There is always something to do in bonsai and October is no different. Our October bonsai jobs need to be planned and completed during the shorter days and around the weather that this month has in store for us.
If September slips in with an air of stealth, then October announces itself by jumping in with both feet. The mornings are getting colder, the days shorter and of course the clocks go back at the end of the month.
But October has its jewels too: the morning dew on spider webs, the colour of autumn leaves and those times when you feel the warmth of the autumn sun on your back. Try to take five minutes when you can to enjoy the moment.
So here is our list of bonsai jobs for October, so you can make the most of the month ahead.
Time to wire bonsai trees
As your deciduous trees start to lose their leaves, it’s a chance to get a good look at their branch structure. And this also gives you the ability to get in and wire branches, allowing them to set over winter .
Move trees into winter protection
Many trees are perfectly able to survive outdoors over winter. But if you do feel the need to move them indoors, now is the time to move them before the first full-on frosts. That goes for any citrus trees you might have in pots on your patio as well as your bonsai collection.
Putting your trees into cold frames or unheated greenhouses will allow them to avoid the worst of the cold weather. And it will also protect them from the strong winds that storms bring to our shores.
Seed can be collected from many trees at this time of the year. So if you’re out and about, keep an eye out for seed collecting opportunities from trees such as oak, hawthorn and maples amongst others. You can then germinate these to grow your own trees.
You could also take a look at Seed Gathering Season which runs from September 23rd to October 23rd. It is aimed at encouraging people to gather, use and generally think about tree seeds. Further information including details of events near you is available on The Tree Council website.
Sow native tree seeds
If you have been gathering seed from native trees then October is also a good time to sow them. The winter period will naturally stratify them and then you can look forward to seeing the first signs of seedlings in the spring.
Don’t pack away your t-shirts just yet
Yes, the nights are getting longer and the mornings can be chilly. But remember that October can still produce some rather nice sunny days, and it’s good to make the most of the good weather while you can.
If we’re lucky enough to get some unseasonably warm weather, don’t forget to check your plants regularly to see if they need watering.
And finally, be sure to enjoy any precious days of sunshine that may come your way!