Question about Siberian elm leaves

HoneyHornet

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So this year was the first that I actually collected some Siberian elms from the wild and my main question is regarding Leaf size

Every single one I have collected was clad with beautiful tiny leaves that instant Bonsai appreciation

Even small ones that were growing up out of cracks in the pavement or along curbs in abandoned parking lots we're highly ramified and full of these miniature leaves

And then after potting them up and seeing their new growth shootout I have been observing the consistency with the fact that all of this new growth has large leaf size

At what point does new growth maintain that reduced Leaf size

I will supply pictures later I just couldn't wait until I got home to post this curiosity One of my favorite trees I actually pulled from the side of a construction site I was working at and it's got awesome tiny leaves that it has retained since earlier in the year but it also has these new larger sized leaves as well
Does this have to do with the maturity of the branch itself that the growth is coming from because these leaves in question seem to be popping off of new with like shoots
 

moke

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Once you have several branches with a little ramification they should produce much smaller leaves with the occasional larger leaf near joints and branches that are allowed to extend. Most all of my seedlings and small saplings have the larger leaf size.
 
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HoneyHornet

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Once you have several branches with a little ramification they should produce much smaller leaves. Most all of my seedlings and small saplings have the larger leaf size.
Yeah so basically it's because they are on new branches you are saying

Pretty much what I assumed but I had to ask the oracles LOL

I have one that I am allowing one side of the tree to fill out a little more so it has its old hardened off clusters of tiny leaves but then it also has I side with wild Chutes and big leaves it looks kind of silly for now
 

HoneyHornet

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I found a row of about a half-dozen as tall as a water bottle and had perfectly ramified canopies I swear they look like they have been trained well technically I suppose they have considering they are growing up in between a curb in an old forgotten parking lot

But they shock dropped their leaves and now are covered in these new shoots with large leaves which stinks because all the fine ramification died back

Should I pinch to pairs of leaves as it grows or let his new shoots run to mature and then cut back
 

moke

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Yeah so basically it's because they are on new branches you are saying

Pretty much what I assumed but I had to ask the oracles LOL

I have one that I am allowing one side of the tree to fill out a little more so it has its old hardened off clusters of tiny leaves but then it also has I side with wild Chutes and big leaves it looks kind of silly for now
Exactly, when or if you clip those branches back the branches that shoot off typically will have smaller leaves. I will cut the larger leaves off once I have plenty of smaller leaves on a branch.
 

sorce

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growing up in between a curb

I wouldn't discount "smart tree theory" as a part of the reason small leaves exist.

Once they know the amount of water the recieve regularly, understand their position on earth, they know how large they can make the leaves without detriment and do so accordingly.
The heat radiating from the cement all night long, will be something they make this calculation based on as as well. Being opportunistic, the low buds must grow, so they make small leaves to keep that heat from causing too much transpiration.

The size of the bud also seems to remain in direct relation to the future size of the leaves too.
Small buds on small twigs make small leaves.
Large buds on "oh shit we can get some energy here" branches make larger leaves.

All this is true, but not necessarily easily applicable to process, but the knowledge is good when wondering "why?".

This is my Ulmus Favoritus.

20210911_170412.jpg20210911_170425.jpg20210911_170404.jpg

The braided section and the low section are separated by about a foot of bare trunk.

Bother were cut back in spring about the same way, and though the lower part may be a bit more ramified, it doesn't seem to account for the smaller leaves. Since the buds in the top are larger, if I were to cut back to them, the next branches/ramification would follow, large buds large branch large leaves.

So I don't believe it is ramification alone that makes leaves smaller.
Seems more to do with stress, from...to hot, too little water, excessive prior pruning, etc., that seems to produce smaller twigs, buds, and leaves, which would be the ones to work with.

Large things can be ramified to slowly become small but isn't guaranteed.
But this post stress small growth certainly remains small, more uniform, and very unlikely to revert back to large.

Sorce
 

Forsoothe!

