Causon67
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Will my Chinese elm grow?

Hi I am newto the forum and the concept of bonsai and I was wondering whether my little Chinese elm would grow into a bigger indoor elm?
The picture below is my tree
Image
And this is the sort of shape I would want,
Image

tomc
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After easter move it outdoors where it belongs, will help it to grow bigger.
Think like a tree
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Causon67
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Is there not an option where I can keep it indoors and still grow it?

imafan26
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Trees need a lot of light. Most tree bonsai are outdoor plants and are only brought indoors to show. Some trees train to some forms easier than others. The Chinese elm could be trained to the the upright form. Your plant needs to grow out some bend the branches with weights, and then be wired and pruned to show the layers. It can be very nice but will take a while. If you keep the plant in the house for a while make sure you turn it or the plant will lean.

If you want to do indoor bonsai try an azalea, jade, or some plant that can be a houseplant.

Bonsai plants are usually small leaved and roots need to be able to handle pruning (no taproot).
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

tomc
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Causon67 wrote:Is there not an option where I can keep it indoors and still grow it?
Yes there is, they call them dead bonsai.
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djlen
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Causon67 wrote:Is there not an option where I can keep it indoors and still grow it?
Causon - If your tree is a Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia) it can be grown indoors for much of the year but it will not be as happy as it would be if allowed to first, go dormant for approx. 3 months annually, and second, during the Spring/Summer/Autumn seasons be allowed to enjoy the outdoor environment.

I have a few of these trees and keep them outside for most of the year (they ar after all trees and thrive on natural air and sunlight), and into the Fall so that they can drop their leaves and rest for a few months in a protected area. I then bring them inside in mid-January (in my climate) and let them leaf out under strong light and humidified conditions where they will stay until the Spring temps. are warm enough to allow them to be placed outside again.

Two important things to remember IMO are that they cannot handle bitter cold, and they will wear themselves out over time if kept in a growning atmosphere without rest. You have a tree that can be brought into the house frequently to enjoy over the growing season but will decline if kept inside for long periods.

Regarding your tree specifically, there are a couple of things you could do to set your tree on a path that will move it more toward the tree in the other picture that you aspire to make it look like. If you are interested I have some suggestions.......


Hope this helps.
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
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Causon67
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What are the ideas that you would have?

Pete

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djlen
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Causon67 wrote:What are the ideas that you would have?

Pete
Hi Pete -
OK, first if you look at the tree you aspire to have yours resemble you will note that there are no small branches coming off the trunk below where that first large branch is (the crown). I'd like to see more pics. of your tree from different angles to be sure, but from the angle you shot there are atleast 3 branches that need to come off, down low below the crown. Two on the right and one smaller one on the left. One of the rules when creating a Bonsai tree is that there should be no small branches below that first large one coming off the trunk. The branches should get progressively smaller the higher you go in the tree.
And so if it where my tree I'd look at those three and any others that are below the crown as distracting from the over all appearance of the tree.
If possible could you take a couple more pics. of your tree (which has great potential, btw) and post them so that we can see if those three are all that need be removed?
Your tree should have as much light as you can give it while inside the house and a humidity tray underneath would also make it more comfy. Give it a south-facing window with some axiliary fluorescent lighting if possible. Again, it's a tree and needs to think it's outside even when it's not.
I don't know what the climactic conditions are in your area but I believe you are in the UK which leads me to believe that you are milder that we are here in the northeast US. Your tree will appreciate that as it is not a hardy Elm.
Here is a link to one of my favorite sites which also happens to be located in the UK. There is a wealth of information on it and it should help you a lot. https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Ulmus.html
I've linked you to the page with your tree on it.
Please take a few more pics. and post them so we can have a better look.
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
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imafan26
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Sumimasen deshita, I live in a frost free zone, so I do not know which trees are hardy.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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djlen
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Hardy, in this instance means the ability to tolerate certain degrees of cold. Since you live in a tropical area you would have no concerns with this.

I usually tell folks to work with material that is native to the area that they live in. Anything that grows well in your area and meets some of the other criteria for Bonsai culture, for example small leaved and woody stemed would be good candidates for Bonsai.
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
_________
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Causon67
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You asked for some more pictures of my little elm, sorry for them being late up.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Pete

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djlen
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Hi Pete,
First let me apologize for the lateness of my reply here. Things have been a bit hectic here.

OK, you have submitted 5 shots of your tree. For simplicity purposes we'll call the top one #1 and so on down to the bottom as #5.
#5 clearly shows those lowest three branches I referred to previously. The branch just above them that is growing towards the camera in that shot would be the lowest branch on the tree if it were mine. Atleast with what I can see in the pictures. It's very difficult to know which branches should be keepers and which should be taken off without being present to examine the tree by turning it.
But for sure those three bottom ones would come off it were mine. The way I do it is in increments. I would take them off and then step back, turn it and see what we've got from there.
If you decide to take them off use a sharp pruner and take them off flush with the trunk of the tree, leaving no nubs. This will leave a smoother scar and heal nicely. I use something similar to this: https://www.drugstore.com/covergirl-barr ... tid=183646 or this: https://www.drugstore.com/revlon-cuticle ... tid=183646 for this purpose on my smaller trees. They are generally very sharp and make a nice clean cut. Then I use something called Preparation H which is a salve for hemorrhoids sold here in America to cover and protect the wound. It's an old "indian trick" I learned from an old indian many years ago and has always worked well for me. :) Really!! It works.
My suggestion is that you do that and then start looking at the tree and deciding what else you want to keep and what should go in order to find a balance for it.
Your tree is a very, very vigorous grower and will respond nicely to vigorous pruning.
I'm going to see if we can get this thread moved into the regular Bonsai forum so that more people can see it. It really belongs there as this is not typically an indoor tree.
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
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