Chinese Elm no idea what direction to go

power270lb

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This was the 2nd tree I got and it has a very dead forest elden ring vibe to it. No idea why the original cuts were made but I just let it grow and cut down as far as I could. Also my dawn Redwoods, japanese willows, Trident maples are blooming and none of my elms have yet, any idea why and when? So this is before and After, could really use some advice. Thought I had a picture of before I cut with no leaves but apparently not.
 

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sorce

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cut down as far as I could.

What constitutes this as true?

Is it a mental or a physical thing?

I reckon if you cut the V out, to around the profile that one thin branch reveals in the second picture, you can get on a way to something decent. But you may end up with a continued problem since each v leg has 2 legs real close.
One leg of one side, one leg of each side, or one entire v leg may eventually have to go to keep you from having too much mass up there.
"Too much mass" being more of a lack of taper that doesn't need to exist over reverse taper. A more silent design killer IMO.

My elms from Mike in N Michigan are barely slowly opening, I reckon because they were hacked heavy quite late, my locals seem like they're gonna stay closed till after this here night temperature dip in the next couple days before we really break free from cold soil nights.

Since I generally stopped cutting things after the Summer Solstice, it's easy to see how cutting things after that makes them wake up earlier in the spring to attempt a head start for themselves.

I believe this "false opening" is the cause of many a too early repots which causes further setback and inability to resist disease.

I guess I can make those above questions semi internetially rhetorical......

With an elm, or anything really but it seems so much easier with elm, all you have to do is follow branching rules, don't cross em, taper, proportions, and you end up with a rather convincing end product. Clip and grow. But you'd have to "could" cut further back into that there to begin from correct "rules".

Sorce
 

Shibui

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I would expect Chinese elm to have some buds at least by now. They are normally one of the first to start here so possibly something wrong with this one.
Explore whether this one is still alive before further styling.
Try for a good clear close up of a branch. Dead branches sometimes have wrinkled bark.

Maybe I'm wrong but there is still some hope for Chinese elm because they are survivors. Sometimes produce new shoots from the base or from roots later in spring so maintain care for a few more months.
 

PA_Penjing

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I can tell by the bud in the first pic this one is alive and about to start growing. I’d bet my bank account on it. I am guilty of telling others they are the first to break dormancy because mine break bud before the rest of my trees but I have noticed that the large landscape Chinese elms near me are all still dormant. Technically making them the last tree to begin growing in my city. Well at least the last one that I’m keeping tabs on
 

power270lb

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What constitutes this as true?

Is it a mental or a physical thing?

I reckon if you cut the V out, to around the profile that one thin branch reveals in the second picture, you can get on a way to something decent. But you may end up with a continued problem since each v leg has 2 legs real close.
One leg of one side, one leg of each side, or one entire v leg may eventually have to go to keep you from having too much mass up there.
"Too much mass" being more of a lack of taper that doesn't need to exist over reverse taper. A more silent design killer IMO.

My elms from Mike in N Michigan are barely slowly opening, I reckon because they were hacked heavy quite late, my locals seem like they're gonna stay closed till after this here night temperature dip in the next couple days before we really break free from cold soil nights.

Since I generally stopped cutting things after the Summer Solstice, it's easy to see how cutting things after that makes them wake up earlier in the spring to attempt a head start for themselves.

I believe this "false opening" is the cause of many a too early repots which causes further setback and inability to resist disease.

I guess I can make those above questions semi internetially rhetorical......

With an elm, or anything really but it seems so much easier with elm, all you have to do is follow branching rules, don't cross em, taper, proportions, and you end up with a rather convincing end product. Clip and grow. But you'd have to "could" cut further back into that there to begin from correct "rules".

