Bonsai Care Information

February - Is It Winter Yet?

Lee Vanderpool

Winter is normally the time to be spraying for fungus, scales, mites and other critters which overwinter in litter on on your trees. This February, however, looks like it is going to be another kind of month when most trees, shrubs and other plants are actively growing and many trees are in full leaf or flower. There may still be time before the weather gets too warm to spray with dormant oil to control scale and with a miticide to control red spider mites. Each of these sprays should be applied to appropriate plants twice, two weeks apart, to be most effective. The key to spraying, especially for scale, is to do so on a dry evening when the temperature is not over 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The dormant oil used to control scale must completely cover the trees and must remain on the tree as long as possible to be effective.

It is also important to drench with a systemic fungicide a couple of times in an attempt to control root rot which may have set in during the winter. Root rot is usually not noticed until the tree does not leaf out in the spring or puts out only a small amount of leaves. Those indications usually come too late to be of much use in control; the tree is normally in decline and control is not of much use.

Repot as soon as possible. Repotting may be risky on deciduous trees leaves are too well developed. Get that part of your repotting done as soon as possible. Pines and junipers should be repotted now, as well, but may be delayed until the end of the month. Hit the nurseries during the coming active selling period. With spring work- shops coming up, you will need new material to style. Enjoy spring! 

© Fort Walton Beach Bonsai Society (FWBBS) ELF 2020