Deadwood on chinese elm

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This is my first post, and I have a problem. I just picked this tree up at a nursery. It has problems that at my current skill level (new to bonsai) I'm really not sure how to tackle. I know there has to be some major work on the deadwood but this is my first time dealing with it, so any advice would be more than welcome. By the way, I've been using the search function for several weeks now and have found this forum to be incredibly helpful.
 

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ponderingsage

Yamadori
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I personally would leave it for now. That basic carving may weather out by the time the tree grows out more. Using power tools can be tricky, and you wouldn't want to damage that main branch/leader.
I would suggest practicing carving on downed branches you find on your property or neighborhood first, before you carve some thing you care about.
 
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Roseville, CA
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I personally would leave it for now. That basic carving may weather out by the time the tree grows out more. Using power tools can be tricky, and you wouldn't want to damage that main branch/leader.
I would suggest practicing carving on downed branches you find on your property or neighborhood first, before you carve some thing you care about.
I've used a Dremel tool a lot on metal as I used to be a jeweler. I have to say, though, that it didn't even occur to me to use power tools on a tree. I am still leery of it and would prefer using the more traditional approach of hand tools.
 

Shibui

Imperial Masterpiece
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The tree is still very young. It will grow a lot in the next few years and will probably grow right over that dead section if you allow it to.
Not sure what you want to do with the dead section but it could be hollowed out or left alone or carved level with the live bark. The tree won't care as the wood is already dead so it is just an choice of aesthetics and what you want to look at.
Hand tools tend to put more stress on the roots of the tree as you carve the trunk. It may be difficult to hold the trunk steady with one hand while cutting the dead wood with the other but if you think you can do it there is no problem.
 
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I like the idea of letting it grow and seeing what happens as it seems that anything I might do to it at this point would be artificial-looking and pointless. I hadn't considered the amount of stress on the roots so thanks for the knowledge.
 

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