Juliew
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Location: East Central Florida - Brevard County - Zone 9b

Re: Need Help!

Thanks for your response, Gnome. Right now I have the rootball wrapped in a damp (not wet) terry cloth towel. I will put it back in its pot with the soil it came with. I ordered a bonsai mix and will get it Friday. (I always seem to do things bass ackwards!)
To be clear, you're suggesting that I leave the roots alone, and repot it with the proper mix and place it in a little larger container with good drainage until it gets better. Is this correct?
I really hope I haven't signed its death warrant....
Once again, thanks for your help.
Julie
Brevard County, East Central Florida Zone 9b

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Gnome
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Re: Need Help!

Ideally you would be doing this work as the tree is coming out of dormancy in which case you would remove all of the old soil. This time of year What is commonly known as 'slip potting' is more appropriate.

Tease the roots a little, removing anything dead or mushy. When potting don't try too hard to retain the old soil, let the loose stuff fall away. Don't be too aggressive removing it either, that will have to wait for another time. Put some mix in the bottom of the pot (screen/s may be required) and seat the plant. Back fill with more mix, using a sharpened chopstick, or similar, to work the soil in around the roots.

Water the new planting in well, seriously, drench it, this will help to settle the soil. Don't put it in full sun right away.

Juliew
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Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:10 am
Location: East Central Florida - Brevard County - Zone 9b

Re: Need Help!

Thanks Gnome, I will do as you say. Hopefully it will pull through! I will post updates later.
I appreciate your assistance,
Juliew
Brevard County, East Central Florida Zone 9b

Juliew
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Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:10 am
Location: East Central Florida - Brevard County - Zone 9b

Re: Need Help!

image.jpg
image.jpg
Update -
I followed your advice Gnome, and so far, so good. The tree wound up losing all of its leaves, but it now has a lot of leaf buds and new growth. It seems to be happy :D
The only thing I've noticed is that one side seems to have more new growth than the other side. I keep it on my back porch where it gets a lot of bright light, but no direct sunlight. Would the amount of light have anything to do with this?
I appreciate the helpful advice!
Thanks,
Julie
Brevard County, East Central Florida Zone 9b

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Re: Need Help!

Julie,

Glad to hear your tree is coming around, when I saw your post I was afraid it would be bad news. The unequal leaf growth could be due to low light or it could simply be that you will lose some branches from all the stress it has been through. Either way, slow and steady wins the race, no drastic changes for now. A slightly more exposed location would be preferable now. Be careful about the watering. Are you using the chopstick method?

BTW, the fungus I mentioned seems to effect new, tender growth more, try not to wet the foliage until it hardens off.

Juliew
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Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:10 am
Location: East Central Florida - Brevard County - Zone 9b

Re: Need Help!

Hi Gnome,
Yes, I am using the chopstick method - I wait until it is dry to the touch before watering. I'm very careful about not getting it on the leaves. Quick question - would it help to use a fungicide once every couple of weeks as a preventive measure?
Thanks so much,
Julie
Brevard County, East Central Florida Zone 9b

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Re: Need Help!

Julie,
would it help to use a fungicide once every couple of weeks as a preventive measure?
Yes, not only helpful but necessary. Fungicides are preventative not curative.

Juliew
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Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:10 am
Location: East Central Florida - Brevard County - Zone 9b

Re: Need Help!

Thanks Gnome!
Brevard County, East Central Florida Zone 9b

Juliew
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Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:10 am
Location: East Central Florida - Brevard County - Zone 9b

Re: Need Help!

I've got yet another question :D
My elm appears to be doing well, especially on one side. So well in fact, it is growing long limbs. Should I trim these limbs now to keep its shape, or should I let it recuperate more first? I can attach a pic, but for some reason it is upside down when I try to upload it!
Any and all suggestions are appreciated!
Julie
Brevard County, East Central Florida Zone 9b

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Re: Need Help for Chinese Elm - Ants & Aphids

Julie,

Don't forget, bonsai is part horticulture and part art, Without the former the latter is not possible. The health of the plant must come first. Let it grow for now.

Juliew
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Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:10 am
Location: East Central Florida - Brevard County - Zone 9b

Re: Need Help for Chinese Elm - Ants & Aphids

image.jpg
Thanks Gnome -
I can always count on you for quick and excellent advice! Do I wait until it goes into dormancy? (Finally able to post a pic right-side up!)
Thanks again :-()
Julie
Brevard County, East Central Florida Zone 9b

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Re: Need Help for Chinese Elm - Ants & Aphids

While my climate is very different from yours, putting me at a disadvantage, I doubt that it will enter full dormancy in your locale. It will probably slow down somewhat at that time of year though. Why don't you ask the nurseryman it was purchased from. Local advice will prove invaluable.

Juliew
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Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:10 am
Location: East Central Florida - Brevard County - Zone 9b

Re: Need Help for Chinese Elm - Ants & Aphids

Thanks Gnome - unfortunately I bought it online and it was shipped from California. I know; really bad idea. However there is a local bonsai dealer whom I can ask.
Brevard County, East Central Florida Zone 9b

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Re: Need Help for Chinese Elm - Ants & Aphids

Sorry, earlier you mentioned a local retailer, I assumed that you purchased it there. If everything is still OK, you should be able to do some selective thinning soon. By that I mean rather than shear the whole thing remove entire shoots that are too crowded, growing inward or downward.

Here is a link that should help to decide what to remove:
https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/rules.htm

There is much good information on Brent's article page.

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