gavo
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My first bonsai

I have just brought my first bonsai today looking at pics on the net i think it is a chinese elm.It is in need of some pruning and im not to sure where to start any help and advice is most welcome.

[url=https://img364.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bonsaijp6.jpg][img]https://img364.imageshack.us/img364/9083/bonsaijp6.th.jpg[/img][/url]

[url=https://img258.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bonsai2nc0.jpg][img]https://img258.imageshack.us/img258/2541/bonsai2nc0.th.jpg[/img][/url]

[url=https://img258.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bonsai3ap6.jpg][img]https://img258.imageshack.us/img258/6263/bonsai3ap6.th.jpg[/img][/url]

[url=https://img258.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bonsai4un9.jpg][img]https://img258.imageshack.us/img258/3940/bonsai4un9.th.jpg[/img][/url]
Last edited by gavo on Sat Apr 21, 2007 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ynot
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Re: My first bonsai

Gavo,

Your links took a moment to load and I thought they did not work-- But they do now except your last link needs to have that "[/IMG]" removed for it to work properly.
[EDIT: Looks good Now :D, Thanks for posting the pics 8).]

I am looking at them now. What are you looking to do with this?
{I will edit more in here in a moment.]

Randy,

Good eye :D.

Gavo,
no I brought this from my local big name garden centre
...Either way,

I agree this tree absolutely needs some new soil, It looks as though it was trimmed to fit into the pot. [Too small of a pot anyway IMO]
You are going to need to do some preemptive rescue work on this guy if you want to insure his health does not decline.

Please read the stickys on soil here: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3422
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3423

Are you in Devon or Victoria?

ynot
Last edited by ynot on Sat Apr 21, 2007 6:36 pm, edited 4 times in total.

rjj
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Location: Norman OK

Welcome

I'm curious where you bought it. Did you buy it from some clown on the side of the road?

Could be wrong, but your plants looks like it was freshly lifted out of the ground and plopped into that pot. The fine roots hanging over the lip of the pot is a dead giveaway and that almost looks like mud or very fine top soil that is compacted that the plant is in.

If all this is true, you will have problems with the tree.

randy

gavo
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Location: torquay

no i brought this from my local big name garden centre

gavo
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Location: torquay

im in devon uk,i will get a bigger more suitable pot this week and what soil is recomended for this type of bonsai?

ynot
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Gavo,

As Randy notes it has been stuffed [by someone] into that pot with highly inappropriate soil for bonsai.
gavo wrote:im in devon uk,I will get a bigger more suitable pot this week and what soil is recomended for this type of bonsai?
Soil is a fairly complex issue- There is no easy answer for that as you will discover in your research.

Just to have it on the record: IMO Potting soil/garden soil/Plain old dirt is not an appropriate potting media for bonsai, I don't have a speck of it in my pots.
It's particle size is far too small, You will have a greater understanding of the reasoning behind this after you soak up the info in the links about soil [and the links within them].

My previous post contains some links about the properties of proper soil for you to review. This should be taken care of before you need worry about styling it.

How long have you had it? What is your watering routine? Where do you keep it?... Ect. Some more info please about your tree. :)

ynot
Last edited by ynot on Sat Apr 21, 2007 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gavo
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i only brought it this afternoon i did pland on keeping it inside but from what i have read this afternoon mayb i will be keeping it in the garden

ynot
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gavo wrote:I only brought it this afternoon I did pland on keeping it inside but from what I have read this afternoon mayb I will be keeping it in the garden
Your call, Chinese Elms can be suitable for indoor culture [Through the winter, They like all trees, are happier outdoors though.

A care sheet for you: https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Ulmus.html

Do go to the top of that page and click on 'Bonsai Basics'. You will find A LOT of articles full of information that is about to be very very useful to you :D.

