Roger C. Pilotti
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Location: New York USDA Zone 5a

Help please!! Is this a type of Boxwood?

I purchased this tree at a locale garden center in May of this year, and am not sure what it is. Looks like a type of Boxwood to me but I'm not sure. I'm a newcomer to the world of Bonsai and would really appreciate it if someone could help me identify my tree.

Also, it has dropped about 2/3's of its leaves since May. It is living in a sunroom with plenty of light, has been fertilized several times and gets water every other day. Am I killing it, and if so, what should be done differently :?:

I hope these photos of the tree will be of some help. :o



Image
[img]https://i752.photobucket.com/albums/xx167/rcpilotti/HPIM0975.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i752.photobucket.com/albums/xx167/rcpilotti/HPIM0974.jpg[/img][/img]

JTred
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My guess is a ficus, judging by the leaves and the fact that they are often sold in stores as anonymous bonsai. I have a ginseng ficus and a common box and if you ask me it looks much more like the ficus.have both a ficus retusa and a common box and if you ask me I think it looks more like the ficus. A good way to tell is to cut off the tip of a branch, if a white milky sap comes out, it's a ficus. This is a type of natural latex and will actually seal up the wound.

Ficus
[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v144/JTsoccer59/Bonsai012-1.jpg[/img]

Box
[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v144/JTsoccer59/NewBoxwood006-1.jpg[/img]

If it is a ficus the loss of leaves is most likely due to a change in location. Ficuses are very sensitive to changes in location, and a sudden change like bringing it home from the nursery could really stress the tree. Also, what kind of soil is the tree potted in?

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bonsaiboy
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It does resemble a ficus very closely, except it lacks the white glands on the leafs.
הדמיון הוא יותר חשוב מאשר ידע

Roger C. Pilotti
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Location: New York USDA Zone 5a

JTred,
The photo of your Ficus does indeed look like my tree (or what it looked like before the leaves started falling off). I took your advice and cut off the tip of one branch. It instantly started oozing out a white milky substance and I now believe that it isn't a Boxwood but in fact a Ficus.

It lives in a well lit sunroom all the time and hasn't moved since it was purchased.

As for the soil, it is potted in Hoffman brand Bonsai Soil Mix. Ingredients are: Haydite (expanded shale), Sand Pebble, and Aged Pine Bark.

The fertilizer I have been using is Schultz Plant Food Plus, 10-Nitrogen-15-Phosphate-10-Potash.

I want to thank you very much for help and if you have any other suggestions that might save the tree I would greatly appreciate hearing from you again :D

Roger

Roger C. Pilotti
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Location: New York USDA Zone 5a

bonsaiboy,

I want to thank you for your comments concerning my problem :)

Roger

JTred
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After looking at your pictures I noticed that the leaves seem to have a white powder on them. My ficus had the same powder on its leaves before it suffered a full defoliation. I diagnosed it as powdery mildew, but was never completely sure. After the powder showed up it wasn't long before all its leaves were gone. Has it been losing leaves quickly, or has it been steadily losing leaves since May and not growing new ones?

Roger C. Pilotti
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JTred,

It was fine until the first week in July. A few leaves turned yellow and fell off. This continued for about for about two weeks. For the past month the leaves haven't even waited to turn yellow, they just keep dropping daily.

You are correct about the white powdery stuff, it seems to have a white film on both the top and bottom of the leaves. I'll do some research on mildew (thanks for the tip).

So far it has been having continual new growth on the majority of its branches, also on the lower part of the trunk. Leads me to think it hasn't died and maybe with some work it will survive. :)

Roger

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bonsaiboy
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To me the white stuff appears to be more of a hard water buildup than mildew. Hard water buildup is quite common on recently purchased bonsai if you bought it from somewhere like lowes or wal mart.
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Roger C. Pilotti
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Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:10 pm
Location: New York USDA Zone 5a

bonsaiboy,

The plant came from a reliable garden center but I do not know if they water with hard or soft water.

I have both hard and treated (soft) water available here and have used both on the tree since I've had it. It depends on whether the water can is being filled inside the house or outside. I will limit it to the soft water from now on and see if this helps.

Thanks for the tip :)

Roger

kdodds
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Can you bring it back for an id? This tree looks like it might be Neea buxifolia, which would certainly fit if they were selling it as an "indoor boxwood". IME, they like LOTS of light, higher humidity, and higher temperatures. A south-facing window, if indoors, would be optimal.

JTred
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kdodds wrote:Can you bring it back for an id? This tree looks like it might be Neea buxifolia, which would certainly fit if they were selling it as an "indoor boxwood". IME, they like LOTS of light, higher humidity, and higher temperatures. A south-facing window, if indoors, would be optimal.
Would that boxwood have the milky sap or something that would resemble the sap of a ficus? Remember the OP said that a milky sap would come out of a pruned branch.

kdodds
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No, it wouldn't, missed that part. ;)

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