I will move to Europe and am thinking to take my bonsai with me on the airplane, chinese elm, mature, good health.
I know by now that I need to get a phytosanitary certificate to import the tree over there and I know about the application procedure, etc. The problem is that the tree needs to be without soil for the inspection as well as flight and import.
So here is the scenario so far: On the day of the flight, the tree would be taken out of its pot, stripped of all soil. The inspection would be done, certificate issued. I'd keep the roots in a pot with water until right before I have to head for the airport. Then I'd wrap the root ball in wet paper and then plastic around it to prevent trying out. Anything from the trunk upwards would also go into a plastic bag to minimize exposure to extremely dry air during flight. The tree goes into a well padded box (no light from this point on). I catch my flight, import the tree over there using the phyto. Repotting soil and utensils would be prearranged at destination. Upon arrival, the tree would immediately be repotted into new soil. Estimated time period for tree without soil: ca. 24-26h, around 22h of those in complete dark with lots of vibration, some 11h in dry air on flight (exposure reduced with plastic wrapping).
My question is: What are the chances of survival for the tree? I would really love to keep it, been working on it for years. But wouldn't take it along if chances of survival are reasonably bad....