Chinese Elm: from Mallsai to Bonsai

akhater

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I bought this mallsai a couple of days ago because

1. it was cheap
2. not S shaped
3. it has taper
4. I don't have any Chinese elm

My plan is to make it a nice broom style shohin or mame
 

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akhater

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for this year it was repotted in a more suitable soil, as a start I added a ring to ground layer it then I thought it might not be a good idea to do this this year so the ring was removed.

My plan for next year should be to work on the nebari I think or on the broom style or on both ?
 

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treebeard55

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Looks like a pretty good piece of starter material, Antoine.

I would have left the wire ring in place, since Chinese elm are pretty tough, and the wire won't start to create any constriction for several months. But I wouldn't pull the tree out of the pot now to replace the ring. It can wait.

My inclination would be to work on the nebari first, since roots (as a general rule) take the longest to change. I wouldn't try to do both in the same season.

Keep us posted.
 

akhater

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Thank you Treebeard !

"I would have left the wire ring in place, since Chinese elm are pretty tough, and the wire won't start to create any constriction for several months."

This is what I thought but, on another forum, I was told you shouldn't repot and layer the same year :( So I rushed and removed the ring. But then I asked myself : I will need to take it out to put the ring back next year anyway !!!

No I won't remove it from the ground again, I will give it one year to accommodate and to know it better and next spring I will start working on the Nebari.

I think it would be a nice little broom shohin in a few years don't you think ?

One more question Chinese Elms should be in full sun right ?

Cheers
 

treebeard55

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With pines, it is definitely true: only one insult per year. I think, from all I've read and heard, that Chinese elms are tougher and more resilient. But waiting a year doesn't hurt your tree at all.

As for their light needs -- I'm not sure, having very little personal experience with them. Someone else will need to chime in on that point.

Yes, I think you could have a very pleasing little tree when you're done. :)
 

akhater

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Thank you Steve ! I will do my best I hope I can count on your (and others) help for this

will keep you posted on the tree
 

tanlu

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Thank you Treebeard !

"I would have left the wire ring in place, since Chinese elm are pretty tough, and the wire won't start to create any constriction for several months."

This is what I thought but, on another forum, I was told you shouldn't repot and layer the same year :( So I rushed and removed the ring. But then I asked myself : I will need to take it out to put the ring back next year anyway !!!

No I won't remove it from the ground again, I will give it one year to accommodate and to know it better and next spring I will start working on the Nebari.

I think it would be a nice little broom shohin in a few years don't you think ?

One more question Chinese Elms should be in full sun right ?

Cheers
Like pines, Chinese Elms will flourish in full sun. It will give it more vigor, reduce inter-node length, and promote smaller leaves.
 

akhater

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Thank you tanlu, in full sun I shall put it.
 

rockm

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AKHater, what are the summertime conditions in Lebanon? Full summer Lebanese sun might be a little prohibitive?
 

akhater

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Summer is usually temps in the high 20 low 30 celcius. We have about 2weeks per year above 35 but never reaches 40
 

treebeard55

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Rock and Dave are right, I believe: some shade in the afternoon is called for, especially if you can't give it a second daily watering.
 

akhater

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10 Months later this chinese elm is the first to start to wake up, it is pushing out new leaves before anything else.

I plan a new repot with a ring to try to get rid of this ugly roots, how does it sound ?
 

daygan

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I'll let someone with more experience offer their advice about the repot and the ring question, but I have a question for you - did you give your Chinese Elm extra shade during the Summer last year? How do you think it did? I ask because I have a Chinese elm which I did not give extra shade to and we had quite a few days that were pushing 40 (celsius) but I kept it watered and it seemed to thrive.. so I just wanted to know what your experience was...
 

akhater

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no daygan I didn't, it was watered once per day but please keep in mind that, in its current location, it will naturally be in the shade from the hottest time of the day (noon till late afternoon )
 

daygan

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Cool. I understand. Thank you for your input!
 

akhater

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Since I got no replies and the leaves are trying to show I repotted it this after noon,

I didn't rework the old roots but, instead put a ring hopping to get a new root system above it in the next 2 years or so.

Unless anyone else has any recommendation I guess this is it for this year now I should go back to watering and fertilizing just like last year.

If this one grows like I want I guess in 5 years I could have something half decent :D

Here is a pic, potted a bit deeper than last year with the first leaves showing

23022012016.jpg
 

Brian Van Fleet

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What soil is it potted in? If its as coarse at the area where you cut the ring, you won't get roots. If you are trying to layer it, it really needs to have something with constant moisture in contact with the area where you expect roots to grow. Most people use spaghnum moss or perlite.
 
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