winged elm

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i've never grown an elm before, or collected one for that matter. this year i dug up a few just to try it out. im hoping that they can be left out all winter with minimal protection. there are a lot of these growing around here so these can be practice trees if they need to be.

here is a picture of one of them. the trunk has scars all over it, not sure why, very little taper, some very subtle movement, and many branches seem to emerge at the same point on the trunk.

the collected trees have been recovering and pushing out new growth. does anyone have any experience with these? what could have caused all the scars? is it okay to have seven branches come from the same hight on the trunk? and what about winter protection?? im finding very little information on the web.
 

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jk_lewis

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The scars are probably from past land clearing. You don't tell us what habitat this tree came from -- a fence row, deep woods, roadside, vacant lot grown wild?

I'd cut this one as marked.
 

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The scars are probably from past land clearing. You don't tell us what habitat this tree came from -- a fence row, deep woods, roadside, vacant lot grown wild?

I'd cut this one as marked.

its more like a vacant lot. its possible but there are scars of varying sizes all over it. some of them look like branches had died. i suppose it doesn't matter i just thought it could be a pest since they could hide in the bark unnoticed.
 

Zach Smith

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its more like a vacant lot. its possible but there are scars of varying sizes all over it. some of them look like branches had died. i suppose it doesn't matter i just thought it could be a pest since they could hide in the bark unnoticed.

Winged elms are easy to grow. They bud prolifically, grow all season long and can take brutal pruning. Not much bothers them, though in the wild I do see odd swellings on the trunk of sapling sized trees that I don't know the cause of. But as bonsai you should be able to have a lot of fun. Your specimen appears to have at least one nice surface root. This is not all that common.

As to the damage, probably the tree got hacked down or run over or something along the way. I see damaged and healed over areas fairly often on the ones I collect. You shouldn't have to worry about losing branches as long as you keep your tree well watered.

If you're in the Cincinnati area then you're a bit above the distribution range for the species according to my Audubon field guide. Some winter protection would be advisable.

Good luck with your tree!

Zach
 

chappy56

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Well good luck C.C.
I collected one of these a year ago last March from down in Tulsa Oklahoma. It grew like crazy last summer and I overwintered it outdoors too for most of the winter, and in the little shed you see behind it in the photos for the really hard part of the winter. Maybe not the best idea. You can see by the pictures below that I probably should have had it a little more protected.
I just cant throw in the towel yet though. This tree means too much to me. Just in the last two weeks I started seeing new growth. I'm hopeful, but realistically don't see this tree making it through another winter. I'm unsure just how much life is in there, but I'll continue to feed it and hope for the best.
 

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Well good luck C.C.
I collected one of these a year ago last March from down in Tulsa Oklahoma. It grew like crazy last summer and I overwintered it outdoors too for most of the winter, and in the little shed you see behind it in the photos for the really hard part of the winter. Maybe not the best idea. You can see by the pictures below that I probably should have had it a little more protected.
I just cant throw in the towel yet though. This tree means too much to me. Just in the last two weeks I started seeing new growth. I'm hopeful, but realistically don't see this tree making it through another winter. I'm unsure just how much life is in there, but I'll continue to feed it and hope for the best.

thats what i was afraid of :(
 

Zach Smith

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Well good luck C.C.
I collected one of these a year ago last March from down in Tulsa Oklahoma. It grew like crazy last summer and I overwintered it outdoors too for most of the winter, and in the little shed you see behind it in the photos for the really hard part of the winter. Maybe not the best idea. You can see by the pictures below that I probably should have had it a little more protected.
I just cant throw in the towel yet though. This tree means too much to me. Just in the last two weeks I started seeing new growth. I'm hopeful, but realistically don't see this tree making it through another winter. I'm unsure just how much life is in there, but I'll continue to feed it and hope for the best.

Same note as for catfish chapstick. Illinois is just north of the natural range for winged elm, so you'd need to protect overwinter especially when moving the tree from Oklahoma up north. Winged elms are tough as nails, however, so you may be lucky with those new shoots. Feed and water, and hope for the best. You'll be able to tell if the tree's going to make it by the growth of the new shoots. If they come out a couple or three inches but don't extend, then you may lose the tree during the next winter. If they keep on growing the rest of the season, you should be okay - but protect even more this coming winter (garage that won't get below upper 20s).

Zach
 
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i need them to be able to handle the winter temperature without much protection. i don't have a garage anymore so the best i can offer them is some protection from wind. its not in a shallow pot so hopefully that helps. my crabapples do fine without protection and thats what i was hoping for with the winged elm. not getting my hopes up tho.
 

rockm

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Apples can take low temps. Elms, especially southern-ish elms, can't. It's as simple as that. If you can't provide some kind of winter protection you will lose the tree.

FWIW, I have kept cedar elm here in Va. well out of its range in Texas and Fla. I don't have a building to overwinter them, but simply put them in a sheltered space in the back yard that is protected from the wind. I HEAVILY mulch the plant in beginning at the end of November. I place the pot on bricks on a shaded portion of my patio to ensure drainage over the winter. I then pile 8-10 inches of shredded bark mulch over the pot so it surround the pot on every side except underneath. I've not had any problems diong this for the last 15 years. The plant has weathered more than a few nights where the temp has dropped below 0 F.

You can--and have to-- provide protection for the roots. Without that even in a deeper container, a tree left out exposed to the worst winter cold will die...
 
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C.C. - This could be a Siberian elm, which are known to pop up in vacant lots. If so, you do not need to worry about hardiness because they are pretty tough.
 
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C.C. - This could be a Siberian elm, which are known to pop up in vacant lots. If so, you do not need to worry about hardiness because they are pretty tough.

So how can I tell the difference? I thought they were winged elms in my area but idk the difference..
 

daygan

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I often find distinguishing between two species in the same genus incredibly frustrating... of course, the tell-tale difference would be the corky wing-like growth that forms on winged elms after a couple years (says Wikipedia) ...

These illustrations might be helpful as well: Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila) Winged Elm (Ulums alata) - in this illustration the Winged Elm is in the bottom right hand area...

Or you could try to sift through the information here:Siberian Elm , Winged Elm

It seems that the seed casing (samaras) are smaller on Winged Elm than Siberian Elm (Winged Elm - 8 mm, Siberian Elm: 1 - 2mm X 1 - 1.5 mm). Leaves are glabrous (smooth) on the top on both trees, but on Winged Elms they are also sometimes scabrous (rough to the touch).

Hope that helps!
 
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chappy56

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Here's a close up of winged elm. That pretty well explains the name....IMG-20110710-00063.jpg
 
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IMG_20120906_130434.jpg
Here is an update. I've left it tall, for now, and wired it a little.
What do you think?
Did I leave it too tall?
Is this an appropriate pot?
Does it look natural?
Does it have potential?
 

Zach Smith

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I think it looks fine. Nice, tall, elegant tree. You'll need to do some carving in the apex to get a smooth tapering transition.

Thanks for not attempting to chop it down to the first branch (some will probably suggest it).

Zach
 

JudyB

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I like it too, I'm sure you'll get the top right as you go along. I don't know winged elm culture, could you get some help with taper by letting the bottom branches grow wild and fatten the bottom up a little? But I think it's got good potential, good root structure for sure.
 
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Looking good. How did you settle on the wintering process?
 
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