Yamadori siberian elm advice.

Bodanger

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I'm looking to eventually harvest what looks like a Siberian elm and would appreciate any advice on this species and it's root situation.

The tree is on the shore of a lake growing between huge to medium sized rocks that are used to prevent erosion. The tree is about 1ft but from what I can tell the roots look like they could be diving down very far (maybe up to 3ft+) into the rocks to find soil since most of it is just empty space between large rocks.

Since I can easily get to the base of the roots my plan was to cut one of the root sections off near the base and fill area with soil to start a root ball that can be harvested.

Is this necessary? I see elms bare rooted a lot but I obviously don't want to kill the tree.

Apologies for not having pictures, I'll try to get some when weather permits
 

M. Frary

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I'm looking to eventually harvest what looks like a Siberian elm and would appreciate any advice on this species and it's root situation.

The tree is on the shore of a lake growing between huge to medium sized rocks that are used to prevent erosion. The tree is about 1ft but from what I can tell the roots look like they could be diving down very far (maybe up to 3ft+) into the rocks to find soil since most of it is just empty space between large rocks.

Since I can easily get to the base of the roots my plan was to cut one of the root sections off near the base and fill area with soil to start a root ball that can be harvested.

Is this necessary? I see elms bare rooted a lot but I obviously don't want to kill the tree.

Apologies for not having pictures, I'll try to get some when weather permits
Honestly,if it's in that difficult of a spot why not leave it?
Unless its spectaculat.
 

Bodanger

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Honestly,if it's in that difficult of a spot why not leave it?
Unless its spectaculat.
It's in a spot where it is considered a unwanted growth. When plant gets too big in that area they just come along and hack everything back haphazardly so it could be killed off randomly any time. And on a long enough time line eventually it will be.
 

amatbrewer

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they just come along and hack everything back haphazardly
A common suggestion when looking for material is places where the trees get treated just this way (pastures, under power lines, etc). So this sounds like a recipe for a possible pre-bonsai some day if it lives. If it doesn't you have lost nothing.
 

Colorado Josh

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I collected a Siberian elm from my back yard last summer. The things grow like weeds out here, western Colorado. It was about 10ft tall, and 2" trunk. I dug it up, chopped the root that went to its mother tree, and chopped the tree down to 1.5ft. I put it in organic soil with pumice and pine bark. The thing really took off. I was blown away. I never put it in cold storage and it got down to -10f.

Siberian elms are incredibly hardy. This summer I'm going to collect more from the neighboring ditches, and possibly try some air layering. This species is going to be my test dummy for different methods.

I would say, just dig the thing out and give it a shot. Its a free plant, and they're readily available.

Good luck
 

peterbone

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If it's 1 ft tall then it's likely it has a thin trunk. There's no point in collecting such a young tree.
 

Bodanger

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If it's 1 ft tall then it's likely it has a thin trunk. There's no point in collecting such a young tree.
This made me chuckle a little bit because it's kind of a strange statement to see on a bonsai forum.

Sorry for the terrible top-down angle on the pic, there really wasn't a good way to get a better shot at the time.
The trunk looks about 1.5-2in in diameter at the base. It hass been totally covered by about 3-4 ft of ice and snow over the winter.

It looks like I may have to take a chisel to that thin piece of rock under the trunk to be able get an angle to cut and take any roots with it. I know these are very resilient but it's had a hard life in a stressful location and a very hard winter. I'm wondering if maybe I shouldn't trim some of the visible roots, put some soil down and try to get some feeder roots before liberating it from the rocks.
Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Cosmos

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I don’t think it’s a siberian elm. The bark doesn’t match, and they don’t produce reddish twigs like you see there.

No matter what species though, the movement in the trunk seems interesting, if you can get the tree out of there without damaging it or injuring yourself.
 

Bodanger

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I don’t think it’s a siberian elm. The bark doesn’t match, and they don’t produce reddish twigs like you see there.

No matter what species though, the movement in the trunk seems interesting, if you can get the tree out of there without damaging it or injuring yourself.
Thanks, I wasn't sure if it was a Siberian.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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I have a farm field loaded with Siberian elms, all about 8 to 12 feet tall, trunks the diameter of my wrist. You want any, PM me and you can dig to your heart's content.

Seriously, I dug 40 or so (actually, I dug 2, let the other guys from the bonsai club dig the rest) and then we gave them away at a bonsai club meeting. All trees cut from 10 or so feet down to one to 2 feet. THis was 2 years ago. The one I kept is ready for its 3rd growing season. Probably still have 1000 left. When we plant that field will have to brush hog and till out all the weed trees. Right now it will be fallow another year or two.

