Summer Outdoor      Our trees spend most of their lives outdoors.  The growing area is where we see them the most - where they get their daily attention for most of the year.  This is usually where others see them the most.  Thus it is nice to have a pleasing display.  Display areas can range from a table on an apartment balcony for a couple trees to a yard full of trees to elegant bonsai gardens.  The most common approach for those with yards is to keep our bonsai on benches at a level convenient for maintenance and for viewing.  The benches might be on a deck as shown in the snow.  In a more rural area, the collection might be kept inside a fence to minimize deer brousing.  A bonsai garden is shown from above in the picture to the left       The benches can be supported on concrete blocks, posts sunk in the ground, or terracotta chimney flues.  Pressure treated wood or cypress wood will last longer than normal lumber.       There are several more elegant approaches to display, but they entail greater space between trees, thereby allowing undistracted viewing of any given tree.   The one shown first is to provide neutral backgounds behind the trees.  This will often be a stucco wall.  Benches thicker than standard 2x12’s add drama.  These types of displays can bee seen at the National Arboretum or Weyerhaeuser’s Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection.  The other elegant approach is to show the trees on individual posts set in the ground and topped with wooden platforms or as shown below, concrete disks.  While very elegant, this approach requires lots of pre-planning and hard labor and will take longer periods of time for watering.  It also requires lots of open space in an elegant setting to pull off well, though I have seen it pulled off well in  a small yard surrounded by a high cedar fence.    Winter Storage      While it would be nice to display all of our trees year-round, it is not practical in the mid-Atlantic where temperatures pass thru freezing about 60 times per winter.  Those temperature transitionsd are hard on pots and roots.  Thus, most of us have some provision for winter storage of trees.  For a couple trees on an apartment balcony, the protection can be as simple as placing the trees under a table with plastic draping for protection from the wind.  Other methods for smaller collections include enclosed breezeways or on the steps under a Bilco door to the basement.       For larger collections, once can construct cold-frames such as those shown to the left.  These are topped with clear plastic and can be openned on sunny days so that temperatures do not get too high.  The trees are placed on the bottom of the cold frame with no protection until themperaturee have gotten low enough for mice to find their winter homes.  After the threat of mice is over, the root of the trees should be covered with mulch for additional thermal protection.       Another method of winter protection is to store trees in an unheated garage as shown below.  The trees are well protected.  Trees that come out of winter dormancy early (maples and crab apples) should be stored low and close to the garage doors while more sensitive trees (Chinese elms and crepe myrtles) should be stored high and closer to the house.       Cold greenhouses are an option for more professional growers.  And in the Pennsylvania and Delaware areas, old spring houses provide an ideal environment.  One of our members has a concrete block shed set into a hillside such that it is largely below ground level.  A 55 gallon drum of water provides moisture and thermal ballast - a wonderful solution available to few. 
Summer Outdoor      Our trees spend most of their lives outdoors.  The growing area is where we see them the most - where they get their daily attention for most of the year.  This is usually where others see them the most.  Thus it is nice to have a pleasing display.  Display areas can range from a table on an apartment balcony for a couple trees to a yard full of trees to elegant bonsai gardens.  The most common approach for those with yards is to keep our bonsai on benches at a level convenient for maintenance and for viewing.  The benches might be on a deck as shown in the snow.  In a more rural area, the collection might be kept inside a fence to minimize deer brousing.  A bonsai garden is shown from above in the picture to the left       The benches can be supported on concrete blocks, posts sunk in the ground, or terracotta chimney flues.  Pressure treated wood or cypress wood will last longer than normal lumber.       There are several more elegant approaches to display, but they entail greater space between trees, thereby allowing undistracted viewing of any given tree.   The one shown first is to provide neutral backgounds behind the trees.  This will often be a stucco wall.  Benches thicker than standard 2x12’s add drama.  These types of displays can bee seen at the National Arboretum or Weyerhaeuser’s Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection.  The other elegant approach is to show the trees on individual posts set in the ground and topped with wooden platforms or as shown below, concrete disks.  While very elegant, this approach requires lots of pre-planning and hard labor and will take longer periods of time for watering.  It also requires lots of open space in an elegant setting to pull off well, though I have seen it pulled off well in  a small yard surrounded by a high cedar fence.    Winter Storage      While it would be nice to display all of our trees year-round, it is not practical in the mid-Atlantic where temperatures pass thru freezing about 60 times per winter.  Those temperature transitionsd are hard on pots and roots.  Thus, most of us have some provision for winter storage of trees.  For a couple trees on an apartment balcony, the protection can be as simple as placing the trees under a table with plastic draping for protection from the wind.  Other methods for smaller collections include enclosed breezeways or on the steps under a Bilco door to the basement.       For larger collections, once can construct cold-frames such as those shown to the left.  These are topped with clear plastic and can be openned on sunny days so that temperatures do not get too high.  The trees are placed on the bottom of the cold frame with no protection until themperaturee have gotten low enough for mice to find their winter homes.  After the threat of mice is over, the root of the trees should be covered with mulch for additional thermal protection.       Another method of winter protection is to store trees in an unheated garage as shown below.  The trees are well protected.  Trees that come out of winter dormancy early (maples and crab apples) should be stored low and close to the garage doors while more sensitive trees (Chinese elms and crepe myrtles) should be stored high and closer to the house.       Cold greenhouses are an option for more professional growers.  And in the Pennsylvania and Delaware areas, old spring houses provide an ideal environment.  One of our members has a concrete block shed set into a hillside such that it is largely below ground level.  A 55 gallon drum of water provides moisture and thermal ballast - a wonderful solution available to few. 
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Brandywine Bonsai Society is an educational organization and as a result, the material in this site may be copied for educational purposes.  If large portions are copied, we would appreciate attribution.  We welcome links to this site. 
Outdoor Tree Display Home About Us Meetings Trees Creating Bonsai Pots Display Galleries Introduction Chop Marks Ross Adams Rob Addonizio Jack Bacus Jim Barrett Jason Bloom Richard Boggs Kathy Boheme Max Braverman Jasper Brinton Matt Castle Rose Cheng Dale Cochoy Nikki D'Amico Tom Dimig Michelle Dougherty Nancy Eaton Sharon Edwards-Russel Mike Flanagan Dorie Froning Sue Garner Mark Gordon Don Gould Kevin Goveia Jim Gremel Ted Guyger Michael Hagedorn Wendy Heller Tom Holcolmb Jack Hoover Stacey Hoover Chuck Iker Steve Ittel Jim Jenigen Ely Johnson Paul Katich Nate Knott Ron Lang Nick Lenz Dave Lowman Eugene Malofiy Rich Miller Pat Morris Bill Muldowny Pauline Muth Byron Myrick Sara Rayner Richard Robertson Dave Rochester Dich Ryerson Debbie Schwartz Shaw Martha Smith Charles Smith Michelle Smith Sean Smith Jay Strommen Judy Sutton Marianne Thomasson Dianne Thoman Al VanAuker? Robert Wallace David Young
Brandywine Bonsai Society is an educational organization and as a result, the material in this site may be copied for educational purposes.  If large portions are copied, we would appreciate attribution.  We welcome links to this site.