I have a Chinese elm that came in at spring time and placed it in the same location as the other Chinese Elms that came in on the same order.

This tree had lush growth on it and after a week or two the leaves started to curl up and turn brown / yellow until they fell off.

I have done the following and now struggling to understand the issue.

  • I placed it in a 5 litter pot with well drained soil.
  • Allowing the soil become almost dry between watering.
  • Treated the tree for fungi infections.
  • Checked roots for rotting
  • Checked for pests and insects
  • Tested the soils PH Levels
  • No fertiliser has been used
  • Contacted the supplier asking for information on where it was kept ie. temperature amount of sun and matched it.

Any chance during transit this tree got its dates wrong and think its winter?

Dead looking Chinese Elm

I am not new to bonsai, I just think I might have missed something and if this tree dies least this question might help someone else.


A few weeks ago we placed a few weeping willow cuttings around the tree as they give rooting hormone into the soil, just encase there was unseen root damage. This morning when i went to take a photo for this question i noticed a green bud...

Life after all?

  • 1
    did you give the other Chinese elms you acquired at the same time the same treatment, that is, repotting into a five litre container and withholding water until the soil was dry? Any chance of a photo?
    – Bamboo
    Aug 21 '17 at 11:11
  • Often in transport we noticed that trees that touched the sides of the lorry would get cold burns and the leaves would drop off in mid summer? again like Bamboo asked any chance of a photo please?
    – olantigh
    Aug 21 '17 at 14:00
  • When i get into work tomorrow i will send some pics of the sick tree and yes whilst we transferred the tree into the 5 letter pot we transferred another and treated it the same to see if any thing we done was affecting the tree. Aug 21 '17 at 18:29
  • Please send pictures but one thing you must know about Bonsai is that it really needs to be watered almost every day. Putting a Bonsai into a 5 gal pot is also not a good thing to do. No fertilizer? Adding fertilizer now is not a good thing right now, but all plants need fertilizer in the correct amount. Definitely not too much especially for Bonsai. Is this tree out of doors on a patio? When you purchased this Bonsai was it out of doors or indoors?
    – stormy
    Aug 21 '17 at 20:19

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