Chinese elm steps to achieve this kind of style

giventofly

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Hello,

So I bought this pre-bonsai/bonsai of a Chinese elm. I really like this kind of style:

1647537937375.png

My current elm is like this:

IMG_20220317_170417.jpgIMG_20220317_170427.jpgIMG_20220317_170435.jpgIMG_20220317_170444.jpg

Can I achieve that previous design, should I prune on the left to I crease the right growth? Wire to get that shape and keep waiting? Any tip is appreciated.

Thank you
 

rockm

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Hello,

So I bought this pre-bonsai/bonsai of a Chinese elm. I really like this kind of style:

View attachment 424989

My current elm is like this:

View attachment 424990View attachment 424991View attachment 424992View attachment 424994

Can I achieve that previous design, should I prune on the left to I crease the right growth? Wire to get that shape and keep waiting? Any tip is appreciated.

Thank you
To get to the style you've pointed to requires growing out a top extension on this tree. That could take a few years. What you have now is only the bottom half of the ideal tree you've pictured...
 

giventofly

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To get to the style you've pointed to requires growing out a top extension on this tree. That could take a few years. What you have now is only the bottom half of the ideal tree you've pictured...
Yes, I know. Not in a hurry I just wanted to know what should be the direction I should take to in a few year get something resembling the other tree
 

ShadyStump

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You'll need to put it in a much larger pot and let it grow a few years, especially that new leader on the very top, like he said. You may have to chop it back and start that new leader again a couple times in order to get more taper in the trunk. Figure each chop will add at least another year.

You can do it, but you also might be able to find something a little closer to what you're looking for in the end and just work it to what you want slightly faster.
 

rockm

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FWIW, the tree in the picture looks to have been developed using a trunk chop--which is how it got that change in direction. To get that extension which was likely grown on from a new shoot at the cut site, it likely took a decade and ground growing...
 

Mr.Dr.K

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FWIW, the tree in the picture looks to have been developed using a trunk chop--which is how it got that change in direction. To get that extension which was likely grown on from a new shoot at the cut site, it likely took a decade and ground growing...
When it comes to ground growing—are the roots generally left entirely alone or is the tree dug-up every few years with some root pruning in order to shape the roots as growth occurs and to accommodate the eventual, final Bonsai pot?
 

rockm

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When it comes to ground growing—are the roots generally left entirely alone or is the tree dug-up every few years with some root pruning in order to shape the roots as growth occurs and to accommodate the eventual, final Bonsai pot?
It is a balancing act. Disturbing the roots slows top growth. Root work is generally not done until the top is grown out. The top requires more than a single chop to induce taper in it. That means you grow out one single leader, then chop it back to 1/4 its length or less when that leader approximates similar (but slightly smaller) diameter of the main trunk. That re-chop produces more shoots for you to choose--possibly changing direction of the top as needed. Those shoots are grown on and chopped. the process can take 10 years or more depending on the species.

To fuel that growth, you need a robust root mass. Messing with the roots while you're growing it out can slow the entire process. Developing the root mass is generally done AFTER the tree is 'complete' and has been transferred to a container. Then the nebari is more developed over another set of years--which is indeterminate, depending on how much of nebari is already present. That process can entail ground layering sections of the base to induce more rootage, root grafts, etc. That process is refined as the tree ages and ay never cease, depending on what needs to be done, or refined further.
 

ShadyStump

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It is a balancing act. Disturbing the roots slows top growth. Root work is generally not done until the top is grown out. The top requires more than a single chop to induce taper in it. That means you grow out one single leader, then chop it back to 1/4 its length or less when that leader approximates similar (but slightly smaller) diameter of the main trunk. That re-chop produces more shoots for you to choose--possibly changing direction of the top as needed. Those shoots are grown on and chopped. the process can take 10 years or more depending on the species.

To fuel that growth, you need a robust root mass. Messing with the roots while you're growing it out can slow the entire process. Developing the root mass is generally done AFTER the tree is 'complete' and has been transferred to a container. Then the nebari is more developed over another set of years--which is indeterminate, depending on how much of nebari is already present. That process can entail ground layering sections of the base to induce more rootage, root grafts, etc. That process is refined as the tree ages and ay never cease, depending on what needs to be done, or refined further.
Not sure I could have explained it so thoroughly and concisely if I'd had a week to write it.
 

