Autumn and Juniper Cuttings
Bonsai For Beginners

Autumn or is it? The weather in Auckland seems to be doing its typical changeable thing. One minute its cool dewy nights and then its back to balmy summer evenings. Still with the change from daylight savings we can safely assume that autumn is just around the corner.

Temperatures and sunlight are gradually decreasing but it is still important that you keep an eye on your watering. We have still had very little rain and it looks like we may be close to our fourth tanker load of water this summer.

I realize that some of these articles may not be relevant to your area and in fact some of you may even be coming into summer now. That is why instead of dates I try to put time frames into seasons which should be easier to convert. Even so your climate may be different to New Zealands so make sure you check things out with a local club or Bonsai enthusiast. What made me think of this is I received an e-mail from Aditi who lives in India asking for help with some trees, I can not believe how small the internet has made the world seem. Where are those pictures Aditi ?

Deciduous trees are starting to colour up, quite often maples are suffering from a little burn and dry leaf tips. Try to resist the temptation to snip these top leaves away, any new leaves at this time will be damaged by frost which may cause the loss of the buds forming for next spring. The leaves will still provide some nourishment for your tree.

What you can do for your deciduous trees is feed them to harden the wood for winter. The best fertilizer to use is one that is low in nitrogen. (N) Some enthusiasts use a fertilizer with no nitrogen that is not strictly necessary. Any fruiting or flowering fertilizer that has a high phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) content is very food. This encourages a rich autumn colour and helps encourage flower buds next year.

Autumn is also a good time to remove wires that are biting into the bark. Pine trees in particular continue growing through the winter and branches thicken in early winter so keep an eye on them.

Take stock now get rid of any trees that are just not going to make the grade, remove diseased or infested stock and clean up your stands. If it’s not done now quite often they will sit and wait until next spring when you get outside again and it will have spread to other trees. Make a list of plants that will need repotting and take a mental note of the pots you may need. This gives you time to find suitable pots and think about what type of pot will suit your tree. You could even look at getting pots made over winter.

Juniper Cuttings

Autumn is also a great time to take those conifer cuttings. I take all of my juniper cuttings about now because I seem to have more time and the wood has hardened off just the right amount. If you can get hold of them you can sow Juniper seeds about now also.

The link will show you how to take a cutting from a Juniper procumbens ‘Nana’ but the basic method can be applied to any plant that will grow from cuttings. I have also just made up several trays of Pyracantha cuttings the same way.

Juniper Cuttings

If the link will not work for you copy and paste the URL into your browser

I sent the wrong link for Air-layering in the last News Letter so here is the correct one.
Air Layering

Last months link for air layering would have taken you to the Rosemary as bonsai page, so heres a pic of how that tree is progressing. The dog tried to jump this tree a while ago so it has suffered a few set backs. He split the trunk and snaped a branch, but it's on the mend now