My first Cork bark elm

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My first Cork bark elm

Post  akhater on Fri May 10, 2013 3:39 pm

I have been looking for quite some times for a cork barked elm and I finally put my hands on one. The tree was bought on the internet and imported so I didn't have the chance to see it before buying it which is, I know, not ideal but I didn't have a lot of options. I do have some questions I need assistance with

1) It was solved to me as a Japanese Elm but I am not sure since the leaves looks like the chinese elms I already have
2) It had a lot of moss on the bark which I removed and the bark seems to be removed in some places that were covered with moss, does a tree regrow bark ?
3) I found a piece of wire that the tree grew over and I don't think it is possible to remove would that harm the tree on the long run ?
4) If it was yours how far would you cut it back and which one would you use as front ?

Now the pictures





Thanks a lot

akhater
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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  JimLewis on Fri May 10, 2013 5:38 pm

Get rid of that moss on the trunk ASAP! You can already see where it looks as if the bark has been damaged by moss. A soft toothbrush dipped in vinegar should do it. Don't scrub too hard.

Other than that it looks like a nice tree.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  akhater on Fri May 10, 2013 8:23 pm

Thank you Jim for the usual support,

as you might have noticed removing the moss was the first thing I have done the first 2 pics only have the moss in them.

If you have time I would love your insights on the other questions I have

thanks

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  PeacefulAres on Fri May 10, 2013 8:48 pm

That soil looks kind of mucky. You might just want to clean the roots off and place it into a larger pot with turface etc. It's a bit hard to say, judging by these pictures though. Personally, I think the top right picture gives you a lot of options for a front. It hides that unattractive bulge, and if you ever decide to do a serious trunk chop, there is some nice movement at your disposal.


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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  akhater on Fri May 10, 2013 9:19 pm

@PeacefulAres thanks for chiming in

The soil is indeed not good but since we are out of repotting season I thought I can manage till fall or next spring watching out my watering, it shouldn't be a big deal.

For the front I had actually 2 different ideas

1. is to use the first (and 3rd) picture as front and chop just above the bulge (keeping it) it looks like a toad somehow to my eyes


2. use the picture you talked about (and the last one) as a front and chop back totally the bulge on the back side using a biased cut and then using the small branch leaning back as a leader, does that work or the branch is too thin ?



I totally understand it is not easy to help just by looking at pictures but I have never styled a tree so I don't even know what the approach should be and I do appreciate your help a lot.

I guess I should start by cutting the branches that are totally useless is that right ? any pointers on branches of that kind ?

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  cbobgo on Sat May 11, 2013 4:24 am

You can't really see whats going on in the interior of this tree, so I would caution against removing any branches completely at this point, since you dont know which ones you will need and which ones you won't.

You could start by shortening each branch to the second or third set of leaves. That will let you see the structure of the tree better. Then decide on the front. Once you have that, then you will be able to determine which branches to keep and which to get rid of.

- bob

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  Auballagh on Sat May 11, 2013 4:50 am

Totally agree with getting rid of the moss. I learned something though, as I've never tried using vinegar before as an aid to scrubbing moss.
That's a good idea. Cool
I can tell from the picture you marked up, that you're also seeing the same side of the tree that best hides that bulge. Working from there will probably be your best bet. The soil does look a bit like old potting soil, that has since pretty much turned to goo.... Fortunately, this is one species that can usually take such abuse pretty much in stride. But, I would definitely check on that soil with a chop stick or wooden meat skewer before adding any water to it. Soil that broken down, will tend to stay wet a LONG time.
Early spring will be the best time to make some big styling/cutting decisions on this tree. You'll have all of the structure showing then, and warm weather that is (hopefully) closely following, to help in healing any big cuts. For now, I believe it would be best to keep the tree in check by careful pruning on most new growth down to the second leaf internode. But, if you see any obviously weak or very small branches now that look likely to be 'keepers' later when you're ready to make some decisions? You may want to let those branches run a little bit to help fatten/strengthen them up over the summer.
Good luck, this tree looks like it has potential to turn out be pretty nice. Smile

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  akhater on Sat May 11, 2013 8:12 am

cbobgo wrote:You can't really see whats going on in the interior of this tree, so I would caution against removing any branches completely at this point, since you dont know which ones you will need and which ones you won't.

You could start by shortening each branch to the second or third set of leaves. That will let you see the structure of the tree better. Then decide on the front. Once you have that, then you will be able to determine which branches to keep and which to get rid of.

- bob

Thank you Bob, that it is a sound advice. Shall I do it now or should I wait till the new growth harden off ?

Auballagh wrote:
Totally agree with getting rid of the moss. I learned something though, as I've never tried using vinegar before as an aid to scrubbing moss.
That's a good idea.
I can tell from the picture you marked up, that you're also seeing the same side of the tree that best hides that bulge. Working from there will probably be your best bet. The soil does look a bit like old potting soil, that has since pretty much turned to goo.... Fortunately, this is one species that can usually take such abuse pretty much in stride. But, I would definitely check on that soil with a chop stick or wooden meat skewer before adding any water to it. Soil that broken down, will tend to stay wet a LONG time.
Early spring will be the best time to make some big styling/cutting decisions on this tree. You'll have all of the structure showing then, and warm weather that is (hopefully) closely following, to help in healing any big cuts. For now, I believe it would be best to keep the tree in check by careful pruning on most new growth down to the second leaf internode. But, if you see any obviously weak or very small branches now that look likely to be 'keepers' later when you're ready to make some decisions? You may want to let those branches run a little bit to help fatten/strengthen them up over the summer.
Good luck, this tree looks like it has potential to turn out be pretty nice.

Thank you Auballagh for the detailed reply, I just got it (and paid more than I should have for it I guess Very Happy ) so I am not sure if I should let it get used for a few weeks before pruning it back or can I do it now.

