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Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:09 am
Location: South Africa

Dying Bonsai

Hiya. My grandmother passed away recently and I inherited a Bonsai Tree from her. I don't think she cared for it in the last months of her life. I want to know whether or not you think that it is possible to save a Bonsai from permanent dormarcy? It is spring now and the Bonsai had brown leaves, which my dad took off to make space for new ones. It looks brown and not healthy at all. Is there any tips I can get from you in accordance to how to start caring for the tree and see if I shouldn't just buy a new one in my grandma's memory?

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Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A


Hello and welcome to the forum. Some more information would really be helpful. Was this a plant that was kept inside year round, or perhaps just in winter? Do you know the species? What I'm trying to determine is if the plant is simply in a dormant phase or in real distress.

One way to tell if there is any life left is to make a small nick in the bark and look for green tissue. Otherwise just wait for while and make sure not to water too often, a tree without leaves won't require as much water as a similar, healthy specimen.

Pictures may help if you are able to get some. Look here for tips if you need assistance posting them.


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