It will enjoy the garden 8), Chinese Elms are fully frost hardy [Tolerant of cold temps- Down to -10C with good protection from wind] and also note that this species tends to be healthier when kept out of doors.

ynot

gavo
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Ok well first job is to get a decent soil and re-pot it then go form there the links where very usefull and i know have some idea of what i need to do to keep this tree in good condition will post some pics in a few days once it has been re-potted thanks for all your help and advice.

ynot
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gavo wrote:Ok well first job is to get a decent soil and re-pot it then go form there the links where very usefull and I know have some idea of what I need to do to keep this tree in good condition will post some pics in a few days once it has been re-potted thanks for all your help and advice.
Gavo,

Your welcome :D

But...

Slow down here a moment, Where are you going to get appropriate soil? What do you intend to use for potting medium?

These are things you need to consider before you put your tree through the stress of a repotting.
Putting it straight into another inappropriate soil is a mistake you do not want to make as it does your tree no good at all.
[I may sound overly cautious BUT- We have seen that here before- I am not saying that is your intention, Just that it is best to truly understand what your looking for wrt soil you know. :)]

It is also important to note that you will need to attempt ot rinse as much of the old soil out of the root system as possible in order to insure that you do hot have two different soils w/ differing levels of moisture retention in your pot.

Please let us know a bit about your intentions ok?

ynot

gavo
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Ok here is what i have done so far removed the tree form the pot it was purchased in clean the root system so it is free from the topsoil it was stuffed in.I brought a bag of tesco's premium light weight cat litter which im using as my new soil this was soaked in water for 12 hours then left to dry out in the sun for 5 hrs.

i brought a small teracotta pot mayb not so ideal i know but will do for the next few months.

i have now repotted the plant in said pot with cat litter and watered and fed using growmore fertiliser with an npk of 7.7.7.

will now leave the tree for about 4 weeks before i start any re-shaping hopefully it will survive.

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Gnome
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Gavo,

I wish you would have responded to Ynot's question regarding your intended soil.
I have now repotted the plant in said pot with cat litter and watered and fed using growmore fertiliser with an npk of 7.7.7.
I have a few concerns, the cat litter product that you have used may cause you problems. Even though it is recommended by Harry Harrington one grower here had a bad experience with it deteriorating as soon as they applied water. Is yours stable or has it begun to soften? It is possible that you and they have obtained a different product. This is something to keep an eye on.

Secondly, and this is not as critical, you have used an entirely inorganic mix. For Elms I include some organic material. You can get by with what you have but your watering practices will have to accommodate the mix you have chosen.
I brought a small teracotta pot mayb not so ideal I know but will do for the next few months.
There is noting wrong with terra cotta. It must have drainage and be sized appropriately though. I question your remarks concerning re-potting again so soon. I think I would leave it alone until next spring, you may find that it does not need re-potting even then. You can make that decision then.

Norm

gavo
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the litter was fine as i said i left it to soak in water for 12 hrs and it didnt soften at all i brought exactly what harry recomended.

I fully understand you concern with using the litter as alot of them once wet just turn in to a big lump of clay but this is fine and very stable.

Im am using 100% litter so no organic i understand that it will not retain moisture as well as it would with the organic mix so will be keeping a close eye on it.

The pot i think is a decent size but is 4 inches and deep which means i will end up with a deep root system but i don't mind leaving it in this sort of pot.

the pot has very good drainage water passes straight through i will take your advice and leave till next spring before i think about re-potting.

One last thing about my watering is how often should i add feed to the water ie every other cycle?

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Gnome
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Gavo,
as I said I left it to soak in water for 12 hrs and it didnt soften at all I brought exactly what harry recomended.
Yes, in reviewing your post I see that you did mention that. :oops:
One last thing about my watering is how often should I add feed to the water ie every other cycle?
Last year, my most aggressive concerning fertilizing, I fed my trees about every 10-14 days at full strength, (mixed as directed not over-diluted). This is necessary as you will be watering your tree, considering your extremely free draining mix, very frequently and this tends to flush nutrients from your soil.

Norm

gavo
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Ok thats brilliant will try 7-14 days and adjust from there depending how many times a week im gonna be watering.

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