Chinese Elm - Another Beat Up Survivor

grouper52

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I got this guy about 10-12 years ago from Brussel's Nursery, a field grown Chinese elm import that had a huge green mushroom crown. Wasn't quite sure what to do with it stylistically, but several years later the impossible climate of Taos, NM took care of that problem when most of the main trunks/branches died. I've worked with what's left. First photo is the oldest I have, from 3 years ago. Second is from today, in an antique Chinese pot from about a century ago. The right branch has always struggled, part of it died, and I'm not happy with what's left but afraid it might lose even more vigor if I mess with it to much. It may simply need to go into a training pot for a few years.
 

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M.B.

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Hey G52, how are ya? This has always been one of my favorites of your trees. I am surprised that it is still struggling in your climate. I'm thinking you might be right about putting it into a training pot for awhile. Some fresh soil and let the roots run wild might perk her up.
Mary B.
 

Attila Soos

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Holy smoke, that is a beauty. It would be terrible to lose it.

I would not hesitate to re-plant it into a training pot until it grows vigorously and is completely finished. Then (and only then) it can go back to the bonsai pot. Actually, you can slip-pot it right now, I am sure the tree would appreciate it.

BTW, that pot looks really small, no wonder that the tree is struggling. I would make it 25% larger when the time is right.
 
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grouper52

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Holy smoke, that is a beauty. It would be terrible to lose it.

I would not hesitate to re-plant it into a training pot until it grows vigorously and is completely finished. Then (and only then) it can go back to the bonsai pot. Actually, you can slip-pot it right now, I am sure the tree would appreciate it.

BTW, that pot looks really small, no wonder that the tree is struggling. I would make it 25% larger when the time is right.
I agree about the pot size - it just looks so darned nice for this tree otherwise! If I had one even half as nice for this tree in a slightly larger size I'd have done it long ago. Before the repot into its current pot I looked over all my pots and a number of others available to me, and couldn't find anything I really liked. But, horticulture trumps styling every time in bonsai, and the size is small even from a styling standpoint, so after some vigor is regained I will put it in something else. :(
 

Si Nguyen

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That's a beauty Grouper! Thanks for showing it. The pot is very nice!!! The previous pot was spectacular too! I agree with everybody here about repotting it. The pot size is ok, but the root ball is probably too packed. It is not a bad season to do it now. I just repotted and almost bare-rooted some of my elms last 2 weeks, and they are popping out all over already. In 3 years, your tree should have been much fuller than that. You probably didn't do too much root pruning or replacing the old soil the last time you slip it into this pot. But even without repotting it, you could revitalize it a lot now by feeding it some organic fertilisers. I highly recommend cottonseed meal. It should recondition your soil quickly. The root ball of this tree is probably too old and has some dried dead spots. You should consider repotting it at the earliest convenience when it is still warm out, otherwise, you will just keep losing branches.
You got some really nice trees!
Si
 
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greerhw

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Beat up trees make the best bonsai !!!

keep it green,
Harry
 

Tachigi

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G52, WOW, A true original! Really, really nice, a piece I would be proud of to have in my collection. Attila was spot on with slip potting it NOW. In your region, you should see benefits from that this year. Now the question is can you turn your back on it for a year or so and let it get strong, always tough to do with a piece like this.
 

grouper52

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G52, WOW, A true original! Really, really nice, a piece I would be proud of to have in my collection. Attila was spot on with slip potting it NOW. In your region, you should see benefits from that this year. Now the question is can you turn your back on it for a year or so and let it get strong, always tough to do with a piece like this.
It IS tough to do, but since everyone (well, not quite EVERYone) is in the mood for celebrating Woodstock these days, let me just quote CSN&Y - "Should'a been done long ago . . . ."

Consider it done! This guy, BTW, wants me to convey the following for him: "Thanks all for your appreciation and encouragement. I'll stop by and say hi again when I'm out of rehab in a couple of years."
 

Dav4

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Consider it done! This guy, BTW, wants me to convey the following for him: "Thanks all for your appreciation and encouragement. I'll stop by and say hi again when I'm out of rehab in a couple of years."
This is a win:win situation in my eyes...the tree will be healthier and happier and you now have an excuse to find another great, old (slighly bigger?) pot to put it in. It's all good...love the tree, too.

Dave
 

Treebeard

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I'm a big fan of Chinese elms, the one here is simply wonderful. Deadwood and deciduous do mix. I look forward to seeing it in the future.

Chris.
 

djlen

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What a truly beautiful tree. Sad that it's been through so much but I hope
you stay with it as it's fighting for life despite the harsh environment of
the desert.

Regards,
Len
 

grouper52

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Here's this guy after 2 1/2 years of convalescence in a larger pot, with some pruning and deadwood work along the way. The new pot in the photo should allow him to stay healthier over time.

I may tweak the deadwood a bit, and then enter him in that upcoming contest. :)

Enjoy.
 

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JudyB

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I can see some small animal sheltering in the nook at the base.
 
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