Johnff
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Chinese elm growing "giant"leaves!

My Chinese Elm has started growing giant leaves-much larger than that which would look attractive!I have been pruning it around the outside in order to give the interior leaves a chance but within ten days they´re back-around the edges and on top! :o Any ideas on why?
Thanks -John

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Gnome
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John,

Many times plants that are grown in low light conditions compensate by producing leaves that are larger than if the plant was in a more favorable location. Internodes can also lengthen which is undesirable.

Another possibility is that your tree is not really a Chinese Elm. Sometimes Zelkovas can be mistaken for Chinese elms, or the opposite, since they have a similar appearance, other than size. This error can go uncorrected by the retailer. Take a look at the difference between the two. The Zelkova is on the left. Note the obvious size difference between the two. My Zelkovas also have a distinctive zig-zag growth pattern that the Elm lacks.

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

Something else to consider; your tree is not static and will not always look the same. It must be allowed to grow out for it to remain healthy. There is a "give and take" when you manage your trees, they will not always look their best.

Norm

ynot
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Johnff,

As Gnome points out, Lighting is a key issue here, Get it into some bright light and see if they reduce considerably. If not the species ID may be an issue as noted.

Gnome also re: an excellent point about how bonsai exist on a continuum:

The beautiful pictures you often see were taken at specific points in time along that continuum. Much of the year they look out of whack do to the principles of growth involved in getting the required development.
This is the 'give and take' he refers to.

Perfection [If you could call it that :lol:] is fleeting in bonsai, It is one on the idiosyncrasies [& Joys & Challenges] of working with a live medium.

ynot

Johnff
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Many thanks......

Many thanks for the tips!Also i like the line of thought on continuum and perfection.As a relative new comer to the world of bonsai may i ask ,if in general most "sincere "Bonzai owners find that as a result of caring for their trees ,they feel a far stronger presence of the force of "nature" in their lives than they did before?-Maybe this is obvious and i perhaps haven´t expressed this very well ,but the ideas of constant change and only moments of what we might label as "perfection" seem pretty fundamental to the whole subject,and a constant reminder to stay"grounded"about it all!
-best wishes -John

ynot
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Re: Many thanks......

Johnff wrote:Many thanks for the tips!
Your welcome, :)
Also I like the line of thought on continuum and perfection.As a relative new comer to the world of bonsai may I ask ,if in general most "sincere "Bonzai owners find that as a result of caring for their trees ,they feel a far stronger presence of the force of "nature" in their lives than they did before?-
Possibly, It is sort of a "Which came first? The chicken or the egg?" type question isn't it.
By that I mean it is also possible that the same people are drawn to growing bonsai as it allows them to nurture and keep a bit of nature to themselves. A way to bring more nature into their lives

Keep in mind that it is all illusion though, There is very little in bonsai that is inherently "natural" to the trees in question.
Consider IE: Container Culture, Re-potting, Wiring, Pruning, Defoliation, Trunk Chops, Root Pruning, Indoor growing, Grafting, Etc...

And...All of this is done to make it appear to be a naturally growing tree...Years of skillfully hidden work equals Illusion
Maybe this is obvious and I perhaps haven´t expressed this very well ,but the ideas of constant change and only moments of what we might label as "perfection" seem pretty fundamental to the whole subject,and a constant reminder to stay"grounded"about it all!
-best wishes -John
The perfect moments are wonderful, But I am really enjoying the journey.

There is a saying in bonsai that you may appreciate:
'The only finished bonsai is a dead bonsai.'
It speaks to the constant change [Hopefully for the better, Albeit frustratingly slow at times ;)] in bonsai.
A tree is never really finished, Maintenance continues.....

Keep posting,
ynot

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Gnome
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John,

Having grown up in a country setting and being exposed to gardening and the seasons my whole life, I can't say that my interest in bonsai has changed me in any fundamental way. I am not one who puts a large emphasis on the philosophical aspect of bonsai although many others do. To me bonsai is primarily a horticultural endeavor with strong helping of art.

Norm

ynot
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..In case I sounded.... artsy...LOL

Gnome wrote:I am not one who puts a large emphasis on the philosophical aspect of bonsai although many others do. To me bonsai is primarily a horticultural endeavor with strong helping of art.

Norm
I agree with this entirely Gnome.

Without a live tree, You have nothing. No matter how [insert philosophical viewpoint here] you are.

ynot

rjj
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Gnome wrote:John,

Having grown up in a country setting and being exposed to gardening and the seasons my whole life, I can't say that my interest in bonsai has changed me in any fundamental way. I am not one who puts a large emphasis on the philosophical aspect of bonsai although many others do. To me bonsai is primarily a horticultural endeavor with strong helping of art.

Norm
Norm says it nicely. I've grown plants in containers since the late 60's. The only thing that really changed when I starting growing plants to train as bonsai in 1990 was my ability to start manipulating shape and experimenting with container shapes and soils.

Guess I'm too much of a common sense country boy to spend much time trying to figure the mental aspect of it out. When I chop off a limb, the tree doesn't express harmony with the process after it was pruned and bow in deference to it's master (whatever that means). Didn't say much at all. Maybe it does and I'm just not listening.:D

Please don't think I'm belittling that aspect of the process. It's a cultural thing. I'm not one to try to emulate something that isn't real or doesn't feel real for me and who I am. My little world's not perfect, but it's my little world and I'm having fun in it.

If your little world is completely different, fine. I think that's what makes it go round. :D

randy

Johnff
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Thanks !

Thanks for all the feedback!



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