Chinese elm struggling.

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Chinese elm struggling.

Postby pinesai » December 7th, 2017, 11:20 pm

Hey guys, not sure if this was the right place to post but here goes..

I got permission to dig up a couple hacked up elms in a parking lot that was about to be flattened for apartments. I tried to wait til late winter (should add this is in western sydney) but they refused to drop their leaves and go dormant, i waited as long as i could before collection would not have been possible due to it turning into a construction site. ( late july ).. I thought i had got enough fine roots on the bigger one, the smaller one i doubted would make it but they were next to each other so was worth a try. You can see from their first photos very large tap roots had to be cut off. I sealed these up, trimmed them back and left them in a shady spot for a few weeks before slowly introducing them to the sun again.. in their second photos most of the leaves are still on them (mid august).. It is now 4 months later and well into early summer and still no new buds have appeared and most of the leaves have slowly fallen off leaving only a few sad looking ones left ( definitely not autumn style dying leaves, more like im dying cya later) . The cambium layer is definitely still alive, its still bright green and moist in any area i cut / scrape. I have recently dug down a bit to check for new root growth and couldnt see any but didnt want to disturb it to much.

My question is has anyone experienced anything like this? Normally if ive collected a tree and its not going to make it, by now there would be no green under the bark, it would have either long ago sprouted growth, or obviously been dead. Am i right in assuming its probably just very slowly dying ? or is this sort of extended recovery period possible in elms and it still put out some new growth later in the summer / next spring?

Any suggestions / input appreciated.


Image
Before i touched them, they had obviously been hacked back a few times. Pic from july 28.


Image
Large one when i got it home.


Image
Few weeks after getting it home and potted.


Image
Smaller one.


Image
Few weeks after getting it home and potted
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Re: Chinese elm struggling.

Postby Watto » December 8th, 2017, 5:59 am

I think you should just hang in there. These trees have had a major shock and need time to adjust to their new environment.
While there is green, there's hope.
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Re: Chinese elm struggling.

Postby Daluke » December 8th, 2017, 6:01 am

The green is a good sign it’s alive and kicking. If you snapped a twig I’d expect the green to quickly turn colours.

It looks like you have gotten enough roots.

What kind of potting mix do you have it in? Maybe there’s not enough moisture being retained??

I’d be misting the crap out of of it every time I walk by.

Hopefully it’s just been thrown out of whack by late collecting.

Keep us posted.
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Re: Chinese elm struggling.

Postby pinesai » December 8th, 2017, 11:28 am

Its about a 50/50 mix of quality potting mix and hardwood mulch. with a layer of just mulch on top. I water every day or 2 while its hot and the pots have a water reservoir at the bottom so there should always be moisture available, i can try a misting on any days im not watering them. Ive gone on the side of more drainage then moisture retention these days as in the past i think ive kept some collected plants too wet considering their lack of roots and water uptake and probably killed them that way.
Last edited by pinesai on December 8th, 2017, 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chinese elm struggling.

Postby rodm » December 8th, 2017, 3:13 pm

Hi pinesai,
Ditch the water reservoir, not good to have the roots soaking in soggy soil all the time causes root rot real quickly then to the trunk. Try some seasol/ powerfeed combo to help root development. Also use some sort of slow release fert. Sure water daily so long as it can drain away. And a good amount of sunshine and wait, time will tell. ;)

Cheers RodM
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Re: Chinese elm struggling.

Postby shibui » December 8th, 2017, 5:13 pm

Chinese elms don't need to be fully dormant to tolerate root pruning. In some places they never actually lose leaves and can still be repotted, etc. June/July should be a good time to dig these so there is still hope.

If you have incorporated wood chips in the mix that will be taking nitrogen. Wood needs lots of nitrogen to decompose so the composting bugs steal it from the surrounding soil leaving very little for the plants. You will need to add nitrogen regularly to make up for the drawdown caused by the wood in the mix so I'd fertilise with a high N soluble fertiliser every 2 weeks and :fc:

I have had a number of collected trees that have had this extended period of little/no growth. A couple died but many finally started to grow. Keep looking after them as best you can and hope.
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Re: Chinese elm struggling.

Postby pinesai » December 9th, 2017, 12:31 am

shibui wrote:Chinese elms don't need to be fully dormant to tolerate root pruning. In some places they never actually lose leaves and can still be repotted, etc. June/July should be a good time to dig these so there is still hope.

If you have incorporated wood chips in the mix that will be taking nitrogen. Wood needs lots of nitrogen to decompose so the composting bugs steal it from the surrounding soil leaving very little for the plants. You will need to add nitrogen regularly to make up for the drawdown caused by the wood in the mix so I'd fertilise with a high N soluble fertiliser every 2 weeks and :fc:

I have had a number of collected trees that have had this extended period of little/no growth. A couple died but many finally started to grow. Keep looking after them as best you can and hope.


thank you, some one to address my problems.. i will increase nitrogen and update..
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Re: Chinese elm struggling.

Postby pinesai » December 9th, 2017, 12:37 am

rodm wrote:Hi pinesai,
Ditch the water reservoir, not good to have the roots soaking in soggy soil all the time causes root rot real quickly then to the trunk. Try some seasol/ powerfeed combo to help root development. Also use some sort of slow release fert. Sure water daily so long as it can drain away. And a good amount of sunshine and wait, time will tell. ;)

Cheers RodM



the only way those roots are accessing those water reservoirs is if they have done some serious growing.. i cant be bothered posting a pic or diagram but its not flooding the plant...
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Re: Chinese elm struggling.

Postby rodm » December 9th, 2017, 6:29 am

Chinese elms do not like wet feet or excessive water around the trunk; this causes root rot and death, hence the need for good drainage :)
Cheers RodM
Last edited by rodm on December 9th, 2017, 6:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chinese elm struggling.

Postby pinesai » December 9th, 2017, 1:07 pm

ok, thanks mate, il drill some holes into the bottom to make sure no water is pooling :tu:
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