Question: Blossoming apple tree bonsai
Hi, I bought a 16 year old bonsai in October. The seller told me that in the months subject to frost it was better to take it to cover, so I took it to the cellar always in the light. When he needed water, I wetted it, now I ask, my flower hasn't budged, can't it be dead? (I state that when I bought it the bonsai had lost many leaves since the seller had moved it from the greenhouse to a flower shop) thanks
Answer: Apple tree flowering bonsai
apple trees are grown in most of Italy, reflecting the fact that it is a rustic plant in our country; in fact, the varieties used as bonsai often derive from Asian, Chinese or Japanese septic, and therefore generally prefer a slightly more humid climate, compared to the Italian one, and with less extreme temperatures, that is a little less cold in winter and a little less hot in the summer. So, usually, these bonsai plants are grown outdoors, but in winter protected, that is, it is enough to place them on the terrace near a house wall, for example, or covered with a layer of non-woven fabric; in summer, from June to the end of August, it is positioned in a partially shaded place, so that they do not suffer from the scorching heat of the afternoon hours. Having said that, in order to have an abundant flowering, it is fundamental that the plant enjoys a good brightness, and therefore from the end of August until the beginning of June, it is important that your bonsai is exposed to full sun, with direct sunlight. So it may be that the positioning in the cellar has inhibited the production of gems, as a cellar, however "luminous", does not equate to direct exposure to sunlight for as many hours as possible. In addition to this, keep in mind that flowering buds are produced by apple trees already in June of the previous year, and preferably on the shorter branches; for this reason the pruning of the plant is carried out trying to favor the development of short branches, but without making excessive pruning, especially in autumn, to avoid pruning most of the future buds. Since your bonsai was purchased in autumn, unfortunately you cannot know what were the prunings carried out in the summer by those who sold you the plant, which may have been drastically pruned before selling it. Also consider that, during the winter months, apple trees are leafless, and it may be that your watering has been excessive, leading to the development of radical rot, which may have disturbed the development of future shoots. Unfortunately it is difficult to understand what the conditions of your apple tree are, which today should carry a large amount of gems, which are gradually increasing; if it does not even have one, it is worrying; to see if the plant is still alive, try cutting off the tip of some twigs to see if it is still alive. In this case, try to move the bonsai to a brighter place, with direct sunlight.