New owner of small ulmus parvifolia hokkaido - I have no experience, looking for resources

BurgerTimez

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Hi all -

I have always been interested in bonsai, but planned to research it a bit before I jumped in. Well, I went with a friend to a huge bonsai nursery here in Sonoma County, CA and couldn't resisit picking up a ulmus parvifolia hokkaido to take home. I have nearly zero knowledge, so my goal is to quickly learn enough about how to care for it to choose a good place to put it and watering schedule just for the first few weeks.

Once I have it in a stable situation I'll start looking into ongoing care and what bonsai is really all about. But, for right, I am really interested in any recommendations for resources (i.e. articles, videos, books, whatever) where I can learn a few basic things and make sure this ulmus parvifolia is in a good place with proper care in the short term.

Any recommendations for learning the craft would be much appreciated!

thank you!!
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Ulmus parvifolia 'Hokkaido' is a very small leaf, small growing, corky barked cultivar of the lacebark Chinese elm. It is slow growing and its branches are brittle. It is not easy to wire shape into this cultivar, for bonsai most training is done by "clip and grow". It is a great cultivar to use for the smaller sizes of bonsai. An excellent choice, though not the easiest choice for someone new to bonsai.

Below is an archive of articles of excellent quality for those new to bonsai. One or two articles apply to elms, the others to other bonsai species, and to more general bonsai care.

 

BurgerTimez

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Ulmus parvifolia 'Hokkaido' is a very small leaf, small growing, corky barked cultivar of the lacebark Chinese elm. It is slow growing and its branches are brittle. It is not easy to wire shape into this cultivar, for bonsai most training is done by "clip and grow". It is a great cultivar to use for the smaller sizes of bonsai. An excellent choice, though not the easiest choice for someone new to bonsai.

Below is an archive of articles of excellent quality for those new to bonsai. One or two articles apply to elms, the others to other bonsai species, and to more general bonsai care.

Thanks for this useful info, I appreciate it! I do understand that this isn't idea for a total newcomer to bonsai. But, i was told if I'm careful and patient I could pull it off so I am going to do my best - I like the look of it very much!

I will look through all those resources, thank you!
 

Bonsai Nut

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Thanks for this useful info, I appreciate it! I do understand that this isn't idea for a total newcomer to bonsai. But, i was told if I'm careful and patient I could pull it off so I am going to do my best - I like the look of it very much!

I will look through all those resources, thank you!

It is much weaker than most other Chinese elms, and is prone to die-back that doesn't seem to have anything to do with the skills of the grower, the environment in which it is kept, or which way the wind is blowing :) Building on what @Leo in N E Illinois described above, the brittle branches make it almost impossible to wire.

The Chinese elm cultivar 'Seiju' is a sport of 'Hokkaido' and is a little larger, a little stronger, and a little less prone to some of Hokkaido's quirks. I find that Seiju can be actively styled, while Hokkaido is more about clip and grow and hope for the best :) That said, old, large Hokkaidos look very intriguing, and probably win the award for "most likely to naturally look like a creepy Halloween tree" :)
 

MrWunderful

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Which nursery in Sonoma County? Just curious if there is one here I dont know about :)
 

BrianBay9

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The first thing you need to do is provide for its survival. If the seller didn't tell you, then:
the tree will be much happier outdoors.
There are many micro climates in Sonoma County. If you're comfortable outside, your tree will be. By that I mean don't put it out in full sun at 100 F, but if you're in a foggier part of the county, make sure it gets enough sun.
Hopefully it's in decent bonsai soil.
Water when needed. Fertilizer regularly. What does that mean? Depends on your soil. Take a pic and show us?
 
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Kanorin

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I'm also a beginner - I started a year ago - and I picked up a 'Hokkaido' chinese elm earlier this spring. All of the advice above is sound.

One neat benefit of this cultivar from a beginner's perspective is that you won't have to grow out the trunk much, if at all, to make the leaves appear in perspective with the trunk and branch size. I have an idea to make a mame sized (4-8 inches tall) forest out of these if I can get some more cuttings to strike next year.

And welcome to these forums!
 

sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

rollwithak

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Hi all -

I have always been interested in bonsai, but planned to research it a bit before I jumped in. Well, I went with a friend to a huge bonsai nursery here in Sonoma County, CA and couldn't resisit picking up a ulmus parvifolia hokkaido to take home. I have nearly zero knowledge, so my goal is to quickly learn enough about how to care for it to choose a good place to put it and watering schedule just for the first few weeks.

Once I have it in a stable situation I'll start looking into ongoing care and what bonsai is really all about. But, for right, I am really interested in any recommendations for resources (i.e. articles, videos, books, whatever) where I can learn a few basic things and make sure this ulmus parvifolia is in a good place with proper care in the short term.

Any recommendations for learning the craft would be much appreciated!

thank you!!
Any pictures to share??
 

BurgerTimez

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Here's the requested photo. I live in Petaluma and I'm thinking to keep this little guy outside all the time unless there is really extreme cold or heat. I am currently just leaving it where it is, and giving it a big watering/soaking every other day while I sort out a better-researched plan.


20201014_125723.jpg
 

MrWunderful

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Here's the requested photo. I live in Petaluma and I'm thinking to keep this little guy outside all the time unless there is really extreme cold or heat. I am currently just leaving it where it is, and giving it a big watering/soaking every other day while I sort out a better-researched plan.


View attachment 334686


Keep it wet in the hottest part of the year with maybe some afternoon shade at the hottest part of day in petaluma.
Unless it ever gets below 32 for a week or two at a time it will be fine outside in winter.
 

BurgerTimez

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Keep it wet in the hottest part of the year with maybe some afternoon shade at the hottest part of day in petaluma.
Unless it ever gets below 32 for a week or two at a time it will be fine outside in winter.
Thanks! It's pretty hot today although not the hottest part of the summer. It gets a mix of direct sun and shade during the day but I will try to find a place with more sun I think.

Would one really good watering be enough each day? The pot is small, I can't imagine it takes long to dry out!
 

MrWunderful

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Thanks! It's pretty hot today although not the hottest part of the summer. It gets a mix of direct sun and shade during the day but I will try to find a place with more sun I think.

Would one really good watering be enough each day? The pot is small, I can't imagine it takes long to dry out!
It depends on if the soil is getting wet all the way through, and what type of soil its in. Do you have it in an inorganic substrate?
 

BurgerTimez

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It depends on if the soil is getting wet all the way through, and what type of soil its in. Do you have it in an inorganic substrate?
Embarrassingly, I have no idea. However, I spoke with the owner of the bonsai nursery and I am confident that it's been well prepared and taken care of - just not sure the specifics.
 

MrWunderful

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Embarrassingly, I have no idea. However, I spoke with the owner of the bonsai nursery and I am confident that it's been well prepared and taken care of - just not sure the specifics.
If its in the original soil, then it ls in soil that works great for their nursery, but not that good for bonsai. You are going to want to get it in a better soil next year. Inorganic bonsai soil is almost impossible to over water, but dries out a bit quicker than a compost/bark based soil.
 

BurgerTimez

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If its in the original soil, then it ls in soil that works great for their nursery, but not that good for bonsai. You are going to want to get it in a better soil next year. Inorganic bonsai soil is almost impossible to over water, but dries out a bit quicker than a compost/bark based soil.

Perhaps, but given that this place is a bonsai nursery and doesn't do anything else ( except succulents), I have to assume they are properly potted. I can call and find out to be sure.
 

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