The object of this section of the Bonsai Primer is to cover those
areas not dealt with in the section on pests and diseases
and to help you recover (hopefully) a sick tree.
A lot of potential problems can be averted with a few precautions,
these I would suggest are:
- Ensure that your tree is well
watered. If when you acquired the tree the seller told you "water it every few
days", they misled you. The soil must always be at least moist. If that means
watering the tree twice a day then do so.
- Feed regularly and adequately.
- See to it that your tree gets enough light, this is particularly
important for trees kept indoors.
- Repotting your trees regularly, with an open compost.
- Spray your trees regularly with both insecticides and fungicides.
- Treat all major cuts with a sealant.
- Use sharp tools to avoid making jagged cuts when pruning, they will
allow infection into the tree.
- Read the section of the primer on watering your trees.
- Rotate your tree weather it's kept indoor or outdoor, allowing light to all the branches as having one part of the tree in constant shade will damage those branches.
- Keep unsuitable species indoors.
- Place your trees in full sunlight all day.
- Allow your tree to dry out.
Here in the UK we get a lot of trees imported from China, trees of
variable quality and size. These trees are potted up in any old soil available, usually a
fine clay. This compacts down and in a very short time will choke the tree. Most
responsible Bonsai importers repot the tree into
an open compost at the first opportunity and so
Should your tree keel over, the best thing you can do is to enclose
it in a clear plastic bag and keep it in the semi-shade, It should pull through.
Water it with a fungicide and a systemic insecticide before
you do. Don't rush to repot it this can do more harm than good.
Whatever you do don't feed it until it has recovered.
If your tree has been 'Unwell' At the appropriate time 'rest' it by giving it a year or so in a large flower pot with a lot of sand. The sand will encourage new root growth.
I receive a lot of e-mail, from people who are worried that their
tree is unwell, as "some of the leaves are turning yellow and dropping off".
You should remember that leaves have a finite life span, this is of course one year with
deciduous trees, several on evergreens and five or more with conifers, when they reach
the end of that span they turn yellow and drop off (as do we all), This process is called Abscission.
If however all the leaves die, then there is a problem and you will
need to think carefully about what caused it. In my experience this tends to be a problem
caused by a lack of light with trees kept indoors, or
With outdoor trees, total leaf loss, outside if the
normal season, usually indicates the death of the tree.
© Allen. C. Roffey 06:40 19/04/2018