Dianne Fincham
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New Chinese Elm owner + New photo's

Hi,
I am new to this site, and to Bonsai. I have read lots of books, and searched the internet.
I would like to post an article about my tree that i received as a birthday presant just over a week ago.
Having read your initial info/guidelines about the correct information needed to enable anyone to help me. I will wait, take a few photos, and try to answer all of the suggestions on your list. Looking forward to receiving some help.
Best wishes Dianne
Last edited by Dianne Fincham on Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Gnome
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Dianne,

Welcome to the site. We look forward to seeing your new acquisition.
If you need help with the photos look here:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3724

Norm

Dianne Fincham
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Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:19 pm
Location: United Kingdom

My Kelkova

Hi,
This is my first attempt at putting photo's on, so i hope this works? The Bonsai in question is a Kelkova which as i said before i had as a presant. The first photo is the plant as a whole, including the pot it came in. Its not in situe, i just placed it there to give a darker background.
[img]https://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af79/DianneFincham/Chinese%20Elm%20%20Bonsai%20%20%20%20Not%20Zelkova%20afterall/Kelkova.jpg[/img]
The second photo is a close up of the leaves,and the upper branches from slightly underneath, this photo is the best one for actual colour match. The leaves are serrated.

[img]https://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af79/DianneFincham/Chinese%20Elm%20%20Bonsai%20%20%20%20Not%20Zelkova%20afterall/Kelkovabranchesleaves.jpg[/img]
The third photo is of the base of the trunk
[img]https://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af79/DianneFincham/Chinese%20Elm%20%20Bonsai%20%20%20%20Not%20Zelkova%20afterall/Kelkovatrunk.jpg[/img]
And the fourth photo shows the upper branches and leaves
[img]https://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af79/DianneFincham/Chinese%20Elm%20%20Bonsai%20%20%20%20Not%20Zelkova%20afterall/Kelkovatrunk2.jpg[/img]
The pot itself, has a smaller plastic pot inside (not so deep). I was unsure about watering, i have been checking to see if it feels dry and then watering it. However, today, i thought i would just try to lift the inner pot out to see how deep it was etc, and the whole plant came out of the pot very easily, all the soil around it is very dry. I quickly put it back as i was afraid i would do damage.

History of this plant:
It was a present, it was bought from a local shop/store. The lable that came with it says its a Kelkova, and it give a website of www.takeawaytrends.com I had a look at there site for extra information. They briefly describe it as Latin name Ficus retusa Microcarpas Common name Bonsai (I thought, that tells me a lot)! It was referred to as a house plant. It says to cut back leaves and branches between March & August. And to keep out of direct sunlight.
It says it was brought up in the Far East and was cared for by Asian experts.
The site did give details about watering etc, but as i was not over impressed by most of what i read, i would prefer to gain further information from else where.

On websites that i have looked at, this plant has been described as an outdoor plant?

I keep it on my kitchen window sill where it does seem to be quite happy. It has lots of natural light there, but no direct sun light. It has lost a few leaves, and there are a few leaves on there that are obviously going to drop off, but they were like that when i got it. I am concerned that it may not be in the right sort of pot?
I have not touched this plant at all, and will not do so until i have better advice on what to do. I assume that either way i should wait until at least April.

I live in Cornwall UK, so the weather here is quite mild compared to most places. I have plenty of room both indoor and outside should the need be.

Well, I'm going to leave it there for a moment, and just check to see if these photos actually go up ok.
Best wishes to all
Dianne
Last edited by Dianne Fincham on Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Gnome
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Dianne,

First disregard pretty much any information you get from that website, they seem to be retailers without much bonsai specific knowledge. :twisted: There is zero chance that this is a Ficus.

To my knowledge there is no such tree as 'Kelkova' either, they almost certainly meant 'Zelkova' as in Zelkova serrata. Furthermore I doubt that this actually is a Zelkova. Instead, I believe it to be a Chinese Elm or Ulmus parvifolia, I actually grow both so I am fairly sure of my ID.

We see this, perhaps deliberate, misidentification frequently, very often from the UK. It is my understanding that this is done deliberately to circumvent restrictions on the importation of Elms. By mislabeling them as Zelkova they can be sneaked past ill-informed customs inspectors.

If you search the site for either of the two names (Zelkova or Chinese Elm) you will find may threads on this very subject.