Sorce
Oh my bad, should've clarified. I cut it down as far as I could meaning once I make cuts from here there's no going back and I still am not sure where to go (can't see a full picture). Tbh all I've done since I've started is light prune, repot and let grow for the most part. The actual art of bonsai and seeing a design I want then taking steps to get there it may as well be Sanskrit to me.
 

power270lb

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I would expect Chinese elm to have some buds at least by now. They are normally one of the first to start here so possibly something wrong with this one.
Explore whether this one is still alive before further styling.
Try for a good clear close up of a branch. Dead branches sometimes have wrinkled bark.

Maybe I'm wrong but there is still some hope for Chinese elm because they are survivors. Sometimes produce new shoots from the base or from roots later in spring so maintain care for a few more months.
Every branch I trimmed was green on the inside. Just weird because everything else outside is in full bloom while none of the elms are.
 

power270lb

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I can tell by the bud in the first pic this one is alive and about to start growing. I’d bet my bank account on it. I am guilty of telling others they are the first to break dormancy because mine break bud before the rest of my trees but I have noticed that the large landscape Chinese elms near me are all still dormant. Technically making them the last tree to begin growing in my city. Well at least the last one that I’m keeping tabs on
Every branch I cut is still green on the inside so there's no way it's dead. What buds in particular are u seeing?
 

Shibui

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Every branch I trimmed was green on the inside. Just weird because everything else outside is in full bloom while none of the elms are.
Green is a great sign so now just a case of continuing care until the buds decide to open.

Was the trim recent?
I wonder whether trimming may have slowed budding? Usually outer buds open first and inner buds stay dormant so it may take time for the remaining buds to get started.

A closer look shows buds, particularly on the smaller lowest branch. Hard to tell from this distance if they are still healthy and viable but every chance it will grow soon.
 

sorce

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he actual art of bonsai and seeing a design I want then taking steps to get there it may as well be Sanskrit to me.

They make it all "hocuspocussy" but it's actually quite simple.

The reason I ask is because it seems it could go back a little further to nix out some a them broken rules ...
Then just remember to keep every next segment a third shorter and thinner than the previous, cut back to buds pointing to space and not other branches, and you're golden!

This is rather difficult material IMO, cuz it looks good but seems like a few years without a solid plan could render a lot of previous work useless.

Possibly a lot to remove which makes it hard to see as full a future in it, but it's there.

You really could muster up some long term excellence from this thing!

Sorce
 

power270lb

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Green is a great sign so now just a case of continuing care until the buds decide to open.

Was the trim recent?
I wonder whether trimming may have slowed budding? Usually outer buds open first and inner buds stay dormant so it may take time for the remaining buds to get started.

A closer look shows buds, particularly on the smaller lowest branch. Hard to tell from this distance if they are still healthy and viable but every chance it will grow soon.
It was last week, I figured it was still dormant and people suggested heavy chops during dormancy. Have another question, I'm gonna make a thread but I got 3 Japanese weeping willow cuttings and they're monsters. No idea what to do, main concern for every tree was a big trunk so I let everything grow. These are monsters, any suggestions at all lol.
 

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power270lb

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They make it all "hocuspocussy" but it's actually quite simple.

The reason I ask is because it seems it could go back a little further to nix out some a them broken rules ...
Then just remember to keep every next segment a third shorter and thinner than the previous, cut back to buds pointing to space and not other branches, and you're golden!

This is rather difficult material IMO, cuz it looks good but seems like a few years without a solid plan could render a lot of previous work useless.

Possibly a lot to remove which makes it hard to see as full a future in it, but it's there.

You really could muster up some long term excellence from this thing!

Sorce
Thanks Sorce, appreciate you. Was gonna make a post but I got three Japanese weeping willow cuttings a year ago and they're monsters. My main concerns with every tree was getting the trunks bigger so I let everything grow but these are a bit ridiculous. Any and all suggestions please, chop all the way down?
 

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Shibui

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It was last week, I figured it was still dormant and people suggested heavy chops during dormancy.
Pruned last week explains why there are no shoots yet. It takes time for dormant buds to activate and grow. Fingers crossed that is what has happened.

