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Old 25-01-2003, 09:31 PM
Buridan
 
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Default Newbie question

I have a couple of Bonsai trees (Zelkova Schneidria)
which are starting to show a white powder-like substance
around the lower part of the trunk. I am not sure if this is
an indication that the tree is unhealthy , or merely a harmless
lichen. It is possible to scrape the substance off, but generally
it re-appears. Any advice? The tree is indoors, in a mostly
unheated room of the house where the termperature is around
2-8 C.

Jim



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Old 26-01-2003, 02:08 AM
Iris Cohen
 
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I have a couple of Bonsai trees (Zelkova Schneidria) which are starting to
show a white powder-like substance around the lower part of the trunk.

I tried to find out more about this Zelkova "Schneidria." It is from Gwangdong
province and apparently a lot of them have been imported into Europe the past
couple of years. A picture shows a densely leaved specimen very similar to
standard Chinese elm.
The white powder is excess undissolved salts, & the tree will eventually be
harmed. At present, every time you water, pour the water into the soil
generously for several minutes. In the spring, repot in better drained soil.

The tree is indoors, in a mostly unheated room of the house where the
temperature is around 2-8 C.

Not too bad, but it would be better off outdoors.

Iris,
Central NY, Zone 5a, Sunset Zone 40
"The trouble with people is not that they don't know but that they know so much
that ain't so."
Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw), 1818-1885
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Old 26-01-2003, 03:20 PM
Buridan
 
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Default Newbie question


"Iris Cohen" wrote:
I have a couple of Bonsai trees (Zelkova Schneidria) which are starting

to
show a white powder-like substance around the lower part of the trunk.


I tried to find out more about this Zelkova "Schneidria." It is from

Gwangdong
province and apparently a lot of them have been imported into Europe the

past
couple of years. A picture shows a densely leaved specimen very similar to
standard Chinese elm.
The white powder is excess undissolved salts, & the tree will eventually

be
harmed. At present, every time you water, pour the water into the soil
generously for several minutes. In the spring, repot in better drained

soil.

Yes, you are right concerning the origin of the tree: the accompanying
leaflet states that this is a warm area of China, and therefore the bonsai
is suitable for growing indoors. The "Schneidria" is probably something
added by the Dutch importer. However, this is confusing, as my bonsai
guide says that the Zelkova sheds leaves in Winter, and that has not
been the case with the trees which I have.

A couple more questions: I have been unable to get any specialist
bonsai fertilizer, but was advised by the store where I bought the
trees that it was ok to use a houseplant food "pellet" once per month.
Is that good advice? Also, how much water should I use on the plant
each day? ( I am currently using about 2 egg-cup fulls every day).

Jim Humphreys











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Old 26-01-2003, 08:53 PM
Iris Cohen
 
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the accompanying leaflet states that this is a warm area of China, and
therefore the bonsai is suitable for growing indoors.

Don't believe everything you read in leaflets. It is probably similar to
Serissa & the warmer-growing varieties of Chinese elm. Until we can get a take
on this from a botanist, I would give it a cool rest in the fall & then bring
it indoors, or keep it in an unheated room for the winter, as you are doing.
Try to research a little more about the climate of Gwangdong province, & what
other well known species come from it.

The "Schneidria" is probably something added by the Dutch importer.

Apparently it is a cultivar name. Until we know more, I would put it in single
quotes.

However, this is confusing, as my bonsai guide says that the Zelkova sheds
leaves in Winter, and that has not been the case with the trees which I have.


That is true of standard Zelkova serrata. Have you tried leaving it outdoors in
the fall? It is the short days which cause trees to shed their leaves, if they
are programmed to. This variety may be a nondeciduous type, like Catlin elm.

was advised by the store where I bought the trees that it was ok to use a
houseplant food "pellet" once per month.

Not sure what you mean by pellet. You can use regular houseplant food, but if
it is in your unheated room, it won't need fertilizer more than once or twice
the whole winter.

how much water should I use on the plant each day?

You can't water a bonsai, or any other potted plant, on a time schedule. Water
thoroughly until it runs out the bottom, then don't water again until the soil
starts to get dry. If you're not sure, stick your finger or a wooden skewer
down in the soil.

Iris,
Central NY, Zone 5a, Sunset Zone 40
"The trouble with people is not that they don't know but that they know so much
that ain't so."
Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw), 1818-1885


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