Thursday, May 14, 2015

Autumns Almost Done and Dusted

The days are shorter, the nights are colder and the bonsai trees are getting ready for their winter sleep. 

After spending spring and summer sending out new shoots and growth, its time for our trees to shed their summer outfits and have a well earned rest before next spring.
60 - 70% of my  bonsai trees are deciduous, so winter time around my garden looks a little bare.  In another week or two most of the leaves will have dropped properly off my elms and beech etc.  So I'm making the most of the change in colour, especially with the swamp cypress which is now a beautiful rusty red colour. The leaflets fall when you touch them, so no doubt the wind will take care of that job shortly.
  You get to see the "framework" of the trees after leaf fall.....sometimes (well most of the time) they don't look as appealing and other times there is a nice surprise with the branch structure.  Perhaps I have learned something and its looking the way it should be.

My beech always puzzle me though.  Some loose their leaves and others hold onto them with all their might.  The purple beech tend to loose their leaves more than the plain green beech, but I assume that because of the leaf colour and the different rates of photosynthesis.
 This beeches branches are trying to grow up vertical again, so I'll have a go at wiring them down into the sweep type characteristics of the large old mature beech.  One of the many jobs to do this winter.

My oaks are very similar to the beeches, in that some have totally lost their leaves and others have only slowly started to yellow off and remain quite green.  This English Oak (Quercus robur) is a classic example.  It'll probably hold onto its brown leaves over the winter if it gets the chance.  But I usually go around and cut the leaves off about July and just leave the petiole or stem attached.  I figure lots of eggs overwinter amongst the leaves, so I find it best to get rid of them. Many will disagree with doing this as they say the leaves protect the buds over winter....doesn't seem to harm them from what I've seen over the last few years as the leaf stem must still protect them to a certain degree.
Another tree that likes to hold onto its leaves is the good old Hornbeam.(Carpinus betulus)  This one was given its first wiring last year. The wire is still on as it hasn't seemed to have cut in at all.  I think it got such a shock that I was actually doing something to it, that it decided to sulk for a while.  Will have to repot it this spring as its been in that cut down pot for a year or two or three.
These larches are also not very coordinated in their approach to colour changing and loosing their leaves...some quite green still and others looking bare!  Just goes to show how each tree is totally unique and how it adjusts to its environment whether its in a large pot/small pot, in the sun/sheltered, well watered/not. These are going into a group planting hopefully, soon as I get a decent size slab made for them. 

You've gotta love these wee trees each with their own characteristics, a bit like us, all totally different.

Roll on spring.