Cedar Elm

rockm

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This is a collected cedar elm. Sorry for the bad background, but I'm still working on getting something better.

This tree is about 3 1/2 feet tall. The pot is Bryan Albright. I've had this one for 12 years or so. Originally dug by Vito Megna near Austin or thereabouts. Came to me with only rudimentary branching. Nebari on cedar elms are a crap shoot. The nebari on this one mostly nonexistent...
 

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Smoke

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Nice shape, and pleasing canopy. Thanks for posting. Nebari is not that bad!

Al
 

rockm

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The nabari is pretty crappy. The root system on this has been completely regrown, below the original, so it's still not great. If you look at the lower trunk, the bark is different below those lumps (which are scar tissue left from severing the original root system at collection). I left the lumps, thought they were kind of interesting and mirrored them with the rivets on the pot. Don't know if it works all that well, but I like it.
 

pjkatich

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rock,

You did a nice job on this tree.

I have a few of this species myself and have found this style to compliment their growth habits.

Cedar Elm has been a challenge for me.

I would be interested in hearing how you maintain your tree.

Regards,
Paul
 
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here's a pic of my cedar elm which measures around 43 inches tall & about 5 inches across at the soil line.
it also was acquired from vito megna about 8 years or so ago and i had it growing in the ground previously for further trunk thickening. i have a couple more collected cedar elms growing in the ground now for further trunk thickening.
any pot suggestions ?
 

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rockm

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Paul,

I've found cedar elm very easy to grow in my climate (Zone 7a) which is pretty similar to its native range in Texas--which is Zone 7-8. I repot very infrequently, since the tree is relatively old (probably over 50 or so...). I repot every 5-6 years.

I hard prune in late February-early March, which forces ramification. I've let the trees branches get too long, unfortunately and have to begin working it back a bit.

As far as feeding--two week schedule with Miracle Grow, with Biogold cakes (if I can get it). I stop fertilization in July and August as the tree seems to enter a short summer dormancy then because of the hot weather. I think it also does this in its native range.

Have to watch overwatering during that period also, as it can lead to black spot if the soil and foliage remains wet for long periods (thunderstorms and high humidity can also lead to this).

It overwinters outdoors in a garden bed under six inches of mulch. It's pretty cold hardy.

Art,

Nice tree. I miss Vito :D He had some really great trees. Yours is very nice (and more than I could carry :eek:). I'd suggest a deep square, short rectangle or deepish oval with a greyish green/goldish glaze for yours, since the trunk is more upright and doesn't have the long, lanky trunk mine has.

I avoid using tokoname pots not only because of expense, but because in larger sizes, they're not readily available.

I've had a lot of luck with domestic US potters for price and imagination. In the last few years, for instance, Ron Lang has branched out into more forms, including ovals and squares. His wood fired kiln can produce very nice subtle wood fired glazes. They aren't inexpensive however and, unfortunately, the bigger, the more green they require:D. They are very well made and solid--a big one would probably add another 10-15 lbs to the tree.

I'd also look at Dale Cochoy's and Sara Rayner's pots. Both can make great squares and rectangles. A deepish riveted rounded square with a bluegreen matte or grey matte glaze would work with this tree, I'd think. Your tree has alot of rugged character and the bark is one of it's main attractions. I'd try to highlight that in the container.
 

pjkatich

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Paul,

I've found cedar elm very easy to grow in my climate (Zone 7a) which is pretty similar to its native range in Texas--which is Zone 7-8. I repot very infrequently, since the tree is relatively old (probably over 50 or so...). I repot every 5-6 years.

I hard prune in late February-early March, which forces ramification. I've let the trees branches get too long, unfortunately and have to begin working it back a bit.

As far as feeding--two week schedule with Miracle Grow, with Biogold cakes (if I can get it). I stop fertilization in July and August as the tree seems to enter a short summer dormancy then because of the hot weather. I think it also does this in its native range.

Have to watch overwatering during that period also, as it can lead to black spot if the soil and foliage remains wet for long periods (thunderstorms and high humidity can also lead to this).

It overwinters outdoors in a garden bed under six inches of mulch. It's pretty cold hardy.

Rock,

Thanks for the information. It's always good to compare notes with others.

I can't go that long between re-pottings. I get a lot of roots circling the bottom of the pot. If I were to let mine go for five years it would push itself up and out of the pot.

Getting good ramification is the challenge for me. Normally, I only get one flush of new leaves each year and the growth is a bit on the coarse side. Do you defoliate yours at all?

