Buffyfan4vr
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:52 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Leaves are falling off-(Chinese Elm?)

I received a Bonsai Tree from a friend who moved and it wasn't in the greatest shape (already dropping leaves) when I got it but now it is really struggling. I mist it daily. I have had to bring it to my office because I have a cat that loves plants and wanted to eat it. I am unsure of the type but it has very tiny leaves that are ovalish with serrated edges. I feel terrible that I may have caused this plant to commit suicide.... :oops: Help!!

Buffyfan4vr
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:52 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

PS

I don't anything about Bonsai Trees. I just keep misting it. It always seems like it really dry. How much should I mist it?
I will post a picture as soon as I figure out how to...

Buffyfan4vr
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:52 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

pictures

I have two pictures.

[url=https://img155.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bonsai1sw2.jpg][img]https://img155.imageshack.us/img155/7385/bonsai1sw2.th.jpg[/img][/url]


[url=https://img442.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bonsai2vb3.jpg][img]https://img442.imageshack.us/img442/4687/bonsai2vb3.th.jpg[/img][/url]
Last edited by Buffyfan4vr on Fri Nov 16, 2007 5:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

alisios
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Here's a thread on posting pictures...

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

C

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Buffyfan4vr,

Hello and welcome to the site. From what little I can see from your pictures (smooth grey bark and the typically exaggerated "S" bend in the trunk) and your description (small serrated leaves) I suspect that you have a Chinese Elm.

Can you provide more information please? How was the plant kept, indoors/outdoors before you received it? What is the soil like, dense and peaty or loose and gritty? When you say that it is dry do you mean the soil or the branches/leaves? What are your watering practices, a little every day or do you allow the soil to dry out somewhat? The more information you provide the better able we will be to help.

An office is a poor environment for most trees, too little light, low humidity and no control over temperatures. Do you have a spare room, screened porch or access to an unheated garage? depending on your situation and the trees recent past you may have other options.

Please take a look at the general growing sticky located at the top of the forum for tips on watering. In the short term this is probably the most important thin to get a handle on.

As for confirmation of ID look here:
[url=https://img90.imageshack.us/my.php?image=elmbeforecm5.jpg][img]https://img90.imageshack.us/img90/3296/elmbeforecm5.th.jpg[/img][/url]
Does it look similar?

Norm

Buffyfan4vr
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Can you provide more information please? How was the plant kept, indoors/outdoors before you received it?
I am not sure how it was kept before I got it. It was basically thrust upon me.

What is the soil like, dense and peaty or loose and gritty?
The "soil" looks like a bunch of rocks... I know that it has holes in the bottom of the pot because I tried to water it like all of my other plants and it just ran out of the bottom. The tree looks to wired or something.


When you say that it is dry do you mean the soil or the branches/leaves?
To me it all seems really dry but I have only plants, I am used to soil...


What are your watering practices, a little every day or do you allow the soil to dry out somewhat? The more information you provide the better able we will be to help.
I mist it (because that is what I was told to do). I do that often..I just get it wet and then I do it a few times a day (if I can remember)


An office is a poor environment for most trees, too little light, low humidity and no control over temperatures. Do you have a spare room, screened porch or access to an unheated garage? depending on your situation and the trees recent past you may have other options.
My office is bright and shiny. It is only place that I can keep my plants. (No cats!) It is sitting on desk where it can get sun and mor attention from me. I don't have anywhere else really to keep it except a bookshelf in my living room where it tends to get neglected (that is why i brought it to work today).

The picture looks like mine should look like.


Please take a look at the general growing sticky located at the top of the forum for tips on watering. In the short term this is probably the most important thin to get a handle on.

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Buffyfan4vr,

OK, now we're making some progress.
The "soil" looks like a bunch of rocks.
Excellent! All too often we read on these pages of trees in what amounts to little more than peat. The "rocks" are one component of a proper bonsai soil, you just have to learn how to manage it properly.
I know that it has holes in the bottom of the pot because I tried to water it like all of my other plants and it just ran out of the bottom.
Again, this is good news but I'm a little confused on this point. Later you wrote:
I mist it (because that is what I was told to do). I do that often..I just get it wet and then I do it a few times a day (if I can remember)
Misting is fine but it is not a replacement for thorough watering. Have you read the sticky yet? If I understand you correctly the tree is dry due to lack of watering. I take it you are at work now. Does your office have a kitchenette? if so take the tree to the sink and immerse the tree up to the rim in water.

Avoid chlorinated water if possible, use bottled water, but water it well regardless of what you have available. Allow the tree to stand in this water until the soil is thoroughly saturated and then drain the sink. Do not allow the tree to stand in the water for an extended period of time, certainly not overnight.

This is an emergency measure not to be used on a regular basis. Proper watering is normally done from above until water runs freely from the pot and then repeated several times. Another reason that an office is not ideal for bonsai.
To me it all seems really dry but I have only plants, I am used to soil...
Since your tree is potted in a free draining soil mix more frequent watering will be required than other potted plants that you may be familiar with.
My office is bright and shiny. It is only place that I can keep my plants.
Use the search feature of this site for the term "humidity tray" this will help keep the micro-climate near the tree a little more humid.

Norm

ynot
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The "soil" looks like a bunch of rocks.
A quick clarification please, Does this refer to the surface of the soil? Or the entire volume of the soil?
I know that it has holes in the bottom of the pot because I tried to water it like all of my other plants and it just ran out of the bottom.
When you have proper soil - It is supposed to do that :).
I mist it (because that is what I was told to do). I do that often..I just get it wet and then I do it a few times a day (if I can remember)
As mentioned please do read the stickys at the top of the forum as well as the links mentioned within them.

My office is bright and shiny. It is only place that I can keep my plants.
'Bright' is a subjective term at best as what seems bright to people is often far from adequate for bonsai. This is not the only element of the office environment that is usually considered substandard wrt long term bonsai happiness, IE; Temperature, Drafts from heat/AC ventilation & Humidity [As mentioned] are to be considered as well.

You should be aware that a more appropriate environment will help your bonsai to thrive as opposed to to simply continuing to struggle to survive.

Is it possible to find out from the former owner where they were keeping it? [Indoors or out?]

ynot

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