TDVP
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Advice on my Bonsai tree, is he waiting for the new season?

Hello, I wanted a bit of advice re my Bonsai Tree. I got given it as a Christmas present the Christmas before the one just gone (so December 2015). When I was given it (it is a Chinese Elm) I was told that it had been bred so that it would be in leaf then, even though that was not its natural time ( I don't know the veracity of whether it was) - it certainly had leaves and looked as you would expect. We loved it and cared for it, and it seemed to prosper and grew really strongly, some of my family said rather too strongly - i.e., its green leaves and shoots were all over the place. We cut it back, and then it continued to be okay, and then it seemed to stop growing and shooting ( but still had green leaves) .It was sitting by a sunny window, and we had some quite strong sunny days, and that seemed to make the leaves drop off. So we move it out of the direct sun, it then seemed to get some flies, so we also re-potted it. We moved it back to the window when the hot sun of summer had stopped, but now it seems to be dormant and didn't grow any leaves again in December. I don't think its dead and am wondering whether realistically - it could have had its growing spurt Dec/ Jan -March but and is now sitting waiting for the typical spring season. It is currently not growing at all - no leaves no shoots.

I am hoping it isn't dead but is rather waiting to pop out into bud come March / April when the sun returns, also I wondered if it would help if I trimmed back some of its subsiduary branches so it doesn't have so much work to support it - also I wondered about a UV light to help it along.

Any thoughts?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Advice on my Bonsai tree, is he waiting for the new seas

A little hard to follow... So your tree is completely bare now? When did it drop those leaves, how long has it been sitting bare?

You don't "think" it is dead. Did you check? Scrape a little bit of bark off the trunk with a fingernail. If it is moist and green underneath, it is not dead.

Chinese elm is a sort of in-between tree. Temperate trees (evergreens like juniper and deciduous like maple, oak) have to be outdoors all the time. Tropical evergreens like ficus make good indoor trees. Chinese elm is a subtropical. Some people do keep them indoors.
Chinese Elm trees are very flexible about their environment. If adapted
properly, they can be grown indoors year-round. If hardened off to
the cold gradually, they can drop their leaves in the fall and be
considered deciduous trees, so you have a few options. However, it is
important to find out how your Elm has been growing recently. Some
Elms come from southern China, and have never experienced cold
conditions. It would be dangerous to keep these Elms too cold the
first year or two. Other Elms have gone to freezing and dropped their
leaves for many years; as a result, these Elms may not be too happy
indoors for the first year or two. If you can not determine where your
Elm has been, then keep it outside for the summer and bring it inside
for the winter. You can bring it in when the temperatures are around
50°F.
https://www.nebonsai.com/Chinese_elm.pdf

So they can be evergreen and keep their leaves all year if they are indoors with plenty of light. But the trigger for dropping leaves is the shortening days and less light intensity and hours. Sitting in a window with no added light probably triggered it into dormancy. Now with the days lengthening, your tree, if healthy, should soon be coming out of dormancy. Do those bare branches have leaf buds on them?

Image

If not, your tree may be in trouble....
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saal
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Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:49 pm

Re: Advice on my Bonsai tree, is he waiting for the new seas

my chinese elm is getting full son and is also adapting now due to season change....leaves are turning yellow brown....

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