Bark Rot?

Scrogdor

Shohin
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I had this pre bonsai Chinese Elm for about 4-5 months. I’ve been leaving it in the nursery container, but today I decided to expose some of the base and it looks like it has some bark rot going on from being planted too deep. I was able to easily pick off chunks of soft dark brown wood to expose the underneath. Or is this even bark rot?

How should I handle this? At the corner of the base there is a root shooting out that’s flush with the deteriorating bark which is circled.
 

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Shibui

Imperial Masterpiece
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My first impression is just normal bark shedding. Smooth bark Chinese elms shed bark in pieces annually. It is one of the attractions as the trunk changes color with patches of orange and gray.

It is possible for Chinese elm bark to rot below ground level but so far I've only seen that on the corky bark variety and even that does not affect the living layers below the outer bark.

Check to see if the layers under are soft and spongy and peel off easily but my guess is you do not have a problem and should continue business as usual.
 

sorce

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Important note, if it was "rotting", it wouldn't only be due to being planted too deep, it would have too include, in the "wrong" soil, which only then really becomes a danger if you're overwatering.

I believe Shibui is correct, though it kinda looks like it could be squirrelly digging.

Sorce
 

rockm

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Chinse elm (ulmus parvifolia) is called "Lacebark elm" in the nursery trade because it sheds bark (exfoliates). Underneath the older gray bark is new orangish colored bark. This is what you're looking at. Top layer was probably chipped off by a rodent or something.

 

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