Author Topic: White spots on leaves and yellow leaves falling. What's the problem?!  (Read 3753 times)

Tsveta

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Hey guys,

I've had this tree for two weeks now, when I got it it has recently lost all its foliage and had really many, many new buds. Consulted all of you here and was told to keep it outside and water properly. Thanks everyone for the useful tips. As you can see almost all buds have very quickly turned into well growing leaves, but I do have a concern. Some very pale green/white spots started to appear, I've attached pictures. It was suggested that may be fungicide so I was advised to leave the tree strengthen in good conditions.
What happened next though really concerns me now. Some of the leaves have started to turn yellow, including some new leaves. And they started falling among with some green ones... The picture was taken few days ago, now some of the leaves are proper yellow. For what I understand, that's a watering problem, underwatering or overwatering but which one?!
Also, I find the soil really awful and difficult to water. It's very compacted and I'm sure it is suffocating the roots. I have two problems though, first - it is midsummer here and for what I understand the season is not suitable for repotting (and the tree is already in full foliage) and second - I live in Bulgaria where bonsais are not very popular so no one imports bonsai soil, not even cheap one, let alone good quality... so I don't know what to do... I was thinking that may be orchid soil, which is widely available here, will be better than this stuff it is in now… that is large peaces of bark only…. What do you think?
Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks in advance everyone!
 

lackhand

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Compacted soil is always difficult to water. Many times the outside will get wet, and the interior rootball is bone dry. If this is the case you have to water by immersion. A chopstick in the soil wll help you know if the interior is dry or not. I'm no pest expert, but I don't really see anything on there that I would worry about.

Repotting is best done before new growth in spring, but if the soil is causing problems, you may need to repot anyway. It would depend on if you think you can keep the tree healthy enough to wait until next spring. If you repot in summer, make sure to keep it shaded for a few weeks and gradually reintroduce it to full sun.

As for soil, are there any hydroponics shops around? Modern bonsai substrate is basically a hydroponic medium. If you can find a shop and just tell them what you're looking for they will probably have something that will work. Diatomite is commonly used and can be found in some places as kitty litter - I buy mine from the auto parts store labeled for oil spill cleanup. Just check the label and be sure of what you're getting. If all else fails there is always online shopping.

Best advice for bonsai though - try to find a club. There seems to be quite a bit of interest in Europe, so although I'm not familiar with your area, it seems like you should be able to find something fairly close by. Internet advice is great, but seeing the tree in person it's a lot easier to get a sense of what's going on and communicate what sould be done about it.

Good luck!
 

Tsveta

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Compacted soil is always difficult to water. Many times the outside will get wet, and the interior rootball is bone dry. If this is the case you have to water by immersion. A chopstick in the soil wll help you know if the interior is dry or not. I'm no pest expert, but I don't really see anything on there that I would worry about.

Repotting is best done before new growth in spring, but if the soil is causing problems, you may need to repot anyway. It would depend on if you think you can keep the tree healthy enough to wait until next spring. If you repot in summer, make sure to keep it shaded for a few weeks and gradually reintroduce it to full sun.

As for soil, are there any hydroponics shops around? Modern bonsai substrate is basically a hydroponic medium. If you can find a shop and just tell them what you're looking for they will probably have something that will work. Diatomite is commonly used and can be found in some places as kitty litter - I buy mine from the auto parts store labeled for oil spill cleanup. Just check the label and be sure of what you're getting. If all else fails there is always online shopping.

Best advice for bonsai though - try to find a club. There seems to be quite a bit of interest in Europe, so although I'm not familiar with your area, it seems like you should be able to find something fairly close by. Internet advice is great, but seeing the tree in person it's a lot easier to get a sense of what's going on and communicate what sould be done about it.

Good luck!

Oh wow!!! Thank you sooo much for the detailed and thoughtful response! All great advise and I will put it to good use!! 
The update is that all yellow leaves have now fallen and no new ones have appeared so I hope I have corrected my mistake with watering as it seemed to need a little more water than what I was giving. I will try to keep the tree healthy in its current soil until next spring when I can repot. But if I can't I will do what you advised. Thanks again and all the best to you!!
 

lackhand

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You can also stick a chopstick down through the soil in a few spots to help the water penetrate the denser parts of the rootball. Glad to hear the tree is doing better now. :)
 

Tsveta

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You can also stick a chopstick down through the soil in a few spots to help the water penetrate the denser parts of the rootball. Glad to hear the tree is doing better now. :)

Thank you again, really kind help and advise! However, I have a reoccurring problem with the yellowing leaves. I think the tree has spider mites... I posted a new topic here for people to see!! If you know anything good (homemade or not) against them, please let me know!! Thank you so much again!
http://bonsaistudygroup.com/general-discussion/sos!!!-i-am-confused-and-panicked-help-plese!!!/
 

Adair M

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Tsveta,

It is better to add on to this discussion with updates rather than start a new topic.  That way it is easier to see what has been discussed before, and see the changes that occur over time.  There are some threads that will follow a tree's progress for years.  If you have meaningful new information about the tree, updating this thread will put it up on top of the discussion forum where it will be seen.

To be able to give you better advice, we also need to know your general location, and some more about the history of this tree.

Such as, was it kept outside before you aquired it?  Did you try keeping it inside after you bought it?

Things like that.

Once leaves turn yellow, they're dead.