Elm - Ulmus Hollandica Jacqueline Hillier

zero

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Hello BonsaiNut!

I have been learning about Bonsai over the last year and finally purchased my first real tree from my local nursery! It's a "Dutch Elm" and I believe it was a good choice as a first tree. I am happy to have joined BonsaiNut and have been enjoying very much reading through the forums. I live in Zone 7a in Virginia, USA and have just recently repotted my Elm into a Bonsai training pot with deciduous soil from Supafly Bonsai. I'd love it if anyone has any helpful criticisms or ideas for when it's time for pruning and taking it back some. Apologies for the low quality of the photo but for some reason all of the other photos I've tried to post are upside down for some unknown reason. Thanks in advance!tempImageRYVPsa.png
 

zero

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Here are some photos just taken today. Yesterday was the repotting4979442E-5283-49A5-888A-3A9055D609CC.jpeg75B3A4B7-38AE-4673-953A-6A313DE68665.jpeg
 

leatherback

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it is really fun to hear the words Dutch Elm..
I never consciously saw elms in the Netherlands, which were all cut down when I was a kid. They are probably around. Just never seen them around
 

Shibui

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Your phone is smart enough to turn the image right way up however you hold it but the images seem to be stored as they were taken and then post that way so if the phone was upside down so will b the photo when you upload. Try to take photos in landscape with phone up the right way.
I see you have managed to get some turned round.

Still hard to make out much detail withe the light behind the tree but I can see the branches are long with most fine twigs way out on the ends so the whole tree looks out of proportion to me. I think the tree will need a really hard prune at some stage so that new fine twigs aill grow much closer to the trunk to give a better overall shape.
There is also one very dominant. long branch right in the middle that draws the eye away from the overall tree shape. I would consider either taking that one out altogether or at least shortening way back.

Look forward to better photos when you have better light and some time.
 

zero

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it is really fun to hear the words Dutch Elm..
I never consciously saw elms in the Netherlands, which were all cut down when I was a kid. They are probably around. Just never seen them around
I hear that this cultivar has an interesting story having somewhat disappeared and reappeared in the sixties, but I haven’t seen the whole story written out yet, just some crosstalk on a website. I wonder if this cultivar is often seen in the Netherlands currently!
 

leatherback

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I wonder if this cultivar is often seen in the Netherlands currently!
As said.. I have never been aware of spotting elms in the Netherlands. None. They probably are present in some locations. But..
 

zero

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Your phone is smart enough to turn the image right way up however you hold it but the images seem to be stored as they were taken and then post that way so if the phone was upside down so will b the photo when you upload. Try to take photos in landscape with phone up the right way.
I see you have managed to get some turned round.

Still hard to make out much detail withe the light behind the tree but I can see the branches are long with most fine twigs way out on the ends so the whole tree looks out of proportion to me. I think the tree will need a really hard prune at some stage so that new fine twigs aill grow much closer to the trunk to give a better overall shape.
There is also one very dominant. long branch right in the middle that draws the eye away from the overall tree shape. I would consider either taking that one out altogether or at least shortening way back.

Look forward to better photos when you have better light and some time.
Thank you for your insights- yes it seems it actually may be a web browser issue. I was in my laptop attempting to post photos but even though the photos were taken right side up, they were consistently posting sideways or upside down, even after reorientation, so not an issue with me but with the interaction between the website and my browser most likely. I jumped on my phone to post the reply photos and they worked immediately so that’s nice. I’ll try and take some clearer photos for sure! It’s a nursery material that has yet to be trained of course, so I’ll have to get to work when the time is right and prune it back- thanks again for your suggestions and hopefully I can take some better photos to get more observations from you helpful folks!
 

zero

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Project timeframe?
I don’t necessarily have any timeframe as this is my first tree so I’m going to approach what work I can as it should be. AFAIK I should begin pruning once the foliage is nice and full and from there I can prune it back and let it’s second flush begin, then I will have a better understanding of what it will look like as a Bonsai. I’m not experienced enough to see that fully now. I hope this answers your question!
 

