Bonsai Care &

Development

Here we give you advice on how to care for and develop your bonsai
Autumn Care For Your Bonsai

Autumn is a time of reducing activity within trees so watering regimes need to be adjusted accordingly, along with a reduction of feeding where a switch to zero nitrogen feed can be appropriate.

The autumn provides a time of opportunity when plenty can be accomplished with your bonsai. Wiring, pruning, and repotting are all suitable activities for this time of year, although not all at once! Pines in particular will react badly to hard pruning of roots and branches at the same time.

Leaves on deciduous trees will begin to show signs of seasonal change prior to falling, and pines will be showing signs of casting off old needles which will provide better ventilation through the tree and allow more sunlight penetration, and this can be enhanced by manual removal of excessive current season’ growth either by plucking or cutting of needles. This will also allow better access for any wiring that needs to be applied. Similarly this is a good time to remove wire where branches have set in position, or even to remove and re-apply wire where there is a perceived risk of damage from wire that has been on the tree for some time but has not yet fulfilled its purpose.

Early to mid-autumn is also an opportunity to repot conifers and some deciduous species where green growth is still apparent and will enable the tree to recover before the worst of the winter sets in. Wiring on deciduous trees in late autumn should be avoided as these species can become embrittled and are easily damage by excess manipulation during styling.

Keep pots clear of weeds and debris such as fallen leaves and fruits. These will attract pests such as slugs and beetles that can cause problems and may even give rise to disease.

Trees may require protection from excessive rainfall to avoid them becoming waterlogged and this can be achieved by sheltering under benches or placement in a cold greenhouse, or even wrapping the pots with plastic from old soil bags such as akadama to act as a rain shield. Some imported species that have delicate roots such as Trident Maples, Chinese Elm, and Yews may require shelter from pending freezing weather.

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