Brazilian Rain tree Losing leaves.


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I've had a problem that Ive been trying to correct for a while now to no avail. I have a Brazilian Rain tree whose leaves have been very light green (with darker veins) some are also beginning to turn yellow and fall off. I think it may be to a deficiency of some sort. I tried giving it a doses of Magnesium and Iron a few times but nothing has changed. I also tried sprinkling some trace element FRIT on the surface but that didn't seem to help either. It has been unseasonably cold so far in my area and it hadn't been placed outside until this week. I know there are a few of you out there that have a good amount of experience with this species and was hoping someone might be able to give me some answers or be able to put me on the right path as I'm beginning to get worried??:confused:
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They don't like the soil to be kept wet, learned that one years ago, on someone else's tree, dry it down before watering again. Brightest window if it's still in, if it's out don't put it in the all day blazing sun, even trops can scorch if not used to it.
What are the temperatures at night right now?

Yellowing leaves could just be from overwatering. What are you using for a potting medium?

Are the leaves starting to dry out and shrivel, or are they just turning yellow and falling?

BRTs seem to lose their leaves more then any other tree -- I continuously have to vacuum my in-house greenhouse because of the BRT leaves everywhere. They really are troopers, but they let you know when they don't like you. lol

Also, pictures please ;-D
They don't like the soil to be kept wet, learned that one years ago, on someone else's tree, dry it down before watering again. Brightest window if it's still in, if it's out don't put it in the all day blazing sun, even trops can scorch if not used to it.

I agree with Bill over watering.

I am using my normal soil mix with this tree (Turface, Haydite, Pine bark and sifted Sphagnum peat) I also try to make sure the soil dries almost completely before watering even though to be honest it does seem as though it has a little more organic composure than I would like. I also found out they dont like the soil to be overly wet when I first got it. This tree sure loves to drop leaves for the slightest little problems. The leaves are not getting shriveled/dried, just turning yellow and falling off.

The weather has finally come up and is normal now (so the tree is outside) with night time temps from 58-68 degrees. I waited until they reaches 55 at the lowest before placing outside. I'm hoping it was from lack of light the last month or so when it was indoors but I'm not sure. I also just repotted it a little less than two months ago so maybe it would have something to do with that, even though it shouldn't? I've dealt with a number of trees tropical and otherwise and it seems like this species is one of the finickiest.

Ill try to get up pictures tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestions so far.

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I think repotting probably has something to do with this as well. I recently repotted mine and it dropped many leaves, but now that it's outside in a greenhouse it's pushing out new growth everywhere. Give it a couple weeks and it should be fine. :)
I've had my Brazilian Rain Tree for a month or so, and every things been good with it so far. I purchased it from Jim Smith's nursery and he grows all of his pre-bonsai stock in a mixture of 50% composted pine bark and 50% peat with a little sand mixed in (all finished bonsai in pots gets 100% turface). He's been at bonsai for 60 years so you can't really argue with that experience. Of course this is all very dependent on your location and weather.
I think I have told you about my BRT before. I have 2 that stay inside year round and 1small one that I move out for the summer. As everyone has stated, they are very picky trees. My indoor ones seem to shed leaves a couple time a year for no reason. Even though they are inside next to full window with all day sun, they drop leaves in the winter when it gets cold. But will grow all new full in a month or so. My oldest, was 5 yr when purchased and now is 9 yr old. If I move it just a few feet in the window it will drop leaves for awhile. I re-potted it just last summer and it was full of roots this year. Did another potting and it has not come back, been over a month now. some leaves just dried up and started falling. Most are still on the tree but do not open during the day, stay closed like it is night. They are not dry, just limp. It has never taken this long to come back, but I don't think it is dead. So you re-pot may be doing the same.
The one I take out in summer is very small, it is doing OK. We had 99 F today and shows that for the rest of the week, this is hard on all my trees.

Hey everyone, got some pics, the second picture is the main branch/s in question. I am just puzzled since The leaves are so pale green. I have a second BRT that has gotten the same care and had the same lighting exposure inside, and now outside and its leaves are a normal hearty green (its soil is a little less organic though, but would that cause the leaves color??). I also repotted both about the same time. I posted a picture of both trees foliage side by side in the last pic to show the color difference. I also noticed that most if not all of the new leaf growth on the tree in question is greatly reduced in size being about 1/3 the size as usual???

Thank again for all the help so far everyone.



