Winter (Zone 5) watering

(Joel) #1

I have about 15 trees outside on my Manhattan terrace, mostly junipers, mugo pines,JBP,JWP,Japanese larch, and some young maples.I have no problem watering them in the summer months, but now that the weather is cooler (32F and below for the past two days), I need advice on a watering regimen. Most of the trees are planted in “Boon mix” type soil. What about taking into account the wind chill factor when considering the ambient temp?-it’s pretty windy here near the Hudson R.

(Jonas Dupuich) #2

If you haven’t read them already, I’d recommend looking at Michael Hagedorn’s entries on the topic:

Letting trees dry out when it’s cold and windy can be really damaging so don’t hesitate to water if the trees get dry, and try not to let trees freeze when they’re dry. Any shelter from the cold wind will also help.

(Sandy Jackson) #3

Just to share how I can tell if my bonsai need watering-- I break wooden skewers in half & stick into the soil of my trees. You can check each to see if the wood is wet, dry or in between. The part that has been in the soil will tell you if you need to water. I try to return to the soil in a different spot after checking.

(Paul Pashley) #4

The skewers do help with moisture levels but take care that coral spot is not transferred to any freshly cut dead wood. Peasticks are a pretty good home for spores - I’d opt for a plastic ‘dipstick’ instead. I lost a good pyracantha to coral spot as it entered the vascular system via an area of dieback and one by one branches wilted and failed.

(Sandy Jackson) #5

Thanks Paul. I hadn’t heard of the coral spot. I’ve only used the skewers I use on the B B Q.x

(Paul Pashley) #6

It lives on dead wood mainly but I was unlucky and it entered the plant’s vascular system. With cheap plastic chopsticks available I’d go with these if I had the choice again.