If after you read through the previous threads you still have questions we will do our best to answer them. For now read [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1479]this[/url] for tips on watering. I'm off to get dinner so I'll stop for now.

Norm

Dianne Fincham
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Location: United Kingdom

I am really sorry, for some reason i put Kelkova, it actually says Zelkova. Don't know why i keep wanting to spell it with a K?
I will check out the Elm you mentioned, and the link about watering. Many thanks for getting back to me so quickly.
I do love the little plant, so i really don't mind what it turns out to be.
I did think it funny though, that i had looked up Zelkova on line, and all the plants i saw didn't exactly look like mine? As i don't know much about Bonsai at the moment, i assumed they perhaps just varied. So thank you for that. That's very interesting. I shall go and do some research!
Best wishes
Dianne

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Gnome
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Dianne,

No problem about the typo. Chinese Elms are one of the better trees for a beginner so you will be fine with it I think. Here is a side by side of Zelkova and Chinese Elm.
[url=https://img255.imageshack.us/i/zelelmzz6.jpg/][img]https://img255.imageshack.us/img255/2258/zelelmzz6.th.jpg[/img][/url]
The Zelkova is on the left. A US quarter Dollar is about 24MM

Chinese Elms also have some variation in leaf shape, here are some examples.
[url=https://img244.imageshack.us/i/elmleavesnq3.jpg/][img]https://img244.imageshack.us/img244/2779/elmleavesnq3.th.jpg[/img][/url]


Make sure that you remove the inner pot when watering, later you can return it to the outer container. Never allow water to pool around the roots.

Norm

Dianne Fincham
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Location: United Kingdom

Hi,
Many thanks for the pics, they were a great help. :D I had only said to my husband yesterday that the photo's i had seen of Zelkova seemed to have bigger leaves than mine.
By the way, i have been having a good look around this site, and i came across your calalogue of photo's of the Zelkova that you had cut, with the running up date on how it and its new growth is doing, looks fantastic :!:
I'm going to have a good read today about Chinese Elm's, and see if i can work out what i have to do with this plant of mine :!:
Best wishes
Dianne

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Gnome
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Dianne,

Glad that I could help. For now concentrate on proper watering, the chopstick method really helps until you get a feel for it. Lighting is important as well, most homes are rather dim and if you don't have a good southern exposure some supplemental lighting certainly would not hurt. This often takes the form of fluorescent bulbs/tubes placed close to the tree, avoid incandescents.

Come spring you will need to make a decision. Are you willing and/or able to locate this tree outside? It really will do better for you there.

Norm

Dianne Fincham
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Hi,
Yes, i have plenty of room outside. We have a small decked back garden, that gets a good bit of sunshine from Spring throught to Autumn, and its sheltered from the cold and wind quite well.
For now, it is on my kitchen window sill, it has lots of good natural light there, and i also have fluorescent lighting in the kitchen. One long tube approx 4 or 5 ft long down the centre. Its only a smallish kitchen, so its not far from the light, and i also have 4 fluorenscent tube under unit lights around the kitchen that are roughly at the same level as the plant.
I have given it a good watering. I took the smaller plant pot out from the large one, stood it in a few inches of water for 15 minutes or so, then let it drain, and put it back.
The soil around the roots was very very dry, and now feels much better. Hope thats ok? I will use the chop stick method for future use though.
Many thanks for your help, it really is much apreciated!
Best wishes
Dianne :D

Dianne Fincham
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Location: United Kingdom

Hi,
I am alittle worried about my Chinese Elm. I had intended sometime around early spring to either re-pot and or trim the roots? Its still only 6-8 deg C here in Cornwall UK at the moment. (Although, my tree is indoors, but i intended to put it outside in the spring).
The tree seems very happy where it is at the moment, but my problem is, i have just looked at it and its covered in new leaves and shoots, so what and when should i do something to it? Is it now too late?
My reasons for wanting to do something about the roots is because, the first time i watered it, i wondered how deep the inside pot was, so i went to lift it out, and the plant came out of the inside pot completely, with no mess, it didn't look too pot bound, but, it was very very dry. There were quite a lot of roots, and i think the tree looks as though it is in too small a pot?
The tree is 10" high, the trunk is 1.5" in diameter at the base, and the pot is 4 3/4" (12cm) in diameter, is this too small? From what i have read, it suggests that, when i eventually put it into a Bonsai pot, a pot for a tree of this size should be approx 7.5" wide x 5" deep and 1.5" high.
All help greatfully received!
Dianne

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KasWear
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I have the same tree, there from Lidl ....