Below is a current photo of one of mine. This one was re-potted last week and is a bit low in the pot right now. However, by the end of the growing season it will have raised itself up a good 1/2" to 3/4".

Art,

I think your tree would look good in a round pot myself.

Any of the colors that rock mentioned would look good or maybe one with some texture elements to compliment the rough bark. Does your tree get good color in the fall? If so, you might consider a pot glazed to compliment the fall leaves.

The tree pictured below is in a round pot that I made for this tree.

Regards,
Paul
 

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greerhw

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Paul,

I've found cedar elm very easy to grow in my climate (Zone 7a) which is pretty similar to its native range in Texas--which is Zone 7-8. I repot very infrequently, since the tree is relatively old (probably over 50 or so...). I repot every 5-6 years.

I hard prune in late February-early March, which forces ramification. I've let the trees branches get too long, unfortunately and have to begin working it back a bit.

As far as feeding--two week schedule with Miracle Grow, with Biogold cakes (if I can get it). I stop fertilization in July and August as the tree seems to enter a short summer dormancy then because of the hot weather. I think it also does this in its native range.

Have to watch overwatering during that period also, as it can lead to black spot if the soil and foliage remains wet for long periods (thunderstorms and high humidity can also lead to this).


It overwinters outdoors in a garden bed under six inches of mulch. It's pretty cold hardy.

Art,

Nice tree. I miss Vito :D He had some really great trees. Yours is very nice (and more than I could carry :eek:). I'd suggest a deep square, short rectangle or deepish oval with a greyish green/goldish glaze for yours, since the trunk is more upright and doesn't have the long, lanky trunk mine has.

I avoid using tokoname pots not only because of expense, but because in larger sizes, they're not readily available.

I've had a lot of luck with domestic US potters for price and imagination. In the last few years, for instance, Ron Lang has branched out into more forms, including ovals and squares. His wood fired kiln can produce very nice subtle wood fired glazes. They aren't inexpensive however and, unfortunately, the bigger, the more green they require:D. They are very well made and solid--a big one would probably add another 10-15 lbs to the tree.

I'd also look at Dale Cochoy's and Sara Rayner's pots. Both can make great squares and rectangles. A deepish riveted rounded square with a bluegreen matte or grey matte glaze would work with this tree, I'd think. Your tree has alot of rugged character and the bark is one of it's main attractions. I'd try to highlight that in the container.

Vito is a kool guy, I bought several trees from him just before he retired.

keep it green,
Harry
 

rockm

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"can't go that long between re-pottings. I get a lot of roots circling the bottom of the pot. If I were to let mine go for five years it would push itself up and out of the pot.

Getting good ramification is the challenge for me. Normally, I only get one flush of new leaves each year and the growth is a bit on the coarse side. Do you defoliate yours at all?"

The first sentence might have something to do with the second. Frequent repotting (like every two or even three years) can slow things down, even cause decline in some trees--especially older collected material--. I have a very old live oak that goes five (or more) years between repotting. Your tree is older (I suspect) than you may realize. I've dug cedar elm myself that have had only four inch diameter trunks, but have been in excess of 60 years old...

Doesn't make that much difference if the roots circle the bottom--as long as things drain adequately. It won't push itself out of the pot. It will push more leaves and probably increase ramification up top as roots are constricted. That root mass drives top growth. An adequate root mass can't develop inside of two years with some species (and I believe cedar elm in one of those).You may not be allowing the tree to get enough strength to produce subsequent flushes of growth.

I usually get a second and even third flushes on this tree after the initial spring push. I don't defoliate, mostly because I'm lazy. It would take quite a long time--four feet of tree can have A LOT of leaves. The leaf stems are also pretty short and as I get older I have trouble seeing things up close.
 
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pjkatich

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rock,

I appreciate the feedback.

I'll certainly take your advise into consideration as I move forward with this tree.

Regards,
Paul
 

rockm

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Paul,

Didn't mean to sound like I was preaching, just expressing a hard lesson I learned. I root pruned a very nice Korean Hornbeam to death over a decade. I religiously repotted the tree every two years. It lost vigor and declined and gave up the ghost this spring.

I almost did the same with a lot of my trees, including a Bald cypress and the cedar elm. I also thought the BC would push itself out of its pot because of vigorous root growth if I failed to repot it frequently (every two years). I missed repotting one year, then the next...and the next. Tree hasn't pushed itself out or even up in its pot in that time. Growth has continued with little problem and is smaller and a bit finer.

