Peter Tea’s December Write-Up

Peter Tea Bonsai
December 2014

Winter Work

Winter is a great time for us here in Northern California. For the most part, we don’t have to deal too much with snow and extreme cold weather. While everyone in colder climates are moving their trees into Winter storage, we are busy working on many of our trees.

Conifers and Broad Leaf Evergreens

During the Winter, we can spend a good amount of time working on Conifers and Broad Leaf Evergreens. During this time we can cut and wire the tree if needed. The only exception is if you plan on repotting the tree. Normally I recommend not style the tree in the Winter and then repotting it in later Winter or early Spring. This could be too stressful for the tree and cause it to become weak for the rest of the year. Either style the tree and wait till next year or repot the tree and style it a year later.

The Cold

If you do live in an area where it freezes consistently every night, be sure to protect your recently worked trees. Keep them in an area that stays above freezing for several weeks before putting them back in the cold. Don’t worry about the lack of sunlight for the protected trees because they don’t need much of it during the Winter.


Normally I use copper wire for conifers and aluminum wire for broad leaf evergreens. If you plan to wire a tree this month or throughout the Winter, be sure to have all the sizes needed for wiring.

Recommended Wire sizes we should all have:

Copper: 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 gauge
Aluminum: 1.0 or 1.2, 1.5, 1.8 or 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5 mm

Deciduous Trees

If your deciduous trees are still in the middle of turning color this month, then we can still work on them. We can fully defoliate the tree and do some light cut back. Other than that, there’s not much to do from this point on till after Spring unless you plan to repot them at the end of Winter.

Trees To Work On

During this month we can work on just about every tree except for tropicals.

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