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Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 1:59 am

Looking for the perfect place for my Chinese Elm

Hi! I really appreciate all the insight and wisdom in this forum in keeping these beautiful works of nature alive. I've read all the posts regarding Chinese Elms, but I do still have a question since my California geography seems to be different.

I bought a gorgeous Chinese Elm bonsai this past weekend, which stands about eight inches tall. I live in San Diego, where we have 300 sunny days a year and no real winter. My first question is if this is an issue with the dormant time these trees need, or does it not need to be dormant because of the year-round sunny weather? I've been keeping my bonsai in my bathroom, which gets great indirect light from the skylight above it, as well as the two South-facing windows about eight feet from the tree. I try to keep these windows open all day so that the tree can get fresh air. I do not use the heater nor the AC in my house, and I believe that the tree should get enough humidity being in the spacious bathroom. Since I purchased the plant, there have been about 5 yellow leaves dropped, and today I noticed about 15 of the 100 leaves on the tree turning yellow. Perhaps this may be due to the change in climate from the nursery I purchased it from?

I would appreciate any advice or insight regarding how the tree may thrive in this condition, or if I should move it to a better location. I have already felt myself grown very attached to this beautiful work of art, and I want to do everything possible to ensure that it lives a long, fruitful life.

THANK YOU very much!! :D

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The Helpful Gardener
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Location: Colchester, CT

Check your watering as this is a common issue; if dry then increase in slight increments, if wet then cut back some. I know, it's elementary, but a good place to start.

I might also suspect photo period as a culprit, especially as this is a slowly building defoliation. As you'd not mentioned watering I went there first, but inside a window is not as good as outside in a shaded or partial sun setting. If you don't feel watering is the issue, then try an outdoor location, and let us know how it goes...


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