Frost hardy bonsai

Temperatures drop for a few days. – 9 C / 15 Fahrenheit for a few nights. When the first snow showed up I went out to capture the magic before trees were carried in and protected from the hard frost hitting in the night at Kisetsu-en.

I always let coniferous and a few hardy species stay out late for a day or two getting a bite of frost. It helps them go in dormancy and kills some bugs hiding below the soil surface and underneath the bark. It also adds some age to the bark exposed to the environment during the year.

Most deciduous and more vulnerable trees are already stored in the workshop.

This time the freezing only stays for a few days and then we go back to the new normal with temperatures around 8 – 10 C /  46 – 50 Fahrenheit in the daytime.


The new normal

In the past season, we have talked a lot about the new normal at Kisetsu-en Live Q&A. The way the season shows different signs of global warming changing the seasons. Winters are not like winters were, and spring behaved unpredictably this year too. Damaging trees around because of sudden late frost just as the trees were wakening up. The timing was bad, and it delayed the seasonal development or even killed bonsai around.

Therefore we need to be more alerted and on top of things in spring. Either not setting the bonsai out too early, or be ready to set them back in if we experience that sudden shift.

Snow adds that magic moment and we enjoy that for the short time it stays.





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