Elm question...

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Elm question...

Post  Wm Tom Davis on Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:39 am

This question is for you who keep Chinese Elms, either out of doors or inside (like myself).

I have a shohin Yatsubusa Elm that may need to be defoliated and pruned.
I keep it in doors on my light bench and it does quite well there.
Here in Chicago, its winter, and my concern is that this Elm has yet to drop its leaves, so my question is:

Should I go ahead and defoliate and prune to get ready for Spring, or should I cut it back a bit then when Spring comes prune?


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Re: Elm question...

Post  JimLewis on Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:36 pm

Since you keep it indoors (how long has it been inside?) it may not lose its leaves. This is fairly typical of elms in warmish climates and indoors. It may not go totally dormant, though, so I don't think I'd defoliate. It will still need light and without leaves it can't photosynthesize.

As for pruning, I'd still wait until late winter to do anything. I assume you're going to cut that heavier branch back a bit???

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Elm Question

Post  bonsaisr on Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:51 am

It is unfortunate that the belief got around that elms can be indoor bonsai. I would not advise it. Since your elm is not properly acclimated, you can't just put it in a freezing situation. For this winter, grow it as cool as possible above freezing. Save your pruning for the spring. Let the leaves alone. Next year leave it outdoors in the fall until early November. Then put it with your other hardy bonsai. The leaves will probably turn yellow, but they don't fall off until January. If you have to pack the tree up for the winter, remove the leaves.
Iris

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Re: Elm question...

Post  bobby little on Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:00 pm

bonsaisr wrote:It is unfortunate that the belief got around that elms can be indoor bonsai. I would not advise it. Since your elm is not properly acclimated, you can't just put it in a freezing situation. For this winter, grow it as cool as possible above freezing. Save your pruning for the spring. Let the leaves alone. Next year leave it outdoors in the fall until early November. Then put it with your other hardy bonsai. The leaves will probably turn yellow, but they don't fall off until January. If you have to pack the tree up for the winter, remove the leaves.
Iris

one of the fwq things I can be confident of in this lark is agreeing with the above, by din't fact that several elms I owned when I first took an interset I kept indoors and they all died. Granted some of them were the garbage stuff from garden centres but one of them was from a professional nursery, and I looked after it religiously.

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Re: Elm question...

Post  fiona on Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:00 pm

Since I stopped bring Chinese Elms indoors in the winter (as I was advised to do as a raw rookie) I have not lost a single one. If we look like having a prolonged frosty spell, I would lodge them in the cold glasshouse but that is all. Otherwise they sit up on benches in the lea of the house sheltered from winds and the worst of the rain.



Why have I a horrible suspicion these words will return to bite me on the proverbial? Mad

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Re: Elm question...

Post  Kev Bailey on Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:59 pm

They shouldn't turn around and bite you, unless we have a really seriously cold winter. I've had three or four varieties outdoors all winter in the UK for 15+ years. I only ever lost one and that was an unidentified weeping variety.

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Re: Elm question...

Post  fiona on Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:52 pm

I shall be an all too easily identified weeping variety if I lose my pride and joy Chinese Elm penjing landscape.

But as we have not had a seriously bad winter for about 10 years, I'm not envisaging any real problems. Vigilance is the watchword.

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Re: Elm question...

Post  bobby little on Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:15 pm

fiona wrote:Since I stopped bring Chinese Elms indoors in the winter (as I was advised to do as a raw rookie) I have not lost a single one. If we look like having a prolonged frosty spell, I would lodge them in the cold glasshouse but that is all. Otherwise they sit up on benches in the lea of the house sheltered from winds and the worst of the rain.



Why have I a horrible suspicion these words will return to bite me on the proverbial? Mad

perhaps because it looks very appetising?

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Re: Elm question...

Post  fiona on Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:30 pm

bobby little wrote: perhaps because it looks very appetising?
Why shucks!!

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Re: Elm question...

Post  bobby little on Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:50 pm

fiona wrote:
bobby little wrote: perhaps because it looks very appetising?
Why shucks!!

lol! thumbs up ThumbsUp

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Re: Elm question...

Post  Dustin Mann on Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:05 am

I pretty much agree with Irene for Elms in general.I killed one about 15yrs ago-never adapted. I would add to discussion that it depends upon what type of elm it is,where it came from and initial growth conditions. I have had one 3+yrs. It is Chinese(Ulmus Parvaflor.) and came from Miami Tropical(imported then sat there 2yrs)I grow it 365 days year indoor in greenhouse. I do not use my metal halide lights and it sits next to windows about 10+ degrees cooler than rest of room. It drops leaves twice per year. I don't care for the "in-outside" rotation routine;Micigan can have summer days where it does not hit 70 degrees until 1pm. It was not like that in Southern China in summer. You know saying about genetics-fair skin red hair grows up in Brazil-still going to stay light skin Dustin

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Re: Elm question...

Post  Wm Tom Davis on Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:13 pm

Thanks everyone for thoughts and comments. One of the reasons I like this forum is the fun lively chat that goes on.

My dilemma is the fact that I'm temporarily in Chicago until May, when my studies are finished, and because it is so bone chilling cold (3 degrees F last night) and where I am at the friary, we have no yard space per se here in Hyde Park, So Chicago, I have decided to keep my Elms and other bonsai inside on a light table that I made from some shelving left overs and cheap PVC pipe.

When I move back to the left coast of Southern California (much warmer and very little snow) I can then move my bonsai outside so as to resume "normal" growing conditions. But until then, I'm enjoying the process and learning experience of growing them indoors.

With that in mind, I'd like to thank Iris for her great insights and direction, of which I will follow.

Again, many thanks to all... thumbs up


Last edited by Wm Tom Davis on Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:15 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fingers that hit the wrong keys... spelling errors)

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Re: Elm question...

Post  Dustin Mann on Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:27 pm

Check out the amazing ramification on the Elms posted by Jerry Meislik(Bonsai Vault). He took these photos in Bangkok Thailand a week ago. Temps. are 80-90s in day and 70s at night. When tropical elms defoliate, they almost immediately produce new leaves and old leaves seen in soil.It depends were the elm comes from on this dormancy(leaving outside ) issue. If it helps for newbie- listen to people who have been growing trees 10-20yrs and can show you their tree. Dustin Mann

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