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0 Replies to “A freshly trimmed and defoliated Chinese Elm bonsai”
Two weeks ago I acquired two chinese elm bonsai. I live in Chapel Hill, NC, and I’m wintering these trees in my shed (without heat). The trees came with all the leaves intact. It is turning cold now. Should I defoliate the trees? Or let the leaves fall as they might over the next months? Thank you.
Hi Steve. You can do either. I like to defoliate when I’m trying to work on the branch development and ramification. It helps to see the branches without the leaves getting in the way. It also helps keep the fallen leaves out of the soil which if left unchecked can cause disease. If you have the time and the wherewithal, go ahead and do it. If for nothing else than to get to know your new trees better. If you’re busy with other tasks, they’ll be just fine in the shed.
Here’s a good link on when and why we defoliate bonsai…
Chinese elms already have small leaves naturally so it’s not needed for leaf size reduction. Like I said above, I do it for branch development and ramification. Send some photos if you like and I can give you some more advice. Cheers!