A little advice and help please..? 🙂

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#21
Why would it be holding too much water? When I water it, it leaks straight through into the drip tray, also I put my finger like a inch or so down into the soil before I water, and most of the time it is dry. So surely it's not holding water badly??
Sometimes an issue will arise where the core of the soil ball/mass will become almost impermeable and almost nothing you can do short of renuing the soil ball/mass will resolve the issue. Failure to address this problem can set up a condition where the center of the tree rots out. Even though it seems the drainage of the soil ball/mass is working it is only draining around the sides of the soil ball and the center/core remains dry and dying.
 
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#22
Yay more UK people... :).
Keep going on this forum and learning online, it’ll be fine.
No point me repeating what’s already been said here, people are right. When you water, does the water run off to the side or slowly sink in to the center of the soil mass?
 

Lottie

Seedling
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United Kingdom
#23
Yay more UK people... :).
Keep going on this forum and learning online, it’ll be fine.
No point me repeating what’s already been said here, people are right. When you water, does the water run off to the side or slowly sink in to the center of the soil mass?
Hey :D errrrm I guess tbh it does kind of roll to the side then sink through the soil and some out through the drip tray. Definitely going to get some new soil 👍
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
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#25
No need for panic.
IF the organic soil it's been growing in ( it's alive, isn't it?) is holding up a lot of moisture, water the tree less for the moment.
There are many examples of centuries old bonsai thriving in "not modern" soil.
When the time is right in the season and the tree is healthy, yes, repot it in less organic soil.
"There are many examples of centuries old bonsai thriving in "not modern" soil."

this is an extremely misleading statement. The "not modern" soil for centuries old bonsai is not garden soil from the UK or bagged potting soil from Walmart. The Japanese and Chinese were very successful growing bonsai because of the soil that is native in those countries. I Japan, the soils are of VOLCANIC origin and tend to be open, porous and free draining. The Japanese in particular understood that and sought out specific soils to use...Unless you have access to those kinds of volcanic soils--akadama, kanuma, etc. organic-based soil like this is a death sentence for most beginner trees...and yes, there is a bit of urgency here. Yellowing dropping leaves when the tree should be putting out spring growth is a very bad sign.
 
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Location
Larissa, Greece
USDA Zone
9a
#26
I've had the exact same problem with my chinese elm last year because I used to spray the leaves with water two or three times a day. Healthy green leaves got black spots, then turned yellow and fell off. It's some sort of fungus and should be treated with fungicide. Here's a photo of mine. IMG_20170418_154703.jpg
 
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Location
São Paulo, Brazil
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11a
#27
The "not modern" soil for centuries old bonsai is not garden soil from the UK or bagged potting soil from Walmart.
Yes, you are right.
It depends on the location, of course.
My experience, specially with tropical (local) trees is, the nursery soils will hold for a long time before need for repotting. Jabuticabas (Plinia cauliflora), Malphighias (Barbados Cherry), Calliandras Selloi (Powder Puff), Eugenias Uniflora (Surinam Cherry), they all like wet feet, and organic soil is OK with them, in our climate.
Sorry, I was not clear.
 

Lottie

Seedling
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United Kingdom
#28
I've had the exact same problem with my chinese elm last year because I used to spray the leaves with water two or three times a day. Healthy green leaves got black spots, then turned yellow and fell off. It's some sort of fungus and should be treated with fungicide. Here's a photo of mine. View attachment 187203
Ahhh Thanks very much!! Sounds similar to mine. I did think about buying fungicide anyway to keep by me in case. 😃
 

milehigh_7

Mister 500,000
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#29
A little first aid to get Frank headed in the right direction is in order. Water him really well with a 1:4 peroxide (3% from the drug store) / water solution. Then weekly at about 1:10. This will oxygenate your soil and kill (or help kill) any beasties that are growing down there. Then follow the other instructions (like those from @rockm).
 

milehigh_7

Mister 500,000
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#30
Oh and Chinese elms don't need dormancy ever. They are subtropicals and in many places, they never go dormant at all. None of mine did this year. They can and will do fine in cooler climates but certainly, dormancy is not a necessity.
 
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#31
I've had the exact same problem with my chinese elm last year because I used to spray the leaves with water two or three times a day. Healthy green leaves got black spots, then turned yellow and fell off. It's some sort of fungus and should be treated with fungicide. Here's a photo of mine. View attachment 187203
That’s black spot. A common ailment among elms and exactly what I am fighting by applying fungicide (Rose clear 3-1).
Don’t mist elms.. it’s just my opinion and from research but don’t do it.. watering elms on an elm will encourage black spot. Especially on fresh new leaves that have just sprouted. Once the leaves harden off in summer, then you can get them wet.
 
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#32
Oh and Chinese elms don't need dormancy ever. They are subtropicals and in many places, they never go dormant at all. None of mine did this year. They can and will do fine in cooler climates but certainly, dormancy is not a necessity.
This is a very interesting thing to say! I’ve never ever heard of that before.. I’d be very scared to live by that with my elms, from what Ive always read and learnt. I think dormancy is healthy and good for trees any way, why not let them.
 
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São Paulo, Brazil
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#33
I think dormancy is healthy and good for trees any way, why not let them.
If you lived in a tropical country, you would quickly discover that winters are a joke here; much like summers in some North American states. So, not cold enough to establish a "true" dormancy; JWP, for instance, are impossible to be grown here. But Elms... They can stand a lot of injuries, and yes, some of them turn yellowish, others lose their leaves, but most Elms here go through winter as they were in Fall. Bad for them? I believe so, but they thrive again next summer.
 

milehigh_7

Mister 500,000
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#34
This is a very interesting thing to say! I’ve never ever heard of that before.. I’d be very scared to live by that with my elms, from what Ive always read and learnt. I think dormancy is healthy and good for trees any way, why not let them.
With plants, you need to consider what they do in nature. Where these grow as landscape they many times don't go dormant at all. If winter temps stay above 40F 4.4C they won't lose their leaves ever. It's funny I see many people forget that plants like bougainvillea are native to tropical Brazil and for best result that climate should be mimicked. Some varieties of Ulmus parvifolia such as 'True Green' were developed to almost never drop leaves.