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New and in need of assistance, please 8 months 1 week ago #55612

  • Bearded Buddha
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Hello! I hope this post finds you all well!

I have started a wonderful journey into the world of Bonsai, after receiving a tree from my mother for Christmas. According to the tag that was in the pot, it is a 7 year Cherry. Since I have had it in my house, placed near a patio door about 5 or so feet away, it has begun to develop dry leaves which have been falling off at times. I have contacted the place my mother purchased it, since they were nice enough to send their business card along with a small starter pack containing instructions, a small amount of food and some shears, and they suggested that it may be a watering or low humidity issue.

I purchased a small humidifier today and placed it near the tree, so hopefully that helps. I've been checking on the soil frequently (I'm a nervous new tree papa :P) and it has been moist to the touch, though after checking it right now, it does feel a bit dry, so I'll be watering it. Is there something I'm missing?

The instructions say to soak the soil 2 times a week, so that it drains out the bottom, leave it to continue draining for half an hour, and then return it to it's home. It also recommends spritzing the leaves daily. I'm going to soak it now, since it seems to be on the dry side, but I just want to be sure I'm covering all bases.

Any help you can offer would be so greatly appreciated!!!

(Edit: Please forgive the scraggly mess of the tree... I've been too afraid to trim anything in case of causing more issue.)

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Last edit: Post by Bearded Buddha.

New and in need of assistance, please 8 months 1 week ago #55613

  • Clicio
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Welcome!
Congratulations on your new bonsai.

Your tree is in a very bad shape. I dare say it is dying.
Even if it says it's a cherry, try to find out which Cherry exactly (scientific name), it helps a lot.
I only dunk any tree in a bucket of water if the soil is bone dry and has shrunk.
Where are you located? It matters a lot.
Is the little tree indoors? Trees usually belong outdoors, and all japanese cherries can stand the cold.
Take a look at the instructions below.

  • First of all, try to find out if it is not a mallsai.
  • "A Mallsai is a mass-produced young tree, grown for a quick result with a minimal amount of work, using very basic techniques. Such trees are often found in shopping malls (hence the name), gardens and chain stores, and many are "S" shaped."

  • Second, be aware that a bonsai needs care and patience, almost like a pet.

  • Third, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere then it is winter now, not the best time to initiate in this hobby. Could be frustrating, as some bonsai will drop all leaves and need to be outdoors, while tropicals need to be indoors (but they don't like it).

  • If the label on the pot doesn't show the species, then click here to check it out.

  • If your bonsai starts to lose its leaves, then click here to find out why.

  • This website is a great place to research the basics of bonsai, and the menu bar is your first friend. Review the menu items above
    If you don't find any useful answer for your specific doubt, try searching the forum by clicking on the link: Search Forum


    Enjoy the Empire Forum!
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    Last edit: Post by Clicio.

    New and in need of assistance, please 8 months 1 week ago #55620

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    I really appreciate your reply!

    I'm located in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, and it is an indoor plant. I had thought that the weather may be to blame for the leaf issue, due to it being winter and cooler, but the businessman had assured me it wasn't. And based on the description of mallsai, and some of the pictures I've seen while searching up the term for examples, this one certainly seems to fit the bill, though it has a straight trunk with a slight lean to it, rather than any shaping. However, looking through the species link you shared, and trying to compare it to what I have, it seems I might have something that resembles the Prunus Serrulata (it's hard to be sure, since the pictures used as examples in the description are in flower, where mine is in dire straits, though the picture of the leaves in the list seem to be similar).

    I hope I can save this, even if it is a mallsai. In the short time I have been researching this term, it seems people have a mixed bag of feelings towards the topic, but some do say it can be used as a beginner bonsai, to help practice the art and get a feel for the basics. Do you have any suggestions on how I can try to recover this tree? Being that it is winter, should I let it sleep for now? I've seen some sites say I should store it in the garage till the spring, but I'm worried about it obviously not getting light.

    Thank you in advance!

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    New and in need of assistance, please 8 months 1 week ago #55621

    • Auk
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    Bearded Buddha wrote: it seems I might have something that resembles the Prunus Serrulata


    Prunus definately is an outdoor tree.
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    New and in need of assistance, please 8 months 1 week ago #55622

    • Clicio
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    Well if it's a Prunus it should be outdoors (in an unheated garage or cold frame if temperatures get really low in your winter) and certainly it should be leafless, completely bare by now. Prunus are deciduous (lose its leaves in winter) and will flower before leafing out in the Spring.

    EDIT: Sorry Auk, we have posted at the same time and our answer is the same.
    Outdoors.
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    Last edit: Post by Clicio.

    New and in need of assistance, please 8 months 1 week ago #55623

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    Thank you both for the replies.

    I will move it to the garage asap. Is there any special care I should be giving it, or should I just keep an eye on it and water when necessary? I have so many questions about this... what about lighting? What is a cold frame? When should I get it out of the garage and into the back yard to grow?

    Is there a specific topic to look for in the forums or any sites I should look at that will help with these questions?Sorry for all the bugging... :P

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    New and in need of assistance, please 8 months 1 week ago #55626

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    Watch out for mice. They will love to sneak into your garage because it is so much warmer than outside. Then they will snack on the bark and next spring you will have a stick.
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    New and in need of assistance, please 8 months 1 week ago #55631

    • Auk
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    Bearded Buddha wrote: Is there any special care I should be giving it


    First make sure what the species is. I cannot see the leaf shape, leaf edge and correct color, so I'm not sure what it is.
    I guess it is a Prunus (Avium?), but you should ask the vendor.
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    Last edit: Post by Auk.

    New and in need of assistance, please 8 months 1 week ago #55639

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    Here's a pic of one of the leaves. The camera didn't pick it up well, but there is more green to it than what is shown.

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    New and in need of assistance, please 8 months 1 week ago #55640

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    Bearded Buddha wrote: Here's a pic of one of the leaves. The camera didn't pick it up well, but there is more green to it than what is shown.


    Looks like the leaf is not serrated (has a 'toothed' margin?). Now that I can see the size too I doubt it's a prunus.
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