nogreenthumbhere
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 10:40 pm

Bonsai Elm Tree

Hello :D ,

Three weeks ago I purchased a 5-inch, 3 year old bonsai elm tree, according to the lady I purchased it from she told me to it keep outdoors, water when dry and to mist with water daily in the AM hours. I live near the beach in So. Cal. and was keeping the tree on my shaded (north facing) balcony...if anything it gets 30 minutes of filtered evening sunlight. Because the last couple of weeks were very dry I did water it a little extra and mist in the evening hours, I also brought it indoors when I noticed the leaves drying.

It was fine for about a week, now all the leaves are dry and when touched they "crack" off :cry: , the trunk itself is about as thick as a pencil, with a ball of the root system above the soil but it appears fine...is this tree dead?

The tree is out on the balcony again and I've stopped watering it at least until the toothpick comes out dry. I'd really like to save it...I've read all the tips on how to check if it needs water and how to soak it when it is dry...is there anything else I can do to help revive my little guy? Please any advice would be helpful. Thank you :D

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Well, from what I have read. I'd like to offer this advice: the tree should be kept outside as much as possible. Only bring the tree inside when you want to showcase it.

Also, search out a local bonsai club because they will be able to tell you if your tree is suited to your local climatic conditions. If not, discard the tree you have (trust me, you will have a lot less grief) and purchase one that is suited to your climate.

I personally don't know if your tree is suited to your climate. I do know that Maples are more prevalent in mild climates with a lot more rainfall that what California would normally recieve.

Good luck!

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Ulmus parviflora is a very hardy tree and where you are should probably just stay out year round. It will drop leaves if it gets too wet OR dries out; I lean towards the latter because 1) you're in So. Cali and 2) it's a miniature bonsai at that size and the pots are very smal as well and much more prone to drying out. Soak that one immediately and mist and water away at a regular basis (assuming you have bonsai soil and not plain old potting soil). Cover those roots "above" the soil with some moss and keep it all moist and let me know if you start to see new shoots soon.

HG

nogreenthumbhere
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 10:40 pm

THG,

thanks for the helpful hints :D , I will certainly get on watering it and covering the roots with moss. But before I do that, I have another question...it has been raining here the last few days and it has been outside on the balcony, I noticed the roots appeared to be damp this morning (perhaps from all the moisture)...should I wait until after the rain to soak it or will it be fine with the watering?

Also, is there anything I should be treating this tree with to keep fungus, bugs and other disease away?

Thanks in advance :)

nogreenthumbhere
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 10:40 pm

moss

THG,

one more question :shock: ...what kind of moss do you recommend? thanks!
VK

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

I use whatever moss I find around, but I live where there is moss...

You could use uncut sphagnum moss; just tuck it in around the roots when it is wet...(I staple mine to the soil with "fishhooks" I make out of bonsai wire).

If the tree just got rain, give it a day or two before soaking. Check the pot weight when it is soaked so you get used to the "full" weight of the pot. I check mine more by weight than anything else.

I don't like to treat problems that don't exist yet; usually creates a new problem all it's own. If you think you have insect or disease issues, get us a photo and we'll check it out...

HG

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