American elms collected Jan. 2020

jbogard

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Just wanted to share a couple of American elms I was able to collect over the weekend. They were both growing in cracks in a parking lot but luckily they both had lateral roots that grew into dirt that was on top of the asphalt. These are going to be on the smaller end so hopefully the leaves will reduce well. Looking forward to see these develop and see how they preform compared to cedar elms.
 

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Tieball

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I cut long roots very short on my American Elm trees. The roots regrow quickly from the cut area. I learned that the long straight edge roots need to be pruned. I cut back to where I find a tiny hair of a root developing. Haven’t lost an Elm yet. While you might not be comfortable pruning all of the trees that way....you might select one...cut the roots back...plant it.....and see how it responds. They grow quickly....for me full sun...thorough watering....and a frequent shower.
 

Shibui

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I don't have access to American elm but all other species I collect I cut all roots back quite short at collection. There's no real need to find a small root to cut back to. My experience is that most species will happily grow new roots from the cut ends wherever you cut. i've found that trees take such root reduction in their stride and recover well but to many that will sound drastic so maybe you'd be more comfortable cutting a few roots at a time.
Believe me, not cutting them is not an option. Eventually the tree will need to fit into a bonsai pot so those long roots will need to go sooner or later. It is actually better for the tree that they be cut earlier when the tree has less trunk and branch structure to support. If you leave the root reductions until you have developed full branches and apex the root reduction will put considerably more pressure on the tree.
It will be good to see how these develop. From what I am reading here they are a hardy species for you in the US.
 

Tieball

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I don't have access to American elm but all other species I collect I cut all roots back quite short at collection. There's no real need to find a small root to cut back to. My experience is that most species will happily grow new roots from the cut ends wherever you cut. i've found that trees take such root reduction in their stride and recover well but to many that will sound drastic so maybe you'd be more comfortable cutting a few roots at a time.
Believe me, not cutting them is not an option. Eventually the tree will need to fit into a bonsai pot so those long roots will need to go sooner or later. It is actually better for the tree that they be cut earlier when the tree has less trunk and branch structure to support. If you leave the root reductions until you have developed full branches and apex the root reduction will put considerably more pressure on the tree.
It will be good to see how these develop. From what I am reading here they are a hardy species for you in the US.
I agree. And you’re correct. American Elms are hardy and readily put out new roots. Not cutting them back far enough from the start will cause an unnecessary harder stress in the future when that bonsai pot is selected. My Elms get root cut back to about 2”....or 3” at the most if I think it’s necessary....especially those long gangly straight roots. I cut American Elm roots with a bevel facing downward.
 

Zach Smith

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Be careful when pruning roots on American (and most) elms - the bark will easily peel off the root. And cut them back hard! You won't need any feeders on the roots you cut, the tree will produce what it needs from the cut ends. You also don't need to limit the size of your American elm bonsai vis a vis leaf size. They reduce to under 1/2" from 5" in nature. World champ for leaf-size reduction.
 

jbogard

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Didn’t take any pictures of the final root pruning but I took the long thick roots back rather aggressively and got them into some nursery pots for now! Also cut back the long straight branches quite a bit. Didn’t do it yet but I’m thinking of cutting this thick leader back and using the smaller branch as the new leader/apex.
 

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cmeg1

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Great job !! @jbogard
I need to borrow your thread a second. Lol

hey,@Zach Smith. What do you think about these Zelkova I chopoed last week?
I was ruthless.They were 6’ tall in ground and I chopped back and chopped roots and cut the undersides of roots real steep on each roots,almost whole underside.They are in hydro room. 86f. 60% humidity....I’m thinking they will bounce back.
I dunked entire stumps in kelp and fulvic acid for about 45 min.
Thanks for any input!
 

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cmeg1

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Didn’t take any pictures of the final root pruning but I took the long thick roots back rather aggressively and got them into some nursery pots for now! Also cut back the long straight branches quite a bit. Didn’t do it yet but I’m thinking of cutting this thick leader back and using the smaller branch as the new leader/apex.
Leader replacement is usually a good idea.Will probably work out for the best.Less top growth to support.
 

Shibui

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Didn’t take any pictures of the final root pruning but I took the long thick roots back rather aggressively and got them into some nursery pots for now! Also cut back the long straight branches quite a bit. Didn’t do it yet but I’m thinking of cutting this thick leader back and using the smaller branch as the new leader/apex.
That cut looks like a great option. It will improve taper and add another good curve to the trunk but I would not make that cut now. Sawing or cutting now will possibly disturb the roots. Best to leave it until the tree is properly re-established. Any extra branches will also help with trunk taper and that one will thicken the length of trunk below it while it is allowed to grow so I'd probably delay cutting that one for a year or 2. there's a smaller straight one just above that one you've marked that I'd also put on the probable cut list in future.
Other reductions will also depend on how it responds and which branches grow well as it develops.
 

Zach Smith

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Great job !! @jbogard
I need to borrow your thread a second. Lol

hey,@Zach Smith. What do you think about these Zelkova I chopoed last week?
I was ruthless.They were 6’ tall in ground and I chopped back and chopped roots and cut the undersides of roots real steep on each roots,almost whole underside.They are in hydro room. 86f. 60% humidity....I’m thinking they will bounce back.
I dunked entire stumps in kelp and fulvic acid for about 45 min.
Thanks for any input!
Great looking roots. It's tough to build taper on Zelkovas, takes a few years and patience. They're tough as nails and grow fast, though. You ought to have some nice material this year.
 

cmeg1

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Great looking roots. It's tough to build taper on Zelkovas, takes a few years and patience. They're tough as nails and grow fast, though. You ought to have some nice material this year.
Thanks for response! I get the impression you do this sort of thing a lot🤣 just a hunch lol.

I moved some perlite out of the way earlier this evening and I see several white root nubs forming on top of the roots at 7 days now.👍
 

jbogard

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Great job !! @jbogard
I need to borrow your thread a second. Lol

hey,@Zach Smith. What do you think about these Zelkova I chopoed last week?
I was ruthless.They were 6’ tall in ground and I chopped back and chopped roots and cut the undersides of roots real steep on each roots,almost whole underside.They are in hydro room. 86f. 60% humidity....I’m thinking they will bounce back.
I dunked entire stumps in kelp and fulvic acid for about 45 min.
Thanks for any input!
Is said hydro room inside your house? How do you control climate.
 

cmeg1

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Is said hydro room inside your house? How do you control climate.
Yea it is an 8x9 spare room carpet and all.A humidifier and a dehumidifier run on cycle timers throughout day.A co2 controller keeps it at 1000 ppm.It is sealed so co2 goes a long way.
It is all going into a 8x4 Gorilla Grow tent this Wednesday though.I discovered the window has unusually high condensation and went onto floor behind wall and made som wet spots on bottom of sheet rock.Luckily floor is lenolium.Just bottom 1/4” of insulation is wet on about 3’ on each side of window.I will cut strip off bottom and put wall trim around room at floor.
But anyway fans too so plants transpire.
 
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