Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

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Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  Rob Kempinski on Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:52 pm

Creepy Hollow the Cedar Elm is a shohin tree. Cedar elms are the second to last species that I have to bud out in the spring. (Water Elms are last). No wonder, this tree came from the Dallas area and is used to late season rising. It's a shohin reaching about 8.25 inches. The pot is a decent quality Chinese unglazed lotus flower shape. The scars and hollows give this tree a real sense of antiquity. It is just starting to make new buds so I had to grab a quick photo. The ramification isn't as great as a Florida Elm or a Chinese Elm but that is the nature of this species.




A close up of the gnarly trunk.


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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  Rob Addonizio on Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:20 pm

You know Rob, I really like this tree. It has great character!

Might I ask, do you like the placement of the lower right branch? I was thinking that perhaps it could come off.

Your thoughts?

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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  Rob Kempinski on Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:48 pm

Rob Addonizio wrote:You know Rob, I really like this tree. It has great character!

Might I ask, do you like the placement of the lower right branch? I was thinking that perhaps it could come off.

Your thoughts?

Hey Rob, how are you doing. We need to hook up one day. Lake Helen isn't too far and I golf now and then over at Victoria Hills.

I agree the lower right branch is weak and very low. However without it there is a blank spot. My goal is to let this branch fatten up and hopefully fatten up the base there to add some taper. Then I can see what happens. This species is a bit unruly for bonsai. You can't get too attached to a branch as it might shed it on its own, especially growing this far south of its natural range.

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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  Gabriel on Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:27 pm

Hey Rob.

Lots of potencial Very Happy
Here is my idea. (sorry if I bother you)

[img][/img]

Gabriel

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lower branch exit stage left

Post  Joe Hatfield on Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:06 pm

The tree is very nice. I think the lower lower branch should be chopped. The virtual looks good.

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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  Rob Kempinski on Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:07 pm

Gabriel wrote:Hey Rob.

Lots of potencial Very Happy
Here is my idea. (sorry if I bother you)

[img][/img]

Gabriel

It's not a bother. I would love for this tree to make that many branches but alas that is not the nature of this species. Its growth is rather coarse; but time will tell. Thanks for the virtual suggestion.

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Ledgend of Sleepy Hollow

Post  Joe Hatfield on Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:59 pm

I'll look for an Ichabod crane or Headless horsemen statue for you:)

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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  Rob Addonizio on Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:02 am

Rob,
I agree with letting the bottom branch thicken up, but you know from the photo it seems like you could just turn it to the left a bit. Hard to tell in photos.

BTW I wanted to meet you in person down at the Orlando club this past January, but I was busy (holidays, family ).
Any time you want to stop by you are welcome. I have been a fan of yours for quite some time now Cool


Last edited by Rob Addonizio on Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:41 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  Cliff on Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:04 am

I would chop the low branch. It's too close to the ground for such a thick trunk and that distance will shrink as the branch gets thicker. And there's too much space between it and the next branch. Remove it and the proportions of the whole tree will be much better.

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root reduction

Post  jferrier on Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:23 pm

Rob:
How were the massive roots and taproot that ulmus crassifolia have reduced on this tree? Any I have dug have a huge taproot with several long thick roots coming off of the tap. They have had little to no fine fibrous roots.

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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  andy mcconnell on Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:35 pm

hi rob
ever think of pulling the lower branch down ..to create a raft style second trunk
andy

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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  Joe Hatfield on Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:03 pm

andy mcconnell wrote:hi rob
ever think of pulling the lower branch down ..to create a raft style second trunk
andy


I like this idea. I wonder how it would look.

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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  andy mcconnell on Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:54 pm

my second virtual ...a bit rough !!
a longer more shallow pot for a landscape view
andy


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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  andy mcconnell on Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:57 pm

rob
forgot to mention very nice tree
love the hollows in the trunk
andy

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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  Rob Kempinski on Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:33 am

andy mcconnell wrote:my second virtual ...a bit rough !!
a longer more shallow pot for a landscape view
andy


Hi Andy - thanks for the blast from the past.
The tree actually looks about the same right now as it hasn't started to bud out for this year.
I have kept the bottom right branch. The reason is pretty simple - if you look at really old trees, not just mature trees, but really old elm or oak or maple or for that matter most deciduous trees, they have branches in many awkward spots including many low branches. As that branches fattens up it should help with the illusion of very old age. Interestingly I brought this tree to a club bonsai meeting recently and many of the experienced members agreed that the lower right branch gives the tree character. As a quick example consider this

http://www.flickr.com/photos/11475646@N03/2760809054/in/set-72157606813941853/

As for making a raft, it could probably work as there was an aerial root right where I the low branch starts that I pruned when I first got the tree. However, I don't see that working as the best use of the material. Good idea though - thinking outside the box and that's good.


Last edited by Rob Kempinski on Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:44 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  Rob Kempinski on Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:38 am

jferrier wrote:Rob:
How were the massive roots and taproot that ulmus crassifolia have reduced on this tree? Any I have dug have a huge taproot with several long thick roots coming off of the tap. They have had little to no fine fibrous roots.

I didn't collect this tree. I purchased it at bonsai nursery in Coppell Texas, several years ago, which having driven past it last week appears to be closed for business. I believe it was called Renaissance Bonsai. The tree didn't have a long tap root but it had a thick root and some smaller roots, nothing that fine though. I sawed of a chunk off the old tap root so it could fit in a smaller pot. I can't recall if I used a intermediate sized pot - probably did just don't remember. The tree was also much taller when I bought it. I chopped the height to make a shohin size tree.

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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  andy mcconnell on Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:22 am

hi rob
i like the tree as is....you could layer the bottom branch to give a wider root base
just a thought
andy Very Happy


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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  Dustin Mann on Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:37 am

Rob, You have described tree's growth characteristics(south of Dallas,etc) and have responded to tree's "will to survive". The naturalistic style created fits horticultural needs. I'd vote for keeping low branch no matter how heavy it gets. You know quite well trees die from bottom up(bunjin to be) as well as top down very slowly if forced too much out of their realm of survival. Will send you photo of same style on hollowed out tree of mine. Hi-fi to your work with this tree. Dustin

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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  jonathan e on Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:50 am

I like the lower right branch position. It should be greatly thickened though. Removing it would make the tree much more ordinary and stereotypical. All of the branches look too long, straight, and un-tapering for the character of the rest of the tree.

-jonathan

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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  Todd Ellis on Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:47 pm

Rob, I like your tree! The picture of the old tree in the field is AMAZING!!! Certainly, keep the branch. Years down the road, the tree will give a different story. Do you think adding some bends to the lower trunk now will pay off later?
Todd

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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  Rob Kempinski on Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:44 pm

Thanks for the renewed interest in this little tree.

It filled out fairly well (for a Cedar ELm) this year but about 2 months ago I knocked it off the shelf and broke the pot so it is temporarily in a slightly larger pot awaiting repotting season this January. I have used a bit of wire but mostly clip and grow on it so the branches have a wilder look to them. The taper will come from continued clip and grow which takes time.
Eventually the lower branch will get fatter and I might even consider ground layering to get some better nebari.

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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  杰遨-jie on Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:03 am

nice tree! ya know if it were my tree I would keep the lower branch...lower branching adds more character to the tree and its hard to find a nice bonsai with low branches... you can get some buds to pop back and fill out that branch it would be cool. Cool

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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Post  Rui Marques on Sat May 31, 2014 10:07 pm

For me, this tree is fantastic, with lots of character.
I would like to see more of it and the developments you made.

Best.

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Re: Creepy Hollow - Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

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