Sometime in the next few weeks, if the rain ever stops (!) we will all start moving our trees from winter storage to their summer homes. This can be quite a shock to a trees system, particularly for a tropical that has been indoors for the last several months and suddenly thrust back into direct sunlight.

Here are some tips for transitioning your trees safely.

Tropicals. Since these trees do not like temperatures below 40°F, many of us bring them indoors for the winter. As long as they are kept warm and given plenty of light they will do just fine. Moving them back outdoors though should be a two-step process. First, place them in a shady area where they can get plenty of light but not direct afternoon sunlight as this can easily burn the delicate foliage. Keep them in this location for two or three days. As long as they are watered regularly, tropical bonsai will thrive in the hotter parts of your yard.  

Deciduous Trees. Depending on where you have protected your trees during the winter will determine how quickly they can be transitioned to their summer display location. If the trees have been outside on the ground or protected with mulch or another barrier they can be moved more quickly. Remove any protection and leave them in place for a day. You can move them to a more permanent place for the season on a cloudy day or mixed sun day. Avoid moving them too quickly on hot days with a lot of direct sun exposure.

For trees kept in a garage or cold frame follow these same steps of letting the tree acclimate to being outdoors again in a shady and more protected location.

Conifers. Your conifers have probably been outdoors, on the ground and somewhat protected throughout the winter. It would seem that you could move them easily, but here again avoid too quickly exposing them to direct sunlight on a hot day. The lesson is that no matter what species of tree you are working with, as they come out of winter dormancy, they are not yet ready for direct exposure to a lot of sun. The buds and new foliage can easily burn. The same is true with needles on your conifers. Take a few days to let your trees transition and they will stay healthier.