Beginner Chinese Elm trimming

zeke1rMarch 12, 2014

I was recently gifted a 12yr old Chinese Elm Bonsai, I am very excited to get into the art and care of Bonsai but after reading some how-to's and forum posts I am beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed with the depth of knowledge and care that goes into Bonsai. I have only had the tree for about two months now and it seems pretty healthy, however I have yet to repot it and it is kept indoors except on the weekends when I bring it home to get some sun/wind but I am careful not to shock it. There are a few things I am unsure about, first it seems to me that all the small branches look very messy should I trim these now (early spring in Florida) or wait? Also it looks like it is growing out of the pot or the top of the root system is not completely covered does this look normal?

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Here is a closer look at the roots I spoke of.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 9:31AM
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Before anything - get rid of the pebbles. Then before anything else, put the tree outside where it belongs year round except in the very far north (of Canada). I can't tell from your picture how gritty the soil is or not, but if it's growing in 'potting soil' it needs a better mix. I'm sure it can be trimmed now, but would like to see a clearer, more close up pic of the structure first to advise.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:40AM
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As far as the soil goes it isn't regular potting soil but from what I've read it isn't the ideal soil texture either, I plan on getting a better mix soon. As far as the outdoor although I read they prefer full sunlight and ventilation and breeze are very important I also read they are ok with indoors as per this site at least "When kept inside, this particular tree is considered a semi-evergreen but when grown outdoors, it falls into the deciduous category." Here is a somewhat better picture of the structure. Thanks for the response.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:29PM
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Well, you can try keeping it inside, but don't be surprised if it doesn't last long. People will say anything to get you to buy!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 7:11PM
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I agree with Moochinka, I see that you live in Florida. I see I have a fellow northern state in 5a. I have luck taking mine in for the cold months. I will be placing it back outside as the weather breaks.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 9:40PM
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Leave it OUT year round! It needs to go dormant and what passes for 'cold' in Fla. really isn't, but it's better than indoors.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:45AM
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