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As @sorce sez, you probably are underestimating the poor conditions that the plants were living in when they had smaller leaves. You should concentrate on growing the architecture you want, and after you have that trunk & branching structure, then you can concentrate on leaf reduction by standard methods of tip pruning every spring, denuding every 3rd week of June, tip pruning to force back-budding throughout the season, and shearing every Sept. 1st. Also, you'll need to keep the rootball smaller than typical and in a shallow pot. And that's all there is to it!
 

HoneyHornet

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Excellent information thank you all and yes I definitely was giving credit to the fact that they are growing up in harsh conditions which is why I was kind of implying that nature has been training them and sense keeping them in their own little bonsai container so to speak... which also plays directly to the point you made about them now having more room to grow hence the Wilder shoots with larger leaves makes perfect sense

I did have intentions on throwing them until more restrained pots but since they experienced a leaf drop I was figuring I would let them have healthy recovery first which they have so perhaps I should be looking to now focus on their structure.. let me see if I can find a picture of the little ones I'm talking about when I brought them home they looked perfectly ready for an awesome little Forest planting

Thank you again
 

HoneyHornet

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Well it's been more time than I realized it was May 4th when I collected them but I had a baby shortly after that so I'm has gone by and I haven't been able to give as much attention to the trees

They don't stand on their own to be the best specimen but group together I think they could be cool
 

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Forsoothe!

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Yes, it's doable! You need a forest pot like this one. Buy the pot, then you can do some fooling around with the prospective layout over this winter and be ready to pot up next spring. The layout is not as easy as it may first appear. The rules are: (usually) two groups with a winding path between them, hopefully the path will be obvious, but not entirely visible. There should be no trees in any straight line as viewed from any angle (harder than it sounds), and no tree directly in front of another (same rule). There should be a sort-of obvious path entrance but the other end should be ~imagined~ and the viewers should have to move their heads to follow the path. The trees are scattered so that they cannot be counted easily by eye. That means no pairs, and no even numbered groups. Normally, forests are 7 or more trees, 11, or 13, or 21, or whatever. The more the better within limits. Trees have to be planted with growth in mind. If they are not repotted every year or at least every other year, their roots will intermingle, probably graft together, and become one big mass of inseparable roots. So, make a decision on layout early and plant accordingly. There are two kinds of forests: 1. Observer At The Front of a Forest, this one has biggest trees in front and smaller trees filling in sight-lines in the rear. and 2. The Perspective Forest As Viewed From a Distance, this one has the biggest trees in back and smaller trees in front. The front profile needs to have a head, that is a natural high point with other canopy tops tapering up to that (rounded) point. Trees that have a left or right bias or lean are placed to lean outward from the sides, but not the front. The front should be more open to see into the forest, and the rear should not have holes through. (That's what crummy trees can fill from the back side). Groups or clumps are less than that (~7 & under) and closer together in one lump. You can collect some more smaller ones to get your numbers up. The higher the number of trees, the easier it is to fool the eye, but the straight line rule is always there to haunt you.

When the time comes to do the potting up, you need to be ready. The trees will have roots that are not necessarily in proportion to their tops which will make your battle plan go to hell in a hand basket. You need to keep them wet while you are shuffling them around, adhering to the rules. It will take longer to do than you plan for. Ideally, you will have some kind of overhead arrangement of boards or a fence or wire cage grid from which you can hang trees in-place with wire. And, move them from place-to-place-to-place. You can't fill in the media under the trees until they are all in place. Any Mickey Mouse arrangement will work, you just have to have it it place before you start.

Looking forward to your Elm forest next spring! You will love it!
 
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HoneyHornet

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@Forsoothe! Thank you so much for summing it all up that's basically a nutshell identical what all my books say.. very informative paragraph always appreciated

I don't typically lose many trees over winter even though I don't have much for winter protection do you think these little guys well make it or should I try to get them covered I just don't have much for shed space and I don't have a garage at the moment
 

Forsoothe!

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Prune for compactness when they loose their leaves. Sit them on the ground in a southern exposure after Holloween, and cover the pots with leaves up to an inch higher than the lip December 1st after the mice have found wintering quarters. They are tough, not to worry.
 
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