done incorrectly.
There are two kinds of bonsai wire commonly found in the hobby; copper and coated aluminum. Copper is usually something someone has made themselves (old electric cable they’ve stripped coiled and heated red hot to soften. It is much harder to bend than the aluminum but a smaller gauge is necessary to hold the same branch. Often the folks who do copper are reluctant to cut off the bonsai wire they have invested so much work in, but too many heart rending branches lost have sent me forever to cutting off my aluminum wire instead of trying to untwist a strand of copper I’d had a year too long anyway. The copper is a good fit because it doesn’t let you over force the branches as much as copper.
Apply by sticking the wire into the soil at the base of the trunk and winding it up the tree to the first branch at a 45° angle. Wire the length of the branch, always using your thumbs to press the length of the wire gently but firmly onto the trunk or branch (using the end of the wire as a handle and twisting it around the tree usually makes the wire too tight on the branch and can cut off circulation) If the wire is too loose there will be no holding power and the branch will return to its original position. Twist the wire around the end of the branch and remove the excess. Repeat for the back branch, then the right and so on through the branches that need wiring.
Always use both thumbs on either side of a bend to distribute the strain. Exercise extreme caution bending main branches, especially where it meets the trunk of your tree.
For trees with softer bark, (serissas, cherries etc.) wrap the wire in raffia (usually available where you get wire) or paper tape so the wire won’t hurt the bark. As the conductive channels can be damaged in wiring, keep a close eye on wired trees, branch by branch so that you can unwire the appropriate branch at the first sign of trouble.
For bending thicker wood, lay another piece (or two) of wire along the trunk or branch to be bent and then coil your wire over that in the normal fashion. Enjoy.
Bonsai caring of all seasons:
The small stature of your bonsai trees doesn't change the fact that they are still just like their full-size cousins, which means that they will still go through the life-cycle changes including a change in appearance as the seasons change. When the seasons change and your bonsai tree's needs change too as it move from one life cycle into another. Because of this you will also need to change the type of care that you are giving your bonsai trees.
When winter is over and spring has arrived you will begin to notice signs of new growth in your bonsai plant and trees. There is much to do in the garden in spring, and it is usually one of the busiest times of the year for bonsai gardeners.
One routine springtime task for the bonsai gardener is to re-pot and prune the roots of his bonsai trees. This is one of the first tasks to get completed because it is always best to finish re-potting bonsai trees before their first buds open.
You should try to prune any dead branches from your bonsai tree during the springtime as well, before they are hidden by leaves. Unless your bonsai tree is not fully formed yet, springtime is when you will need to cut back all of the new shoots.
If you have left any training wires on your plants over the winter you want to be sure to check to make sure that springtime growth is not resulting in the wires cutting into the tree's bark.
You should never apply full strength fertilizer during the spring, particularly to a bonsai plant whose roots have recently been pruned because this can cause serious damage to the roots.
Outdoor bonsai trees are going to grow their fastest during the summer months thanks to long and sunny days. Summer is not the time to do any root pruning or re-potting. To keep you plants looking their best you will want to continue to trim, pinch, and prune your bonsai trees and plants throughout the summer. This doesn't cause them any harm. The shoots of deciduous trees, like the Chinese elm bonsai, should be cut back to one or two pairs of leaves, and the buds on conifers should be carefully plucked as they begin to swell.
Summer is a good time to train your deciduous trees using the wiring techniques. This is also the time to remove any wire that you previously applied if you are confident that the trunk or branches have become set it its desired position.
Don't ever let your bonsai plant get totally dry, or they will promptly expire. Check the moisture level of the soil frequently. If the weather is very hot you may need to water your bonsais every day.
During the summer you should fertilize your trees every 2-3 weeks using a high nitrogen blend. You will want to continue fertilizing all summer and into early fall.
The growth rate will start to slow down as fall approaches, and there are less hours of sunlight each day. This is the time of year when most deciduous trees, including small bonsai trees, begin to exhibit their beautifully colored fall leaves.
It's OK to prune juniper and pine trees in the fall, but when you prune deciduous trees it will cause the tree to burst with new growth. This should be avoided because the new growth uses precious food supplies that the tree will need during winter.
If you had wired your tree for shaping purposes in the spring and summer, and if the branches and/or trunk have set, then you should remove the wires and let your tree rest during the upcoming winter.
You won't need to water your deciduous bonsai plants as much after they have dropped their leaves in the fall and head into their dormant state. You'll only need to give your bonsai plants a slight watering whenever the soil begins to feel dry. Pine and junipers and other conifers continue to have leaves during the winter, from which water can be lost through transpiration, so you will need to continue watering them all winter long.
You can apply a nitrogen-free fertilizer to your bonsai plant at this time to harden off the current year's new growth.
As mentioned previously you will need to water your pines and junipers during the winter, especially if they are subject to any drying winds, but your deciduous trees are dormant and don't require much attention. Aside from a very occasional and modest watering, there is very little to do, or that should be done.
The winter should be spent by planning for next years growth, and how you will achieve the perfect shape for your living piece of art.
Bonsai caring of Months Basic :
May and June:
“As Above “