Ask a Question forum→Can I save this bonsai ?

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australia
pallavi
Jun 2, 2018 6:40 PM CST
Hi all,

My friend bought this bonsai and is now struggling to keep it alive. Since i have managed to keep most plants alive in the last year, she has asked me to try and revive this. I dont even know what plant this is. But i believe checking the roots would shock this at this time. The branches are not snapping yet so can possibly produce new leaves. Should i just remove all leaves by hand , maintain good watering and light and hope for a revival ? Should I only remove totally brown leaves and leave half green ones on ? They wont go back to being all green,right ? It's out in the sun for now.

Thanks much.
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Name: Daisy I
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DaisyI
Jun 2, 2018 9:21 PM CST
It looks like an Elm tree. Start by moving it to a light shady spot. Are you keeping the soil moist? The biggest problem with bonsai is keeping the roots damp while living in a tiny pot. If its hot enough, the could be a daily or even twice daily thing. Check for moisture before you water but, keep the soil damp.

The leaves will fall off on their own. I would cut back all those long shoots to 2 - 3 leaf nodes.
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BigBill
Jun 3, 2018 6:02 AM CST
Looks like it dried out too much! Some of those long slender stems could be pruned back. Keep it in a bright place, no sun, and keep it evenly moist. If it is going to survive, New leaves should appear in 4-6 weeks.
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australia
pallavi
Jun 3, 2018 6:05 AM CST
What should i do with the leaves ? Remove all brown ones? What about the half brown half green ?
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jun 3, 2018 7:40 AM CST
After you have watered it properly and it starts to put out new leaves, any remaining brown leaves can be removed if they don't fall on their own.
Once a leaf goes brown, full or half, it will never regain its normal color.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Jun 3, 2018 8:34 AM CST
Better to remove all the discolored leaves sooner rather than later. They no longer serve any useful purpose. Now is also a good time to prune back many of the stems that are very long, bare or leggy. Pruning will not affect the plant's health, only its appearance.

As others have suggested, keep it good and moist and wait to see if the roots are healthy enough to produce new growth.

It is important to get a positive ID for it so you will know its requirements going forward. If it is an Elm, as Daisy suggested, then it will need cold winter temps.
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Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

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plantladylin
Jun 3, 2018 9:56 AM CST
It looks like Elm to me also. Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia) is sometimes used for Bonsai and I believe, depending on climate, they can be semi- deciduous, losing foliage for short periods.

When growing it as a potted plant, it can stay outside during the summer months but if it gets cold where you live, it's best to move it indoors during the winter.



An article on Elm Bonsia here: http://www.bonsai4me.com/Speci...
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jun 3, 2018 12:54 PM CST
Maybe it is just a naturally deciduous tree so it is doing loss of foliage right now. Depending on your outdoor temps if it is below 50F (10C)overnight, it maybe better to just bring it indoors but by your warmest and sunniest window, and wait patiently for it to wake up. Hope it is just going into some winter dormancy.
[Last edited by tarev - Jun 3, 2018 12:55 PM (+)]
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australia
pallavi
Jun 3, 2018 5:29 PM CST
Thanks everyone. Does look like an elm from the pictures i saw online.
Its winters here and i ve moved it to a bright spot indoors for now. Watered it well. Pruned a bit. Scratched one of the pruned branches and i still see green underneath , which means life. :). Finge


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Fingers crossed
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jun 3, 2018 6:37 PM CST
I hope you will keep us posted on how it's doing in the next few months and of course share more photos as it leafs out!
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


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