When you repot you will have to check for root rot ...

Water, preferably rain water, poured into the top, then allowed to drain, then repeat process .. then water again when chopsticks have nearly dried out completly ...

Being a tropical tree they like misting and temperatures not to drop into single C figures ...

You need to research potting meduims to decide how you want to play it ...

And at least you have not made the mistake that i had of not enough light .. and they don't like cold drafts either ...

Wait til peeps have replyed further as I'm a noob 2 ...

Ta

Kas
We all choose what to think about ...

Dianne Fincham
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Hi,
Thank you for your reply. Now that it is being watered properly it does seem to be doing very well! I am really pleased with it. I just don't want to do anything to it until i am really sure of what I'm doing. The weather here in England is always a bit 'hit n miss', but down here in Cornwall we are quite lucky as we have it quite mild. My problem now is, when and what should i do next?
Best wishes
Dianne

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Dianne,
I am alittle worried about my Chinese Elm...The tree seems very happy where it is at the moment, but my problem is, i have just looked at it and its covered in new leaves and shoots,
Sheesh, some people are hard to please. :wink: Just kidding, all too often we see trees that are hanging on by a thread, if yours is actively growing count your blessings. No need to rush into anything, remember it's a tree and operates on a different time scale than you might wish. Think in terms of weeks and months for even minor changes to become apparent and years for substantial changes to show.

The two best times to re-pot a Chinese Elm is the spring or early winter. Let me explain, most deciduous trees (which Chinese Elms can be) are re-potted just prior to leafing out in the spring. This is when I re-pot my Chinese Elms.

Since this species is a sub-tropical (some might say closer to temperate) it can be handled differently if you choose to do so. An alternative strategy is to grow it outside all summer and fall, allowing the tree to enter dormancy. After allowing a brief dormancy the tree can be brought indoors for an early spring. This would be the other appropriate time to re-pot, again just prior to it leafing out. I put the word 'can' in Italics in order to alert you that this may not be the best course of action. If your heart is set on having it inside you can with proper lighting and other appropriate care. But, the tree will be just as happy to spend the entire winter dormant.

After having written all that I will say that I have re-potted this species while in leaf with good results. You should weigh the potential benefits against the risks involved. Exactly how root-bound is the tree? How bad is the soil, and how small is the actual pot?
My reasons for wanting to do something about the roots is because, the first time i watered it, i wondered how deep the inside pot was, so i went to lift it out, and the plant came out of the inside pot completely, with no mess, it didn't look too pot bound, but, it was very very dry.
A tree that can be lifted out of it's pot with an intact rootball is not necessarily a problem. The fact that it was dry falls on you. You can manage a tree in a less than ideal soil, it comes down to proper watering. The old adage about watering multiple times becomes more important the denser the medium is.

A modern, free draining medium can be watered much easier than a finely textured, denser one. If your tree is in a relatively dense medium, which it very likely is, then watering twice or even three times in quick succession will help to ensure that all of the soil is thoroughly saturated each time you water. This should always be your goal, no half measures when it comes to watering, it's all or nothing.
There were quite a lot of roots, and i think the tree looks as though it is in too small a pot?
A good intact rootball is OK, a badly root bound one starts to become a problem but it is a gradual thing. A 1 1/2" trunk in a 4 3/4" pot does seem rather small but we don't know how long it was in that pot. Your tree was likely field grown and only recently potted in order to be sold. Sometimes a smaller pot is better in that it allows the medium to dry quicker. The ideal pot size/medium type combination is one that dries, and therefore requires watering, daily. Not saying you should water every day just that a large mass of soil that stays wet for extended periods is not appropriate. Often large trees that are collected are potted in the smallest pot that will accommodate the rootball.

