yewtree
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Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:24 am

WINTER CARE

I have a chinese elm bonsai. it has been outside all summer.

Last year i brought it inside for the winter into the living room the leaves dried up and died althought i did keep spraying it.

What shall i do with it this year to try to keep the leaves on? Would it be happier in a cold porch? Shall i just let the leaves fall?

Because it is about 60yrs old and was bought as a present i do not want to spoil it but i really don't know what to do for the best and i really like looking at it. Obviously if i put it into the porch and not the living room i will not be able to see it much.

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Gnome
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Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Yewtree,
I do not want to spoil it but I really don't know what to do for the best and I really like looking at it. Obviously if I put it into the porch and not the living room I will not be able to see it much.
What is best for the tree and your desire to view it daily are not necessarily one and the same. Many write that Chinese Elms can be grown inside and I suppose they can, although I keep mine as temperate trees, allowing them to go fully dormant here in Pennsylvania. As far a being inside, they probably fall somewhere between Ficus and Junipers. It all comes down to your skill as a grower and how badly you want to have it indoors.
I have a Chinese elm bonsai. it has been outside all summer.
Has it remained outside throughout the fall and where are you located? Dormancy is a gradual process, induced by diminishing day lengths from mid-summer on. It is important that trees be allowed to experience this as well as early frosts in order to prepare them for dormancy. If you have had this tree indoors for any length of time you may very well have short-circuited this process.
What shall I do with it this year to try to keep the leaves on? Would it be happier in a cold porch? Shall I just let the leaves fall?
As I have said, a lot depends on your location and how you have managed it recently. More information is needed to answer your question, although it seems a bit late in the season to be making these decisions

Norm

yewtree
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Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:24 am

Winter care

GNOME
I live in the northeast of England where it can get quite cold. The bonsai has been outside until a few weeks ago but I thought if the frost got to it, it would damage the roots and kill them. It is only in a bonsai pot not a large garden container. How do I tell if there is a problem with the soil my son owns a bonsai too and he keeps telling me he finds 'worms' in the soil so he keeps repotting it. I've suggested he uses 'provado' systemic insecticide but it doesn't seem to help. Any ideas?

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Gnome
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Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Yewtree,
I live in the northeast of England where it can get quite cold. The bonsai has been outside until a few weeks ago but I thought if the frost got to it, it would damage the roots and kill them. It is only in a bonsai pot not a large garden container.
Despite being sub-tropical Chinese Elms are very hardy although this can vary from tree to tree. Mine have frozen and come through our winter fine. If you are concerned about this another option is to keep it in an unheated garage or shed of some sort. That is how I am handling mine in recent years.You mentioned a cold porch, this sounds promising.
How do I tell if there is a problem with the soil
Good bonsai soil is very gritty and free draining. To a novice it might appear to be little more than gravel, with perhaps a bit of bark.
my son owns a bonsai too and he keeps telling me he finds 'worms' in the soil so he keeps repotting it.
Worms could mean quite a few different things. How is the soil becoming repeatedly infested? Is the pot put on the ground perhaps or is your son using soil from nature that may already be infested. If he keeps re-potting it with too great a frequency eventually it will become weakened and fail. The cure may end up being worse than the disease. I suggest that he identify the culprit and, perhaps more importantly, the source of the reoccurring problem.
I've suggested he uses 'provado' systemic insecticide but it doesn't seem to help. Any ideas?
If the insects live in the soil a systemic may not be the best choice. Again, a proper identification will help greatly in choosing the correct product.

Norm

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