douglasarthur
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help resources - identification

Hi, I am new to the forum and new to bonsai....new to horticulture of any kind really. I am eager to learn and have been overwhelmed lately by all the reasearch I have been doing on the subject.

Wanted to get some help in identifying some of my plants I have collected.

I started off by getting this at IKEA of all places...I thought it was an indoor plant up until the garden show this weekend where I talked to some bonsai people. I believe this is some sort of Elm but I am so new to this that I second guess myself and wanted to get the right species from you.
[img]https://www.douglasarthur.com/bonsai/plant1.jpg[/img]

I got this one from the garden show this weekend and forgot the name. I thought oh I will just look it up and figure it out. I wont make that mistake again. Chinese Elm sappling?
[img]https://www.douglasarthur.com/bonsai/plant2.jpg[/img]

I got this adolescent bonsai from the garden show this weekend as well...from the research I have been doing I believe its a japanese larch...but then again im not sure. I also think that they forced it to bud for the show....I want to learn more about the care for this one as well as the others.
[img]https://www.douglasarthur.com/bonsai/plant3.jpg[/img]

Thanks for your help and I will do my best to contribute but in the meantime I will probably be more of a sponge...

Douglas

constantstaticx3
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Ok your first tree is definantly a chinese elm and good for you they are very hardy and easier to take care of than most other species.

The second tree also looks like a chinese elm but the leaves look very small, from the way the picture shows, it would be helpful to post a picture of the entire tree.

The third tree, I can confirm, is a japanese larch, once again another pic. of the whole tree would be helpful. You may be right that it was forced to bud for the purposes of selling because its more attractive than a stick. This tree should normaly be dormant right now, but you could probobly keep it inside until spring because where you are im sure its probobly cold and if you were to put it outside now it would be very stressful and possibly kill it.

In your research did you learn the proper way to care for your trees like watering and the type of soil they like. I cant tell from your pictures what the soil is like but if you bought them from a bonsai grower then it is probobly good soil. I'm not sure what info you have aquired through your research so if you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask.

Tom

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Douglas,

Welcome to the Helpful Gardener. The first tree is possibly a Chinese Elm, the leaves seem just a bit on the larger size but this species exhibits quite a bit of variability. Another possibility would be Zelkova. Its kind of hard to get a feel for the scale of it in a picture. Here is a comparison between the two.

[url=https://img255.imageshack.us/my.php?image=zelelmzz6.jpg][img]https://img255.imageshack.us/img255/2258/zelelmzz6.th.jpg[/img][/url]


The second also appears to be a Chinese Elm but a different variety, one of the "corkier" ones perhaps.

As for the last one, I don't grow Larch but that identification just does not feel right to me.

[url=https://www.bonsai.se/L1-2.html]The Larch.[/url]

Norm

Edit: Douglas, I will defer to Tom on the ID of the larch, as I said I am not really familiar with them.

constantstaticx3
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Yea, its a strange looking tree when it first buds but i've had one before and it looks just like it and I'm pretty sure thats what it is.

Tom

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Tom,

Your previous and mine "crossed in the mail". It does look unusual, I did a quick google on it but did not find a picture of the young foliage.

Norm

douglasarthur
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[url=https://www.douglasarthur.com/bonsai/plant2large.jpg]Here is a large pic of plant number 2 250kb[/url]

[url=https://www.douglasarthur.com/bonsai/plant3large.jpg]Here is a large pic of plant number 3 287kb[/url]

Best I could do on the pics in the indoor light. I brought the 3rd plant (larch?) inside its been about 30F at night. But with it budding I will follow your advice...I might just put it in my garage.

Thanks for your help, I am very enthusiastic about this stuff.

constantstaticx3
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Ok, with the second tree i believe gnome was right with the second tree that it is a cork bark version of a chinese elm, i recently bought one too and I'm basing my identification off the spacing of the nodes they look very similiar to mine. Im still sticking to a japanese larch with the second one though, the foliage is missleading though it may be drooping a bit.
here is a pic that is a bit more perky.
https://www.bonsaietc.com/BEtcShopSeedlingJapLarch_v5.htm
The one I had was the same too, the buds start compact but as they grow they get larger and more sloppy. My thinking with this is it just may be in need of water. Though with these they should be treated as conifers even though they lose there needles every year.

