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TOPIC: Chinese Elm Winter Dormancy ?

Chinese Elm Winter Dormancy ? 2 months 2 weeks ago #36637

This Chinese Elm tree underwent rapid growth in the last few months. I've pruned this tree twice so far in the fall and the tree produced many new leaves. The tree has responded well to the fertilizer I've used on it. It has been full and green up until now.

At first, very few of the older leavers were yellowing which appeared normal. Now, many off the leaves—both old and new— are turning yellow fast and falling off their branches. Can anyone tell if this is a sign of winter dormancy? If so, should I place it outside in a shaded area or keep it indoors ? How about watering?

I'm in NY as the winters can be rather cold her dropping below 20 degrees F. Currently the weather is about 35 degrees F, just above freezing temperatures.

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Chinese Elm Winter Dormancy ? 2 months 2 weeks ago #36639

andest wrote: Can anyone tell if this is a sign of winter dormancy?


I'd say it is a sign of a tree standing above a radiator.
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Chinese Elm Winter Dormancy ? 2 months 2 weeks ago #36641

That radiator is never turned on. Therefore, the tree cannot be affected by any heating or cooling from it.
Any additional thoughts?

This window faces west. Could it be a lighting problem?
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Chinese Elm Winter Dormancy ? 2 months 2 weeks ago #36643

andest wrote: This window faces west. Could it be a lighting problem?


Could be several things and lighting could be one of them (lower light levels triggering dormancy), but I don't know, I don't do indoor bonsai.
My chinese elm is outdoors where it belongs.
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Chinese Elm Winter Dormancy ? 2 months 2 weeks ago #36644

Ok. At this point I will assume that it’s going into dormancy. In that case should I put it outside even though it can get very cold where I am?

Should I wait untill all leaves have dropped before taking it outside?
What are the light and watering requirements during dormancy?

When does then dormancy period end?

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Chinese Elm Winter Dormancy ? 2 months 2 weeks ago #36645

andest wrote: Ok. At this point I will assume that it’s going into dormancy. In that case should I put it outside even though it can get very cold where I am?


Probably not. My elm has had time to adapt. It has already lost all its leaves and will get through winter just fine (assuming it will not get extremely cold).
Best thing would probably be to find a cool space, like an unheated room or shed.

What are the light and watering requirements during dormancy?


I do not water at all in this period. They get enough rain - probably too much, but I do not have a sheltered space (I should build one...).
If I could keep it out of the rain, I would water sparsely. The soil will not dry quickly outside so I would just have to make sure it doesn't dry out.

When does then dormancy period end?


When the buds start leafing out, somewhere beginning of spring, depends on how much light it gets and/or the temperature (not sure which of the two triggers dormancy in chinese elms - or if it's both. You'll need to look that up).
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Chinese Elm Winter Dormancy ? 2 months 1 week ago #36677

Thank you for your feedback.

I just remembered that I did apply insecticide to my tree as it had some flying insects around it. Could the yellowing and blackening of the leaves be a bad reaction to the insecticide?
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Chinese Elm Winter Dormancy ? 2 months 1 week ago #36679

Chinese elm and some of my ficuses are very sensitive to insecticides, so it could be the case.

But read about dormancy and chinese elm in general. It looks like you have no idea about both. You can kill a plant easily if you don't have at least a basic knowledge
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Chinese Elm Winter Dormancy ? 2 months 1 week ago #36685

I have a chinese elm that was kept indoors before I aquired it... during that first winter it lost a lot of leaves, too. How long have you had the tree? have you moved it recently, or was it always by that window? What I noticed was that the tree reacted very quickly to any changes, when it was still inside. after moving it outside last year in the summer, it was much more hearty. plus it's growth exploded.
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