2 elms in ground need chopping

Swill

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I could use some advice on what to do with 2 elms that have been growing in the ground for awhile.

I'm not sure what type this first one is. I feel like I let the large right trunk get to big but I kind of want to leave it so there isn't a huge scar. Should I shorten both trunks and just sort of hedge prune it? (click images for large versions)





There is also a Jacqueline Hillier elm that's a bit of a mess. It has a large scar on the trunk where it died back (2nd picture). It also has sort of a u-shaped horn thing going on most clearly seen in the third picture.





 

drew33998

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Kind of hard to see the trunks clearly in the photos. It all depends on the style of tree you want to go for. Letting a trunk thicken another season is never a bad idea though. How long have they been in the growing bed? Usually the third year they really begin trunking up. Personally if I'm putting something in the ground then I'm waiting for the trunk to at least get 2-3 inches
 

drew33998

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The first tree the second trunk does appear to be too large for a twin trunk. It should be smaller than the taller trunk. I do think that beyond removing that trunk the taper is decent for a taller single trunk tree. Catch is do you remove the larger trunk and let it heal over while in the ground and lose some taper only to have to chop the top back again or do you chop one trunk and put the tree in a training pot and slowly heal the chop
 

Tieball

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image.jpeg My thoughts...just my thoughts seeing the photo of the tree. I would remove that second trunk on the right. To thick for a second trunk. The cut will cover over quickly in the ground. While I was cutting I'd also trim the tree down to an essential line and let it grow. Attached is a visual of where I'd cut. But that's just me thinking.

Thoughts....others will comment....before cutting that top part back, I believe there is merit in letting that just grow tall...really tall. It will speed covering that cut at the bottom and that upper branch I was cutting at will still be there. I'd concentrate, after thinking more, on just removing that lower right side trunk.

From experience....watch for and remove branches that grow right at the rim of the cut....usually somethings grows right below the cut right at the edge. It will quickly grow out of control and you'll have difficult scar right next to a healing scar. It can get ugly. Best is to keep the edges sharp and clean.

Leaving the tree in the ground will cover cuts fastest. I think you could e pest a nearly complete covering in two seasons....and in that time you'll also get added trunk diameter. I like that trunk base curve. Nice material. Keep posting. I'm looking forward to seeing any direction you take!
 
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Tieball

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On the third photo....the Y or U shaped top......I would likely cut all that off and start over from below that point. However, it's difficult from the photo to see exactly what the tree looks like and if there are favorable angles or choices to keep one of the limbs as a leader. So, my thoughts are just directed from what I can see. My experience says....cut it all off, leave it in the ground and start over. I think you'll be happier with the results of starting over and not letting a Y or U form.

Keep posting......
 

Swill

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They've been in the ground for 3 years or so.

Thanks for the virtual image Tieball. I think I will cut off that large trunk. Here's some more photos. (Click photo for the huge version)











The Hillier elm has a really messed up trunk.

 

Tieball

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Are these trees American Elm?
They look like American Elm.....
 
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Eric Group

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Take off the large second trunk- scars heal... If treated well. Cut it flush, cut around the edges with a VERY sharp blade (I use exactl knives) and cover with cut paste. If you leave it to grow you will be surprised how fast it heals.

The Hiller Elm is a mess! You need to get in there and clear out all the deadwood IMO. Find a cleaner line and it will eventually be almost invisible...
 

Cypress187

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I think: you should prune to the basic (taper) structure (perhaps choose some secondairy branching), Nigel Saunders (youtube) has some good ground pre-bonsai pruning video's.
 

Swill

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Here is how they turned out (images are linked):







 

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