Smoke and Mirrors - 019

Smoke

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Cork Bark Elm

Inspired by this thread Collected Winged Elm

This tree was acquired thru George Muranaka in 2016. Basically a trunk with maybe a shoot or two of green. I purchased with the intent of developing a bunjin styled tree out of it. I wanted to display it with the other cork bark literati I had as kind of an homage to Father and Son.

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I let it grow and worked on it from time to time. It was not very prolific and building mass so I got mostly bored with it.

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The wires are grown into the trunk.

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The tree really never had a literati feel since it was small, and it was fatter than it needed to be.

So now I get all weird and get this thing in my head that species of trees need to look more like the species they are, with bonsai techniques done to them to make them artistic, but not so far away that it doesn't look like the species anymore. Since I deal with lots of elms and tridents, making everyone look like a pine has gotton pretty boring. I grafted three tridents together to get more of what I wanted, I have not grafted elms, but I could I guess. Growers seem to stick with whats easy, and when growing a field of tridents or elms, it's way lot easier to go in every couple years, prune off everything to stubs and keep a leader moving skyward and let the artist make another pine styled whatever out of it. Great for pines, terrible for tridents and elms.

So my solution was to try and salvage the elm that could be in the tree. I will always have a fat central leader, it will always come to a point with drastic taper. Or will it? What if I start to develop some branches off the base of the trunk, like sub trunks like elms grow, sure it will be slow, but I got time, and my climate is beneficial to that? What if I start to put a more rounded canopy on it, and started to spread out the canopy with branches and not so much pads of foliage on stylized one , two , back branch arrangements?

So thats what I decided to do. In 2017, the next year, I scrapped the idea of bunjin and went for what I like to call, "Up in Smoke" an herb inspired creation. So I let anything that popped out grow. I wired it, put it where I needed it and allowed it to grow and thicken. This was 2017 and in to 2018.
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This is what it looks like today. I will continue to grow the canopy and as it develops more branching and thicker branching I will begin to reduce the central leader and turn this into a more elm like look.

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Wilson

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Not growing it into another pine shaped design is definetly a good call. I love these corkers, and they deserve to be portrayed with their natural growth habit.
 

JudyB

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Interesting that a cork elm would need trunk wired to get that bark. Do they just do plate bark otherwise?
 

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