Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

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Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

Post  northern_monkey on Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:19 pm

Hi,

My wife has always wanted a bonsai and after a trip to the garden center came home with a Zelkova.

Now the women at the garden center said there fairly robust and all she had to do was soak the tree in a bucket of water (upto the peat level) for 2-3 mins when it starts to dry out. Look at new growth and cut back and will be fine on the coffee table in a well lit room and most importantly mist it 2-3 times a week.

Now I've been reading into things it sounds like she's told us the basics.
I have read it's best to have a fork off a branch and then let that fork off etc but I don't understand where to start.
I can get a pic posted if this helps.
So any help would be much welcomed.

Regards
Chris

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Re: Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

Post  DougB on Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:27 pm

Welcome. The best way to learn is to connect with those in a local bonsai club. As for your tree, other than true tropical, few if any trees will survive for very long when kept inside. I'm sure some folk from the UK will jump in with specific advice. Again welcome.

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Re: Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

Post  fiona on Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:29 pm

Hi and welcome.

Please post a pic of your new tree so we can get an indication of its size and health.  That way we can better advise you.

Your tree is not an indoor tree - as DougB points out there are very few trees that come into this category even in the colder parts of the UK.  My zelkova sits outdoors from about April through to the first frosts in November and I am sure the Jersey climate is much warmer and drier than mine. Your tree needs to be outdoors, and you can do that now if you are sure you are not going to get temperatures below freezing. Be prepared to bring it into a greenhouse or garage if night time temps are scheduled below that. Even in winter mine sits in an unheated garage with no problems. If you keep it in the house you are dooming it instantly, more so if you have central heating.  

Plunging the tree into a bucket of water is really only something I would do if the tree has dried out totally because of some circumstance by which you were unable to water it routinely. Plunging is somewhat of an emergency treatment.  Once the tree is outdoors, set yourself up a routine watering regime - water when it needs it from the soil down using a simple watering can.  Once we see the size of your tree, we will get a better idea of how often you might need to water.

Anyway, enough for just now. Please post a pic.


Last edited by fiona on Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:55 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

Post  fiona on Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:45 pm

Should also have said that when you out it outdoors, keep it in a place where there are no drafts or where it will be windy. Wind and drafts are a bigger scourge of bonsai than the cold in a lot of cases.

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Re: Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

Post  Richard S on Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:07 pm

Chris

I'm no expert and I'm sure the advice given above is very sound but I would add one further point.

If your tree was bought from a UK garden centre as an "indoor bonsai" labelled as zelkova then there is a very good chance that it isn't actually a Zelkova at all

I know this sounds daft but it is very common in the UK for importers to label Chinese Elm as Zelkova. It's something to do with getting round import restrictions apparently.

Of course this is where a photo would really help but even if you just Google "Chinese Elm Bonsai image" you should be able to compare and see whether your tree really is Zelkova or whether it's an elm.

Both can make very good bonsai by the way and both will benefit from being outside but Chinese Elm can be grown inside if you can give them the right conditions. A true Zelkova on the other probably wouldn't survive (although to be fair I've never tried it).

regards

Richard

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Re: Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

Post  northern_monkey on Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:13 pm

http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=1&u=18844279

Hope this link works!

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Re: Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

Post  northern_monkey on Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:16 pm

Thanks so far, yes it was bought from a uk garden center and u could be right it's labeled wrong as I know this happens with the aquatic industry to get round cities.
Just don't want it to die if it's not ment to be inside.
Does anyone know of clubs in jersey uk as I googled it but none came up.

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Re: Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

Post  Richard S on Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:25 pm

Yeah, that's a Chinese elm (Ulmus Parvifolia).

Actually that's good news because they are reasonably tolerant of being kept indoors, at least for while but even so, it will be happier living outdoors when the weather is mild. If that's possible.

regards

Richard

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Re: Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

Post  northern_monkey on Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:48 pm

Least I know what to Google now to find more out!
Bit gutting on some respects as she bought it to fit on the coffee table and haven't really got anywhere outside to put it.

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Re: Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

Post  fiona on Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:09 pm

just for future reference you don't need to post pics as links. This may help:

http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t243-b-tutorial-on-posting-pics

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Re: Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

Post  ironhorse on Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:06 pm

If it has to be kept indoors then as much natural light as possible is essential, this usually means as close to a window as you can get it, and turn it every few days so all the leaves have a chance to benefit

Dave

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Re: Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

Post  JimLewis on Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:13 pm

Coffee table is a poor location for a couple of reasons.

+ Coffee tables usually are not located near sufficient light, but are in the more-or-less midde of the room, away from windows.
+ Coffee tables are low to the floor -- a no - no if pets or children are ever around.

Trees -- even "indoor tees" -- need much more light than we can imagine. Thirteen hours of illumination under a close-by (6-8 inches) fluorescent light is pretty much the minimum.

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Re: Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

Post  northern_monkey on Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:36 pm

So I can put it on the window sill with no problem, only issue I can see is its a south facing window so in the height of summer I may need to move it or adjust the blinds.
Watering wise is it ok to put outside if I know it's going to so it gets more natural water.
Any tips on pruning?

Thanks again

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Re: Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

Post  Richard S on Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:23 pm

The best location would be near a window rather than on the window sill for reason you've already guessed! On a sunny day it will get baked.

It would also be best to keep it away from any radiators. A more humid position would be good too. I found that my Chinese Elms did really well in the kitchen (although I've since moved them permanently outside).

Ultimately if you can find the right location (bright, light, not too hot, reasonably humid etc) then it will grow quite happily indoors but as you've probably begin to realise, finding a good location in the average modern house can be a challenge.

Regarding water, putting it outside in the rain certainly wont do it any harm but tap water wont hurt it either.

Regards

Richard

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Re: Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

Post  M. Frary on Thu May 01, 2014 9:14 am

I keep my Chinese elms outdoor year round. In the middle of my yard with everything else. No sheltering from wind sun or rain and they do fine. You should get it outside so it can be in the best health possible. If you try to keep it inside the tree will slowly decline in health. Also these trees are temperate so they need a dormancy period so they can rest. Elms are tough trees but they are not bulletproof.

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Re: Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

Post  fiona on Thu May 01, 2014 12:44 pm

There seems to be some reason why the poster can't keep the tree outdoors so it's just something he'll need to work round.

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Re: Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

Post  M. Frary on Thu May 01, 2014 1:09 pm

I've tried before and it didn't work out so well so I was just putting it out there.

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Re: Hi new to the hobby advice needed.

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