Have another question, I'm gonna make a thread but I got 3 Japanese weeping willow cuttings and they're monsters. No idea what to do, main concern for every tree was a big trunk so I let everything grow. These are monsters, any suggestions at all lol.
I don't grow willows but they are generally very resilient and should grow back from any pruning, any time of year.
My usual approach for developing trees is to grow and chop for several cycles to gradually build trunk thickness, trunk taker and bends. When I'm happy with the main trunk I begin to slow down growth rates and begin building branches.

It is not sensible for us to try to design a trunk just from seeing a photo of one side of a tree. We cannot see 3D movement or get a good idea of where branches emerge in relation to other branches and trunk direction.
I would start looking for nice trunk lines. Begin by removing trunks and branches that are most obviously not looking good or adding to the shape. Hopefully removing some of the excess will help clarify the shapes more and make it a little easier to keep going.
Don't be too worried at this stage. If you decide to change tack it will grow back pretty quick.
Also don't be in too much of a hurry to 'finish'. Bonsai develop over a period of years rather than a few weeks or months.
 

sorce

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chop all the way down

Maybe ALL the way down!

Some folks hate willow, I'm not exactly on that boat, but I'm on there rowing in some dreams.

I had one once with the perfect start of a radial root spread, cut it back cuz you know, willows root easily.
Well, they root so easily it blacked out the old roots and made new ones in between em.

So I row when I sleep.

I been watching some things on weaving live willow structures, that's where their best value is coming in for me currently.

Make some cuttings and weave you up a bench!

Sorce
 

Bonsai Nut

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This was the 2nd tree I got and it has a very dead forest elden ring vibe to it.
Branch structure is not the best. You have a lot of crossing branches, and branches that have no taper and are too thick for the tree. If you clean up the crossing branches, you will find that your branch structure consists of four primary branches - and two of them are bar branches at the top of the tree.

Step back from the tree for a moment and visualize the trunk line that you want - leading up to where you want the apex to be. Personally, I would then remove all the other branches, and see where all the new buds pop - training the young growth so it supports your future vision.

However don't do anything until the tree buds out. I am a little concerned with the health of the tree. Many of the branches looks too desiccated to me. I would have thought Chinese elm would have budded by now.
 

power270lb

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Pruned last week explains why there are no shoots yet. It takes time for dormant buds to activate and grow. Fingers crossed that is what has happened.


I don't grow willows but they are generally very resilient and should grow back from any pruning, any time of year.
My usual approach for developing trees is to grow and chop for several cycles to gradually build trunk thickness, trunk taker and bends. When I'm happy with the main trunk I begin to slow down growth rates and begin building branches.

It is not sensible for us to try to design a trunk just from seeing a photo of one side of a tree. We cannot see 3D movement or get a good idea of where branches emerge in relation to other branches and trunk direction.
I would start looking for nice trunk lines. Begin by removing trunks and branches that are most obviously not looking good or adding to the shape. Hopefully removing some of the excess will help clarify the shapes more and make it a little easier to keep going.
Don't be too worried at this stage. If you decide to change tack it will grow back pretty quick.
Also don't be in too much of a hurry to 'finish'. Bonsai develop over a period of years rather than a few weeks or months.
Know anything about desert roses?
 

power270lb

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Maybe ALL the way down!

Some folks hate willow, I'm not exactly on that boat, but I'm on there rowing in some dreams.

I had one once with the perfect start of a radial root spread, cut it back cuz you know, willows root easily.
Well, they root so easily it blacked out the old roots and made new ones in between em.

So I row when I sleep.

I been watching some things on weaving live willow structures, that's where their best value is coming in for me currently.

Make some cuttings and weave you up a bench!

Sorce
Lol remember you used to tell me go easy? Its like I have too much now, have probably 30 cuttings I have to plant, have desert rose seedlings (know anything about adeniums?) I have to prune all the way down, it's just a lot. Definitely have lol gotten by the past 8 months with minimal effort. I was so worried my first winter, bro u barely checked them this past winter and they're all fine lol. Idk how anyone could use these into material and omg they suck water.
 

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