I don't think I dare repot it this year, I am sure, as you said, it will manage till fall or next spring.

I hope that I will be able to do something nice out of it with the years.

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  MrFancyPlants on Sat May 11, 2013 2:11 pm

I like the curves on the sixth picture; it is nearly anthropomorphic.
Thanks,
David

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  akhater on Sat May 11, 2013 4:19 pm

MrFancyPlants wrote:I like the curves on the sixth picture; it is nearly anthropomorphic.
Thanks,
David

I noticed the same shortly after posting this thread but I can't imagine how the top (apex) would look like from this angle. I suppose all lower branches should be removed right ?

You see a round or more triangular apex ?

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  MrFancyPlants on Sun May 12, 2013 3:52 pm

I wouldn't remove all of the lower branches yet, but the straight upward one for sure. I would try to go as rounded as possible because it is deciduous and because it would match the curvy trunk. My general advice would be to go slowly and remove thick, straight and/or redundant branches.

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my first corkbark elm

Post  moyogijohn on Tue May 21, 2013 10:38 pm

As suggested,,thin out the tree some so every one can see the branch structor ok ?? nice tree by the way !! john

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  Gary Swiech on Wed May 22, 2013 3:42 pm

Is this the plant as it looks this Spring. If so I wouldn't hesitate cutting off the branches you definitely don't need and open it up. You can still repot it, these Cork-bark Chinese elms can take it.
you can actually remove all the new growth from them in the Spring and they will sprout new shoots. Keep the shoots that will be the branches and cut them back. The soil looks pretty worn out and as suggested before, you could probably bare root it and pot it up in a soil that is more free draining. I would put some organic matter in the mix, say a 50%-50% mix of small bark and Turface or small chicken grit if you have some or could get some.

What do the roots look like when you slip it out of the pot?

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  akhater on Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:28 pm

The tree is happy and growing well so I decided it was not urgent to repot it this spring. Repotting will take place in fall or next spring.

Here is my first try at the branch selection in the 2 potential fronts






I then gave it a haircut and now it looks like that


A slightly different angle



as you can notice there are 2 branches that are crossing so now I am trying to decide if I should cut or not as below

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  MrFancyPlants on Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:37 pm

I wouldn't cut that one, it has natural movement and taper to it. I would get rid of the thicker, straighter one; but, no rush. Maybe next spring after it has recovered from the repotting. You can wait and see where new buds pop up and eventually start chasing the growth on the lower branches back towards the trunk.

Great tree. I wish any of my elms were as nice as this one, but I am starting from wild type seedlings. Maybe now that I have a yard I can start keeping an eye out for some material like this one.

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  MrFancyPlants on Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:39 pm

Looking again at the picture it is a bit of a toss up as to which apex to choose, and it depends on your vision, but definitely give it a while to think on it.

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  Gary Swiech on Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:02 pm

I wouldn't cut that one, it has natural movement and taper to it. I would get rid of the thicker, straighter one; but, no rush. Maybe next spring after it has recovered from the repotting. You can wait and see where new buds pop up and eventually start chasing the growth on the lower branches back towards the trunk.

Great tree. I wish any of my elms were as nice as this one, but I am starting from wild type seedlings. Maybe now that I have a yard I can start keeping an eye out for some material like this one.

+1

Let it develop this year removing new growth that's not needed and give until next year and you can think about what to do next year as far as
those top branches.

I'm letting the 2 of mine grow this Spring to thicken the trunks. I'll remove unneeded growth this Fall after it goes dormant.

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  augustine on Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:27 pm

Yes,

I agree with fancypants, don't cut that one, it's a beautiful branch. The others are straight and ugly.

Best regards and nice tree,

Augustine
central MD, USA
7a

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  akhater on Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:43 pm

thank you guys, I agree I will let it run till next spring.

but when you say the other straight branch which one are you referring to ? which one you find ugly ?

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  MrFancyPlants on Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:30 pm

I was recommending cutting the trunk past the branch with the red line and making the branch with the red line the new trunk. Again, there is nothing but time to think on it.

Thanks,
David

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  akhater on Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:00 pm

Thank you David,

Now that you mention it I understand better the interest of the branch with a red line.

As you said I will keep it to grow this year and think about it more in a few month, I hope you guys will still be around for more advise

Cheers

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  marcus watts on Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:53 pm

to help with the original question they are the same species as chinese elm but are a slightly different variety that develops the cracked bark from an early age.

they are shipped from china and japan but there are some excellent corked varieties selected for better characteristics that come from Japan. Even the japanese grown trees are chinese cork bark elms though - a japanese elm is a different tree yet again.

generally speaking the japanese ones cost more but look like they are worth more of you know what i mean. these ones are from a container shipped from japan this winter and are just leafing out - nice starter trees with very short tight growth and tiny leaves.





when the trees were selected there were 2 grades available of the same sized tree, more money gets finer branches, a bit more refinment etc

they are a very nice under rated species, you have a nice tree with a great future ahead Very Happy

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  akhater on Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:16 am

I don't know how much it is clear on the pic but this little guy is reacting beautifully to the pruning and is budding from everywhere Very Happy

Can i do some bud selection or it is better to let it just grow ?


I am not talking about pinching or anything but rather removing the buds that are miss-placed to boost the energy of the others

thanks



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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  Guest on Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:48 am

Hi Akhater

I am happy you have a corcbark elm...I know you wanted one....please remove all unwanted buds, as they will form bulges.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

Post  akhater on Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:26 pm

Yvonne I've been waiting for your input on this thread ever since I started it. Glad to see you shimming in Very Happy

And yeah I did want one, I hope this want will turn out as good as the other that was lost


Cheers

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Re: My first Cork bark elm

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