Chinese Elm trunk chop growth advice.

RKMcGinnis

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I got this Chinese elm 3 months ago on sale for $10 and chopped it’s head off!
Was curious about options. Left to my own device. I was thinking of air layering no more then an inch under the chop and creating a twin trunk and hallowing part of the nebari. Looks like it’s going to have a nasty reverse taper so I am trying to control that. Any advice is welcomed thank you!
5F820210-DDAF-4A38-A9B8-8848023D74A9.jpeg
 

Bonsai Nut

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I would uncover the roots and see what your nebari looks like. You might be better off re-pruning the top of the stub, this time at an angle, making sure the cut is concave, and sealing the cut.

Regardless, it is too late in the year to do serious work. Don't do anything major until spring.
 

RKMcGinnis

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I would uncover the roots and see what your nebari looks like. You might be better off re-pruning the top of the stub, this time at an angle, making sure the cut is concave, and sealing the cut.

Regardless, it is too late in the year to do serious work. Don't do anything major until spring.
That’s a good idea thanks! I did move some soil and the nebari is just under the soil in the picture. The growth I got first was right at the apex of my cut. But then the following morning noticed a worm had dinner on it lol so I got the growth you see in the pic.
 

rockm

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Your start reminded me of a pinterest picture.. Hopefully you mag the picture enough to see itView attachment 404893
Um, don't believe everything you see on the internet. I'd suspect the interval between the "before" and "after" photos was longer than three years...elms grow fast, but to get that much barking up on the trunk and ramification...in a mame pot? Be interesting to here from the owner of that tree...
 

RKMcGinnis

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I’ve seen a variety or cultivar of elm that actually does grow really small at my local bonsai nursery. Looks more like that one in the mame photo.
 

Hack Yeah!

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Um, don't believe everything you see on the internet. I'd suspect the interval between the "before" and "after" photos was longer than three years...elms grow fast, but to get that much barking up on the trunk and ramification...in a mame pot? Be interesting to here from the owner of that tree...
I here you. I'm hoping at least a similar structure can be accomplished in 4 growing seasons
 

rockm

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I’ve seen a variety or cultivar of elm that actually does grow really small at my local bonsai nursery. Looks more like that one in the mame photo.
There are a number of Chinese elm varieties that "grow small" including Catlin, Hokkaido, and Seiju. Dwarf cultivars tend to be slower growers than the main variety, which is why I question the three year development time of the tree in the photo...I've grown Catlin and Hokkaido. Both don't develop mature bark like the tree in the "after" photo in three years...
 

rockm

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I here you. I'm hoping at least a similar structure can be accomplished in 4 growing seasons
More like ten.. All that development on the tree in the photo wasn't done in a mame pot...
 

john blanch

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Allowing lateral root growth with a decent volume to equalise a balance with the top growth while you're developing the tree and it'll help to stop any inverse taper.
When you have the above soil tree you want and you have reduced and styled it, you could leave the root structure to grow on, increasing the basal flare and helping slow future inverse taper before you reduce the roots aswell.
 

sorce

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Any advice is welcomed thank you!

Our measures for what is possible in regards to growth vary.
I'd argue with as much as newbs cut trees, it fights greatly against a good understanding of what robust growth is actually possible.

My personal measure of elm growth comes from a seedling that self started in a half pond basket. I just left it grow and it was about 3/4in. thick and about 4ft tall by the end of the first season. The first time I witnessed triple ramification naturally.

It's by that measure that I see things like this as, not exactly "foolish" though they could be called such, but just mathematically wrong.

I think we lose our mathematical correctness in our excitement of a new hobby, the giddyness of a particular vision for something in front of us.

The math is wrong because if you have a good realistic measure of robust growth, you begin to realize that you can take a cutting of that plant and be at a beginning better than the one you have in only one year. Which I'd argue could save you 3 years. Of course this is some type of idea of time and subjective aesthetics jumbled into one "truth" that doesn't matter except to explain.

The real understanding is that 1 or 3 years doesn't really matter, as it's but a drop in the bucket of the 20 years or so the whole endeavor should take.

So rather than be so focused on what this one thing can be, know that your 8th to 15th cuttings may be the ones that really develop without difficulty, so well that you may voluntarily burn this one in the future.

The biggest trap is wanting to "do". We "do" all wrong and don't work with the trees.

I think it's more rewarding at every measure, to grow 6 trees without forcing them into an idea, and be returned 3 of excellence that we accept.
Than to waste time trying to fit one thing into this preconceived box of "acceptance".

Snip. Snip.

Sorce
 

RKMcGinnis

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There are a number of Chinese elm varieties that "grow small" including Catlin, Hokkaido, and Seiju. Dwarf cultivars tend to be slower growers than the main variety, which is why I question the three year development time of the tree in the photo...I've grown Catlin and Hokkaido. Both don't develop mature bark like the tree in the "after" photo in three years...
That’s cool! I am interested in getting one next year. They are so small! A little forest of them would be awesome!
 

John P.

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You could always add a thick wire tourniquet at the soil level to address the reverse taper with the swelling that will occur. Make sure to add soil to bury the tourniquet so new roots will grow.
 

rockm

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That’s cool! I am interested in getting one next year. They are so small! A little forest of them would be awesome!
Be warned. Some of the small leafed Chinese elm varieties are a pain in the ass BECAUSE they push such tiny leaves. Seiju, in particular, is notorious for pushing teeny tiny little leaves all over the place. Since the leaves are so tiny, keeping a decent specimen looking good can be QUITE a chore. I had a friend who had a very large Seiju, but between the profusion of tiny leaves and shoots and the rough crinkled old bark, the thing took a month to trim and/or prune effectively.

Brent Waltson has some BIG Seiju...note the foliage...

Catlin is easier...this large forest is at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum:
 

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Maiden69

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If I ever order another Chinese elm from Brent is going to be a Yatsubusa. The Seiju do have very small leaves and I am about to put it in the grow bed.

Picture from this spring... will try more later.
Seiju.jpeg
 

RKMcGinnis

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Be warned. Some of the small leafed Chinese elm varieties are a pain in the ass BECAUSE they push such tiny leaves. Seiju, in particular, is notorious for pushing teeny tiny little leaves all over the place. Since the leaves are so tiny, keeping a decent specimen looking good can be QUITE a chore. I had a friend who had a very large Seiju, but between the profusion of tiny leaves and shoots and the rough crinkled old bark, the thing took a month to trim and/or prune effectively.

Brent Waltson has some BIG Seiju...note the foliage...

Catlin is easier...this large forest is at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum:
Thanks for the information! I had no idea about them. I saw some at my local bonsai nursery. I don’t know what kind. I will try the Catlin once I commit to it. And I was just thinking mame to shohin size. But that is great to know thanks !
 

Maiden69

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Make sure you get Catlin and not the Catlin Contorted, as it is as hard to deal with as Seiju and Hokkaido, but if you're interested in Shohin-Mame size those will be my choice.
 

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