Shibui

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then I will have a better understanding of what it will look like as a Bonsai. I’m not experienced enough to see that fully now.
I think the biggest problem is that there's so much there it is overwhelming which really makes it difficult to see options. I think I would have to take quite a bit of time looking at the trunk and lower branches from all angles before working out some possible options. Note that there is rarely only one option from any tree. Usually there are several good possible trees hidden and we still need to make decisions.

There is so many possibilities that you can probably decide what sort of tree you want and then try to find that in among all the growth.

An alternative approach would be to chop all the long branches back to see if that simplifies the process a bit by removing much of the distraction. Elms are really resilient and will sprout back from stumps so pruning is rarely detrimental. I can't see any possible use for any of those long, straight sections of branches so there is nothing to be lost by pruning the tree hard now.
 

keri-wms

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The main problem I have with these is slugs! They eat every single leaf on mine as soon as they pop - straight past all my other trees. Sit it on a copper sheet as it supposedly give them an off-putting static zap (if that really works)?
 

zero

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I think the biggest problem is that there's so much there it is overwhelming which really makes it difficult to see options. I think I would have to take quite a bit of time looking at the trunk and lower branches from all angles before working out some possible options. Note that there is rarely only one option from any tree. Usually there are several good possible trees hidden and we still need to make decisions.

There is so many possibilities that you can probably decide what sort of tree you want and then try to find that in among all the growth.

An alternative approach would be to chop all the long branches back to see if that simplifies the process a bit by removing much of the distraction. Elms are really resilient and will sprout back from stumps so pruning is rarely detrimental. I can't see any possible use for any of those long, straight sections of branches so there is nothing to be lost by pruning the tree hard now.
Thanks so much for your input- I am under the impression it would be best to wait seeing as I just repotted the tree. Do you think it would be appropriate to wait a few weeks then prune back the longer straight growth from what I assume was last year?
 

zero

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The main problem I have with these is slugs! They eat every single leaf on mine as soon as they pop - straight past all my other trees. Sit it on a copper sheet as it supposedly give them an off-putting static zap (if that really works)?
Thank you! I will keep an eye out for slugs and will look into getting a copper sheet to keep them away
 

Shibui

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Elms are very tolerant and resilient so repot an chop in one operation is possible if the tree is healthy as this one appears to be.

If deferring the chop I would wait more than just a few weeks. New roots are very brittle. While you are pruning it is likely the tree will wobble a little, possibly enough to break new roots so I would wait for a month or so to allow the new roots to gain strength before doing any work on any repotted tree.

The long, straight growth I am looking at is likely to be older than just last year but hard to tell from this distance.
 

zero

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Elms are very tolerant and resilient so repot an chop in one operation is possible if the tree is healthy as this one appears to be.

If deferring the chop I would wait more than just a few weeks. New roots are very brittle. While you are pruning it is likely the tree will wobble a little, possibly enough to break new roots so I would wait for a month or so to allow the new roots to gain strength before doing any work on any repotted tree.

The long, straight growth I am looking at is likely to be older than just last year but hard to tell from this distance.
Thank you so much
 

LanceMac10

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Learn propagation techniques in regards to hardwood cuttings from Elms because your future tree is going to emerge from the first 4-5 inches of tree from the soil.

Happy Friday, enjoy!
 

zero

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Learn propagation techniques in regards to hardwood cuttings from Elms because your future tree is going to emerge from the first 4-5 inches of tree from the soil.

Happy Friday, enjoy!
Very nice Lance! Thank you so much- yeah I hear this tree propagates easily from cuttings so that’s wonderful
 

Hack Yeah!

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Welcome to the site @zero , I'd guess one of your primary decisions will be to figure out how large of a tree you would ultimately prefer. You've got a really nice piece of material, enjoy!
 

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