Hello all from a complete newbie.

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Hello all from a complete newbie.

Post  craig46 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:19 pm

Hello all. I have just taken delivery of a Chinese Elm, as I was advised that this was the best kind of Bonsai for a beginner. I have noticed some VERY thin hairlike roots growing from the TOP of the soil (not the hole in the bottom) and out of the side of the pot at soil level. Is this a sign that it should be re-potted ?

I do want to keep it small, so should I trim those off before re-potting, or just use a slightly larger pot ?

Thanks in advance for any help given.

craig46
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Re: Hello all from a complete newbie.

Post  Todd Ellis on Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:36 pm

Welcome Craig! It sounds like your tree needs repotting; can you share a photo of it so we can actually see what you're indicating? The posting-picture-tutorial in the forum is very helpful in explaining how to post photos with your text.

You may repot into a larger pot if you like. When repotting you will take the tree out of the pot, remove the soil, and then add new soil. I suggest you read about repotting first before you attempt it. You will need to read about soil types, and materials to have "at the ready". Also, this may not be the best time for repotting in your area. Like I said do some reading first; there are lots of articles, blogs, and books on the subject.

Best,
Todd

Todd Ellis
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Re: Hello all from a complete newbie.

Post  Ian Young on Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:39 pm

Hi Craig,

Chinese Elm is probably the best variety to start with for indoor use within the UK. I hope as your love for bonsai grows you'll move to the outdoor/native trees.

There is a lot of info on the internet outlining how to repot your tree. Have a look through the back pages here using search. Also lots of info in books and probably the best of all would be to take it along to your nearest Bonsai Club and get someone to help the first time around.

In the mean time...

Most imported Chinese Elms come in to the UK in poor clay soil that should be removed at the first opportunity. However you'll need the right mix to replace it with. Again a club can help you source this. I would suggest just keeping it healthy in the mean time until you are ready to proceed. Water being the most important step. With that Chinese Clay soil you need to make sure that the tree in watered right through and not just on the surface. Get a clean basin and submerge the tree in water up to the trunk and leave it there until the air bubbles stop rising. Drain for 15 minutes and now you know it's watered right. Once or twice a week should do for this but more regularly if you see it drying out fast.

Keep the shoots trimmed back. If you get about 6 leaves on a new shoot, trim it back to the first two leaves. This will keep the shape and help with back budding. You might get the odd yellow leaf, don't panic this is normal with Chinese Elms when they experience a change in conditions.

Don't worry about the fine surface roots. If they have been exposed to air for a while they'll have died back any way. You probably wont need a bigger pot but most imported trees and in poor quality pots and it might be worth looking into getting a better one.

To round up, get all your ducks in a row before you jump in and repot.

Hope this helps

Ian Young
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Re: Hello all from a complete newbie.

Post  craig46 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:43 pm

Hey thanks for the quick reply. Here is a couple of pics. Hope they are clear enough. It's not placed there all the time, just for the pics.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/78870884@N04/6914334730/in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/78870884@N04/6914334782/in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/78870884@N04/7060419469/in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/78870884@N04/6914334678/in/photostream

craig46
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Hello All

Post  bonsaisr on Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:23 pm

Be sure to put your tree outside for the summer, gradually into full sun.
Iris

bonsaisr
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Re: Hello all from a complete newbie.

Post  craig46 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:38 pm

bonsaisr wrote:Be sure to put your tree outside for the summer, gradually into full sun.
Iris
Errr....bit difficult that one. I live in a Flat !!!

craig46
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Re: Hello all from a complete newbie.

Post  marcus watts on Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:46 pm

craig46 wrote:
bonsaisr wrote:Be sure to put your tree outside for the summer, gradually into full sun.
Iris
Errr....bit difficult that one. I live in a Flat !!!

Hi Craig,
thats ok - good light through a window is fine for a c. elm but not anywhere near a radiator. Bathroom windowsill is very good due to the humidity, in the living room etc standing the pot on a shallow tray of fine gravel with a little water in it looks good and gives the humidity to the air surrounding the tree. Dont leave the pot standing in water though - it will rot the roots.

good luck - my first tree was a 6" ch. elm and it certainly started a long term hobby.

Cheers Marcus

marcus watts
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Re: Hello all from a complete newbie.

Post  craig46 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:51 pm

Hi Craig,
thats ok - good light through a window is fine for a c. elm but not anywhere near a radiator. Bathroom windowsill is very good due to the humidity, in the living room etc standing the pot on a shallow tray of fine gravel with a little water in it looks good and gives the humidity to the air surrounding the tree. Dont leave the pot standing in water though - it will rot the roots.

good luck - my first tree was a 6" ch. elm and it certainly started a long term hobby.

Cheers Marcus

Hi Marcus,
I have ordered a drip tray to stand it in and also a little slice of Yew wood for it. I plan to stand it on the Yew slice and then surround that with gravel. What gravel would you recommend ?

craig46
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Re: Hello all from a complete newbie.

Post  marcus watts on Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:25 pm

craig46 wrote:
Hi Craig,
thats ok - good light through a window is fine for a c. elm but not anywhere near a radiator. Bathroom windowsill is very good due to the humidity, in the living room etc standing the pot on a shallow tray of fine gravel with a little water in it looks good and gives the humidity to the air surrounding the tree. Dont leave the pot standing in water though - it will rot the roots.

good luck - my first tree was a 6" ch. elm and it certainly started a long term hobby.

Cheers Marcus

Hi Marcus,
I have ordered a drip tray to stand it in and also a little slice of Yew wood for it. I plan to stand it on the Yew slice and then surround that with gravel. What gravel would you recommend ?

hi, dont do that ! the yew slice will warp and maybe crack with the damp. Keep the yew slice for displaying the dry pot on now and again. ravel is in the tray as a little water, but not so much it covers the stones. Stand the pot on the gravel and the evaporating water will give the humid conditions loved by trees indoors.

cheers Marcus
Use the drip tray with any fine coloured gravel you like the look of - aquarium shop or garden center . once the g

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Re: Hello all from a complete newbie.

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