Is it possible that I have a new variety?

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Is it possible that I have a new variety?

Post  PeacefulAres on Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:48 am

Earlier this year I planted a bunch of Siberian elm seeds. Of the trees that have survived and are now growing in my beds, I've noticed that one looks quite a bit different. The leaves are nearly half the size, and have a slightly different shape. Is it possible that I have some kind of new variety of Siberian elm?

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Re: Is it possible that I have a new variety?

Post  AlainK on Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:27 am

Yes, it's possible, but you'll have to wait a few years until it stabilizes and make sure it's not due to other factors and only temporary.

If it does, you can reproduce it by cuttings.

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Re: Is it possible that I have a new variety?

Post  marcus watts on Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:14 am



Hi, nice result

you could also have a natural hybrid as there is no way of being 100% sure that all the seeds were pure siberian elm - other elm pollen could have caused cross pollination. Within all species we find some individual trees with better bonsai characteristics too - in the Uk there are small geographical pockets of good hawthorn and an awful lot of poor ones that are not worth using - (leaf size, bark texture etc). Same with Japanese white beech - some are much whiter barked, have smaller darker leaves and grow with short nodes while at the other end of the scale ere grey barked trees with big pale leaves...both are officially the same species but only one makes a high class bonsai tree. This is where bonsai outside japan is still lacking - we are often using any material available rather than just selecting trees with great potential

i'd be putting all your effort into looking after the good one and don't worry so much about the others, treat it as a stock plant if the growth pattern remains stable as they grow so easily from cuttings.

cheers Marcus

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Re: Is it possible that I have a new variety?

Post  JimLewis on Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:51 pm

You also may have had a stray seed from some other elm, I suppose.

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Re: Is it possible that I have a new variety?

Post  AlainK on Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:57 pm

JimLewis wrote:You also may have had a stray seed from some other elm, I suppose.
That's what I had thought too, but as Marcus said a hybrid, or even a spontaneous mutation/variation can't be excluded.

There was someone in France who came upon a chinese elm seedling with smaller leaves and compact development, and who multiplied it. I don't have the reference any longer though.

I personally have two Zelkova seedlings that caught a virus and that are different from the original species (narowwer, slightly twisted leaves) that I've kept for three years now in the hope of multiplying them: many Acer palmatum cultivars are indeed seedlings whose genetics were modified by a virus or another cause, or "broom witches", but it can happen to other species (for instance "Albizzia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate' (TM) is a seedling that was found in a Japanese nursery).

Less spectacular, I have a Sedum spurium 'Tricolor' that reverted to plain green, and this spring, I found shoots that were "Lemon and Lime" that I hope can hold these colours:




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Re: Is it possible that I have a new variety?

Post  PeacefulAres on Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:27 pm

I was going to try to take some pictures today, but the sky suddenly opened up and ruined those plans. Although I will say that my estimates were a little off. The leaves of this one tree are actually about 1/3 to 1/4 the total size of those of it's neighbors. Although anything is possible, it seems unlikely that this is an issue of soil chemistry or water/sun. It's in the same raised bed as 7 other Siberian Elms that look exactly alike. It's a little smaller than the others, but it's still keeping up. It should interesting to see what happens in the coming years.

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Re: Is it possible that I have a new variety?

Post  PeacefulAres on Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:22 am

Alright, I was actually able to get a picture today.



Here you can see the considerable difference in leaf size. There is also a slight difference in shape, and a difference in color. I am curious to know if perhaps this might be some kind of disease? If it is, the tree has thrived despite it.

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Re: Is it possible that I have a new variety?

Post  AlainK on Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:49 am

Time will tell Wink

But as I said before, you'll need a coupkle of years to make sure it's really different . For instance, all these are "clones", cuttings, and have exactly the same genetic material:

Leaves from a 10 metres high Zelkova, never pruned:



In a hedge, pruned to 2 metres each winter:



In a very shallow pot:



And a "Monstrous" seedling:


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New Variety

Post  bonsaisr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:01 am

AlainK wrote:
I personally have two Zelkova seedlings that caught a virus and that are different from the original species (narowwer, slightly twisted leaves) that I've kept for three years now in the hope of multiplying them:
I suggest you have the seedlings tested. If they are still virused, discard them immediately, as they will infect other trees and you will have a disaster.
Iris

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Re: Is it possible that I have a new variety?

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