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pruning a chinese elm
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Author:  noobbonsai [ 21 Mar 2010, 00:48 ]
Post subject:  pruning a chinese elm

hi all

currently have a chinese elm (first bonsai tree), i repotted not too long ago. Havn't done any kind of pruning as i havn't had it long.


I quite like the shape it has already, and would like to just thicken up the leave coverage, and remove any longer growing braches that look untidy.

i've read up a bit, and it keeps saying about cutting back to 2 leaves etc. Not really sure what to do so i thought i'd ask you bunch :) How can i thicken up the foilage, and more importantly, is it the correct time in the season to do so?


Author:  splendidplumage [ 21 Mar 2010, 00:53 ]
Post subject:  Re: pruning a chinese elm

It does not currently look lik eit needs trimming.

Once it starts putting on new growth try trimming it back to 2 leaves as already suggested.

It could still benefit from a bigger pot. Make sure you keep it well watered in that one.

Bigger pot. More roots. more growth. more leaf coverage.

An indoor chinese elm can be trimmed year round if it is producing new growth that needs trimming.

Author:  noobbonsai [ 21 Mar 2010, 01:19 ]
Post subject:  Re: pruning a chinese elm

ah ok cool :)

could you advise me on any fertilizer to use, im currently not using any?

Author:  Chris L [ 21 Mar 2010, 01:24 ]
Post subject:  Re: pruning a chinese elm

Hey All,

Hi NB, sorry for jumping into your thread here, but gotta question about this. Please ignore my remarks unless one of the experts suggests otherwise.

Not to confuse the situation or even actually question your comments Splendid, but: Since the tree is indoors and therefore likely to have been actively growing somewhat during the past few months, would it not be advisable to at least lightly hit the foliage to help after the recent repot?

I just can't keep indoor trees alive!! Little bits like this may help.


Author:  splendidplumage [ 21 Mar 2010, 09:49 ]
Post subject:  Re: pruning a chinese elm

I would normally trim any growth that needs trimming at the time of repotting. That helps.
But at the moment of this photo there is not much that really needs trimming. Maybe a couple of odd bits, but cutting two small bits off won't help the roots support the tree.
Having said that with it being a chinese elm this time of year it has probably grown more already.
Keep trimming back new extension as necessary, that will make it bush up more.

Author:  noobbonsai [ 21 Mar 2010, 11:42 ]
Post subject:  Re: pruning a chinese elm

ah thanks guys makes more sence now :) wasn't show how the growing direction thing worked :)

so i wait for the new buds, to sprout into leaves first then.

one more question if you dont mind, i've started to noticed some big leaves appearing, is it wise to remove these?

Author:  John M [ 21 Mar 2010, 14:05 ]
Post subject:  Re: pruning a chinese elm

It's fine, Noob. Welcome, by the way. Just gently snipping off the biggest leaves all through the season is a good way to keep things under control - especially elms. Cut them off near the leaf end of the leaf stalk, not the trunk/branch end - then leave the remains of the stalk to fall away naturally. That way you run less risk of damaging the dormant axillary buds sitting in the angle of the leaf - once the leaf is gone they can sprout and start to produce new branches. But there are others here who know more about elms than I, so I shall defer to their superior knowledge. SJ.

Author:  splendidplumage [ 21 Mar 2010, 23:23 ]
Post subject:  Re: pruning a chinese elm

Note that as a shoot extends the leaves get gradually bigger. So when you are deciding weither to trim back to 1, 2 or 3 leaves prefer to cut back to only the smaller ones. That way you are naturally keeping the leaves smal lat the same time.

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