What are your watering habbits?

Also, since this was probobly forced to bud, this may also atribute to the odd looking foliage as well.
I brought the 3rd plant (larch?) inside its been about 30F at night. But with it budding I will follow your advice...I might just put it in my garage.
This is a good idea to bring it in, at this stage the foliage is very vulnerable. Im not sure if putting it in youre garage would be good for it right now, unless its heated, this may protect the foliage more but it could force it back into dormancy, with spring so near, its probobly best to keep it indoors until then.

Overall, your trees look healthy so whatever your doing with them is working so keep it up.

Tom

constantstaticx3
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Also, one thing i missed, are your trees by a window and recieve indirect light, this is very important for your larch, which I'm holding my ground on, because with further examination of the foliage i do believe it is drooping and details on how your caring for it will be needed to find out why.

Tom

douglasarthur
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yah its now inside by a window. i have just had it for a week i bought it last weekend at a bonsai show...i suppose it was forced to bud early for the show so some noob like me would buy it lol...but i liked it so its mine.

i have read that the soil needs to be moist especially during its budding. i wanted to identify it for sure so that i can start learning the proper way of caring for it...mainly what to feed it and how to prune it for growth.

at first i read that they liked the cold so i have had it outside...but it was fairly windy and rainy so i think it just got beat up a little bit.

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Douglas,
I have read that the soil needs to be moist especially during its budding.
Moist yes, not constantly wet. What kind of soil is it in? We are talking about the Larch now right? [url=https://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics/Basics_Watering.html]Here[/url] is some information about watering. And a [url=https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Larix.html]care sheet.[/url]
mainly what to feed it and how to prune it for growth
There won't be much pruning to do on this for quite some time. This tree will take years to grow out to anything that approaches a finished bonsai. Begin to look around for bonsai pictures to provide you some inspiration. This will help you begin to visualize what a mature bonsai looks like. The gallery here has some pictures from a bonsai show. Use [url=https://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=larch+bonsai&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2]Google[/url] to search for examples.

Norm

douglasarthur
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"Maintenance pruning should be carried out through the year by pinching back new shoots; allowing new growth to extend first before pinching back will allow the branches and trunk to thicken."

I am assuming that this statement applies to larches of all ages.

I actually spent some time looking at the tree tonight after I took those pictures. I will take some pics from now and then and show the progress of it. The first thing I am going to do is repot it.

Based on what I have found its best to repot it during its budding.

When sites say stuff like "basic soil mix" and high nitrogen feed...it seems general...have you guys come across any resources for what kinds of basic soils and fertalizers are the best for the different varieties?

ynot
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constantstaticx3,

You have been right all along :), I have it on good authority it is a budding Japanese Larch from a guy that has been growing them for years.
[A hint for Gnome: In NH.]

Tom has also asked a pair of key questions about your watering practices and general care routine which will are very important.
douglasarthur wrote:"Maintenance pruning should be carried out through the year by pinching back new shoots; allowing new growth to extend first before pinching back will allow the branches and trunk to thicken."

I am assuming that this statement applies to larches of all ages.
Yes, But you pinch to direct [or re-direct] growth to suit your goals for the tree. To force the growth the direction you want. If you feel this tree is at a stage where you seek refinement - pinch away. If you want additional growth it needs to be left unchecked.
Since this was forced out of dormancy early it may be best to just let it ride without any extra stress until it goes back outside to live.
The first thing I am going to do is repot it.

Based on what I have found its best to repot it during its budding.
No, The first thing you need to do is research some potting media [It's really quite entirely unlike 'soil from the garden' actually].
Generally, It is best to repot slightly before the buds break-We are past that point with this one.
When sites say stuff like "basic soil mix" and high nitrogen feed...it seems general...have you guys come across any resources for what kinds of basic soils and fertalizers are the best for the different varieties?
I am so glad to hear your doing research 8) 8).
I don't know where you got 'high nitrogen', A balanced fert is better [10-10-10- or 20-20-20- etc.]
There is no such thing a 'bonsai fertilizer' btw {I should say people will sell you 'bonsai fert' BUT the only difference is the writing on the package}.
Personally I rotate through use of Miracle grow, Peters, Alaska fish emulsion [Outside only] and chelated Ironite.

Bonsai soil is a tricky subject as what works for someone else might not be nearly as effective for you due to your circumstances being different.

