Author Topic: Refrigerator Wintering  (Read 2965 times)


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Refrigerator Wintering
« on: March 11, 2013, 12:51 PM »
Hey guys, just sharing.

Normally, on my side, trees that need some dormancy - say Ginkgo - will slow down from October and by December will show no signs of growing and may drop a leaf or two.

By December our nights are longer and cooler, and the tree/s are placed on the north side of the house where there is no sunlight. Wetting the stone layer of that area and the retaining wall will keep the area cool,damp, but no water pools anywhere.
Anyhow by January 31st the dormant tree/s are placed into the refrigerator set to crisper temperatures and left there until April 1st.

Every two weeks they have to be watered if needed, and checked.The root balls of some are in plastic bags, some the pots are small enough to just place in the fridge.

Upon removal [ April 1st ] they are placed for a month northside again, and allowed to develop buds. This happens naturally.
When with buds, they are moved to morning sun, and after a week moved to dappled shade.
By the third week, it is full sun if needed.

Altogether a cycle of wintering that lasts 7 months or so [ depends on when growth stops.]

Hee hee, two heads chatting and only realising the above after about 30 years or so of doing in.
Amusing isn't it ?
Have a good laugh.
Good Afternoon.


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Re: Refrigerator Wintering
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2013, 11:09 PM »
That is great to hear.  I have been wondering if it would work to put JWP in a freezer for overwinter in warmer climates.  Thanks for sharing, I see an experiment in my future.

Did you put them into a normal refrigerator?!



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Re: Refrigerator Wintering
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2013, 07:36 AM »
I would be concerned about drying out your trees in the frig. I have heard of problems with this type of overwintering but can not talk first hand.
Obviously this isn't an issue in my area....... But, we do have issues with tropicals in our winter conditions so I guess it evens out!


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Re: Refrigerator Wintering
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2013, 11:14 AM »

these are sub-tropicals so basic crisper temperature, is what you use.
If you have a test subject, set the fridge to a colder temperature, but I am not sure I would use the freezer.
I was gifted with a new -old- fridge for this year, and I have greater control on the temperature, so the large section under the small freezer was set to minimum [ 40 deg.F ]

To go colder, I would have to find temperate trees that can handle around 93 deg.F for about and hour daily for say 7 months.
Or I would have to create a permanent cold room and go beyond the refrigerator.


this year I paid close attention to the tropicals, especially those listed as tropicals.

Firstly, all of our indigenous trees sleep, for roughly 3 months. Seems to start with shorter days, from November, and then when the temperature dropped at night to a minimum of 66 deg.F, nothing grew.
As the days began to lengthen, around mid February, and the night temperature went back up to 70 deg.f, leaves slowly began to shoot out.

Secondly, there is a difference between the local ficus and Ficus b. and it's children. They may be originating from China and mainland China has no tropical zone.
Even if Ficus b. is from a truly tropical zone, it restarts 2 weeks earlier than our native ficus trees.

Once again these are sub-tropical and from China - short list.
Fukien Tea
Sageretia t.
Southern Chinese elm
Murraya p.
Chinese boxwood

and Hibiscus, Rose types

They rest for 2 to 3 months on this side naturally. We must satisfy some of the important conditions needed for rest?
I think the problem some folk have, is not allowing the trees to rest, assuming that they will grow all year round.
On our side winter is normally the time when the rain does not fall.

When the rain is falling heavily, our trees do not grow, easily seen with the savannah grass, which we use for lawns, and I live on the side of hill.

Note also - bougainvilleas are from the sub-tropics as well.
Thanks for reading.
Good Morning.


John Kirby

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Re: Refrigerator Wintering
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2013, 08:51 PM »
So Anthony, you ever going to pst any pictures, or are you still repotting?


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Re: Refrigerator Wintering
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2013, 04:31 PM »

your wish is my command.

Finished repotting, moving onto defoliation.

Jay, if you see this, here is an image of our local Ficus p. note the leaves have fallen and new ones are just starting. The tree took a 3 month rest.
Good Evening.