Ulmus Parvifolia problem

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Ulmus Parvifolia problem

Post  michaliskapa on Wed May 22, 2013 6:29 pm

Hello to everyone, this is Mihalis from Brussels, EU. I am new here, I subscribed because I have always loved bonsais but recently I am dealing with a little problem. In my collection I have an Ulmus Parvifolia of 10 y.o. We have had a very harsh winter this year in Belgium, and since then, my bonsai is having it really difficult to 'wake up' and start blooming again. She lost almost all her leaves during the winter. In addition to that the color of the bark has turned very light almost white-ish. I keep the tree normally inside, and unfortunately not very close to a window (she stands on a distance of about 2 meters of the wall). I cannot get her any closer to the window. The apartment has lots of natural light though. I have tried leaving the tree outside almost all day and bring her back inside at night, she has some new buds, but they just won't break open. I am also feeding her according to the suggested amount. I have no idea what else I could do. Any information would be more than useful. Thanks.

michaliskapa
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Re: Ulmus Parvifolia problem

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed May 22, 2013 7:46 pm

Nick the bark near the soil line, if you see green, be patient, if it is not green, RIP.

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Re: Ulmus Parvifolia problem

Post  JimLewis on Wed May 22, 2013 8:08 pm

Your tree undoubtedly is suffering -- and primarily from not enough light, though if you lost your leaves and still don't have any I'd be willing to bet that overwatering is also playing a role.

All non-tropical trees (and Chinese elms are NOT tropicals) will do less well indoors than they will outdoors, and if you give them poor conditions, they will do even less well. Some won't survive indoors under any conditions, but Chinese elms can survive inside, if not really well, under ideal conditions -- good light, air circulation, good soil, etc.

I can think of nothing you can do to improve its chances if you cannot get it outside to stay -- spring, summer, fall, and winter. Trees generally do not like to be taken out, then brought back inside again, but whatever you can do that gets it outside for 8-12 hours a day may help. If you can't keep it outside all the time, do you have a friend with a yard where it coud be kept?

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Ulmus Parvifolia problem

Post  michaliskapa on Wed May 22, 2013 8:23 pm

Thanks for your advice. I can surely keep the tree out all day long, either towards an eastern or a western orientation, I don't know which one could benefit the tree more. The thing is that we are having a really cold spring this year, even now the temperature does not rise above 10 degrees. That's what makes me doubt, maybe it gets too cold outside for them. Two weeks ago we had some temperatures and sun and she began to have lots of new buds, but the last weeks the temperature was dropped again and she got into a "slumber mode". All in all, what is, according to you, the temperature range between which an ulmus parvifolia can survive outside. And also, if it is a case of overwatering, should I just hold down on the water a little? Btw, the bark near the surface of the soil is nicely green.

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Re: Ulmus Parvifolia problem

Post  JimLewis on Wed May 22, 2013 8:28 pm

The soil in a pot can freeze solid and the elm will be fine. 10 C will be nothing to it. Do NOT water unless the soil is dry. Keep a chopstick jammed into the soil. Remove it daily and feel the dirty end. If it is damp, do NOT water. If it is dry, water until it runs out the drainiage hole.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Ulmus Parvifolia problem

Post  michaliskapa on Wed May 22, 2013 8:36 pm

Thanks a lot again. I'll give it a try, following your advice. Hope it goes well.

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Re: Ulmus Parvifolia problem

Post  papymandarin on Wed May 22, 2013 9:47 pm

Hey, i'm in brussels too and i have several chinese elms, and they spend ALL the year outside even when it was freezing.
You are more surely killing your tree by keeping it inside or changing it from places all the time! The fresh spring does not prevent my trees from budding and growing so that's not the cause of your problems, let it outside at the same place, don't give too much water if it has no active leaves yet and don't feed untill it grows again if it's not too late

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Re: Ulmus Parvifolia problem

Post  michaliskapa on Wed May 22, 2013 10:17 pm

Hello. This is good to read. I don't think its too late. The last few days I keep her almost all day outside and bring her inside only at night. But I will stop and leave her out during the complete night too. Hopefully that, along with controlling the watering a little better, will help.

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Re: Ulmus Parvifolia problem

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