Hairy Chinese Elm [Beginner]

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Hairy Chinese Elm [Beginner]

Post  Pippi on Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:43 pm

Zone 6b, Ajax, Ontario, Canada

This is my first purchased pre-bonsai, the owner of the shop said it was a "Japanese Elm" but I suspect it's a Chinese Elm and said it was easy to keep? After extensive Googling, I've not found one as "hairy" as this! And the bark is strange -- is this from pruning or is it diseased? Have I been hoodwinked? It was already wired when purchased.




(sorry this image is sideways, it's a no-no but correct on my computer!)

The potting soil was dense and the plant was rootbound. I've transplanted it into a Bonsai pot with Akadama, aquarium gravel (untreated of course) & sand. I haven't been able to source any decomposed gravel and the volcanic rock I found at HD is way too big. Anyone else in my area?

Many Thanks in advance for any advice!

Pippi

Pippi
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Re: Hairy Chinese Elm [Beginner]

Post  evanB on Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:53 pm

I think it's a Seiju Elm, which is a variety of Chinese elm, Ulmus parvifolia.  Probably ‘Hokkaido’ or ‘Yatsubusa’.

It looks like it had back budded there as some point and was cut back.

here's a little article.

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Re: Hairy Chinese Elm [Beginner]

Post  Pippi on Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:24 pm

Thank you so much evanB! I wonder if the back buds will eventually drop off or will the tree forever be scarred?

The article doesn't mention (real) winter care, should I bring it inside the house or keep it in my (unheated) garden shed? We had a brutal winter this year with -40c cold snaps and insane amounts of snow. We have an insulated garage but it is without windows.

Once again, thank you so much for helping out a beginner!

Pippi
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Re: Hairy Chinese Elm [Beginner]

Post  kevin stoeveken on Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:47 pm

hey pippi... deciduous trees dont need light for over-wintering.

chinese elms can go either way re: dormant or not... best to check with the seller to see what it has been doing in the past...

for example:

i have a chinese elm that came up here from a warmer climate and i kept him indoors this past winter...
he dropped a ton of leaves and got a little sleepy, but come spring he woke up and looks great.

i have another chinese elm from up this way that i stuck in the garden and left him there all winter and he survived nicely.

and a 3rd one, also from up here, that i wintered in my garage (also insulated) and he did nicely too.
(no heat in garage except for residual heat from pulling hot cars in at night).

i did lose a few trees in the garage due to the wicked winter, but not as many as some others, so i feel fortunate...

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Re: Hairy Chinese Elm [Beginner]

Post  M. Frary on Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:47 pm

Judging from the size of the leaves I say it's yatsabusa.

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Re: Hairy Chinese Elm [Beginner]

Post  evanB on Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:15 pm

As the tree matures the previous back bud area will develop bark and should look better/more unifom. Looks like you've gotten some good info on wintering. There's a lot of info on google regarding these.

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Re: Hairy Chinese Elm [Beginner]

Post  Pippi on Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:09 pm

@beer city snake: Thank you for your overwintering advice, I believe this was probably kept in the store during winter as they're open year round.

@M. Frary: I Googled photos of yatsabusa and these leaves seem to be much smaller on my tree, I've added another photo using a pencil eraser as a size gage. You can see that these leaves are miniscule. Perhaps this is a very young tree? Or a different cultivar?



@evanB: Good news! I'm not fond of those nodules.

Thank you all!!

Pippi
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Re: Hairy Chinese Elm [Beginner]

Post  kevin stoeveken on Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:30 pm

Pippi wrote:@beer city snake: Thank you for your overwintering advice, I believe this was probably kept in the store during winter as they're open year round.

if so, then i would do the same...
just dont panic when it drops all its leaves !!!
and dont fertilize while its sleepy...  Sleep 

some of the best advice i have rcvd are analogies to people and in this case:
if i am in the middle of sleeping, i dont want someone waking me up with a plate of food saying "here ! eat !!!"

kevin

(btw - i'm also a novice with just a few years under my belt, but gobbling up and digesting all i can...)


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aka beer city snake
link to ARBOR ARTS COLLECTIVE BLOG

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Re: Hairy Chinese Elm [Beginner]

Post  Pippi on Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:48 pm

Thanks Kevin, I won't be very disappointed when it drops it's leaves as I bought a Serissa at the same time, not knowing how difficult they are to keep!  Crying or Very sad   It too is very "hairy" unlike many I've seen on the webs. I plan to get LED grow lights before winter -- MH is WAY too hard on the electric bill!! We used to grow coral in a saltwater aquarium with LEDs, they've come a long way!!

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Re: Hairy Chinese Elm [Beginner]

Post  M. Frary on Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:13 am

Now that the pencil is there for scale I say it's seiju Chinese elm. Fun trees to work with. Use mainly clip and grow techniques on these. They are kind of brittle so take care when wiring and bending.

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Re: Hairy Chinese Elm [Beginner]

Post  Pippi on Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:08 am

Thank you M. Fray! I repotted it in Bonsai soil after gently removing the heavy, organic soil with a chop stick, my hands and water. I have not done any pruning and to my understanding, need to keep it shaded for at least 2 weeks. I have not fertilized it -- this is another foggy issue. Do I wait a few weeks or start fertilizing now? I was able to find 20-20-20 and plan to dilute by half (10-10-10 was nowhere to be found).

One piece of information I am missing is during winter care, (I plan to keep it in our unheated, detached, insulated garage) how often do I water it in winter and should there be minimal fertilization (once a month) or none at all? If the winter is more mild than last, I could keep it on our deck by the house but it would get afternoon sun. There is no easterly location I could keep it outside.

Pippi
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Re: Hairy Chinese Elm [Beginner]

Post  M. Frary on Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:33 am

Put it in shade and don't fertilize just yet. If it recovers from repotting it will show new growth all over. That's when you put it in full sun and feed. At first give it the prescribed amount on the box of fertilizer. It will gobble it up.
As for wintering an unheated garage is fine. Only water yo keep soil moist. If it freezes solid don't freak. It will be fine. If frozen no water. No feeding in winter because it won't be growing.

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Re: Hairy Chinese Elm [Beginner]

Post  Pippi on Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:26 pm

Thank you for your advice M. Fray, I will follow your direction and post an update in a few weeks. Very Happy

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Re: Hairy Chinese Elm [Beginner]

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