Richard Gomm
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Newbie identifying tree / Cattie Litter went wrong

Hi all,

I've just been given a bonsai as a present and have no idea where to start. I'vebeen reading the forum and it mentions lots of different types, however I have no idea which I have..... can any one help. I've attached a picture (hopefully) thanks Richard


[url]https://img57.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bonsaixl7.jpg[/url]


[img]https://img57.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bonsaixl7.jpg[/img]
Last edited by Richard Gomm on Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Richard Gomm
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Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:39 pm
Location: Ireland

I'll try that again with a pic this time....

Hopefully it'll come out this time.

I seems suc a mess compared to the one I've seen on the site. Guess I'll have fun over the years getting it to look how I wantit. Anyone have a starting metod / tips, tricks for a tree in this shape? or kow what typ of tree it is...

thanks all, I look forward to hearing any thoughts.

Richard




[url=https://img54.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bonsaijk9.jpg][img]https://img54.imageshack.us/img54/9940/bonsaijk9.th.jpg[/img][/url]

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tarian
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you tree seems to be a chinese elm
i only know of it by past experiences o0f them dieing
gnome has much knowlege on these tree's

ynot
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Re: I'll try that again with a pic this time....

Richard Gomm wrote:Hopefully it'll come out this time.

I seems suc a mess compared to the one I've seen on the site. Guess I'll have fun over the years getting it to look how I wantit. Anyone have a starting metod / tips, tricks for a tree in this shape? or kow what typ of tree it is...
Richard,

Welcome to HG,

It looks to me that you have either a Zelkova or a Chinese Elm [They are commonly confused]
https://www.bonsai4me.com/Images/SGimages/zelkova%20carpinifolia.jpg Zelkova Foliage image. https://www.bonsai4me.com/Images/SGimages/ulmus%20parvifolia%20leaf.jpg] Chinese Elm Foliage image.

I suggest a google image search for further confirmation

See [url=https://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics.html]here[/url]for more info on bonsai. I suggest you start with the articles on Watering, Soil and basic care.

There is plenty on that site to research.

When you have had time to absorb a bit of it we will be here for the next batch of questions. :)

ynot

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Gnome
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Richard,

Here is a comparison of Zelkova serrata and Ulmus parviflora. The Zelkova is on the left, note the zig-zag growth pattern and the obvious size difference between it and the Elm. It looks like you have a good start on a broom style, a bit overgrown but that is easily corrected :wink:

Norm

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

Richard Gomm
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:39 pm
Location: Ireland

thanks all

Thanks or all your help, I think I have it identifed now. I didn't realise it could be so hard. I'llgo off ad read about this broom style mentioned.

thanks again.

RG

[url=https://img248.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc00048iw5.jpg][img]https://img248.imageshack.us/img248/8777/dsc00048iw5.th.jpg[/img][/url]

[url=https://img224.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc00053km9.jpg][img]https://img224.imageshack.us/img224/4239/dsc00053km9.th.jpg[/img][/url]

[url=https://img218.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc00053ank3.jpg][img]https://img218.imageshack.us/img218/9513/dsc00053ank3.th.jpg[/img][/url]

Richard Gomm
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update

anks again everyone. Gots lot f ino tokeep me going. All the sites I g to sem to indicae these mass produced ones from dept stores rquire repotting into decent soil. so I'm off to find some. I taken the suggestion of the broom frm and pruned it back enough to start a shape going (hopefully)

I'll be keeping a web log going with upate pictres every couple of months or so, if it survives tha long (I'm not known for my green fingers.

Thanks

[url=https://img85.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc00054mg5.jpg][img]https://img85.imageshack.us/img85/4074/dsc00054mg5.th.jpg[/img][/url]

[url=https://img85.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc00055yz6.jpg][img]https://img85.imageshack.us/img85/3038/dsc00055yz6.th.jpg[/img][/url]

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Gnome
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Richard,


You're welcome. I take it that you concluded this is a Chinese Elm, correct? Sorry about the quarter dollar, I had not paid attention to your location at first. The diameter is 24MM I believe.

Glad to hear that you are taking the initiative and doing some research, there is much to learn. Yes, your medium seems to be the typical stuff seen from many retailers. Take a look at the two sticky threads at the top of the bonsai forum regarding potting and root pruning.

Also, do you see how long the distance between leaves, (internodes) is on your shoots. This is most likely due to being grown in low light conditions. New growth will be more compact if it is given better lighting. You should not have much difficulty keeping this tree alive as they are very durable. Please let us know what you are going to do about the medium.

Norm

Richard Gomm
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medium

Hi,

I've have a look thorugh the forum and there's a article on using tesco cat litter as a medium to replace the soil taht came with it - apparently its just a cheaper form of the high quality clay fired stuff they use in Japan. Thought I'd give i a go when the soil dries out a bit (its just had an imersion in water as was bone dry from the supermarket.)

Has anyone used this cat litter?

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Gnome
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Richard,

I have not tried cat litter myself as I have another product available in my area. Be aware that not all products are the same and that site is very specific about what brand to use. If you get the wrong stuff, or by chance they have modified their product, it may turn into a gooey mess, so be careful. Take a sample and put into a glass of water and observe it for a while to see if it remains stable.