I will repot it next year-after four years.

There is, of course, a definite time to repot stuff however. We have to walk a line in deciding when it's time. It's not an easy line to find and one that each bonsaiist must find for each tree...
 

mcpesq817

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Very nice trees guys. Thanks very much for sharing.
 

pjkatich

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Paul,

Didn't mean to sound like I was preaching, just expressing a hard lesson I learned. I root pruned a very nice Korean Hornbeam to death over a decade. I religiously repotted the tree every two years. It lost vigor and declined and gave up the ghost this spring.

I almost did the same with a lot of my trees, including a Bald cypress and the cedar elm. I also thought the BC would push itself out of its pot because of vigorous root growth if I failed to repot it frequently (every two years). I missed repotting one year, then the next...and the next. Tree hasn't pushed itself out or even up in its pot in that time. Growth has continued with little problem and is smaller and a bit finer.

I will repot it next year-after four years.

There is, of course, a definite time to repot stuff however. We have to walk a line in deciding when it's time. It's not an easy line to find and one that each bonsaiist must find for each tree...

rock,

Not a problem, I appreciate your straight forward response. I gathered that you were speaking from personal experience when you put forward your advise and respect that very much.

However, I also realize that you and I deal with much different growing conditions and quite possibly different varieties of cedar elm. We have a small resident population of cedar elm here in Florida. I have been told that my tree is a descendant of this population of cedar elms. Unfortunately, I do not know enough about cedar elms to know if there are any differences between the variety you are growing and mine. That is why I asked if you would share some of your experience with me.

That being said, your words of wisdom got me to thinking a bit. You might be right about the tree being older than I realize. This tree was given to me back in the mid '90's with little information other than it was a Florida cedar elm. So, I really do not know is real age.

Your responses have also prompted me to do a bit of research and according to the information I have available, this particular population of cedar elm prefers to grow in floodplain woodlands over limestone. This is a fact that I have overlooked until now. Do you use limestone with your cedar elms?

Thanks for your time.

Regards,
Paul
 

DaveV

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I think this tree would look good in a Sara Rayner pot. Her unglazed pots have an "earthy" look to them that I think would look good with the texture of the bark. Her glazed pots are also very nice. Very high quality/strong pots.
 

rockm

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I haven't used garden lime on the tree. Hadn't really considered it.

In Texas, the soil where I've collected this species is sandy flood plain dirt--not much limestone to speak of. The soil in East Texas--where this species is common is pretty acidic. Tyler, Tex. for instance is known for its azaleas--it has an annual "azalea walk" among the local private gardens to show off prize specimens. Azaleas hate lime...
 

BonsaiRic

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Rockm,

I like this tree!! The slanting form of this tree is pleasing and does not look contrived.

The right side middle branch seems to rise at a different angle than the others. Is that the case in real life or is it an optical illusion in the photo?

Thanks for sharing!
 

mcpesq817

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Not to insult Rockm's photography skills, but having seen the tree in person, I can say that it looks a lot more impressive than maybe the picture shows. :D
 

rockm

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Hey Ric,

I'm not real happy with the pic. There is some distortion and the background is really bad.

That aside, the branch you're talking about has been a bit of a problem with the tree. It does move up at a different angle than the others. It's always been a bit awkward, but without it, there is a big gap on the right side--particularly noticeable when the tree is in leaf.
 

rockm

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did a quick search on this species requirements. Apparently it is intolerant of calcium carbonate--

http://plants.usda.gov/java/charProfile?symbol=ULCR

it can tolerate pH as high a 8, but seems to prefer acidic soils. Where it does grow on top of limestone hills, it tends to be dwarfed naturally, which probably means it doesn't really like the soil, but it's not enough to kill it, just stunt it.

I'd wait on the lime....
 
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pjkatich

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did a quick search on this species requirements. Apparently it is intolerant of calcium carbonate--

http://plants.usda.gov/java/charProfile?symbol=ULCR

it can tolerate pH as high a 8, but seems to prefer acidic soils. Where it does grow on top of limestone hills, it tends to be dwarfed naturally, which probably means it doesn't really like the soil, but it's not enough to kill it, just stunt it.

I'd wait on the lime....

rock,

I was thinking more along the lines of agricultural limestone rather than lime.

However, I think a little more research is in order before going this route.

Thanks for the info.

Regards,
Paul
 

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