Catlin recovery

RJS

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Wow. I was surprised to see very little info here about Catlins. Even more so when I found no pics. But let me throw this out there anyway. I bought one last year - prebonsai about 10 inches tall. Also in the same pot was a shoot about 2 inches tall. I removed the shoot and just stuck it in a small grow box I had laying around. They were both placed in my unheated shed over the winter. These along with other trees were placed in tubs, surrounded and partially covered with pine mulch.
The shoot has leafed out completely. The large Catline Catlin just broke bud a few days ago. I am worried about it having a severe dieback. Does anyone know if this is this common for this species of elm? I also have a couple zelkovas and a corkbark that did fine over the winter...but a couple of my Jacqueline Hillier elms also had dieback. TIA.
 

mapleman77

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Hi, I would ask Brent (email him or otherwise). He sells Catlin elms, along with many, many other rare elm cultivars....he'll probably be able to diagnose your problem. I personally do not have any elms and know almost nothing about them, so.....

Can you post a picture or two so there WILL be pictures for future onlookers? I'd like to see one as well.

Regards,
David
 

Bonsai Nut

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RJS;

I am trying to understand your question. Are you asking if Catlins bud this late (in Chicago) or are you concerned that the shoot budded while the larger tree did not? Where is the larger tree budding? On the tips of the branches or only in the interior?
 

milehigh_7

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RJS

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Thanks all. Haven't had time ti view the links yet. The larger catlin is budding near the bottom of the trunk and along a bottom branch, but nowhere else...yet. The shoot is in full leaf...for its size. I was just worried about winter die off being typical foe the species.
 

davetree

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I replied to your post on another forum. I have a catlin that did exactly that, died back on top due to cold. You will have to redesign it, but they grow very quickly.
 

rockm

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Catlin cold sensitive

The "catlin" cultivar of chinese elm is more cold sensitive than the main species. It needs more winter protection(perhaps even a cold greenhouse) to do well in temperate winters Zone 7 and lower.

I had one that lived for seven years or so here in Va., but suffered twig and trunk dieback after more severe winters. It was kept outside under mulch.
 

Ross

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I won a small catlin elm in a club drawing at the end of a forest planting demo. This was the only tree he brought and didn't use in the forest so we drew names from a hat for it. I was lucky only five people were left standing at the end of the demo so my odds weren't so bad. I've had it for about a year now and it survived last winter here with no dieback. When it got below freezing it went onto the ground out of the wind, and below 25 degrees it went into an unlit and unheated shed. It grows much slower than my other chinese elm but the leaves are very small.
 

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RJS

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If or since I don't have the option to provide some form of heat to my shed can the Catlin survive inside in a sunny location...being an elm???
 

Ross

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If or since I don't have the option to provide some form of heat to my shed can the Catlin survive inside in a sunny location...being an elm???

Without leaves it doesn't need the sun, and if it got too warm it could break dormancy early. You're north of me so it probably gets a bit colder there, but I bet it will be ok outside as long as you keep it out of icy winds and extreme cold or temperature changes. Again I've only had mine for one winter so take it all with a grain of salt, I'm still learning on it.
 

RJS

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The shed provides complete protection from wind, but not from the cold, although all my trees are kept on the side of the shed facing south. I know that the sun wasn't a major factor in keeping the shed warm during the days as I have a wireless thermometer in the shed with a receiver in the house. When it started to get to the upper 30s and 40s I would open the shed door so it didn't get the trees warm prematurely. With the trees being in tubs and protected with mulch I can't imagine they would have been that much better off outside anywhere. We had too many days below 15 degrees this past winter.
 

rockm

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This is your problem..

"We had too many days below 15 degrees this past winter."

The way overwintering works is based on a plant's genetically programmed ability to withstand cold. It varies from species to species, but having done some research (read Brent Walson's overwintering article VERY carefully--they're about the best available), it depends on when your tree's intracellular freezing limit is reached. That is, when the liquid inside cells freezes. In general, 25 degrees F can be used as a ruler. When moisture inside root cells freezes, it destroys the cell.

You can mitigate this by protecting the root ball and keeping the rootball moist--water can act as an insulator against cold snaps. But even with those precautions, it all boils down to how cold it gets in your area and for how long. Deep, prolonged cold below 25 degree F increases the danger for frost damage and winter kill substantially.

Even in deep cold storage inside a shed, if there is no heat source, even trees with mulched roots can fall below 25 F if the air temp is below 15 or so--for more than a couple of days. That would seem to me to be a typical Chicagoland winter...

You could bring the elm inside in the fall and place it in a bright location. That would work for a few years, depending upon the tree's vigor. However, this will eventually wear it out and it will decline and die over time.

The best solution, if you're committed to the tree, is to find a way to overwinter it in a frost-free greenhouse--one that isn't allowed to fall below freezing, but has temps hovering near 35-40. Those aren't common, though.

A better solution would be to find a colder hardy variety of elm to work with. Cork bark chinese elms are more winter hardy than Catlin and even the main species of Chinese elm can be pretty hardy...
 
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