I'm not trying to discourage you from re-potting just to make you aware so that you can make an informed decision. If you are leaning toward re-potting you will need to locate a pot that is appropriately sized and appeals to you. You will also need to acquire (either purchase or mix your own which is a whole other kettle of fish) and determine when you are going to do it. Until you have the appropriate supplies on hand, the point is moot. Have you read the thread about what constitutes a good bonsai medium?
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3422
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3423

Norm

Dianne Fincham
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Hi, Thank you for your reply. When the tree was first given to me it was very dry as i mentioned. I have been watering it well, and it seems quite happy. When watering, the water seems to run straight through and out the bottom!
I have just took a couple of photo's of the roots, they are not very good, but hopefully you will be able to see them ok. Mostly, they are quite fine roots.
[img]https://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af79/DianneFincham/Chinese%20Elm%20%20Bonsai%20%20%20%20Not%20Zelkova%20afterall/ChineseElmRoots.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af79/DianneFincham/Chinese%20Elm%20%20Bonsai%20%20%20%20Not%20Zelkova%20afterall/ChineseElmRoots2.jpg[/img]

Also, someone has told me that i should cut back all shoots to 2 leaves, and to do this regularly? That sort of goes against most of what i've read? I'm not in a particular hurry to do anything with it, I'm mainly worried incase the pot is too small. This tree seems quite happy, and i want to keep it that way.
I was hoping to put it outside soon, probably in another month or so, as its quite mild here. The temperature at the moment has now gone up to 8 deg c, and we don't have much frost now.
What do you think?
Best wishes
Dianne

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Dianne,
Hi, Thank you for your reply.
You're welcome, glad to help.
I have been watering it well, and it seems quite happy. When watering, the water seems to run straight through and out the bottom!
That is as it should be, just make sure that the soil at the center of the pot is being properly saturated as well. Sometimes water can take a path around the rootball, that's what the 'watering three times' is all about, making sure that all the soil is properly hydrated.
I have just took a couple of photo's of the roots, they are not very good, but hopefully you will be able to see them ok. Mostly, they are quite fine roots.
The root system does not give me impression that re-potting is urgent. I would be inclined to change the soil but it can be managed the way it is with proper watering.
Also, someone has told me that i should cut back all shoots to 2 leaves, and to do this regularly? That sort of goes against most of what i've read?
Often there is an ebb and flow to bonsai, they do not always look their best. At times they must be allowed to put on some growth in order to assure their health. Of course this will vary from species to species and the state of development your tree is in.

For your tree I think I would wait until you are ready to move it outside. The tender foliage that grew indoors may not fare well in real sun. By pruning it just prior to moving it outside you will be removing a lot of that soft growth. Then when the new shoots form they will be acclimated to the sun and you should see better color and shorter internodes.

Norm

Dianne Fincham
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Hi, Thank you for all your help. Thats great! If i don't need to do nothing now, other than watering, that will give me more time to read and learn alot more before i do anything :D
Best wishes
Dianne

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Dianne,
Thats great! If i don't need to do nothing now, other than watering, that will give me more time to read and learn alot more before i do anything
That can be one of the hardest lessons to learn, when to do nothing. Some think that bonsai is time consuming and in a sense it is, it takes years sometimes to see any progress but on a day to day basis it is often best to do nothing other than check for sufficient water.

To help you with your research here are two good sites.
https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/articles.htm
https://www.bonsai4me.com/index.htm

In particular this page will be of interest.
https://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics/Basicsdevelopingmallsai.htm
It looks like some of the pictures are down but you'll get the idea.

Make sure to come back to let us know how your tree is doing.

Norm

Dianne Fincham
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Hi,
I put my tree outdoors as planned, got it slowly acclimatized, and it was doing well. I went on a 2 week holiday, my son came around several times to check everything and to water the plants. When i came back, it didn't look quite so good. Well, its been down hill ever since really? I think?
Now, a couple of weeks later, it has hardly any leaves on it, and some are yellowy brown. Having said all that, it has now got several long branches with loads of lovely new leaves on!
I was intending to remove some branches this month, as it looks very 'straggly'. I wanted to tidy it up a bit, and start to give it some 'form'. The question is, is it up to it? Is there anything wrong with it or was it just going through a stage?
The temperature here in Cornwall at the moment is very hot.
Any suggestions welcome.
Dianne

tomfisher
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well the yellowy colored leaves can be either too much water or too little but the browning suggests it may be getting scorched you should maybe try putting it in a shadier area?

i am quite new at this as well so i don't know how reliable my information is but hey arnt we all learning :D

also i was just wondering whats the watering method you were talking about something about a chopstick?

