hawkinsc
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Chinese Elm Not Blooming

Perhaps someone can help me with my concerns regarding two Chinese Elms that I purchased froma nursery in Washington State. I received them in Louisiana May 9th. They have not begun to bloom yet and I am becoming concerned. Hopefully they are used to longer winters in the North West and will bloom soon. The only thing I can think of that i may have done wrong was shock them a little bit when they first arrived. The temperatures here were 50 - 60 degrees so I didn't think they would be too shocked on the patio. The soils has been kept moist since the arrived never drying out. The trees look well cared for and well trained. The ends of the branches have new groth shoots but still no leaves. There may be tiny buds but i am wondering if that is wishful thinking on my part. Oneof the elms in the past week has a couple of shoots with larger than normal leaves coming out of the trunk below the canopy. I know elms are hardy but I would think they would have bloomed by now. Can someone offer me some insight as to the latest expected time to see leaves before considering my trees dead? Also is there something I can do to promote blooming? Thanks in advance for the advice. If I knew how i would post the pictures but I am knew to the site and not sure how.[/img]

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bonsaiboy
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I have no idea if this is normal for chinese elms or not, as I have never had one, but I do know that you can test and see if a tree is dead by scraping off a tiny section of bark until you reach the cambium. If the cambium is green, it is alive. If it is alive, best cover up the scratch with the bark or wax of some sort (as to prevent infection).
הדמיון הוא יותר חשוב מאשר ידע

hawkinsc
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Bonsaiboy,
Thanks for the insight. I actually did that last night although only to the tips of a couple of branches. Maybe I will do to a larger branch and then seal as you indicated. Hopefully the trees start to bloom as they are very nicely shaped. You should try the elms. I had one years ago and it was great until the dog got to it. I am just getting back into bonsai and hope my first two trees (the elms) pull through. I also ordred a Hedge Maple from a nursery named Wee Tree Farm. It is doing great. You might want to check them out.

killyspike
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Re: Chinese Elm Not Blooming

hawkinsc wrote:I received them in Louisiana May 9th.
You mean you had received them last year (2008)? If so did they bloom throughout last years growing season or just hasn't done anything for almost a year? Or you mean that it still hasn't bloomed from the winter just gone?

hawkinsc
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I apologize. I was in a hurry when I posted the initial message. No spell check, grammar check and I put the wrong month. I actually received the trees March 9th of this year.

Thanks

killyspike
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Great thanks for the info. When I got my first chinese elms the initial reaction of the tree was to start losing the leaves and it did this about a week after getting them and it took about a couple more weeks maybe longer for that to stop. The reason why was because the tree changed to a different environment and that was its reaction. Possibly same with yours it has to adapt. These trees are pretty easy to keep as long as you are watering them correctly. My chinese elm experienced all sorts of weather over the winter months and has come back to life nicely after its dormant period.
If you can post pictures of the trees, the soil close up etc then we can get a better idea of the conditions your elms are in.

hawkinsc
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I would post the pics but am new to the site and can't figure that out yet. Help with that would be appreciated as well.

killyspike
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https://photobucket.com/

Go to that link. Join photobucket and upload your photos it will tell you what to do. Then you will get links that you click on which will copy it and then you paste the link into your post.

hawkinsc
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Whoops work blocked it. Thanks anyway though.

killyspike
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does the water drain well through the soil? how is the soil free or tight? Does some of the water run off the soil instead of soak in?

hawkinsc
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The soil is 60% aggregate, 40% composted pine bark with some fines and covered with small red lava cylinders. At least that is how the nursery describes it. It is not compacted, no run off and I find it drains well. I have been watering every other day by checking the soil. I am sure it will become every day when the heat kicks in.

killyspike
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ok good as long as it gets to the stage where it nearly dries then you water it copiously. If it drains right through then it should dry out similarly throughout. Remember to make sure you check the moisture under the soil as the heat may just dry up the surface quickly but not within. Sounds like the people you got it from at least have some clue so confident that the soil is good for bonsai.
Apart from that it may just be the change in environment (the move) that is perhaps hindering its initial growth but as long as there are no pests involved I reckon it should come to life soon.
Keep us posted.

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