Author Topic: Ready for Winter?  (Read 3585 times)

John Kirby

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Ready for Winter?
« on: December 27, 2011, 04:32 PM »
Well, we finally got the winter storage for the trees done. We have spent the last 10 months getting moved, getting the trees moved, finding a spot in the yard and then building two 20x48 rolled steel poly houses. Each house has three 40'x4' benches, about 3' tall.  I will put the heaters in this weekend, I am going to try 24k BTU window mounted pellet stoves and separate fans, not to keep the houses "warm", but to keep the temps moderated and never below about 20 F. When repotting begins in mid-March, will keep the temps above 35 F or so. Anyway, we will see how it works.
 

T-Town Bonsai

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Re: Ready for Winter?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 06:34 PM »
You did a nice job John.  I noticed you have a few more bows than me.  You must get more snow.   Are you going to strap it? 

Carolyn gives you two thumbs up.

Frank
 

Treebeard55

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Re: Ready for Winter?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2011, 06:42 PM »
Nice setup, John! It seems to me your experience in past years shows thru.

My trees are tucked in: hardy trees in the backyard under shelter, half-hardies in the mudroom, tropicals downstairs in the Crate. Tropicals, of course, let you keep working on bonsai thru the winter.  And there's a Ficus microcarpa downstairs that is ready for wiring tomorrow!  ;D ;D
 

John Kirby

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Re: Ready for Winter?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2011, 07:41 PM »
Frank, a bow every 4 feet, I will probably put a couple of straps over, the wind is blowing now, may have needed them before tonight.....

Steve, to work trees, I bring them in to the garage and then work them. Most days, can work under the poly.

John
 

Larry Gockley

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Re: Ready for Winter?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2011, 07:54 PM »
Looks like a great job, John. Not familiar with a pellet stove, however, and probably hope I never need one. Is it controlled by a thermostat, or does it need to be monitored?  Also, any pics of the inside? Larry
 

John Kirby

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Re: Ready for Winter?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2011, 08:40 PM »
You can run on thermostat, the temp I want is too low, so it will be playing it by ear. No inside pictures yet, U was going to go out and take some, but the rain started coming down pretty good- I wimped out. Next time.
 

Treebeard55

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Re: Ready for Winter?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2011, 09:10 PM »

Steve, to work trees, I bring them in to the garage and then work them. Most days, can work under the poly.

John

Working under the poly would be quite convenient, I would think. One of these days I hope to have something like that.

The only trees I work much in winter -- early winter -- are tropicals. Where they're concerned, I can work in the basement or use the dining room table. After I cover the table with something, of course! ;)
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Ready for Winter?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2011, 10:42 PM »
How about a Hot Dawg with low Iso Thermostat.  Seems like that would work better and be more reliable than a pellet stove.  You could set one tank and get farm rates on lp.

Looks good John.  How tightly packed are your poly houses?  Trees under the benches too I assume.  With only 3 four foot wide benches in a 20' wide house you have the luxury of 4' aisles.  Mine are 3'.  That extra foot makes a big difference.  Good job.

You have nice rocks there too I see.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Ready for Winter?
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2011, 10:56 PM »
Propane is $4.29 a galon here. Pellets are $230 a ton and I am not running a tropical operation.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Ready for Winter?
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2011, 09:25 AM »
Process pictures, started with digging about 100 3' deep holes to site the two structures, building a wooden frame to hang the benches and the greenhouse frame from (couldn't bring in soil or earth moving equipment because of proximity to drain field....), so we leveled by hanging partially on a wooden frame (learned from prior experience...). And then, the overall supervisor of the project- if he didn't "mark it" it culdn't be considered done..... Mr. Pooh. A true Bonsai Dog (he may look big and tough but he is really only 6" tall- a true shohin  ;).
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Ready for Winter?
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2011, 09:52 AM »
$4.29 is steep.  I can see that being an issue, although farm rates are considerably better.  I'm too far off the beaten track for natural gas, and lp is my only choice and the farm rate is $1.99 a gallon.

I use a Central Boiler wood furnace to heat me house and water, and originally planned to heat me greenhouse with it.  For the greenhouse, the issue with it I have is too much heat.  I would need to go with a radiant system and never have wanted to go to that expense.  Using the heat exchanger and blower causes to much radiant heat to maintain the low I require.  I wondered if your pellet system would have that same issue.  I would need to place the heat exchanger and fan in a separate room and run a duct pipe into the greenhouse, otherwise the heat radiating from the heat exchanger would cause the minimum ambient temp to be higher than I want it to be.

Anyway, your houses look good and, knowing you, your heating system will be just what you need.  Your Rot looks friendly enough to me.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Ready for Winter?
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2011, 10:21 AM »
Hey Don, with the heat loss coefficients, with adequate air movement, I can keep the temp in the green house +15F over ambient. If it gets really cold, we will run Propane as a back up. If this winter proves too tough, then I will double the poly and inflate. Like you, I am trying to keep it generally cold inside, I want the stuff to sleep until March, then we will bring it up for repotting and early growth. Learning to do the winter to spring shuffle in a new climate. Though, with searching I just learned that we are in Zone 6, so hopefully the absolute lows won't be so bad. But this is a near coastal zone 6, so the springs can be long and cool.
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Ready for Winter?
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2011, 12:17 PM »
So far, this probably is not a good Winter to use as standard.  Its been unseasonably warm.  We still have only a dusting of snow.  No ice on the lake.  I haven't even finished putting my trees into Winter storage, and I'm normally done Thanksgiving week.

Who knows what is in store for the remainder of Winter.....  Long and cold?  More unseasonably warm weather?  Heavy or no snow?  All I know for sure is I don't know what to expect any more.
 

T-Town Bonsai

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Re: Ready for Winter?
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2011, 12:53 PM »
John is that the new pup?  I also see that you are using a Deer now.
 

Yenling83

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Re: Ready for Winter?
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2011, 01:40 PM »
Looks like a lot of work, congrats on finishing it looks great!