Dianne Fincham
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Hi,
Thank you for your reply, i would say it is possible that it has become scorched. I have moved it further into the shade. I wouldn't say it has been over watered, but possible under watered. I have been down on our boat for a few days.
As for the chop stick- from what i gather, you put the chop stick into the soil and leave it there, then, to check the soil, you pull out the stick to see if it is damp or dry. I have tried it, and it does work!
Dianne
Last edited by Dianne Fincham on Mon May 24, 2010 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tomfisher
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ah that seems very useful i will have to try that.

hows the plant doing now?

Dianne Fincham
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Well, when the sun goes down, I'm going to do the 3x 15min watering. Then see if it picks up tomorrow. I shall have to keep a careful watch over it for the next week or so. I still don't really know whether i should give it a 'hair cut' or not? I was also considering a root trim? Though maybe they shouldn't be done at the same time?
Dianne

tomfisher
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personally i wouldn't do both at once just in case the worst were to happen but again im still new to this also

Dianne Fincham
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Hi, I have just been out to take some photos of him, and not only has he got loads of new leaves, but, he's also got 4 babies! I will post the photos in a minute. Just got to load them up to photobucket.
On one hand, i think maybe, i should leave it alone for a bit yet, but on the otherhand, i would like to take off some of these really long branches. Perhaps you will be kind enough to take a look at the pics when i up load them, and tell me what you think?
Dianne

Dianne Fincham
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Hi, Here are some pics. Please let me know what you think. Should i give it a little trim or not?
The first is an over view of the tree as a whole

[img]https://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af79/DianneFincham/may2010thecompletetree.jpg[/img]

The second is a closer pic


[img]https://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af79/DianneFincham/may2010thecompletetree2.jpg[/img]

the third is a close up of the new growth


[img]https://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af79/DianneFincham/may2010closeupofnewgrowth.jpg[/img]

The fourth is a close up of the 'over growth' which i'd like to remove some

[img]https://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af79/DianneFincham/may2010closeupofbranches.jpg[/img]

the last one is one of the 4 little babies around the side of the pot

[img]https://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af79/DianneFincham/may2010thebabies.jpg[/img]

Any ideas?
Dianne

Marsman
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How did I miss this thread? :)

Hi Dianne! You have a very nice elm. I. personally . think you need to let the leaves bud out before you do any pruning. That will give you an idea of what branch is healthy. It looks good over-all.

Gnome, am I right in my assessment.
(Always go with what Norm suggests. He is a very smart guy.)

Dianne Fincham
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Hi,
Thank you for your reply. Yes, on reflection, its not looking too bad now. Its just that it was looking really lovely before i went away. It seems happy in the spot in the garden that i've put it in. So i was quite surprised when loads of leaves dropped off!
Thank you for your advice, i will not touch it for the time being. I get a little worried as, we keep disappearing for a couple of days at a time, we've got a boat and we like to spend as much time down on the water as possible. I do make sure everything is well watered the night before i go. And the area in the garden i keep them in has sun for the first part of the day, but, when the sun gets stronger near to mid day the sun has practically gone from there. So i hope thats ok?
Will look forward to reading any replies when i get back. Going off again after lunch and will be back on Thursday. (So really they only get one totally neglected day). Weathers absolutely beautiful hear 8)
Many thanks Dianne

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Gnome
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Dianne,

Thanks for the pictures, I was having a hard time visualizing the state the tree is in. They are a little blurry so perhaps you can clarify something. It looks like the tree has sprouted new leaves all along the length of the branches, is that correct? If so it would seem it is well on it's way to recovery, the suckers also indicate that the root system is healthy so I think it is going to pull through.

Assuming you agree with the above, I would think that you can go ahead and do some pruning now. The normal practice is to shorten long shoots to just a few buds. If you see that buds close to the trunk are forming new leaves you can cut the shoot back pretty far. If there is no obvious leaf, or green bud, it might be wiser to only cut back to where you can be sure there is growth. This is a concession to the fact that the tree was stressed, if it was completely healthy you could but them all back hard as described above.

A bigger issue is that I fear you will be struggling with the tree all summer. Bonsai need to be checked daily for water at this time of year, not 'several times' over the course of a two week period. Do you have a neighbor that you can trust to water it for you?

By the way, that new leaves that come in will be adapted to being outside, even in full sun. Since you are often away the more sheltered location might make more sense though.

