How to Care for a Bonsai Tree in Summer

Early Summer

The end of spring is marked by intense growth of foliage, resulting from the great development of the shoots. This must be restrained by frequently inspecting the plants and pinching them even to the extent of pruning away the leaves altogether. This helps miniaturize the next generation of leaves.

Excessively long shoots on deciduous trees must be pruned. Here, special tree scissors with large handles are being used to make accurate cutsWith more sun, more attention should be given to watering, which in some circumstances will have to be done several times a day.

Light plays a direct part in shoot development, so it is necessary to turn outdoor bonsai regularly to avoid any imbalance in the branches which would be tricky to rectify later.

Vigorous growth makes early summer the ideal time for certain types of grafts, notably cleft and crown grafts, particularly on conifers.

Most deciduous trees can be wired in early or mid-summer.

Mid to Late Summer

This is usually the hottest part of the year, so watering is all-important. When the weather is very dry. Water twice a day, early in the morning and late at night. In exceptionally hot weather. Plants can be watered as often as necessary if their root balls dry out quickly. Take care not to wet the foliage facing the sun as the drops of water can form magnifying glasses, scorching leaves.

To limit evaporation and transpiration from the leaves, it is sometimes necessary to shade bonsai. Their root balls can also be protected with moss, or other materials, such as pine bark, which can be spread evenly round the base of the plant to limit evaporation.

The full summer sun can be too much for some outdoor bonsai. Watch the watering and, if necessary, shade the more delicate trees.Hot, humid, stormy weather encourages the spread of pests (particularly greenfly) and gives rise to some fungal diseases (such as powdery mildew and rust). So it is important to inspect trees regularly and treat any troubles immediately. Regular watering is essential.

Summer is favourable to plant propagation. And particularly layering and taking cuttings. Take great care with watering young plants raised from spring-sown seeds. Rapid drying out usually kills them.

The use of fertilizers can be reduced as it is not necessary to encourage growth at this stage. In fact, as growth is vigorous, it is essential to continue pinching as often as is necessary to check the trees’ growth.

Summer-flowering trees will have to be tidied up as the blooms wither. This period is often followed by a strong growth of shoots which must be immediately pinched out. This time, there is no fear of damaging the next crop of flowers, as it will be borne on the current year’s wood and therefore the shoots made next spring. Pruning these trees and shrubs for shape should not be done now however, but during the winter.

25. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Bonsai, Bonsai Care | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on How to Care for a Bonsai Tree in Summer

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