Is this tree dead? Is there any hope?

Andrew R.

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Hello-

I am new to bonsai and would greatly appreciate any advice on this tree. I believe it is a Chinese sweet plum (Sageretia theezans) and I've had it for about seven months. I've had some minor issues with it in the past such as leaves dropping and browning but I was able to get it to come back and sprout new growth and it has seemed pretty healthy to me. However, since about three weeks ago, because of interpersonal issues, I have ben away from my trees from then up until now. The tree does not look good. Almost all of the leaves are brown and brittle. I was told it was watered. I am wondering if there is anything I can do to revive this tree. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Andrew
 

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Keep it lightly watered but not over watered and put it outside in some bright shade is your best chance. Then just wait and see if it gets going again. Important not to over water since it's photosynthetic capacity is much diminished in it's current state.
 

rockm

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It's a goner. Sorry. The tree has no working roots--which causes leaves to drop. Works the same way as letting roots go dry. In both cases the roots die off and can't transport moisture to the leaves. This has been going on for a while from the sound of your description. The initial leaf drop was a signal that the roots were having trouble. They stabilized after a probable partial die off, enough to push new foliage, but the soggy soil and indoor treatment were likely too much for it to handle.

The soil is very very VERY bad. It looks to be the consistency of mud--which if kept watered smothers roots and kills them.

Watering is not a difficult thing, but it's one of the most difficult things to learn how to do for bonsai.
 

stevek

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yep, pretty sure it's dead. seven months ago it was ok with the heat on, but not now with a/c on because bad soil doesn't get dried out and no free drainage will rot the roots out like rockm said. search bonsai soil and you'll see the difference. scratch the trunk and see if any green shows up. if not dead. if green, do the same with the branches, cut off any that are not green. get some bonsai soil and replace all in that pot. where did you get it from, get some help from them if a bonsai nursery. sk.
 

Cypress187

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I would start orderering a new tree, btw did you keep it inside all this time?
 
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Hi Andrew, and welcome to this great site.

I'm sorry about your tree. However -- there is so much good info on this site! Look around in the various forums and find a type of tree that interests you and go from there. This time of year the local nurseries and big box stores are starting to have sales on their nursery stock. Walk around, select something with a good trunk, and bring it home.

Good luck!
 

stevek

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it looks like he lives in an apartment in Chicago, so he's pretty much stuck with trops. sk.
 

Andrew R.

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Thanks everyone for your help and advice.
 

Miyagi

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I think you can scratch the trunk with your thumbnail to see if it's green underneath? I wouldn't give up just yet but i'm just a seedling.
 

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