Norm

Dianne Fincham
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Hi Norm,
Thank you for your reply. Yes the tree is absolutely loaded with new leaves forming on most branches if not all.
I had originally thought about taking it with me, but, it may not like living on the boat? The boats quite stable, but it is a yacht, and i wouldn't want to risk it being knocked over! We only go for 2 nights at a time, so there's only one day out of the 3 that i don't check it (about 3 days during a 2 week period).
When i get home each time, i check him immediately, and he's always fine! not dried out or anything. But i think going away and leaving him for 2 weeks was not a good plan, i should have taken him with me. My step-son came around and looked after everything, and he did well, but, i shouldn't have left this one?
Will follow your instructions closely.
Many thanks
Dianne

JordanRHughes
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Re: My Kelkova

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Dianne Fincham wrote:Hi,
This is my first attempt at putting photo's on, so i hope this works? The Bonsai in question is a Kelkova which as i said before i had as a presant. The first photo is the plant as a whole, including the pot it came in. Its not in situe, i just placed it there to give a darker background.
[img]https://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af79/DianneFincham/Chinese%20Elm%20%20Bonsai%20%20%20%20Not%20Zelkova%20afterall/Kelkova.jpg[/img]
The second photo is a close up of the leaves,and the upper branches from slightly underneath, this photo is the best one for actual colour match. The leaves are serrated. [url=https://bookit.com/us/florida/]florida hotels[/url]
[img]https://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af79/DianneFincham/Chinese%20Elm%20%20Bonsai%20%20%20%20Not%20Zelkova%20afterall/Kelkovabranchesleaves.jpg[/img]
The third photo is of the base of the trunk
[img]https://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af79/DianneFincham/Chinese%20Elm%20%20Bonsai%20%20%20%20Not%20Zelkova%20afterall/Kelkovatrunk.jpg[/img]
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And the fourth photo shows the upper branches and leaves
[img]https://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af79/DianneFincham/Chinese%20Elm%20%20Bonsai%20%20%20%20Not%20Zelkova%20afterall/Kelkovatrunk2.jpg[/img]
The pot itself, has a smaller plastic pot inside (not so deep). I was unsure about watering, i have been checking to see if it feels dry and then watering it. However, today, i thought i would just try to lift the inner pot out to see how deep it was etc, and the whole plant came out of the pot very easily, all the soil around it is very dry. I quickly put it back as i was afraid i would do damage.

History of this plant:
It was a present, it was bought from a local shop/store. The lable that came with it says its a Kelkova, and it give a website of www.takeawaytrends.com I had a look at there site for extra information. They briefly describe it as Latin name Ficus retusa Microcarpas Common name Bonsai (I thought, that tells me a lot)! It was referred to as a house plant. It says to cut back leaves and branches between March & August. And to keep out of direct sunlight.
It says it was brought up in the Far East and was cared for by Asian experts.
The site did give details about watering etc, but as i was not over impressed by most of what i read, i would prefer to gain further information from else where.

On websites that i have looked at, this plant has been described as an outdoor plant?

I keep it on my kitchen window sill where it does seem to be quite happy. It has lots of natural light there, but no direct sun light. It has lost a few leaves, and there are a few leaves on there that are obviously going to drop off, but they were like that when i got it. I am concerned that it may not be in the right sort of pot?
I have not touched this plant at all, and will not do so until i have better advice on what to do. I assume that either way i should wait until at least April.

I live in Cornwall UK, so the weather here is quite mild compared to most places. I have plenty of room both indoor and outside should the need be.

Well, I'm going to leave it there for a moment, and just check to see if these photos actually go up ok.
Best wishes to all
Dianne
That is so awesome. Thanks for posting.

Jordan.
Last edited by JordanRHughes on Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Dianne Fincham
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Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:19 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Hi Jordan,
Thank you, i am fairly new to this, and as you can see, i had a bit of a worry over this tree. Having taken all the great advice i've been given, i am pleased to say, this tree is now starting to look really nice again! All the little new leaves that were forming have grown already! and, they look smaller than the original leaves. Don't know if thats how they start off? but they definately look smaller. I will give it a little longer, then i will post a new photo of it.
Best wishes
Dianne

Dianne Fincham
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Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:19 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Hi, I just thought i would post an 'up date' on how my Chinese Elm is doing. It went through a very difficult stage, i thought i was going to lose it. It turned brown, lost most of its leaves, and looked a bit sad! Now it has picked up, and is looking wonderful! It has lush green leaves, and is very happy. It has acclimatized to being outside very well, and loves it in his new position.
A big thank you to everyone who has helped me in the past with information and know how.
Both my Chinese Elm and my Dwarf Alberta spruce are both doing very well, and i have a collection of cuttings from Juniper, cotoneaster, and a few other cuttings, most of which are doing well, and i hope to be able to produce some nice bonsai from them.
Best wishes Dianne

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Dianne,

Thanks for the update and glad that your charges are doing well. Was there another scare or are you referring to the one described earlier? Not really important, just curious. As long as it is OK now that is the important thing.

