Mame Chinese Elm

Alex DeRuiter

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Air layered this off of a larger tree (mallsai). I know it needs a lot of branch refinement, but what do you think? I think the end result will have that bottom branch chopped off, but I'm still unsure.

 

Alex DeRuiter

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Lol, I'm assuming it should live. I take good care of the trees and this one was very healthy before separation. The roots were almost popping out of the plastic. :)

One thing that worried me slightly is that the rest of the branches haven't budded out. Is this a bad sign? I'm assuming the buds are still dormant, but I suppose there's a chance they may've died back. The bottom of the tree was full of leaves. I scratched the bark and it's still green, so yeah...thoughts?
 

evmibo

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Hey there,

How long has it been planted? I think you'll see more buds pop. I feel as though I'm not experienced enough to be giving advice but I'd let it grow out this season and wait until perhaps late winter for big cuts (correct me if I'm wrong). Just baby it and feed it well until then. I like it very much, although the trunk seems like it could use a little movement. Best of luck to you two. Here's a free paintjob/quick idea for you. I think this has loads of potential.
 

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Bill S

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Ok is it or isn't it, when asking for advice, it would be considered rude to laugh off an answer, then turn around and ask what you have. I think (especially ) based on the photo you might give treebeards thoughts more consideration. Mine are kind of the same I think, is the "grey" areas lime sulphered?? If it is those may dye off, also if it is, the bark is typicall stripped off first, unless it was used as a fungicide. Appears too heavy for me to be used as a fungicide.

The virtual is good, I think I would tend to go in that direction.
 

Alex DeRuiter

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It's been planted for three days now. I'm really hoping more buds will pop. I started the layer just as some buds were swelling, so I hope I didn't inadvertently kill the top portion.

Yeah, it's best to let it gain some strength for a season or two before doing drastic cuts. Thank you for your compliments :)

I love the virt, by the way. I had planned on doing something quite similar to that, but I'm deciding if I want to use this side as the front or back. The other side looks pretty nice, too, and the apex seems more defined. Plus it doesn't show that ugly wound.
 

Alex DeRuiter

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Hey Bill, sorry if there was any confusion. I tend to overuse abbreviations like "lol." I wasn't trying to laugh off treebeard's answer, I was just laughing at my uncertainty. However, treebeard, thank you for your comments -- I was aiming for unconventional, but I think being such a novice helps me with unconventionalism. lol

The gray areas are just dry -- I'd watered the tree just before taking the picture, so the extra-brown bark is wet. I haven't done anything with deadwood yet, so I don't own any lime sulphur ;-p
 
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Bill S

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No harm no foul as far as I am concerned, just that it seemed a bit cheeky, typed words can be tough sometimes, just wanted to make sure. You seemed genuine so I didn't use a nasty gram.

Probably would have been better to let it break and the leaves harden before doing the layer, as you said the buds had swollen first, with this statement I think Steve might be in the right area, this might have to be grown from the green you see now. It seems that the new leaves came from dormant buds, I wouldn't expect those unless the existing ones weren't going to be viable. Hopefully you get some from the existing branches. Good Luck.

Don't know if you have seen or heard of Carl's ICU, but it might help to keep this tented, to keep the humidity up, I'm no expert in plant biology but it might help to get the existing buds to break. Gotta go now but if Steve sees this he knows what to say/tell you.
 

Alex DeRuiter

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It's really had to gauge how exactly someone's saying something over the internet, which is why so many people seem to get into unnecessary feuds. Thank you for not using a nasty gram :D

Yeah, that's what I was thinking as leaves below the air layer sprouted and buds above didn't. I really do hope it survives, since I was excited with the outcome. However, if I do have to work with what's green right now, i can probably recreate the apex.

I didn't realize keeping humidity up would help the sprouting! I'll put it in something tonight and pray for leaves.

Thanks for your input :)
 

Alex DeRuiter

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Here's the other side. I think I like this side more with the exception of the branch that's pointing directly forward.

 

treebeard55

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No offense taken, Axxon. :) I wasn't sure how your "LOL" was meant -- there were several possibilities-- so didn't respond until I knew more. We're all having to learn new ways to make sure our meaning gets across, with the spreading use of the Internet. And it's more work for those of us who are more "mature," shall we say? ;)

Most of the branches look brown or gray to me, in the photo, and the bark on some looks sunken. Maybe it's just the photo. But that's why I wondered about the tree's survival.

Bill mentioned a good tool, an "ICU." Many of us have learned about this from Carl Rosner, of New Jersey, tho I don't know if it's original with him. It's simple and inexpensive.

