shellybelly
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:40 am
Location: Toronto

PLEASE HELP!!! Is my Fukien Tea Tree dying?

Hi there,

I would like some advice on my Fukien Tea tree...

I have a problem (I think). I had a Fukien Tea about 20 years old or so that I acquired from a Bonsai Show here in Toronto. I keep in indoors facing a South West window where it gets alot of light. I have had this tree since the summer time, and it has been doing very very well, growing flowers and all.

Anyways, Just recently I went away for two weeks and a couple days. I left instructions with my sister on how to water the plant. Basically once a week until I came back. The tree seemed to be in perfect health, with shiny dark green leaves and white flowers.

Here is a picture of what it looks like now:

[img]https://www.nidiasophiajewelry.com/IMG_2219.JPG[/img]

When I came back, the tree looked a mess. The leaves turned mostly brown and a pale green and are starting to limp at the top. The soil was really dry. I asked my sister if she watered the plant and she said that she did water it twice.

But here is what is worrying me....I scraped the bark at the top of the tree, even the middle and it is green which is a good sign. But then I scraped close to the soil line and the underlying bark is a much paler green, almost white. Does this mean my tree is dying?

One thing that also may be a factor is that for the past two weeks, we have been getting snow, so I think the tree maybe is not getting enough light? I don't know for sure because I wasnt here.

So I immersed the pot in water till bubbles stopped forming and I took it out and let it drain.

I don't understand how a tree can go from being so healthy to looking a mess in two weeks. Do I still have a chance to save my tree?

Please help.


alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

The pic sure *appears* to show dehydration - have you watered heavily since getting home? If so, did it eventually perk back up??? There's always the chance that no watering happened with 'sis' though she says she did (no idea of actuality).

The fact that the cambium is lighter green is good, IMO as it seems still to be 'alive'. When its dryish and more tannish white (in my experiences anyways) it is more likely to have died at roots (death proceeding upwards as tree dries).

Not knowing any other details, I'd say just let it be, keeping soil moist so if/when new growth happens (releafing) the roots will have good environ for sustenance.

I have not grown Fukien at all, but seem to recall how they are *very* sensitive to dry soil (???). Can anyone confirm/deny my hunch?

Great to see a person going through 'troubleshooting' procedures and not just screaming "Help!!" at a Forum ;-) Appreciate it!

Alex

shellybelly
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:40 am
Location: Toronto

Hi Alex,

Thank you so much for your reply and reassurance. Upon seeing the dire appearance of my tree when returning from vacation, I immersed the pot in water which is apparently an emergency technique for plants that have been neglected. I only did this a few minutes before posting this topic so I have yet to see if the tree perks up.

I will keep you posted on any results.

alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

Cool..but do be careful on over-watering as a plant without leaves takes up no water (for the most part). Not sure if you know that already, but worthy of mention, of course :-)

Have a GREAT day!,
Alex

kdodds
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

Unfortunately, Fukien Tea bonsai do not tolerate being allowed to dry out very well at all (nor do they like root pruning, FWIW), to the point where even one incident can mean the end. I agree that the picture looks like dehydration. How did your sister water the tree? Did she just mist it once per week or did she fully soak the soil? How had you been watering it previously? Is the tree located near to any home heating sources (vents, radiators, etc.)? How long had you had teh tree prior to going away?

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