I have a Chinese Elm bonsai that is still dormant, please help.

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I have a Chinese Elm bonsai that is still dormant, please help.

Post  blobhyde on Wed May 11, 2011 8:26 pm

Hello all! I'm new to having a bonsai tree and need some advice. I have a Chinese Elm that was aged seven years when I received it last year, so it is around eight years old now. I keep it outside at this point, and it seems that it won't wake up from dormancy. I kept it outside during the winter months, but it was placed around larger bushes for some cover. It seems to still be living, as it is still green under the bark. However, no leaves have started to sprout out yet and the rest of the trees where I live are sprouting. I know that I probably need to re-pot it, which I will do soon. I am a college student and I barely have any extra money to spare usually. I am going to make a pot in the ceramics lab for it. Are there any suggestions on what type of pot to make?

I live in Kentucky, so the climate here might match where it came from. Either way, I've read posts where people in colder climates than I have kept their trees out during the winter and they do fine when spring comes around. It didn't get below ten degrees here this winter, and I've heard of trees surviving colder temperatures than that. Any help will do at all, it's appreciated!

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Re: I have a Chinese Elm bonsai that is still dormant, please help.

Post  fiona on Wed May 11, 2011 8:38 pm

Hi there. I can't offer you any solutions, but have a look at my thread over on Pests & Diseases as we may have a similar problem. You can get to it by clicking HERE

Do you have a picture of your own tree you could post so the experts can chip in?

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Re: I have a Chinese Elm bonsai that is still dormant, please help.

Post  blobhyde on Wed May 11, 2011 8:41 pm

fiona wrote:Hi there. I can't offer you any solutions, but have a look at my thread over on Pests & Diseases as we may have a similar problem. You can get to it by clicking HERE

Do you have a picture of your own tree you could post so the experts can chip in?

I can post some when I get home. I'm at work at the moment, so it's not possible right now. I'll check out that other thread. I do use some pesticide, but I think it's the soapy kind for small insects.

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Re: I have a Chinese Elm bonsai that is still dormant, please help.

Post  blobhyde on Wed May 11, 2011 8:48 pm

Well, at least yours has leaves blooming. Mine looks sad and dying, with no leaves in sight at all. I water it daily, except when it rains, because we get a decent amount of rain when it falls here. Should I water it daily even if there is rain? I also have some fertilizer I got from the site where I ordered it that I use every three months. I'm not sure what it's called but I can post that when I get home also.

Thanks for the help, any is appreciated!

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Re: I have a Chinese Elm bonsai that is still dormant, please help.

Post  Jim Doiron on Wed May 11, 2011 9:49 pm

I would stop watering it daily and only water when it is relatively dry. It could be fertilized every two weeks if not more right now to get it going, I have been fertilizing every week for the last month and will ease off now that it is getting warmer. I had an elm that budded everywhere and then started fading so I lifted it and found it had root rot pretty badly. I transplanted it into fast draining, primarily inorganic soil, then we had three weeks of straight rain which didn't help. It has yet to leaf out again but it has some green under the bark still so I have initiated a strict regiment of praying like hell it makes a comeback every time i walk by it. Good luck with yours.

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Re: I have a Chinese Elm bonsai that is still dormant, please help.

Post  blobhyde on Thu May 12, 2011 1:10 am

Jim Doiron wrote:I would stop watering it daily and only water when it is relatively dry. It could be fertilized every two weeks if not more right now to get it going, I have been fertilizing every week for the last month and will ease off now that it is getting warmer. I had an elm that budded everywhere and then started fading so I lifted it and found it had root rot pretty badly. I transplanted it into fast draining, primarily inorganic soil, then we had three weeks of straight rain which didn't help. It has yet to leaf out again but it has some green under the bark still so I have initiated a strict regiment of praying like hell it makes a comeback every time i walk by it. Good luck with yours.

Thanks, and good luck to you as well! I'll keep this information in mind if needed. I didn't know that they needed that much fertilizer; my pack says to give it to them every three months.

Here are some pics of my poor tree, in hopes that observation will help in the matter. Yes, I live in a trailer park, so don't pay attention to the trailers in the background. Yes, I wear shoes and my fiancee is not related to me.









Thanks!

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Re: I have a Chinese Elm bonsai that is still dormant, please help.

Post  Guest on Thu May 12, 2011 1:53 am

Bad news I'm affraid. This tree is dead. You can tell by the slight wrinkle in the bark and also by the colour. Try scratching the trunk with your fingernail(if you have any left) to see if it shows green beneath the bark but I have a strong feeling it will be brown and therefore dead. Sorry.

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Re: I have a Chinese Elm bonsai that is still dormant, please help.

Post  blobhyde on Thu May 12, 2011 6:40 pm

I checked it a few days ago and it was still green underneath. I'll check again later today.

I still have no idea what I did wrong in the first place. I followed the guidelines from my book on what to do for it. It just seemed to waste away after winter.

If it's dead, then the only bonsai I'm buying from now on will be evergreens. I put over one hundred dollars into this tree, and that's a lot for me, considering I'm a college student.

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Re: I have a Chinese Elm bonsai that is still dormant, please help.

Post  DreadyKGB on Fri May 13, 2011 1:00 am

$100 dollars seems like way too much for that tree, unless there is something I am missing. With that price tag I would guess that wherever you bought the tree wasn't too concerned if you were able to keep it alive. Don't get discouraged!!! I would recommend you try your hand with inexpensive nursery stock until you are able to get the hang of how trees respond to weather, season, root work. and branch work. Buy stock that is hardy for your area and not too expensive. Don't worry much about having a tree in a pot yet practice the horticultural side of the art first. I have only a few years under my belt with trees but a decent amount of horticultural experience and still am on the fence about spending more than $40-50 on a stock tree. Again don't get discouraged just be patient and build your confidence!!!

Todd

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Damage

Post  Guest on Fri May 13, 2011 2:28 am

You could try taking it back to the vendor. Damage like this won't help a tree much

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Re: I have a Chinese Elm bonsai that is still dormant, please help.

Post  Henrik Stubelius on Tue May 17, 2011 12:13 am

I agree with Will on the wrinkled bark. On the other hand, my ch. elms are the last ones to wake up, they're about to burst as we speak.
The also have a way of looking very dead and i've had to stop myself from discarding them on several occasions Embarassed
When buds are swelling they go from black/brown to reddish, a good sign to look for, keep your fingers crossed bounce
100$!?

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Chinese Elm still dormant

Post  bonsaisr on Tue May 17, 2011 4:04 pm

I'm afraid you were terribly ripped off. Take the tree back and insist on a refund. Call the Better Business Bureau if necessary.
Iris

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Re: I have a Chinese Elm bonsai that is still dormant, please help.

Post  William N. Valavanis on Tue May 17, 2011 4:25 pm

Try watering your tree with a solution of Epson Salts and water. It's worked for me in the past. Don't know why, but it worked. Of course, this only works if your tree is still alive and just waiting for the right time to wake up.

Bill

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Re: I have a Chinese Elm bonsai that is still dormant, please help.

Post  fiona on Tue May 17, 2011 5:09 pm

William N. Valavanis wrote:this only works if your tree is still alive and just waiting for the right time to wake up.
Does it work on humans, Bill? I have some students that could do with a vitality shot and we're not allowed to use cattle prods on them. Laughing

Serious question: I have had Epsom Salts recommended to me before in the context of greening up a buxus sempervirens. I take it you would apply this to the soil rather than as a foliar drench?

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