1. Take a cardboard box, big enough to fit over the tree with a few inches clearance all around.
2. Cut off the top flaps and flip it over.
3. Cut a "window" in what is now the top, and all 4 sides, so it looks like my quick-and-dirty virt. (Let's hope your cuts are straighter than my lines!)
4. Cover each window with something transparent. I recommend polyethylene sheeting, sold in paint stores and Wal-Mart for drop cloth. Polyethylene has been shown to pass oxygen and CO2, but not water vapor. Get the thinnest you can find.
5. Tape your polyethylene, or whatever you use, around the edges, to make a watertight seal.
6. Water the tree, mist it thoroughly, and put it in bright light (but no direct sun) with the ICU over it.

I also use the polyethylene sheeting for air-layers and similar projects. I got the smallest package available for less than $5, and it's going to last me the rest of my life, most likely.
 

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Alex DeRuiter

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That's such a good idea! I'll get started on that when I get home. I have the tree under some T12 bulbs for now, and they're low enough to provide good light. I usually run the 24/7, and I haven't run into any information saying that 24 hour lighting is bad, and my trees are doing well under them.

Lucky for me, I have extra polythylene from a greenhouse I made last year, so that'll work well. Thank you for the suggestion :)

I'll get everything set up and report back in a month or so. *crosses fingers*

And yes, it's getting harder and harder to determine how someone is saying something on the Internet. I read an article called something like "Together, Alone" that goes into detail about that and the uprising of social networks -- somewhat depressing, really.

Anyway, thanks again ;)
 

treebeard55

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You're welcome! Thank Carl, too. :)

I've only found one species in my collection that needsa daily period of darkness to remain healthy, and that is Portulacaria afra, aka "elephant bush" and "baby jade." All others in my tropicals "Crate" do OK with light 24/7.

"Together, Alone" ... says it too well. A hundred years from now, tho, what new conventions will have developed to go with the technology of the day?
 

Alex DeRuiter

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Many thanks to Carl ;-D

Jades actually need dark? Hmm, I never knew that. One of my first trees was a Jade, but it's long dead, and probably because of that. lol -- Yeah, my Ficus and Brazilian Rain Trees love 24/7 light, it seems. Then again, this is only my third year with them and I haven't done too much experimentation.

I'm somewhat worried about what will happen a hundred years down the road. I find myself both losing and gaining faith in humaninity on a daily basis. I think there are significant advantages and disadvantages to mass instant communication, but it's very hard to tell which outweighs which. The Internet makes things so easy to access, but it really shortens my attention span. You should check out the article "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/6868/
 

treebeard55

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... Jades actually need dark? Hmm, I never knew that....
Keep in mind, I'm talking about "baby jade" or "elephant bush," Portulacaria afra. We've had a few consistently for the last 4-5 years. Every winter they would slowly lose all their leaves, and not recover until placed outside again in spring. I eliminated all other possibilities -- insects, humidity, you name it -- until lack of a daily dark period was all that was left.

Last winter I put my lights on an 18:6 light-dark cycle, instead of leaving them on 24/7 as I'd been doing for years. No more complete leaf loss from the Portulacarias. :)

True jade is Crassula, and I'm afraid I can't comment on their light-dark needs.
 

Bill S

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Keep in mind, I'm talking about "baby jade" or "elephant bush," Portulacaria afra. We've had a few consistently for the last 4-5 years. Every winter they would slowly lose all their leaves, and not recover until placed outside again in spring. I eliminated all other possibilities -- insects, humidity, you name it -- until lack of a daily dark period was all that was left.

Last winter I put my lights on an 18:6 light-dark cycle, instead of leaving them on 24/7 as I'd been doing for years. No more complete leaf loss from the Portulacarias. :)

True jade is Crassula, and I'm afraid I can't comment on their light-dark needs.
Well this does some explaining, at least I can look forward to it looking better soon, thanks Steve, I knew I called on you for a reason.:)
 

Alex DeRuiter

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Steve, baby jade is the one that looks like a succulent and a tree combined, right? I had one of those when I first got into bonsai, but it died because at that time I didn't even know about light requirements, let alone dark requirements. lol -- I've started a light/dark schedule for my trees indoors until they're placed outside for the growing season. :)

Rockm, thank you for that link! I'm glad you posted that because I recently enrolled in a trigonometry class for the fall semester. This is a nice refresher! Not to mention a bit boggling. lol -- by the way, what's sad is that now-a-days, at least where I'm from, equations like this are too advanced to be introduced in high school. Hopefully this is just in my area, though, and not the rest of the country.
 

rockm

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I think I first saw the equation in college biology back in the early 1980's, although it may have shown up in high school bio or trig class, but I wasn't paying attention to much when I was 17, except girls and beer :D
 
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