Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => General Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: BonsaiEngineer1493 on August 05, 2014, 10:23 PM

Title: defoliating
Post by: BonsaiEngineer1493 on August 05, 2014, 10:23 PM
My contorted quince was growing healthy. It was difficult to wire the branches due to the leaf size and abundance of growth everywhere. I cut it back once before, but it grew back shortly. I thought I might as well defoliate it to simplify wiring. In addition, I removed a few straight thick trunks. This was all done this past weekend. What kind of treatment will it need until new leafs begin to show. I read that less than the average watering would be best. Any suggestions?
Title: Re: defoliating
Post by: deanofthetrees on August 06, 2014, 10:32 AM
     Just continue caring for it as it needs and it will be fine. It shouldn't need as much water since you have taken a bunch of leaves and branches off. Give it about half strength fertilizer with decent nitrogen if you haven't fertilized it recently. That will help it put out healthy new growth. It was almost too late to be doing any more significant cutting to broadleaved trees. The first of August should be the limit till the trees lose their leaves and it gets cooler.
-Dean H.
Title: Re: defoliating
Post by: Larry Gockley on August 06, 2014, 10:50 AM
Yes it will use less water with the leaves gone. I'd give it lots of sunshine to stimulate dormant buds, however, don't think I'd fertilize it. The stage of development warrants what is done and when, and without a picture I'm speaking in generalizations. If you defoliated to get smaller leaves, then I would not fertilize until the leaves hardened off, but if it is in early development and you just wanted to wire branches, then fert might be in order. Also, I agree that it may be a bit late in the season for this in zone 6. I am still defoliating but we don't get a frost til late December, and I have means to protect the trees in winter. 
Title: Re: defoliating
Post by: jlushious on August 06, 2014, 11:37 AM
I would second the no fertilizer thing, particularly if you're trying to get short internodes and more ramification. By fertilizing you will just have the tree push out long new growth.

As Larry said though if you're just doing it to get at the branches for wiring and plan to work out ramification later, then fertilize away!