How did you fare?

With the crazy winter storm coming…like every year, I worried about how to protect the bonsai and proto-bonsai.

Other years promised harsh dry winds for days on end…but this year promised a quick dump of snow followed by a couple days of sub-freezing and some wind.

I rolled the dice and decided not to cover, place them in the lee of the house and garage and let nature protect the roots and hope for the best on the branches and even the new buds on some trees.

Couple of before and afterwards.

The here is Inner NE PDX…

So…how did you do where you are?

Mine are in a greenhouse that I put up and take down each year. I determined that with the current insulation that I need more heat than the 1500W heater can provide when the temperatures drop below 17F/-8C if I want to keep it above freezing since it ran continuously. At 21F/-6C it cycles between the set points of 33 and 35F/0.5 and 1.7C. Long term, I want a mini-split heat pump which will be much more energy efficient at anything above about 0F/-18C since I am just trying to keep it above freezing.

Where are you Marty? Any way a ground source heat pump could be employed?

I would think a trench coil could work nicely if you could get it 6’ deep or so. Couple of feet below the frostline should do.

In SW Portland here. I rolled the dice and left everything on the ground.

Looks like the ice accumulation on the branches will cause the worst damage. Still won’t know what that fully means for a few more months :expressionless:

I brought in a few of my sensitive trees (three recently repotted trees plus one tree that was breaking dormancy, as well as my two landscape citrus trees) but that was it. Probably should have brought in a few of my smaller trees too.

Thankfully nothing I have is super ramified or refined, so I’ll probably be mostly okay. :laughing:

I put about 50% of my trees in a greenhouse. I had already repotted 4, so they needed protection. I also protected some saplings, some shohin trees, and anything that seemed delicate or had health issues.

I left pines, junipers and anything in a large nursery pot out on the ground. It looks like the ponderosas loved it most.

Remains to be seen how everything will fair. Can’t wait for some warmer weather!


I am outside Spokane, WA. We had a thermo and heat transfer class look at options and that is one of the ones they liked. However, for the small delta T I typically have the mini-split is fairly good and requires a lot less digging. I am also thinking of building a workshed at one end and the minisplit can be used to heat and cool that for my use with heat leakage to warm the greenhouse.


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I built a unheated tunnel with 3/4" electrical conduit put together with Maker Pipe fittings so far so good, through a couple winds storms with the sides down, snow, and then when it is just really rain I am trying to keep off the trees I roll up the sides to give air flow. the conduit is super cheap and the structure will come down in the summer – using the maker fittings to make a shade structure over the benches for peak summer.

I love that it is only temporary, versatile and reusable!


Nice structure and good link. I presume you used a conduit bender to get the curved rafters.

Where are you located? Can we get a shot of it in action…or is that that the night shot?

Just cold or snow too?

In the south seattle area(Kent), we just got about a foot of snow, winds and sub freezing temps this last weekend and all was good. I had a milk house heater in the tunnel when it got in the low- mid 20s overnight, but the structure held up just fine… I did invest in a conduit bender, I really like the “erector set” vibe and plan on using it for other projects like a shade cloth frame over the benches

Sorry, no picks with the snow, used the time indoors to put this hemlock forest together, snow in the background


Did you make the base or is it ropey lava?

Great structure!
Are you able to move around inside or is your access strictly from the outside?
I was considering something similar for my space.

the base is actually a piece of driftwood (the snow, plus having just watered it makes it a bit darker than it actually is. here is the 2 clumps and the stump before the work (arrangement changed when i saw the bases out of the 10gal pots they were in.)

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i can move around a bit… but not fully standing… i made it against the fence, so i didn’t want it to be taller than that to keep it from being an eyesore to the neighbor. I keep the center “isle” clear enough to reach one end so the trees are aligned in a U from the middle. I have a couple heat pads in there for the repotted trees and only keep the sides down if it gets below freezing.

@DonPettit Hi… Normally I dig my potted trees into my garden frame and throw some mulch on them. This year because of back issues, I found a couple of sheltered places in the yard, put the trees on the ground and mounded mulch over them. I put mesh fences around them to keep the rabbits out. I put mesh fences around trees that I have growing (pagoda holly and Japanese maple) as well.

This is the bulk of my trees.

Because the fence corner area was full, I had to put my Scots Pine and my pine & spruce seedlings along the north side of the house where the shelter is the best. In the picture below the seedlings are completely buried.

My small or delicate trees I keep in my unheated garage. Whenever it snows, I give them a treat covering so that they don’t feel left out of winter’s fun! :stuck_out_tongue:

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Albany, Oregon checking in, 100 miles south of Mirai. No snow, light ice, all the trees on the ground, huddles together, except for recent repots in the heatbed in the greenhouse… Lots of popping from big branches falling in the urban forest here, a couple of trees and shrubs in the ground got wiped out, but overall, we’re very lucky.

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