Pruning elms   4 comments

Tonight was really a nice evening. My wife sat out in the backyard while I pruned some elm trees. First one I pruned was the ugly gnarly elm. It still has some trunk taper issues, but due to its old age and near death experience, it will live out the rest of its life peacefully.



The rest of the elms I managed to butcher were eight that I have for a possible workshop at the next shohin convention. All of them are in a modified broom form similer to a spreading oak. The branches have some twists and turns in them and they were much better before I pruned them, but for now I had to cut them back and ready thenm for the next training period. Tonight they were cut back and tomorrow I will wire some of the branches and twist them all up and pull many of them down.


Of the eight, two are a different species. Six look like typical Chinese elm but two of them are a sport of some kind. They have very small leaves and grow much slower. the foliage is tighter and they really are not performing as well as the other six. I may have to do the workshop with the six and sell the other two. This is the after shot of the eight after pruning.

The two on the bottom left are the odd ones. The one with the gro stones on the top is one that had pushed out of the pot and needed to be replanted because it was falling out of the pot. The tops do not gro much, but the bottom does.


This is typical foliage for a Chinese elm.


This is the foliage of one of the odd ones.


The other one.


These are just some shots of the trunks and branches after pruning. They will be wired and allowed to grow, and then I will do this again in about three months.






These trees are about 6 inches tall and have 1 inch trunks at the soil line. For the most part the taper is good for all of them.





Posted April 3, 2013 by California Bonsai Art in Uncategorized

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4 responses to “Pruning elms

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  1. Al, This is George. I will be at the nursery on Saturday. You can reach me on my cell 805-268-5123. Nice elm!

  2. good little bunch of elms Al…. Did you propagate these yourself from cuttings? and what are your long term plans for these?
    The 2 that have a smaller and tighter leaf may be Caitlin Elms….
    I started a half dozen 3/4” thick root cuttings off of an old Chinese Elm I’m doing a major rework on at the moment. Quick growing and very rewarding. Great for mame’ or shohin size bonsai. I’ll post them up soon when I get some current pics done.

    • No, definately not catlan. I know John Catlan and these are nothing like a catlan elm. I have many elms, seiju, contorted, used to keep hokkaido and the like. This one seems to be a cross between hokkaido and yatsubusa.

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