Junipers are relatively tough and hardy as far as attacks from fungi and insects are concerned and this in itself creates a problem in that I tend to neglect them in any "inspection round" assuming all to be well. Because the foliage is usually quite compact and dense the "pesties" really go to town and have a ball, undetected.
The colour of the foliage is very often an indication that all is not well.
I have had the following problems:
Small white scales on the upper and under surface of the leaves. Oleum or Seizer and Eco Oil is the remedy used fortnightly.
Red spider mite
A microscopic sucking insect leaving leaves looking "salt and peppered” and you will also find fine webs visible on the tree. A Seizer and Eco-oil mixture is a contact spray and applications fortnightly would be necessary. The damaged leaves will never recover.
A cotton wool and web-like appearance indicates that this is present. The same treatment as for red spider applies. Use Koinor which is systemic and needs to be watered into the roots and not sprayed on the foliage.
Bugs visible, often hide in bark in all nooks and crannies - same treatment as above. Use Koinor which is systemic and needs to be watered into the roots and not sprayed on the foliage.
In recent years many Junipers overseas have been attacked by fungal problems. We need to be alert to this and treat our Junipers accordingly with Mancozeb & Eco-oil, Rosecare or Ready to use Rose Protector.
Are you struggling to find a variety of Junipers suitable for Bonsai? We have a selection of young trees such as Juniper conferta, Juniper chinensis grey owl, Juniper chinensis mint julip, Juniper procumbens nana, Juniper itoigawa and Sargent Junipers priced from R95 to R250.
We have introduced a table of Bonsai under R250. So if you are popping in to purchase a gift quickly, you’ll have a selection to choose from. We have over 650 ready made Bonsai available for sale priced from R125.
Join our design workshop focusing on Pines on Saturday 13 July 2019 from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.
Bring trees, tools, power tools, extension cables, multiplugs, turntables and enthusiasm. No charge. Booking is essential by email bishopsfordbonsai(at)gmail.com as numbers are limited. Tea/coffee will be served.
The shortest day has passed and days are getting longer but only marginally. The same remarks apply as for June.
The water table is high and frequent rains and dull days often mean wet conditions but, take care! A few dry days and bonsai could suffer. The winds are strong and frequent, shelter delicate trees and pots! Ensure that pots drain correctly.
No point in fertilising this month - temperatures are too low.
Snails and slugs are busy, use appropriate bait. Fungus spores may be active during wet humid conditions. It is never cold enough in our area to kill spores of fungus effectively. Spray with fungicides if necessary.
Winter prune and design prune deciduous trees.
This is a really busy potting month for most deciduous trees such as Celtis, Ulmus, Acer, Taxodium, Betula, Carpinus, Wisteria and Malus. Visit a nursery for soil and pot supplies. It is always preferable to take a tree for which a pot is to be chosen to the pot supplier for direct selection.
A month when enthusiasm is sometimes at a low ebb but soon sap will be rising. Enjoy exchanging views with like minded people and reading books and maybe even surfing the web on Bonsai and related topics.
The daily sunshine hours are short and trees may have to be moved to sunnier spots. In some cases shade cloth has to be removed to allow for more light. It may be necessary to tie some trees down because of the strong north-west winds which blow now.
The weather is often overcast and cool, everything seems to be damp. Bonsai pots with fast draining soils may dry out so be aware that it may be necessary to water. Check drainage holes in pots for blockages, trees drown quickly.
Most trees especially deciduous ones do not require feeding this month. Some trees native to the winter rainfall region have a strong growing period after the commencement of winter rains and benefit from light balanced feeds.
Snails and slugs are the main invaders and cause damage - use the necessary bait. Spray deciduous trees with diluted lime-sulphur to kill off spores and eggs of insects and fungi which hatch when warmer weather arrives.
Winter pruning of deciduous trees starts now – first with Celtis then Elms, Maples and Swamp Cypress. It is generally better to prune after leaf-drop. Another indoor activity is wood carving and cleaning up jins and shari. Do not forget to treat carved areas with pure lime-sulphur.
Later in the month potting of early deciduous trees may be started. Start with Celtis, Elms, Swamp Cypress. Leave Maple and Acacias for next month.
This is a cold and wet month, a good time to curl up next to the fire reading bonsai books and getting enthused for spring. Also a good time to service, clean and sharpen tools. A pleasant task is to choose pots for trees which need potting or for re-potting. It is a good idea to write down jobs to be done.
There are some bonsai in flower, such as Kurume azaleas. Enjoy them but remove spent flowers.