Siberian elms will get weak and drop branches if they don't get enough sun. They need full sun from sunrise to sunset. They are very hardy. As bonsai they develop a nice rough bark. Smallest natural leaf size of any elm and will get as small as the best of the Chinese elms. Really a good rapidly growing elm, I feel pretty good for bonsai, if you can give it enough sun.
 

rockm

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This made me chuckle a little bit because it's kind of a strange statement to see on a bonsai forum.

Sorry for the terrible top-down angle on the pic, there really wasn't a good way to get a better shot at the time.
The trunk looks about 1.5-2in in diameter at the base. It hass been totally covered by about 3-4 ft of ice and snow over the winter.

It looks like I may have to take a chisel to that thin piece of rock under the trunk to be able get an angle to cut and take any roots with it. I know these are very resilient but it's had a hard life in a stressful location and a very hard winter. I'm wondering if maybe I shouldn't trim some of the visible roots, put some soil down and try to get some feeder roots before liberating it from the rocks.
Any advice would be appreciated.
What is being said is that collecting trees is a question of "is the juice worth the squeeze" or is a particular tree worth the effort.

This is a pretty unremarkable trunk rooted in ice and rock with what looks like horrific inverse taper on the trunk as it pushed its way through the stones. If you worked to chip off the rocks (And I'd bet those roots extend pretty far back and even if they don't, you're still looking at some rock reduction to get the topmost roots).

That is an extreme amount of work for a thin, smooth-barked sapling. You can probably find better in the woods.
 

Bodanger

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I have a farm field loaded with Siberian elms, all about 8 to 12 feet tall, trunks the diameter of my wrist. You want any, PM me and you can dig to your heart's content.

Seriously, I dug 40 or so (actually, I dug 2, let the other guys from the bonsai club dig the rest) and then we gave them away at a bonsai club meeting. All trees cut from 10 or so feet down to one to 2 feet. THis was 2 years ago. The one I kept is ready for its 3rd growing season. Probably still have 1000 left. When we plant that field will have to brush hog and till out all the weed trees. Right now it will be fallow another year or two.

Siberian elms will get weak and drop branches if they don't get enough sun. They need full sun from sunrise to sunset. They are very hardy. As bonsai they develop a nice rough bark. Smallest natural leaf size of any elm and will get as small as the best of the Chinese elms. Really a good rapidly growing elm, I feel pretty good for bonsai, if you can give it enough sun.
Wow, thanks for the offer man, I will probably take you up on that. I drive between Chicago and Burlington frequently from spring to fall so you're probably right along the way.
 

Bodanger

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What is being said is that collecting trees is a question of "is the juice worth the squeeze" or is a particular tree worth the effort.

This is a pretty unremarkable trunk rooted in ice and rock with what looks like horrific inverse taper on the trunk as it pushed its way through the stones. If you worked to chip off the rocks (And I'd bet those roots extend pretty far back and even if they don't, you're still looking at some rock reduction to get the topmost roots).

That is an extreme amount of work for a thin, smooth-barked sapling. You can probably find better in the woods.
I see your point, but truth is I like the squeeze and enjoy the work. The place where it is has a really nice view of the water so plopping down with some headphones on and digging it out would make for a nice day. The taper is actually pretty nice on it. Where you see the trunk over that shard of rock, those are actually roots coming out of the base, not branches.
 

Bodanger

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So it was actually much easier to get out than I thought, and I was able to get a decent amount of feeder roots considering where it was growing. There trunk was grown over and around a big hunk (that is still in there) of rock that created a nice taper.

I'm a total novice when it comes to bonsai so I don't know if this is what most consider to be young, unremarkable, or not worth the time but I like it. I think the trunk has nice movement and a decent taper and decent size (about 2in diameter). But my standards might be low for yamadori being in an urban environment.

Can anyone help me out with that specie this is?
 

a0kalittlema0n

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I think saying this trunk is "unremarkable" is being disingenuous. Is it a 2,000 year old California Juniper, no, but is it great material, definitely. I think you found a little gem there. The movement and split part of the trunk add great character to the tree.

As for species, having the leaves would definitely help.
 

rockm

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I think saying this trunk is "unremarkable" is being disingenuous. Is it a 2,000 year old California Juniper, no, but is it great material, definitely. I think you found a little gem there. The movement and split part of the trunk add great character to the tree.

As for species, having the leaves would definitely help.
Well, it is. It's not all that special. I've been digging deciduous species of one variety or another for over 20 years. Believe me, this one is OK, but mostly, well OK...Keep looking for collectible material and you will see what I mean...The initial issue was whether the tree was worth the effort to get it out of what appeared to be stone (IMO, wasn't worth that, trunk wasn't special enough for the work0. If that wasn't the case, great.
 
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