Monday, August 29, 2011

Zelkova #1

During the summer holidays I visited Helsinki. This gave me the opportunity to again visit the Bonsai and Japanese garden located near there. This time I decided to buy a Zelkova (Japanese Elm). Looking at the tree it was clear that it was a little overgrown but it had a decent size truck and some potential to be good bonsai.

Ideally I wanted to re-pot the tree into more my own soil mix but with spring some months behind I am a little reluctant to take that risk now especially when it seems to be growing well. Instead I decided to at least give it a trim for the summer. Zelkova react well to trimming at this time of year and it is good to prune back to 1 or 2 leaves to keep the shape and maintain the small delicate size leaves that Zelkova have. This pruning also helps back budding and since my pruning this is starting to become apparent.

The next battle will be to see it through the winter. Apparently there are two varieties of Zelkova, one that is grown for outdoors and one for indoors. I am not sure what type this is or how to tell the difference but I am reluctant to keep this tree indoors during the winter because this can have a more negative affect than having the tree go into cold winter dormancy. I will put the tree in my pavilion during the winter months to protect it from the wind and extend the growing the season a little because of the higher temperatures created by the glass windows.

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