Posts tagged “Siberian Elm

Siberian elm shohin

This smallĀ Ulmus pumila was displayed at this year’s Toronto Bonsai Society Fall Show and Sale.

Ulmus pumila

Ulmus pumila shohin. Yellow pot by Sugiura Keisen, accent pot by John Pitt.

The tree was developed from a naturally layered low branch from a much larger elm that was collected from a hedge, along with many others.

The shohin elm was a low back branch on this larger tree (circled in red).

The shohin elm was a low back branch on this larger tree (circled in red).

After separating the rooted branch.

After separating the rooted branch in April 2011.

Summer 2011.

Summer 2011.


Shohin Siberian Elm Sacrifice Branch

One nice thing about Ulmus pumila is that thickening branches doesn’t take very long, especially when the tree is small like this one. I let this sacrifice branch run wild since the summer, and it will be cut off this fall as I am hoping to show this tree. The branch is almost at the thickness I want it to be at, but I might let both the lower branches run a bit next year.

Let's go fly a kite.

Let’s go fly a kite.

Branch from above; sacrifice branch is coming out of the left side.

Branch from above; sacrifice branch is coming out of the left which is the back of the branch when viewed from the front.

 

Closer view of the branch (left side).

Closer view of the branch.

 

 


Happy New Year!

Thanks to everyone who has been watching this blog through its first year. Despite my infrequent posts, it has done much better than I expected with over 33 000 views since its inception last February!

Anyway, back to bonsai! This is my first work of 2013 – some thinning and coarse adjustments on a Siberian Elm. I posted some work on this tree back in July.

    Siberian Elm, collected from hedge in April 2010.

Siberian Elm, collected from hedge in April 2010.

    This tree grows very fast. In the growing season it is cut back somewhat indiscriminately but in the winter I can really focus on the branching and use the new growth to take the tree to the next step.

This tree grows very fast. In the growing season it is cut back somewhat indiscriminately but in the winter I can really focus on the branching and use the new growth to take the tree to the next step.

 

    After the work the tree looks quite pathetic, but the goal has been achieved: removing unnecessary new growth and cutting back the remaining twigs to one or two buds.

After the work the tree looks quite pathetic, but the goal has been achieved: removing unnecessary new growth and cutting back the remaining twigs to one or two buds.

    April 2010 before collecting.

April 2010 before collecting.

 

    March 2012

March 2012

 

    April 2011

April 2011


Siberian Elm Cut Back

Siberian Elm are very strong growers. Despite having 95% of its roots cut off, crammed in a small pot, and being roughly wired in March, this tree grew very well this spring.

The other day I cut back the upper branches. This process will probably be repeated two or three more times this year. The lower branches need to grow wild for most of the season to allow them to thicken.

March 24.

May 22 before cutting.

May 22 after cutting.


Spring Work on a Siberian Elm & Bonsai Aesthetics Aluminum Wire

This tree took a step forward over the last couple of weeks, but still has a long way to go. It is one of several Ulmus pumila I got from this old hedge in 2010.

Just out of winter storage

As a side note, this winter I ended up with about 10 kg of Robert Stevens’ Bonsai Aesthetics aluminum wire. This is the first tree I actually tried it out on. It is pretty good stuff… only slightly softer than Japanese anodized aluminum with a bit less holding power, but at a fraction of the price. As is typical with aluminum on deciduous trees, I found myself using wire about 1/2 the thickness of the branch to achieve the desired bending power. It is worth noting that this wire is pure glossy black, as opposed to the copper-ish colour of Japanese aluminum wire. It will be interesting to see how the colour stands up to the elements over this growing season.

Setting some secondary and tertiary branches with Bonsai Aesthetics aluminum wire.

Root work came next. This is the first time that this tree has had focused root work since coming out of the hedge. Almost all of these elms had massive taproots. This one needed some work with the reciprocating saw and a die grinder to further reduce the taproot. Furthermore, a few excessively long roots had to be pruned back. This may look extreme, but every root I have cut back on one of these Siberians has produced new roots near the cuts – even tap roots 15 cm in diameter.

Reducing a massive taproot with a reciprocating saw, then a die grinder fitted with a carving bit.

The root system of this tree is not ideal, and needs much further reduction, but this is where I left the work for this year.

This Nick Lenz pot was the right size for the rootball, but the tree is not planted at the right angle. I'm not concerned about that right now, since this tree is still very much in training.

This Elm has an excellent trunk for a classic informal upright design, but the nebari is terrible due to the presence of large taproots. On an informal upright elm, the nebari is one of the most important features. Root grafting may be in this tree’s future.