Bedtime for Bonsai
December 5th, 2020 by Meredith Heroux
Our Bonsai collection is the nicest in the Southeast and for that reason; we take great pains in maintaining them.
Bonsai are the divas of Smith-Gilbert’s collection. How we overwinter our trees is specific to the tree species. One of the ways we keep them healthy is by making sure they get their beauty rest. That means we literally put them to bed for the winter. What does that involve? First, they all go to the spa. For our deciduous trees, that involves removing all the old foliage, cleaning the bases of the trunks, removing moss and weeds, and minor pruning work may done. For our conifers, instead of removing old leaves, we remove old needles, we may do some light pruning, wiring can be done at this time, it’s also a good time for carving dead wood. After their beauty treatment, it is off to bed. The bonsai are then placed on the ground in pine-straw stacked barns. Then, they are heavily mulched with more pine straw. The Bonsai that are too large to move have out door heating pads, made for feral cats, placed under their pots. They are then wrapped with frost cloth all nice and snug. Other trees are placed in beds off site and covered with wood chips.
The Bonsai will still need to be checked during their slumber for watering and any winter damage. They will sleep until next spring when we will tell you how we wake them up for the next Day of Bonsai debut.