PA's elms

PA_Penjing

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Saw some other members do it, and figured I'd join in. My very own elm thread. All my elms are Chinese (parvifolia), they are easily my favorite tree for bonsai. I don't care for any of the cultivars I have come across, so I just use the straight species. Since my collection is so small, I'm leaning toward specializing in just this species so I can really learn the ins-and-outs. This is my first year with them so I don't even know what kind of fall color I can expect, I will update around thanksgiving when the trees show me what's up. My first tree was just a cheap ebay find that someone airlayered off the top of another. I don't care for the direction it's going in but this tree is simply for learning and experimenting with. I've taken to naming them solely for the purpose of keeping notes. This is "the ugly mother" because.. it's ugly, I'm taking many cuttings from it (babies) and it gave way for the others. The first photo is when I purchased it and the second is how it looks today, a few months later. I had to cut a lot of straight sections away, Now I'm deciding if I should finish this tree at it's current height or just grow it out for future material. Since I have no real interest in where it's headed.
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The next one is a neagari style trunk that was imported from China. When I bought it in spring, all of the branching was straight into the air so I cut it back hard and am currently working on primary branches and an apex. This one may end up in a semi cascade style. Maybe dependent on the viewers definition. Again he photo is the day I bought it and how it looks today a few months later. This tree has no name yet. I just call it exposed root elm.
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The next tree Is a twin trunk that was ground grown by Randy Knight. I was excited to purchase it for a few reasons.. 1. It was very cheap 2. It's fairly large 3. It had anthracnose (or some other fungal issue) from growing out west. I know elms are supposed to be fickle with fungus so I wanted to make sure I could cure an ailing tree. So far all the new leaves are unaffected by any blemishes. Where I live it is hotter and slightly drier than the PNW so I think the tree will be happier. It pours rain constantly in China during the summer (rainy season) months but gets very very dry as the weather cools in fall and winter (dry season). So I'm taking that as a rule. Keep the tree dry unless there's some amount of heat. I am only going to post one pic of the tree since all I'm doing is strengthening it for next year. I only did minor cut backs to keep the leaves somewhat near the trunk. Unfortunately the trunks are close in size so it will be a bit of a rule breaker. I don't mind, but I'm sure I'll hear that as the tree progresses. The sprouts near the base are from roots I cut to make material for thread grafting next summer.

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The last elm is a mess right now but I am excited to see how fast I can turn it around. I probably paid too much for it but I loved the white flaking bark. It also had a raging fungal infection, but since I just bought it, I won't get to try turning it around til next growing season. The minute I got it home I carved away a straight section of trunk at a three way junction. I love the bones but will reduce the primary branches back to just a few inches once it's healthy. The nebari is atrocious so the tree will be layered a few inches (2 or 3) above the current root base which I think will make trunk look a little beefier. From the ground this tree is 4 feet tall (pot included) but in my mind the finished product will be more than a foot shorter. The tree is extremely weak and the canopy branches only at the absolute tips. The owner blamed the heat wave but I have had the tree for 2 weeks and it's already budding out. I think the fact that he planted the tree in nearly pure haydite is the problem. It takes water twice a day above 80 degrees and most likely will need constant feeding. Currently calling this tree "Park tree"
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Just wanted to get these online in one place so I can update as they improve. I'm fully aware that photos don't show a whole lot but there isn't a whole lot to see yet. As I cut away sacrifice branches and get the trees closer to a finished form I will take better pics from more angles. I have a lot to learn yet as I'm new to the species, I hope to be a good resource for information in a couple years. I have cuttings and seedlings growing as well for use as root grafts, clump plantings and specimen trees, but I won't waste the time to take photos of sticks. Right now I just have my fingers crossed for an array of fall color.
 

AlainK

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I particularly love this one : very "Chinese"...

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TinyArt

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And I really like this one -- would be a beauty for a landscape planting, already gives the feeling of being on a land rise where there's a prevailing wind.
[oops... can't edit in a "reply" of the twin trunk/mother-and-child]

Looking forward to see where you go with Chinese Elm!
 
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Shogun610

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Enjoying seeing where you’re going with the exposed root elm. The Randy Knight elm is cool too.
That last tall Elm you mentioned layering it… I’ve been thinking about rafts for some rough material I have. Looking at the elm , that could be a route to take it too, I see 5-7 branches that could be the bones of it.
 
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PA_Penjing

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Enjoying seeing where you’re going with the exposed root elm. The Randy Knight elm is cool too.
That last tall Elm you mentioned layering it… I’ve been thinking about rafts for some rough material I have. Looking at the elm , that could be a route to take it too, I see 5-7 branches that could be the bones of it.
Thanks, the exposed root elm is from Kifu. That was my first purchase there. And I think the "left over" base of the tall guy will bud back all over the place. Anywhere it doesn't you can usually just nick the bark and it'll shoot from there. If you ever want some chinese elm I have more than I care to water, happy to give stuff away in the future. I had all kinds of plans for thick air layers but the impatient part of me wants to just hack and build
 

PA_Penjing

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2022 updates. My shohin elm has been sold off, got a great price for it an couldn't say no.

In the fall of '21 the exposed root elm held it's leaves the longest and had no color worth mentioning BUT it was in heavy wet soil, I'm optimistic that it may still turn a decent shade this year now that it is repotted in open bonsai soil. It was repotted it into a yixing pot I had laying around, the pot is too large for the tree at the moment but it's far from finished so I'm happy to have the room for roots. The photo is poor but there's not much to see. The apex was pruned back hard this spring.
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The twin trunk elm dropped leaves all summer and fall, they turned yellow one at a time (I highly suspect because of illness) so it also gave no fall show. Like the elm above it is in heavy soil along with clay from collection. I am optimistic that once in a pumice heavy mix it may turn a pleasing yellow in fall. This tree was not repotted this spring but I did throw two air layers onto the trunk that will be pruned off this June. Felt bad wasting.
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And lastly, my park/city style elm did give a very beautiful but short lived fall show of metallic red. Which I didnt expect because it was in such poor health this summer when I bought it. This tree was very funged up with something last season but seems to be breaking dormancy with some fresh buds. I slipped this tree from it's agonizingly heavy stoneware pot into a cedar box, it allowed me to make a scaffold for this years air layer. I have been unsuccessful with air layering in the past so I changed things up this year. I had been doing my layers after the foliage hardened off because of a great thread started on this site. But looking elsewhere on the internet I'm told that the start of sap flow is "the best" time. I won't repeat the same failed experiment tooo many times so I tried spring this year. I'm sure (like always) it's user error, but I'm happy to have a longer season for the new roots, if they form. Worst case scenario I fail again and will use the base as a carving project and for root cuttings since this tree has genetics I enjoy. I won't explain my air layering method in detail because I suck at it, clearly, and no one should be learning that from me.
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