Zelkova people...Which one would you buy?

Katie0317

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Finding a Zelkova zelkova-1.jpgZelkova-2.jpgZelkova-3.jpgwas a little harder than I thought it would be. I have a strong idea of which one I'll buy but thought I'd ask people here who have Zelkova's or elms. What are your thoughts?
 

Katie0317

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I'd like a broom style. Not small enough to be a true shohin but not a lot larger. I thought of air layering this but am open to ideas.

I bought a Chinese elm when I first started. When I learned about the S shape being done in China for mass consumption I buried mine in a side garden and am ignoring it, so this would be what I consider my first elm.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Dig around in the soil and expose the surface roots. Elms/Zelkova tend to send a few strong roots and the result can be a lopsided nebari.
From what I can see, #3 appears to have the best trunk taper and some branch options. #2 is out for me.
 

Katie0317

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Thank you for telling which one you would pick, I will feel for nebari and hope they're well formed and well spaced. That's a good tip. If 3 has wonky nebari would it cause you to choose 1?

I've never air layered a tree but the instructor suggested I do it on another tree and said he'd teach me how. I thought I could do this one too but the more I think about it I think could be a nice tee without doing that.

From reading and watching videos I understand these are difficult trees to manage. They're prone to die-back because they require so much branch pruning. The branches get big and woody fast and can block out light and steal nutrients from other branches, How do you manage that with yours?

While I would like a smaller tree I think I should probably just prune this tree fairly heavily and get a good luck at the canopy before I even think about air layering.

I'm not sure how old these are but can find out. The two larger trees are about 20% more than the smaller one (since you asked) but that's not affecting my decision.

Would you use Bio gold on this? Thank you all!
 

penumbra

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If they are a sizeable investment I would pass on all of them.
If they are a moderate investment I would buy #3.
If the are a very good investment I would probably get all three.
 

River's Edge

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Finding a Zelkova View attachment 419481View attachment 419482View attachment 419483was a little harder than I thought it would be. I have a strong idea of which one I'll buy but thought I'd ask people here who have Zelkova's or elms. What are your thoughts?
Three appears to be a better form to begin with, however the trunk is covered in moss, which could hide dead areas and the roots should be checked first!
I would want to clean off the moss to ensure the trunk is healthy.
 

Katie0317

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Am wondering...Would people put it in a bonsai pot now or let the trunk thicken?

Did everyone but one person pick 3 because of the trunk or the ramification or both?

@hinmo24t I'd thought of choosing 2 and chopping it but I can't ignore those far more experienced than me.

Now I'll leave it in the nursery pot or put it in a bonsai pot, and I'd be interested in hearing what others think. It looks like some of that branching needs to be removed. Some of the thicker branches? Anyone who has grown a Zelkova have thoughts on that?
 

Canada Bonsai

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If you have a classic Zelkova bonsai in mind, buy any one, take cuttings, start fresh. Sure you'll be a few years behind these plants, but you'll be doing it right.

This video from Toyoda-san's nursery is a good example of what can be achieved in different time frames:

 

BonsaiDTLA

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If you have a classic Zelkova bonsai in mind, buy any one, take cuttings, start fresh. Sure you'll be a few years behind these plants, but you'll be doing it right.

This video from Toyoda-san's nursery is a good example of what can be achieved in different time frames:

Great video, thanks for sharing.

I agree with starting fresh, you can control the growth from the very beginning and develop the roots in a much better manner.
 

hinmo24t

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tough call between 2 and 3, they seem similar
id perhaps cut here and use the one kicking off to the right as a leader,
then do remaining branch selection (alternating opposing growth points)
on the others/canopy reduction to shape

1644352133649.png
 

19Mateo83

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If it were me..... I would get #3 and air layer it off at the marks. That would start you off with some good mame sized stock. In 3yrs you could have something nice to show.

I would pass on the other two.

View attachment 419595
If she takes your advice you gonna have to send her some pots 😏
 
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