What to do with this base?

jkg777

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I received this elm as a gift. (I personally would have not picked one with a base like this but it's what was given to me.)

I was wondering what to do to improved the look of the lower part of the tree. Root over rock and try to get rid of the scars on the bottom somehow? Air layer a new base? ?????

Thanks
 

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River's Edge

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I received this elm as a gift. (I personally would have not picked one with a base like this but it's what was given to me.)

I was wondering what to do to improved the look of the lower part of the tree. Root over rock and try to get rid of the scars on the bottom somehow? Air layer a new base? ?????

Thanks
Personally, my choice would be to air layer a new base. The photos are not focussed on the overall trunk line so it is difficult to select one best spot. However given the apparent height of the tree in relation to the thickness of the trunk, I would be inclined to check out the possibility of more than one location and create additional shorter trees from this elm.
Note: if you apply a wire tourniquet in advance of doing the air layer, the swelling will create the beginning of a more interesting base at the site chosen for the air layer. It is an extra step and requires more time, but can contribute to superior outcomes.
 
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jkg777

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Personally, my choice would be to air layer a new base. The photos are not focussed on the overall trunk line so it is difficult to select one best spot. However given the apparent height of the tree in relation to the thickness of the trunk, I would be inclined to check out the possibility of more than one location and create additional shorter trees from this elm.
Note: if you apply a wire tourniquet in advance of doing the air layer, the swelling will create the beginning of a more interesting base at the site chosen for the air layer. It is an extra step and requires more time, but can contribute to superior outcomes.
Thanks for the advice. Here's some photos of the trunk line from what I'm thinking would be the front.
 

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River's Edge

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Thanks for the advice. Here's some photos of the trunk line from what I'm thinking would be the front.
Here are some options that I would consider. I would stage them over time beginning with air layering the top portion first and so on. Not attempt all three at once. Keep in mind that 2d pictures can be very deceiving so just best on your own on site evaluation. For better bases and trunk lines you are looking for locations that give change of direction low down, movement in the trunk line and possible flare at the base. ( the wire tourniquet suggestion aids in this aspect). The other aspect to consider is taper and are there sufficient branches and foliage available to support the air layer. Starting at the top will help to create back budding and additional foliage on the lower portions for the next stages.
There may be better options but from the picture I would look in these general locations for a start.20220322_124830.jpg
 

Shibui

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Don't forget that even the roots will sprout new shoots and grow into new trees after the trunk is layered and removed.
 

sorce

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I reckon one of the best paths to personal growth, is taking that one thing you wouldn't have wanted and making it the best part of the future.

There's a nice stretch of root to raft up in a far future. With that central fatty already the dominant character.

It's also rare to have a tree spanning a ditch with it's roots, rarer still in bonsai, so I always wanted to give that a chance too, good candidate.

Airlayers for sure first.

Sorce
 

jkg777

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Thanks everyone for the advice. Seems air layering is the way to go. I'll start one as soon as it's time.

I really do like the idea of creating a raft out of the left over base after the air layer. Excellent idea.
 

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