david123
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chinese elm with alot of yellow leaves

I recieved a Chinese Elm on the 14th of December and it was fine for the first couple of days but now I am experiencing severe yellowing of the leaves. My instructions do say that some yellowing of the leaves is common but this much is worrying me. I have it indoors and I do not know if it is just adopting to its new surroundings. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

David

corridale
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I have recently got a chinese Elm. A few days after you accually, while doing a lot of resource on the planbt, I have found outside is the best place for it.

david123
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corridale wrote:I have recently got a chinese Elm. A few days after you accually, while doing a lot of resource on the planbt, I have found outside is the best place for it.
Do you think this will be the best to keep it outside just now seeing how its the winter? Have you expereinced alot of yellowing of the leaves?

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Gnome
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David,

Corridale is in Australia and just starting the growing season, whereas you and I are just going into winter. Chinese Elms are sub-tropical and many promote them as indoor trees. I keep mine as temperate trees, outside most of the year, sheltering them in an unheated space only for the worst of the Winter.

That is how I suggest you manage yours starting next Spring. The real question is what do you do with it until spring. This is always a problematic situation to give advice for. While these trees are pretty hardy (WRT low temperatures) they should be exposed to diminishing day-length and lower temps gradually throughout late Summer and Fall. If yours has not, I hesitate to have you put it out this time of year.

Try to find a cool place for it and be very careful of your watering practices. A tree that is losing its foliage will have a reduced need for water. In fact depending on soil condition and watering practices this may be the root of your problem.

The soil should be very gritty and free draining and allowed to dry a bit between thorough watering.

Norm

david123
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Gnome wrote:David,

Corridale is in Australia and just starting the growing season, whereas you and I are just going into winter. Chinese Elms are sub-tropical and many promote them as indoor trees. I keep mine as temperate trees, outside most of the year, sheltering them in an unheated space only for the worst of the Winter.

That is how I suggest you manage yours starting next Spring. The real question is what do you do with it until spring. This is always a problematic situation to give advice for. While these trees are pretty hardy (WRT low temperatures) they should be exposed to diminishing day-length and lower temps gradually throughout late Summer and Fall. If yours has not, I hesitate to have you put it out this time of year.

Try to find a cool place for it and be very careful of your watering practices. A tree that is losing its foliage will have a reduced need for water. In fact depending on soil condition and watering practices this may be the root of your problem.

The soil should be very gritty and free draining and allowed to dry a bit between thorough watering.

Norm
Thanks for your advice Norm,

I believe the soil is gritty for it being free draining i am not sure, the tree did come from a reputable dealer so im sure it has been looked after well. The soil is not dry so i will be careful with my watering, i was given a rough guidline on my care sheet of 1 litre of water every three days, do you think that is ok? I have not did that so I am not sure if this is the root of my problem.

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David,
I was given a rough guidline on my care sheet of 1 litre of water every three days, do you think that is ok?
No I don't. You cannot water your tree on any kind of schedule. You certainly cannot give a specific amount either. The quantity of water is never an issue, the frequency of watering is.

When I water, I do so copiously, allowing water to flow freely through the pot. I then wait 5-10 minutes to allow the soil to absorb and distribute that water. I then water again the same way, this ensures that the root mass is thoroughly wetted. A little water frequently is the wrong approach, I could put 2 quarts through it or 10, does not matter. What needs to be addressed is how often this occurs.

A tree in summer that is actively growing may need this twice a day, a lot depends on the specifics, texture of the soil, size of the pot, location of the tree, etc. Later as the season winds down and the weather cools, only once a day or perhaps even less. During the winter, again depending on circumstance, I may not water for weeks at a time, but always being aware of their condition.

Allow the tree to dry a bit between waterings, how much is a little more difficult to put into words. Tree roots need oxygen as well as moisture so allowing water to drain, be evaporated or used by the tree means that air then takes the place of the water which is a good thing. Observe your tree, the color of the soil will change, so will it's overall weight. Touch the soil, is it damp on the surface? If so wait another day and check again. The top of the soil can appear dry without harming your plant. In fact you should check the soil below the surface as well.

Overly simplistic instructions are probably an attempt to make a fairly complex issue more understandable for the masses. In Japan it is said that it takes years to learn to water properly. Resist the urge to water because you think "it must need it by now". When you have that watering can in your hand you hold the life of your tree as well.

Since this is an indoor tree, at least for now, the use of a humidity tray should be considered.

Norm

david123
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Gnome wrote:David,
I was given a rough guidline on my care sheet of 1 litre of water every three days, do you think that is ok?


When I water, I do so copiously, allowing water to flow freely through the pot. I then wait 5-10 minutes to allow the soil to absorb and distribute that water. I then water again the same way, this ensures that the root mass is thoroughly wetted. A little water frequently is the wrong approach, I could put 2 quarts through it or 10, does not matter. What needs to be addressed is how often this occurs.

A tree in summer that is actively growing may need this twice a day, a lot depends on the specifics, texture of the soil, size of the pot, location of the tree, etc. Later as the season winds down and the weather cools, only once a day or perhaps even less. During the winter, again depending on circumstance, I may not water for weeks at a time, but always being aware of their condition.

Allow the tree to dry a bit between waterings, how much is a little more difficult to put into words. Tree roots need oxygen as well as moisture so allowing water to drain, be evaporated or used by the tree means that air then takes the place of the water which is a good thing. Observe your tree, the color of the soil will change, so will it's overall weight. Touch the soil, is it damp on the surface? If so wait another day and check again. The top of the soil can appear dry without harming your plant. In fact you should check the soil below the surface as well.

Overly simplistic instructions are probably an attempt to make a fairly complex issue more understandable for the masses. In Japan it is said that it takes years to learn to water properly. Resist the urge to water because you think "it must need it by now". When you have that watering can in your hand you hold the life of your tree as well.

Since this is an indoor tree, at least for now, the use of a humidity tray should be considered.

Norm
Hello Norm, once again thanks for your help

I understand what you are saying about a little water frequently being the wrong approach. I have not watered it today as I tested the soil and i still believe it is damp. I will keep checking until it is a bit more dry. The main thing that is worrying me is that i don't think i watered it enough and thats why alot of the leaves are turning yellow and falling off. I know bringing the tree into a new enviroment and especially the Scottish winter could cause this but it just seems too much. I don't know if this is of any use but the put size is 18cm x 13cm and the tree is 18 years old.

david

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Gnome
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David,
Hello Norm, once again thanks for your help
You are welcome.
The main thing that is worrying me is that I don't think I watered it enough and thats why a lot of the leaves are turning yellow and falling off.
You only had the tree for a week, unless it arrived to you, or you let it become, bone dry I find it hard to believe that it is suffering from under-watering.
I know bringing the tree into a new enviroment and especially the Scottish winter could cause this
A much more likely scenario in my opinion. Don't forget that this tree can be deciduous and losing its leaves is not a death sentence. New ones will emerge in a few weeks. Just keep a close eye on it, not too wet nor too dry. Give it good light and try to keep the humidity up as best you can. Don't fuss with it constantly just let it be a tree. Let us know how it goes. Good luck.

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Norm

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