Broom-style Zelkova

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Falls Church, Virginia: Zone 7a
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7a
#1
Hi All,

I picked up a Zelkova for a long term project. I would like to develop this into something similar to Ebihara's and am hoping to get the opinions from those of you who have developed zelkova.

It looks like the tree gives us a couple different options for styling. It could make a tall dichotomous style broom, a tall central leader broom with good taper or make a short, fat style broom.

My inclination is to have the tall central leader with better taper (second picture), but would love to hear others thoughts.

Zelkova 1.jpg Zelkova 2.jpg Zelkova 3.jpg Zelkova 4.jpg Zelkova 5.jpg Zelkova 6.jpg
 
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191
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145
Location
Southern Ontario, Canada
USDA Zone
5-6
#2
Chunky. I like it, but I would think about chopping it lower but take it in steps. like half the size of it now but slowly reduce year after year. Then build out the branches proper. I usually like tall trees but in this case the best view of the nebari doesnt use the branching that showcases the taper in the second photo. So its better off starting it again lower to rebuild that taper to it! Super excited to see what you do with this, awesome potential!
 

Adair M

Imperial Masterpiece
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#3
Well, the nebari needs a lot of work. You don’t want a few heavy roots, you wan a lot of little roots all around. You can either do a bunch of root grafts, or simply replace it with an air layer. I would airlayer. (Or ground layer.)

Generally, you don’t want much taper in Zelkova brooms before they split into branches.
 
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Philly PA zone 6b?
USDA Zone
6b
#4
You don’t want a few heavy roots, you wan a lot of little roots all around
Noob here. Is that the general characteristic of large old Zelkova to be mimicked?

I asked because I like the surface roots on the pics. Reminds me of them large Oaks, Maples and Elms landscape trees I be seeing. They have just a couple large surface roots. Some branch off into smaller roots as well.
 
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78
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Location
Hales Corners, WI
USDA Zone
5
#5
Hi All,

I picked up a Zelkova for a long term project. I would like to develop this into something similar to Ebihara's and am hoping to get the opinions from those of you who have developed zelkova.

It looks like the tree gives us a couple different options for styling. It could make a tall dichotomous style broom, a tall central leader broom with good taper or make a short, fat style broom.

My inclination is to have the tall central leader with better taper (second picture), but would love to hear others thoughts.

View attachment 170155 View attachment 170156 View attachment 170157 View attachment 170158 View attachment 170159 View attachment 170160
Ha I seen that tree on eBay ;)
 
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Location
Carmarthenshire, Wales, UK
USDA Zone
9b
#6
Noob here. Is that the general characteristic of large old Zelkova to be mimicked?

I asked because I like the surface roots on the pics. Reminds me of them large Oaks, Maples and Elms landscape trees I be seeing. They have just a couple large surface roots. Some branch off into smaller roots as well.
I like the roots too. Maby the difference with noob eyes and the trained and show eyes of Adair.

But, that said, if you scale the tree up to a huge scale, the roots would not be that sort of size.. Maby I don't like the roots..
 

Adair M

Imperial Masterpiece
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#7
Noob here. Is that the general characteristic of large old Zelkova to be mimicked?

I asked because I like the surface roots on the pics. Reminds me of them large Oaks, Maples and Elms landscape trees I be seeing. They have just a couple large surface roots. Some branch off into smaller roots as well.
You want a system of radial roots, evenly around the tree.

38CBCDB4-25B8-4582-A3B1-A2B5D4872287.jpeg

Uneven roots will cause uneven growth.

But the broom style with all the little branches should have lots of little roots.
 
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Location
Philly PA zone 6b?
USDA Zone
6b
#12
Thanks Adair M for the clarification.

Aside the roots needing some work, would starting the group of branches where the small branch begin too high? I thought it's pretty good in scale but still learning...
 

Adair M

Imperial Masterpiece
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#14
Thanks Adair M for the clarification.

Aside the roots needing some work, would starting the group of branches where the small branch begin too high? I thought it's pretty good in scale but still learning...
Broom Zelkova are supposed to have straight round trunks. It looks like the trunk begins to swell about an inch below where the branch is. I might cut just below that point.

It would also be wise to carve out some of the core of the trunk when you chop. Use a forstner bit or two to drill out some core. Don’t damage the cambium. Fill the cavity with soft putty. Later, when you have some shoots, you might want to carve out some in between a couple shoots. Having the core removed in advance makes it easier.
 
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Belgium
#15
I would go for a ground layer. Leave all top growth to speed the process. After a year separate and develop the roots for 2 years. Chop back and hope for the right branches. You might opt for branch grafting right away. Do you want a perfect tree or a near perfect tree. There are some risks along the way but zelkova does cooperate ok.
 

Dav4

Imperial Masterpiece
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North Georgia/lived in MA until 2009
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#16
Broom Zelkova are supposed to have straight round trunks. It looks like the trunk begins to swell about an inch below where the branch is. I might cut just below that point.

It would also be wise to carve out some of the core of the trunk when you chop. Use a forstner bit or two to drill out some core. Don’t damage the cambium. Fill the cavity with soft putty. Later, when you have some shoots, you might want to carve out some in between a couple shoots. Having the core removed in advance makes it easier.
Gold, Adair, gold...
 

Adair M

Imperial Masterpiece
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NEGeorgia
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#19
Cool. Here's another sample of broom. Zelkova maybe? After seeing the tree, I'd love to have a broom as part of my collection. I can imagine the fun in all the grafting of root and branches, and the work Adair described.
View attachment 170218
It’s probably a Zelkova. Might be a ChineseElm.

Brooms are a subset of Formal Upright. The really good ones are rare. The “rules” are more strict on Broom Style and Formal Upright than the other styles. So, even though they are more “formula” than the other styles, (which should make it easier, right) flaws are more apparent. And while everyone oohs and ahs over the ramification, if the nebari is poor, it’s all for naught.

Dirk is right. Do the ground layer. You should get radial roots. Then you can use the Ebihara method to make them great!

See @markyscott’s thread “Ebihara Maples”. About half way in the thread we talk about roots...
 

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