I got this as a gift and have no idea where to start! Scared to water it!

enter image description here

Firstly, please could someone identify the species?

I'd like emergency advice so it lasts a month or two while I read up - watering, trimming, etc. It looks like it's grown wild for too long with some very long new growth as per picture.

Questions from the spot of reading I've done:

  • Will scissors do for the moment?
  • Should I cut only brown stems, or green or either? (I did read a bit about node counts and fresh growth)
  • Watering: moisten or soak?
  • Special considerations eg time of year?

Looks like a Zelkova parvifolia, I have one myself too. There are many care guides, like here and here.

You should water it daily (if necessary), and the water should be able to flow thru the soil (no swamp in your pot). Best time to trim is in springtime or summer, I don't know where you live, where I live it is winter now. The long green shoots can be trimmed with scissors, if you want to shape the tree and remove some older branches, you can better use concave cutters (they leave nicer wounds).

Like I said, I have one myself, for years now. I kept it indoors first, because it was sold as an indoor species, however, it didn't grow well and always lost its foliage. So I started keeping it outdoors, and it does pretty well (here in the Netherlands). When it freezes very hard (more than -10C), I put it inside, but the rest of the year it is outside.

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  • @Alina, sure I will check the chat room when I have some time this week. – benn Jan 15 '18 at 22:21

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