Overwintering Maple seedlings

sheri_bonsaiNovember 11, 2007

Hi everyone,

I was blessed to have produced some trident maple and Amur maple, and Chinese Lacebark Maple and a couple of other seedlings this summer. Now I am in a panic as to how to overwinter them for my future bonsai projects. I have them in the " chicken coop" i.e. outdoor shed with windows. Then I was going to move them to our 150 farmhouse basement with lighting. Do they need to lose their leaves and go dormant, or should I try to grow them all winter this year and work on the dormacy next year when they are bigger? Our winters can be very tough on plant material. Thanks Sheri

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marcindy(z5b, Indianapolis, IN)

Hi Sheri, I always advocate the more "natural" way of treating plants, which would mean exposing them to winter this year. Of course, you want to make sure they are hardy for your zone first. What stage are they in right now? Are their exposed to colder nights? Have their leaves started to change color? How well insulated is your chicken coop? Is that basically an indoor situation? If they are currently in a warm "indoor" situation than it may already be too late to be moved outside this late in the year. On the other hand, if they are somewhat exposed to cooler day and night temperatures than they should be getting ready to slow down for winter, in which case you could bury the pots in the ground outside in a sheltered spot and mulch them well, so the roots are not so exposed to the freezing weather. Keep them out of direct sunlight and wind. if you get a lot of snow I would let them get buried in that, it makes for great insulation. Whichever way you decide to go, good luck with your seedlings. Let us know how you proceeded and how it turned out.
Marc

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 6:09PM
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