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Enquiry about a large Chinese Elm Bonsai from Jonathan

Ulmus parvifolia with die back

Hey guys,

Wondering if you could help me, please.
I have no experience of Bonsai but found this plant (pictures below) at the bottom of a friends garden where it had been for years with no attention.  After a good prune and a bit of TLC, it turned in to a beautiful tree full of green leaves and lovely features.  The leaves went yellow, then Brown just before Christmas so i took the plant outside and shook them all off.  I thought it was just seasonal as it did this as it was getting colder and I just kept watering it assuming it would come back in spring.  

I took away all of the dead branches and leaves off (may have been a bad idea, but again inexperience kicked in).  After doing some reading, I can see it may have been inexperience in watering which made the leaves drop off. They have eventually started growing back, but only in one part.

Should the rest of the tree recover, or am I destined to own a Bonsai with only one area of leaves?  There do not appear to be any other bud sites on the tree.

I’ve started spraying it on a regular basis and I’m watering every day in small amounts (feeding once a week), but get the feeling I’m doing something wrong.  It was a beautiful tree and I’d love to get it back to its former glory.  I’ve never tried to repot, trim roots etc and have left it as it was when I found it outside.  It now lives on a South facing window with no radiator within 4 metres.

Chinese Elm bonsai from Johnathan

Any other comments or thoughts from pictures would be hugely appreciated.  I’m an absolute novice, so don’t even know what type of tree it is, but think it may be an Elm of some sort. Thanks in advance

Have your own enquiry about a large Chinese Elm, or another bonsai? Send us an email!

One reply

  1. Dear Jonathan,
    Thank you for allowing me to use your email as a blog post.
    Firstly you need to ascertain if the areas with no leaves have actually died off.
    You need to make some small nicks in the trunk and branches.
    The bark of any tree is dead, as is the heart wood.
    The layer which should be alive if the green cambium layer just beneath the bark.
    I suspect there are veins which are alive and some which have died off.
    If anything dies off it will be the top of the bonsai, as this is most likely to dry out being the furthest away from the roots.
    Many thanks

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