Here are a few places to start researching soil:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3422
https://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics/Basics_Soils.html

Some excellent general bonsai articles: https://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics.html
& https://evergreengardenworks.com/articles.htm

Good luck,
ynot

constantstaticx3
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You have been right all along Smile
I knew I was right, I had one before and it looked just like that. Sadly I had no luck.

Anyway, I'm not an expert on your location but to my understanding it rains threre a lot, is this true?
When you do repot, which would probobly not be till next year, you should use a well draining mix. I'm not sure on what larches normaly like to be planted in so you should rely on your research and suggestions from ynot who has been growing them for a long time.

Tom

ynot
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constantstaticx3 wrote:
You have been right all along Smile
I knew I was right, I had one before and it looked just like that. Sadly I had no luck.
Everybody likes confirmation :)
Sorry to hear that Larches didn't work out for you :(, Maybe give them another shot...?
I'm not sure on what larches normaly like to be planted in so you should rely on your research and suggestions from ynot who has been growing them for a long time.

Tom
:shock: :lol:
Oh no I haven't.
I am in IL and I really did get that ID from a guy in New Hampshire. That's why I was so late to the thread.

I don't even have one [-Yet], I have wanted one for a while but I lived on the coast in NC and it was far too hot to grow them.

I didn't mean to give the impression it was me-Sorry for the confusion.

ynot

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Douglas,

To a bonsai grower "basic soil mix" means something entirely different than it might to someone familiar with gardening in general. As Ynot noted, do some research through the links he provided, don't rush into anything. I agree that re-potting now may not be in your best interest. Bonsai is a slow process, I understand the desire to do something but patience please.

Many times high N fertilizers are recommended as a way to "jump-start" a tree in the spring. Nitrogen is used by the plant to produce foliage so it is at this time, spring, that it is needed in greater amounts. A balanced product certainly poses no health risk though and can be used throughout the remainder of the season and on your other plants as well. Its a more general type of product.
Yes, But you pinch to direct [or re-direct] growth to suit your goals for the tree. To force the growth the direction you want. If you feel this tree is at a stage where you seek refinement - pinch away. If you want additional growth it needs to be left unchecked.
To clarify this a bit, pinching can be used to direct new growth on young material if you have a plan for the tree. However many authors state that pinching, back to two pairs of leaves for instance, should be carried out routinely. But what is often not mentioned is that this is not really intended for very young material. Young trees need to grow, pinching is counterproductive to your goals with young material.

Your first Elm could stand some trimming though, please start a new thread though, with an appropriate subject line, this helps keep the site more organized.

Norm

constantstaticx3
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I didn't mean to give the impression it was me-Sorry for the confusion.
don't worry about it. Thats just how it sounded but know its clear :). Looking at it now i see what you meant.
Maybe give them another shot...?
I do plan to in the future, they can be very magnificent trees if they are cared for properly. Aparently I didn't care for mine correctly, it was a watering problem, i had a hard time finding out just how much water it really wanted and didn't find out soon enough.

Douglas's tree looks like it has great potential. The trunk is thick and it has a good line to it. With some knowledge and proper training methods, in the future this could be an impressive bonsai.

Tom

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Douglas,

I think I owe you an apology.

I wrote:
There won't be much pruning to do on this for quite some time. This tree will take years to grow out to anything that approaches a finished bonsai.
And:
But what is often not mentioned is that this is not really intended for very young material. Young trees need to grow, pinching is counterproductive to your goals with young material.
I was looking at the first picture that you posted when I formulated those remarks. Somehow I overlooked the second picture that showed the overall tree. I had the impression that the tree was a much younger specimen.

Norm

douglasarthur
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Thanks,

I have been reading that continual pruning throughout the growing seasons on the tops of the trees and branches will thicken the truck and lower branches. Without doing so the energy is spent in the most vigorous part of the tree which results in even further weakening of the smaller limbs.

Unfortunately I am kinda guessing with my tree right now because it thinks its springtime....so I guess its a long springtime this year.

I am watering it daily now and plan on fertalizing it bi-weekly. I am not going to do much right now with it. Now that I know what kind of tree it is and how to care for it I feel better just watching it and studying its health for now.

You know if I would have applied myself this much in my school days I could be smart now or something. :shock:

heh, thanks again!

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