Itaji_wolf
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Is my tree weird? - (Chinese Elm)

Hi everyone

I have a little Chinese Elm .. and well .. I think its confused :shock: at least I know I am! :D

its England and it has been really frosty and quite dark (so its indoors)

so some of the leaves are starting to go yellow, I keep it watered dayly and I leave it in the window during the day to get as much sun as it can.

so today some of the leaves where yellow and I put it by the window (for once it was quite sunny) it looked alot better, and this evening some of the leaves where yellow again :shock: I looked alittle closer and some of the branches had alittle spots of green poking through. I mean .. is that normal? .. grow but loose your leaves? .. whats going on here?

I am new to this, and I am paranoid of problems .. yes I admit it but I thought I'd better ask for some help just incase

Also the roots have been pushing through the bottom hole in the pot, really quickly I might add ... maybe it needs repoting? .. I was going to do that in a couple of months in time for spring

can someone help me out here? this tree is freaking me out :shock:

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Gnome
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Itaji_wolf,
its England and it has been really frosty and quite dark (so its indoors)
How are the trees outside doing? :wink: Seriously how long has it been inside and what was the weather like when you brought it in?
so today some of the leaves where yellow and I put it by the window (for once it was quite sunny) it looked alot better, and this evening some of the leaves where yellow again Shocked I looked alittle closer and some of the branches had alittle spots of green poking through.
Are they located at the bases of yellowing leaves or the locations of previous leaves? This may be a little too obvious but is it possible that they are new buds forming?
Also the roots have been pushing through the bottom hole in the pot, really quickly I might add ... maybe it needs repoting? .. I was going to do that in a couple of months in time for spring
Don't let that freak you out, there is no rush to deal with this. Before you do anything in this regard do some research on proper bonsai medium. Start with the sticky thread on bonsai soil at the top of the forum.
I keep it watered dayly
Does it really need watered daily? This may have something to do with the yellowing leaves. While you are reading the stickies read the one on general growing for tips on watering, in fact read that one first.

Norm

kdodds
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Chinese Elms have a very large range in the wild, thus a very large "hardiness zone" range. They can, in fact, be kept all of the way (in the US) to zones 9-11 (depending on cultivar). What happens with your average, run of the mill Chinese Elm when you bring it indoors for the winter is that it immediately, and I mean, like, as soon as you bring it in, comes out of dormancy. You can notice growth buds the very next day, in fact. Whether or not the tree will survive this lack of dormancy (or a shortened dormancy) is another story. Because its range is so broad, and it's impossible to tell from where your particluar tree originated, it's impossible to say, without doing it, how the tree will fare without a dormancy (or how it would should you keep it out through a particularly nasty winter). What you're describing, in other words, sound like a perfectly normal Chinese Elm response to being brought inside. We have a huge old Chinese Elm on our property that is at least 60 feet, that can obviously survive NY winters. But I also have Elms in pots indoors all year round. ;)

bali
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Maybe it s just loosing the old leaves in time to renew.....

:oops:

kdodds
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This would be exactly what happens, the leaves that were on the tree prior to dormancy will all (eventually) be lost as new buds/shoots keep forming.

bali
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Don't give up yet.........

All go dormant sometime each year.

Itaji_wolf
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Thank you for your help :oops:

I got it from a garden centre ..it was in a greenhouse like place .. I am not sure if its been outside for a long time, but the others in the garden centre where not fairing too well at all to be honest, some where already dormant.

I was going to put it outside as the weather started to get better in the spring

and I have to say .. the trees outside arnt doing as well :D

it seems to be growing leaves at a higher rate than its loosing .. I am keeping a close eye on it anyway. :)

bali
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All trees do loose their leaves yearly.. ANd make new ones.

Be patient.. Heard England is land of flowers .
:D

kdodds
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Don't mistake dormancy and leaf loss for a tree "not doing well". It is unnatural for a deciduous, temperate tree to hold its leaves or sport new growth during the winter months. It's the unnatural that is more of an indicator of whether or not a tree is doing poorly, or will do poorly. Fortunately, Chinese elms have a wide natural range extending into subtropical regions where they remain evergreen in their natural state. Unfortunately, there's no way to tell if your tree came from this subtropical range or whether or not it will tolerate not being allowed to go dormant, if it came from outside this range. The only way to know if it will tolerate being kept indoors is to do just that. Whatever you do, do not return it to an outdoor position while it is throwing new shoots.

bali
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Correct

Itaji_wolf
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Thanks again guys, we've been having cold but clear sunny days

I changed my watering habits too, :oops: and the tree is doing great :D

needs a trim though before it grows all over the place :shock:

any tips? :D

also when is best to repot? or how to know if it needs it

it has an oval pot on one side is a rock that sticks out of the soil, there is a gap with no soil though under the rock, so its like 1/4 of the soil is not in the pot, is that like dangerous?

maybe I could upload a picture of the tree for you

bali
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Please so upload .. To Photo bucket first..

