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Thread: Yellowing Leaves And I Can't Understand Why.

  1. #1
    Bonsai Apprentice Duane01 is on a distinguished road
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    Yellowing Leaves And I Can't Understand Why.

    Hi again guys.

    Sorry to post here again but I'm having problems with my tree and I can't understand why. My tree is potted in akadama well draining and I'm watering every 4-5days but the leaves are yellowing and falling off. Originally I was watering until the water started coming through the drainage holes but now I'm giving it even less water to try fix the problem but it's still happening.

    Can anyone give me any advice? I understand yellowing leaves comes from over watering but I can't really give my tree much less.

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    Super Moderator iamurthman has disabled reputation iamurthman's Avatar
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    Hi Duane, a Zelkova should be kept moist at all times. If the tree is congested, which zelkova will do and need to be thinned out regularly, the finer twigs or even whole branches will die back. Can we see a pic of the tree? Never apologize for posting, that's why we're here. Bring it!

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    Bonsai Apprentice Duane01 is on a distinguished road
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    Ok here some pictures, hope it helps .....I'm no photographer :P

    That is just leaves that have fell this morning, with assistance the yellow leaves just drop off if you touch them. I'm getting 1 or 2 at least yellowing each day, even when 4-5 days have past since the last watering and it's drying out. From these pictures the tree was watered and fertilized 2days ago.
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    Last edited by Duane01; 04-23-2011 at 07:53 AM.

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    Super Moderator iamurthman has disabled reputation iamurthman's Avatar
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    I think we're dealing with a combination of problems, soil and light. Akadama by itself is not a good medium for this tree. Trees that want to stay moist need more organic matter in the soil. A mix of 60% organic matter and 40% grit will hold moisture longer. The tree should not be getting direct sunlight in that window. The combination of non-retentive soil and exposure to direct sun is causing the leaves to die. Repot the tree in a good mix and place it in a bright spot out of direct sunlight and it will begin to improve.

  5. #5
    Bonsai Apprentice Duane01 is on a distinguished road
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    Thank you for your response.

    The tree where it is sat is getting no direct sunlight. There is shelter outside the window the tree is sat in, it might get some indirect sunlight coming through the shelter but at no point in the day will it get any direct sunlight.

    I did not realise Akadama was not good enough for a tree alone, from the resources I had looked at I thought it was ok, though I had seen mixes. Are there alternatives to me repotting it again? I.e regular watering (I have plenty of time), maybe prehaps even having moss would do it good? I would like the visual feature added by that.

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    Super Moderator iamurthman has disabled reputation iamurthman's Avatar
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    Hi Duane, akadama is ok by itself for some trees, especially ones that prefer to dry out between watering like pines and most conifers. For trees that need a bit more retention you can mix in 10-20% composted pine bark or peat or some type of organic matter. You can mix it into the top of the akadama and let it filter into the lower portion as you water. Work it into the top inch gently with a chopstick. Young zelkovas should be repotted every year till they are about ten years or so when they will finally slow down and can be left for two or three years.

  7. #7
    Bonsai Sensei Caisí M. is on a distinguished road
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    Um, I don't think that's a zelkova, are you certain? It looks like an Ulmus parvifolia to me.
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    Super Moderator iamurthman has disabled reputation iamurthman's Avatar
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    Yeah, could be Caisi, zelkova leaf is pointy and these are more rounded. Could also be a Zelkova carpinifolia, Caucasian Elm, which has a leaf closer to the elm. There are so many varieties and the names are interchangable, it's hard to tell unless it's tagged. Duane called it a zelkova so I took it as that. It's a moot point either way as the needs of all are pretty much the same.

  9. #9
    Bonsai Apprentice Duane01 is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamurthman View Post
    Yeah, could be Caisi, zelkova leaf is pointy and these are more rounded. Could also be a Zelkova carpinifolia, Caucasian Elm, which has a leaf closer to the elm. There are so many varieties and the names are interchangable, it's hard to tell unless it's tagged. Duane called it a zelkova so I took it as that. It's a moot point either way as the needs of all are pretty much the same.
    Maybe it's not a Zelkova but all the trees they had in the store had they small tags labeling them as Zelkovas and it had some very breif instructions with it. When I google image search "Ulmus parvifolia" the pictures and close ups of the leaves look very much like my tree, but the 2 species iamurthman named I can't pull enough results to say.
    Last edited by Duane01; 04-24-2011 at 07:01 AM.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator iamurthman has disabled reputation iamurthman's Avatar
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    As mentioned, the care and feeding is the same for either tree. I only named one tree. The Zelkova carpinifolia is called Caucasian Elm. The two, Zelkova and Elm, were once the same classification (Ulmus), but were seperated because Zelkova don't have wings on the fruits and Ulmus does. That's the main difference other than leaf size and shape, bigger or smaller, wider or narrower.

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