My first bonsai, need advice!

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My first bonsai, need advice!

Post  Toast on Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:00 pm

Hi all, i live in Northampton England and i was given a chinese elm as a christmas gift. It was indoors all winter until about 2 weeks ago when i found out that bonsai do better outside. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me the average time period chinese elms start to bud new leaves? All the trees around my house have started putting out new growth but my little elm is still completely naked!
Thanks Smile

Toast
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Re: My first bonsai, need advice!

Post  Kev Bailey on Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:54 pm

It should really be showing signs by now. All of my 9 or 10 species and varieties of Elms have been outdoors all winter and are now almost in full leaf. Any with no leaves are probably dead. Sorry to be the bearer of probable bad news, but don't give up on it just yet. Water it whenever the soill appears to be drying out. Don't keep it soggy or allow it to completely dry.

If you want a certain diagnosis (maybe for a refund, though you are unlikely to get one unless you were badly advised) then scratch the bark just a little and see if it is green underneath. If it is there is still hope.


Last edited by Kev Bailey on Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:34 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : typos)

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The cold is needed

Post  Joe Hatfield on Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:49 pm

If the tree was not allowed any cold contact it could very well have stunted or killed it. Kev had some good advice for you. He usually does. Smile

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Re: My first bonsai, need advice!

Post  John Quinn on Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:15 am

Chinese Elms are sometimes described as 'semi-deciduous' in that they will go dormant and drop leaves in winter when left outdoors, but will remain in leaf when in warmer climates or indoors. They will weaken over time (months) if left inside or in a greenhouse even in the presence of relatively decent light levels; they really prefer being outdoors and being allowed to go dormant in winter. I kept some over winter inside with good light and humidity some years ago but they really did much better, with a robust growth spurt in Spring, when I decided to keep them outside all year.
If it has been inside since at least Christmas, and is leafless, that tells me it has had inadequate light, humidity and/or inappropriate watering (or another pest or disease related reason for losing leaves). Doesn't sound promising, but follow Kev's good advice.

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Re: My first bonsai, need advice!

Post  Toast on Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:56 am

Ok the tree is still green under the bark on the trunk. I was thinking of re-potting it as its still in the soil it came with when it was shipped from china, do you think this might help? Also should i feed it when it has no leaves? some websites say i should other say i should'nt???
Thanks

Toast
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Re: My first bonsai, need advice!

Post  Tony on Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:35 pm

Hi Toast.

DO NOT REPOT or feed... the tree needs to 'recover' and gain strength, Kev is spot on, give it light, keep it out of the wind and water sparingly as it has no leaves.

BTW welcome to the forum, you can learn a lot here... including reviving trees Rolling Eyes

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Re: My first bonsai, need advice!

Post  NeilD3 on Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:45 pm

If it's any encouragement to you, a few years ago I had a 'sickly' elm given to me by someone who was keeping theirs indoors. The tree was pretty far gone & shortly after I got it, it finally croaked...or so I thought. I stuck the 'dead' tree in a corner with no water or light. To my surprise 4-6 weeks later it was producing buds. It'll make it if you take the previous advice.

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Re: My first bonsai, need advice!

Post  Toast on Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:51 pm

Alright ill leave it be and see what happens, hopefully the little chap will pull through. Thanks for all the advice, ive read so much contradicting information on websites its good to finally find a place where people actually know what there talking about.
Thanks again Smile

Toast
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Re: My first bonsai, need advice!

Post  Joe Hatfield on Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:51 pm

We have no idea what were talking about half the time. Don't be fooled! Smile To be honest this forum has helped me more then anything. These guys and gals know their stuff.

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Re: My first bonsai, need advice!

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