The submersion was OK for an emergency but in the long run you will really be better off by watering from above. When your soil is changed there will really be no need for that type of watering.

By the way the litter is not identical to the Japanese products but you are correct in thinking that it is a more reasonably priced substitute.

Norm

Richard Gomm
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gooey mess

well I bought the stuff listed (tesco premium lightweight cat litter) and didn't read your email before hand (bad mistake)

It looked good uptill I water it! Now it appears I have gooey mess in the pot - hopefully it'll dry out and I see some kind of change. Think I'll order the proper stuff from the web and damn the expense!

I've taken a load of pictures during the process of re potting / changing soil / purning roots. Would like to share them for others to comment - should I do that in this thread? I've included a picture of the gooey mess at the moment!

thanks

Richard Gomm
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For any other Irish person thinking of using the Tesco cat litter - don't. It is not fired over - it appears to be natural clay and goes very messey!!!

[url=https://img68.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc00065al9.jpg][img]https://img68.imageshack.us/img68/6871/dsc00065al9.th.jpg[/img][/url]

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Gnome
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Richard,

Sorry about your problem. I'll have to keep that in mind when talking to folks across the pond. They must have changed their product.

You are going to have to get the plant out of that crap and wash it all off as soon as possible. It may be OK long enough for you to get something better, if you act very quickly. Don't plan on leaving it in that for more than a day, I'd be afraid it would turn into concrete. I don't think you can wait to order something over the net, you do not need akadama anyway. I know it's too late today but first thing in the morning make it your mission to make this right.

The easiest route is to call around to nurseries/garden centers and try to locate a ready-mixed product. A mix intended for cacti might make a good base to start from if you cant find bonsai mix. Some growers here use chicken grit as a part of their medium, make sure it's not oyster shell though. Pine bark and perlite can be used in a pinch. I never thought I would say this but even commercial potting mix (add some bark and perlite) would be preferable to leaving it in this stuff. Please heed my advice as this is a death sentence for your tree. This is as close to a true bonsai emergency as I think I have ever seen.

If you follow the link at the top of this page to the "Garden Forum Index" you will find that there is a bonsai gallery that would probably be better for posting a series of pictures. Good luck and Let us know what you discover.

Norm
Last edited by Gnome on Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ynot
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EMERGENCY :shock:

I agree

Richard: Just a quick thought that will be too late for you to apply.


Straight sand could be used in a pinch, It would also be less problematic later. [Than potting soil IE]

The larger the particle size the better.

Do not use sand for playgrounds-It is far too small [In particle size]

ynot

Richard Gomm
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Hi,

yep I agree it went terribly wrong. I pulled it striaght out and washed the gunk off. The best I could o for now was to dump it in some potting compost I had in the shed. No sand or grit in it the mo.

What'd you think to it staying in that for a few days? Was going to order the correct stuff off the web but probably not get here for 3 - 4 days (only as theirs no where to buy the stuff (I'm in the middle of nowhere!) I would use the soil I took it out off but it was thrown away and no covered in food in the bin.

still we live and learn, just hope its not completely killed off...

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Gnome
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Richard,

Do you have a creek bed nearby that is not contaminated by any road salts or farm runoff? You should easily be able to gather enough grit/small rocks to plant your tree in. I have done this for top dressing but see no reason that it could not be used as the bulk of your medium.

Screens and running water will enable you to size the rocks and remove the silt which is very important. I have used chopped peat moss that I collected as a component for some azaleas that I have. This can also be a part of your mix. If you can find any decomposing wood chips that may also help. Shoot for a particle size of 3-6 MM (I hope my metrics are correct).

You can leave it in what you have if you must but the longer you leave it the less I would want to re-pot it again soon. Did you pot it correctly or is this a temporary thing. Oh and by the way broom style trees are always planted vertically.

Check back in tonight if you wish. I, check in periodically. I'm sure we can come up with something. Think about the creek rocks this could work out really well for you.

Norm

Richard Gomm
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Thanks for the tips. I'm going to go into town tomorrow, just remembered a shop that had a bag of Bonsai mix..... that will hopefully work till next time..... if the tree lives!

As for potting - I've placed it (vertically this time) and done what I can with the compost soil, and given it a good watering. Any hins on your idea of potting properly?

I'll star new thread for the roots, as I have pics and question on them that other newbies might find ueful too.

thanks

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Gnome
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Richard,

What I meant by potting it properly: earlier you said
The best I could o for now was to dump it in some potting compost I had in the shed.
I was not sure you had actually taken the time to pot it or if you intended the potting compost as a temporary measure. I'll look at the other thread in a bit. Please remember that whatever product you choose it will, more than likely, need to be screened to remove the fines that will only clog everything up again. Here is a picture of the grit I was able to collect for free.

Norm
[url=https://img101.imageshack.us/my.php?image=creekrockscc8.jpg][img]https://img101.imageshack.us/img101/39/creekrockscc8.th.jpg[/img][/url]

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