Wike
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A Chinese Elm needs a dormant period? I wasn't told this, I was told I can keep It indoors all year round with no problems?!

kdodds
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Pleas eread the part above about the natural range of Chinese Elms. Since it's range is so broad, it has a wide range of temperature tolerance as a "species" as a whole. However, some individual specimens may not fare as well indoors as others, and the opposit can also be said to be true, some specimens may not fare as well outdoors as others. If your tree was purchased from a conscientious grower, I'd go with their recommendation.

Wike
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Ahh Ok, Cheers for that. Panic over...

kdodds
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:lol: NP. FWIW, you'll get a lot of advice and a lot of differing advice on the care of various trees. Like many other hobbies, there are "cliques" of people in bonsai as well. Some of these "cliques" will insist that all trees should be kept outside, even going so far as to say, "if their maker wanted them inside, he would have put them there", or something like that. Well, my response to that is, "So why are you putting a tree in a pot, then? After all, if their maker wanted them in pots..." :) Anyway, this is to say that you should take much advice with a grain of salt when it is sort of fanatical, or at least leaves no room for "other means". Keeping a Chinese Elm inside is, in short, entirely possible and most people who try and know how to care for them are succesful in doing so.

Itaji_wolf
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[img]https://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii268/Shadow-wrath/treeresize.jpg[/img]

Here it is! .. beautiful right? :D

thats how it was a couple of weeks ago, now its got long shoots all over the place, and under the rock and alittle towards the tree there is an area where there is no soil in the pot, there are no meshes over the holes, I am wondering how they did that :?

I read somwhere that you would let them grow to like 5-6 leaves and then cut back to 2 .. is that right? or is it ok to cut it to shape again without worrying about it?

and I read the repotting part from bonsai4me.com and they say I should repot during dormancy, but my tree has had no dormancy, and the area with no soil is a bit of a worry .. should I repot it in spring?

thanks for all the help everyone! :D

Wike
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Nice tree mate, I normally cut mine back to shape and don't leave the 2 inch, I suppose It all depends on the luck your going for.

These are really hardy treas so I think If you were to re-pot you wouldn't have any problem mate.

Also, A big thanks Kdodds for that comment. I always like to do a bit of research anyway so I never just listen to the comments on here 100% I research to see if what they're saying' Is true. My bonsai Is doing great Indoors so with luck and a lot of care It should continue doing well.

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Gnome
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Itaji_wolf,
I read somwhere that you would let them grow to like 5-6 leaves and then cut back to 2 .. is that right? or is it ok to cut it to shape again without worrying about it?
As in many things the answer is it depends. If you are trying to thicken a branch then there is little point in continually trimming its shoots. On the other hand if the tree is in a more advanced state of refinement then yes pinching helps to keep it in shape. There are other reasons not to be too hasty in trimming. Healthy foliage, doing what foliage does, is what feeds the tree.
I read the repotting part from bonsai4me.com and they say I should repot during dormancy, but my tree has had no dormancy, and the area with no soil is a bit of a worry .. should I repot it in spring?
The two main times to re-pot are in spring and under specific circumstances, in mid-winter.

Some growers who wish to have their tree inside for winter allow it a brief dormancy in the fall/early winter and then bring it in where the tree experiences a 'false spring' This is also a possibility for re-potting, just as it begins to leaf out, just as you would in spring. Since you won't have either opportunity this year you have to make a decision.

Last summer I purchased a smaller Chinese Elm and it was in the same horrible potting soil as yours, I immediately re-potted it and it did just fine. How about this, don't trim it any now allowing it to build up some energy reserves and re-pot it in spring. You are taking a bit of a chance but your only other option is to leave it 'as is' even longer. When you do re-pot don't make the mistake of using a similar soil. Read this before you do anything, make sure to follow the links.

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3422

Norm

Itaji_wolf
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Gnome,

Thanks for your help Gnome, do you think my tree is in serious trouble being in that soil? .. I don't know how long its been in there

I think will repot in spring, at least then I know what soil its in and when it was put in it. Its a risk either way right?

:( poor little bugger

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Itaji_wolf,
Thanks for your help Gnome, do you think my tree is in serious trouble being in that soil?
You're welcome. Although the soil is less than ideal It is not an emergency. They key is to water it accordingly. A dense soil will not drain as readily a loose, granular one so it will need watered less often.

In the long run the soil does need replaced, when you do it is the sticking point. I've always done it in spring, as they are breaking dormancy, until this year as I mentioned above. If it were mine I think I would do it this spring and keep my fingers crossed. You need to get your materials or purchase a bag of ready-made soil, spring will be here before you know it.

You may find [url=https://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics/Basicsdevelopingmallsai.htm]this[/url] interesting. Also explore the rest of that site, there is a lot to be learned there.

Norm

Itaji_wolf
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Gnome,

That sounds exactly like my tree alright, even the gravely bonsai soil just on the surface

I do have some Bonsai soil, I started buying bonsai tools and things right after I got the tree.

and your right about the soil not needing the water, I have been using the toothpick test from one of the boards here .. and its only needed water like maybe 4 or 5 days at a time

I will repot it in spring.

Thanks for all your help Gnome :D your a legend

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Itaji_wolf,
Thanks for all your help Gnome :D
You are quite welcome. Make sure to keep us posted.

Norm

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