New and needing some shaping direction- Chinese Elm

tloc1000

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Hello, I have loved bonsai for years and have tried my had at purchased trees. I however did not fare well with them. I have a Chinese Elm growing in my yard and there are some sprouts/ offshoots that I had dug up and replanted in some pots. One grew very large before I dug it up and I cut the trunk hoping it would grow branches. It seems that half of the tree died but the other half is alive. The branches grew but they are all on one side. Where I cut the trunk was smooth and I tried to break off some of it to make it look like the tree broke and then had new growth. I am stumped on what direction to shape the tree.

The smaller trees were planted in a large pot together and are about a year old or so. I accidentally hit them with a weed eater when they were alot younger...they seemed to regrow ok. I wired one up wanting the trunk to bend a little. Not sure about the shaping direction with these either.


Thanks for any and all suggestions/ advice!
 

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sorce

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Bend something!

Looks like you have some time before it becomes critical.

The soil looks kind of dense.
We're they reptted this year already?

Location?

Sorce
 

tloc1000

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Thanks Source!

I just repotted them a few weeks ago. The 3 smaller trees were in 1 big pot and I put them into their own pot. I'm in Dallas so we get alot of sun, wind, and heat.

I'm not really a fan of the s- bent trunks so I don't know how much more bending I would want to do.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Bend now and let the tree grow into the bends. You have a journey of growing out and chopping back in front of your, but it is best if you start with a crooked trunk line... that is, of course, unless you are going for a design that requires a straight trunk.


chinese elm.jpg
 

tloc1000

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is it too late for the bigger tree. It is about 1 1/2 inch in diameter.

Bend now and let the tree grow into the bends. You have a journey of growing out and chopping back in front of your, but it is best if you start with a crooked trunk line... that is, of course, unless you are going for a design that requires a straight trunk.


Here is what I was thinking for one of the trees. I was going to get rid of the trunk on the left. Then bend the limbs parallel (in yellow)
 

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Alain

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is it too late for the bigger tree. It is about 1 1/2 inch in diameter.


Speaking of the bigger tree: I find its trunk rather, well, crap.
Meaning that it looks a little bit like a stupid straight tube to me.

I think you should starts to envisage an air layering much closer to the top and use the lower branch as the new leader for this one in order to shorten the trunk and get some taper there.
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Although the state of the bark the other side of the trunk might make it difficult to realize, hard to see on your picture.


Btw: it would be nice that you put your location in your profile as people might not remember for long that you live in Dallas. :)
 

michaelj

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is it too late for the bigger tree. It is about 1 1/2 inch in diameter.

It's never too late with an elm. You can do a straight chop to bare trunk anywhere, especially now, and you can do the change in direction there when the buds develop. You can also airlayer it, also especially now, and shorten the straight base to whatever length you want, and start your movement with the existing branches.
 

Underdog

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is it too late for the bigger tree. It is about 1 1/2 inch in diameter.
I'm only a year into this but you could air layer that big one down to a squatty little fire plug in my eyes. I did to two as a rookie last year. Only killed one LOL It was 4 inch getting greedy

This was a 1 inch plus Lilac branch last year air layered. Just a thought from a fellow rookie learning.
http://www.bonsainut.com/threads/miss-kim-air-layer-success.22405/
 
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tloc1000

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Thanks for all the advice! I never heard of air layering and had to google it. I also discovered that when I cut the trunk, I made the mistake of cutting at an angle instead of straight across.

I think I will try the air layering. Is now the time to do that?

Underdog- that looks great!
 

Alain

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Thanks for all the advice! I never heard of air layering and had to google it. I also discovered that when I cut the trunk, I made the mistake of cutting at an angle instead of straight across.

I think I will try the air layering. Is now the time to do that?

Underdog- that looks great!

Cut at an angle isn't a mistake, well at least I don't think it is... :)

For the air-layer timing: you have to have leaves (if your read about the process you might understand why: the elaborated sap has to flow down and be stop at the top hedge of the layer where the roots will start to grow).
So I guess there is not a 'timing' per se (i.e. it's not like: start on March 12 or something), it's more like starts when you have leaves and will have enough time to let your tree develops its roots and also get enough time to stabilize once you will have cut and plant the layer.

Here in Il it's too early because we don't have leaves yet, in Tx, according to your picture, it seems that you are good to go ;)
But may be wait the advice of a Texan! :D
 

tloc1000

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Ok so i'm trying air layering...wish me and the poor tree luck!

Sorry, I didn't take any pics until after I got it wrapped.

I angled the cuts in the hopes that I can re-pot in a windswept direction.
 

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