How do you intend to manage it for the winter? There have been several questions recently about overwintering. Make sure to scroll back through the recent posts.

Norm

Dianne Fincham
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Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:19 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Hi Norm,
Thank you for your reply. This problem happened twice within a short time. However, he seems to have recovered very well. He is very happy where he is placed.
I have a very sheltered back garden, and even when there is frost at the front of our home, there is none to been seen in the back garden. I have a little area that i keep for the Bonsai. I built up a small garden not much more than 1 metre sq. Right in front of another long raised bed. All my baby plans are in there, and the 2 main ones (this one and the little conifer) stand on the ground beside it. They are sheltered there from the wind as behind the other raised bed is a tall wooden fence, to the right is the wall to our home, and to the left about 6' away is a small shed. Around all this, our garden has an extremely tall hedge, approx 12' high. So it is always a few deg. warmer in the back garden compared to the front.
As for winter, well, i am keeping a very close eye on them. I thought we were going to have a frost the other night, so i covered them in a huge sheet of bubble wrap! But it was fine. I also have a small 'plastic type' green house/cold frame. its only 4' high by about 2' sq. With 3 shelves in it. I am considering lining it with bubble wrap or something, including the shelves just in case, so that i can put them in there if and when i need to.
Otherwise, if it gets really cold/snow i will bring them into the back vestibule, as it stays reasonably cool in there, but they would still get plenty of light.
Hope i am doing all this right? I would hate to lose any of them now! Many thanks for all your help, best wishes Dianne

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Dianne,

It sounds like you are doing fine. My Chinese Elms are still outside even though we have had several nights below freezing so far. Being on the ground is good as long as they are safe from other concerns, pets, rodents, falling branches, etc. The roots are the primary concern and being on the ground helps in that regard as there is considearble warmth stored in the earth. Some mulch around the pots won't hurt.

I don't let mine get too far below freezing though and once winter really sets in they go into an unheated garage. If your garden generally stays above freezing you shlould not have much trouble. You might utilize your little greenhouse or vestibule later in the season, your call.

Norm

Dianne Fincham
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Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:19 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Hi, Just thought i'd let you know that my Chinese Elm is doing very well! I am really pleased with the way it has coped with the cold weather. The leaves are lovely and green, and it seems very happy!

It was my birthday yesterday (20th Feb), and my parents bought me another Bonsai. Again, they have bought it from the same place. (As a reminder, my Chinese Elm came with a 'Zelkovia' label). This one has come with a 'Ficus Ginseng' label. I don't mean to be dis-trusting, but, i thought perhaps it wise to find out a bit more about it, (assuming it to be what it says it is)?

So i shall have a good look on here for any others that have already been put up, and i shall go through my books. Failing that, i will up load some photos as a new topic in hope of some advice. Mainly i need to check if it is an indoor or outdoor Bonsai?
Best wishes
Dianne

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Dianne,

Isn't it good to get through your first winter? I had a rough time when I started out but now it is much easier.

The Ficus is going to an indoor plant for part of the year for you but will do much better outside during summer. Some varieties of Ficus apparently don't like to placed into a new environment and can drop their leaves. I say apparently as I only grow one variety of Ficus and mine have been very much trouble free.

Ginseng Ficus are a variety of F. microcarpa (AKA F. retusa) they are readily identified by the bulbous roots. There are many threads here, some with pictures so you should have no trouble making an ID

For more information on Ficus check out Bonsai Hunk. Jerry is well known among Ficus growers and has even written several books.

https://www.bonsaihunk.us/cultural.html

Dianne Fincham
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Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:19 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Hi, Thank you for that, i will check out the link you gave me. I just had a quick look and it looks as thought there is a lot of info to be found there! So its something i need to take my time and read carefully.
Many thanks for your help once again.
I will also post some photos of my 'babies' soon, as they are coming along very nicely, some from cuttings and some from seed. All about 10cm high, and all survived the snow!
Best wishes
Dianne

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