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It looks healthy to me. How much did you cut back root-wise when you repotted? It's not really a necessary question, but I'm curious. I think the tree just has to bounce back a little -- it looks very healthy despite the discoloration.

As for the smaller new leaves, the new sprouts on BRTs are tiny -- they should grow larger as they mature. Otherwise if they stay small it could just be a product of root pruning -- assuming you pruned the roots.
Yes I did prune the roots extensively, maybe a little too extensively at that. I guess it could possibly be an additive to the equation, since I didn't prune the others roots as much. The leaf coloration just sort of lead me to believe there was a deficiency or other problem due to the discrepancy of one tree from another as well as how its foliage normally looked, as well as the excessive leaf loss.
That makes sense, then. Mine actually dropped a lot more leaves than yours, but it's growing very vigorously now. Just give it a couple weeks and it'll let you know when it's happy ;)

Yeah, leaf discoloration can mean several things. I've only been growing trees for three years, but I've noticed that if you look close/long enough, trees will respond to the things you do to them in several different ways. This seems to be the way the BRTs choose to cry for their parents. lol

Also, if you ever notice large pieces of bark chipping off, this appears to be a natural thing with these trees...I was worried at first, but then I saw a picture of a masterpiece BRT with flaking bark.
Also, if you ever notice large pieces of bark chipping off, this appears to be a natural thing with these trees...I was worried at first, but then I saw a picture of a masterpiece BRT with flaking bark.

yea, mine just shed a lot of it's bark. When I first saw it I had a temporary moment of panic, then I realized what it was doing, and that it's natural.
Thanks again everyone, I guess the only thing to do is wait and see. I have a few spots that also chipped away revealing white smooth spots last year when I acquired this tree and thought something was wrong too:p I think its actually pretty cool though how it chips away.

I think the prob lies with to much water and/or being inside... I know you can buy "Indoor Bonsai", but the truth is that almost no plant does really well inside. To me that is the place of last resort... all kids of funny things start to happen as soon as one brings a plant inside. When inside cut the watering to half or less. There is no humidity in your house unless you bring in the bathroom while showering, or mist, remember it's Tropical. Also, watch the sunlight when bringing it back out. It's like leaving a dark movie theater into the bright sun, yikes!!! I would put it in the shadefor a couple of weeks, then partial shade, and so on. Also, I often find that doing more often makes things worse. I would ease up on all the repotting, mag., iron, etc. Just let things be.
So has your tree bounced back? I recently did some pretty major root work to my BRT and have some of the same symptoms. It has been close to a month for me and the leaves stay closed all the time. It is really hard to be patient when you do your best to pamper your trees, but I guess patients is the way to go. As a member, Bonsai Zombie, on another forum stated "Move at the speed of tree"!:cool:
Yeah my tree has bounced back and is pushing new growth nicely. I have never had my leaves stay closed all the time before, but I have had them not close at night for a while for some reason?? dont know what caused it but it closes fine now. Possibly something to do with the conditions during winter. I have noticed that its also just in the trees nature to go through 'shedding spurts' where it will drop old leaves.

I would be a little worried about the tree being stressed as well as if it is absorbing light well if the leaves are not opening and its been a while since it started this behavior. You might want to consider placing the tree in a humidity dome as these trees seem to react to them as an elixir of life when they are stressed:p. I had another one of my BRT's that I emergency repotted last winter due to root problems and I hadn't noticed the new soil mixture was drying way too quickly, and the leaves all dried up and then fell off. I put it in a dome and 2 weeks later it was pushing new growth everywhere and had completely filled in.
Well, I left my tree in a room with humidifier for 2 weeks after the re-pot keeping the humidity between 50%-60%. I started noticing mold on the surface of the soil and decided the tree needed more air circulation, even though I had a fan gently moving the air inside the humid room. At this point the mold issues have cleared up as the soil, turface, actually dries. The humidity is around 40%-50% now which is probably minimum for this tree, but I also keep a very healthy ficus as close as possible in an effort to help keep the humidity up. The tree drooped a few leaves after the re-pot, but I believe keeping the humidity up as I did helped it hold on to the rest. The environment it is in now is what it was thriving in before the re-pot and I think it is trying to get some roots established before opening back up and growing. If any of this sounds off base please let me know.
Okay then, what I am doing must be in line with good tree care.:confused:
My raintree drops leaves when moving it outside in the spring,bringing it in during the fall and also somtimes when cutting back hard,or doing root work,but she always bounces back,just watch the watering as someone mentioned,they like it on the dry side before watering again.
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