Mr.Dr.K

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It is a balancing act. Disturbing the roots slows top growth. Root work is generally not done until the top is grown out. The top requires more than a single chop to induce taper in it. That means you grow out one single leader, then chop it back to 1/4 its length or less when that leader approximates similar (but slightly smaller) diameter of the main trunk. That re-chop produces more shoots for you to choose--possibly changing direction of the top as needed. Those shoots are grown on and chopped. the process can take 10 years or more depending on the species.

To fuel that growth, you need a robust root mass. Messing with the roots while you're growing it out can slow the entire process. Developing the root mass is generally done AFTER the tree is 'complete' and has been transferred to a container. Then the nebari is more developed over another set of years--which is indeterminate, depending on how much of nebari is already present. That process can entail ground layering sections of the base to induce more rootage, root grafts, etc. That process is refined as the tree ages and ay never cease, depending on what needs to be done, or refined further.
That definitely makes sense; very good and thorough explanation. Are trunk chops done at 90 degrees or are they done at the approximate angle you wish the trunk or new leader to be?
 

ShadyStump

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That definitely makes sense; very good and thorough explanation. Are trunk chops done at 90 degrees or are they done at the approximate angle you wish the trunk or new leader to be?
Either. 90* makes for a smaller wound for the tree to heal.
You chop near a node, either where there's already a branch or where you have reason to believe one will sprout. You then wire that branch in the direction you want the trunk to take because it's essentially the new trunk now.
Count the rings when you do it, and, depending on how vigorous the growth habit of the tree and its health, you can make a guess at how long it will take for the wound at the chop site to completely cover over. You may need to come back and carve the wood down to give it a smother appearance at some point, but you'll have time study up before you get there.
 

Shibui

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FWIW, the tree in the picture looks to have been developed using a trunk chop--which is how it got that change in direction. To get that extension which was likely grown on from a new shoot at the cut site, it likely took a decade and ground growing...
I'd say that tree is the result of a number of chop and grow cycles. I can see several changes in direction that look suspiciously like chop points. Regular cutting and grow not only adds changes of direction but also desirable taper.

I'm in favour of regular root pruning. I'm not even sure it slows growth very much if at all in the long run. Even if root pruning does slow the initial growth that will usually be more than made up in the later stages. Particularly important with Chinese elm and others that tend to produce just a few thick roots. Early and repeated root pruning develops much better nebari.

Chops are initially made at any angle on the trunk because it is not usually possible to predict where strong, useful shoots will emerge. After the new shoots are growing well the stub can be chopped closer at an appropriate angle.
Chops close to existing branches can be cut straight to a good angle to allow clean change of direction.
 

ShadyStump

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I'd say that tree is the result of a number of chop and grow cycles. I can see several changes in direction that look suspiciously like chop points. Regular cutting and grow not only adds changes of direction but also desirable taper.

I'm in favour of regular root pruning. I'm not even sure it slows growth very much if at all in the long run. Even if root pruning does slow the initial growth that will usually be more than made up in the later stages. Particularly important with Chinese elm and others that tend to produce just a few thick roots. Early and repeated root pruning develops much better nebari.

Chops are initially made at any angle on the trunk because it is not usually possible to predict where strong, useful shoots will emerge. After the new shoots are growing well the stub can be chopped closer at an appropriate angle.
Chops close to existing branches can be cut straight to a good angle to allow clean change of direction.
👆 This is why I show up and talk out my ass.
Keeps the thread alive long enough for someone who actually knows what they're talking about to come and explain it better than I could dream.
 

sorce

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to I crease

Is this when LA bangers press their khakis in the Metaverse? 🤣

Looks like the top has 3 or more rather thick shoots.
Reducing that to something that will grow more pleasantly should be mission 1.

Sorce
 

jkg777

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When is the best time of year to do the trunk chops?
 

Mr.Dr.K

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👆 This is why I show up and talk out my ass.
Keeps the thread alive long enough for someone who actually knows what they're talking about to come and explain it better than I could dream.
Lol it's all really good information. I enjoy the feedback. One question is answered which leaves room for another. Anyone know the advantages/disadvantages with a winter/summer chop?
 

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