Question about a problem with a Japanese White Pine Bonsai

We have just received this enquiry:

Hi Lloyd,

My sister got a bonzai tree not long ago and it has started to die (green to brown) on her. Even though she's read books on bonzai trees she is clueless on how to help it. Maybe you have an idea on how to treat it? When putting it in the sun the process accelerated. As you can see on one of the pictures, it looks like there is some type of fungus on it.

Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/JimpaDimpa/AnneliBonzai?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCMa9nqbh4Yj-MQ&feat=directlink

Thanks,
Jimmy

Our reply:

Dear Jimmy,
This is a Japanese White Pine which is an outdoor bonsai and normally likes a bright sunny position.
It looks as though it has root rot from over watering in the past. Pines like to be fairly dry and should not stand in water in a drip tray.
I suggest a shady, outdoor location and keep the soil fairly dry. Please be patient they take a long time to recover.
Please keep watering to a minimum (ie I recommend you push your finger into the soil and when it feels dry about 1cm below the soil surface give it some water but do not saturate it).
The white deposit is a type of water residue and will gradually go. It does not harm the bonsai.
I hope this helps.
all the best

Lloyd

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