Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

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Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  Zach Smith on Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:41 am

I collected this unique raft-style water-elm in 2010. The first picture is the tree a few weeks after it was collected. Then last year when it had grown out, then the first pruning to establish the forest character, and finally its first potting at our local club's spring show. Rather than go with the standard slab planting, I built a stone wall to hopefully help me maintain the tree during our hot, dry summers.

There's a lot of refinement ahead for this bonsai, but I think it's off to a good start. Comments welcome, of course.

Zach








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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  Ryan on Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:58 am

I love that pot!!

Not a bad scene you've created.

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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  BrianG on Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:29 am

pretty cool Zach... you seem to have a knack for finding interesting elms! ... looks like you might be a stone mason also.... lol .. I like it. Maybe you could come do a demo on your elms sometime for us in NOLA.

Brian G.

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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  Zach Smith on Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:39 am

BrianG wrote:pretty cool Zach... you seem to have a knack for finding interesting elms! ... looks like you might be a stone mason also.... lol .. I like it. Maybe you could come do a demo on your elms sometime for us in NOLA.

Brian G.
I'd be more than happy to. Last time I did a demo in N.O. was in the early 90s.

Thanks for the kind words.

Zach

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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  BrianG on Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:46 am

Zach Smith wrote:
BrianG wrote:pretty cool Zach... you seem to have a knack for finding interesting elms! ... looks like you might be a stone mason also.... lol .. I like it. Maybe you could come do a demo on your elms sometime for us in NOLA.

Brian G.
I'd be more than happy to. Last time I did a demo in N.O. was in the early 90s.

Thanks for the kind words.

Zach

awesome Zach, I'm gonna mention it to the guys and hopefully we can get ya down sometime soon. Thanks


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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  Marty Weiser on Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:24 am

I really like the wall idea, but wonder if it might be even better if it was built up along the lines of parallel retaining walls where a tree had fallen over and become a raft. An old ruins image. The current view looks like a suburban front yard to me.

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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  marcus watts on Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:27 am

hi,
thats going to be a reallly interesting raft, nice. Will it grow and ramify quickly like other elm species ?

The only think i would consider is some soil and moss etc at the base of the wall - it looks like it just appeared my magic in a car park atm



this is my wall planting - it was only about an hour after assembly but the aged look was helped by moss, and painting with yoghurt will start lichen growth Wink too

cheers Marcus

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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  lordy on Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:58 am

I like it. The scene reminds me of an urban park in any city. Yes, it could have easily been an old relic, and it may yet transition into that. After years of aging that might be a natural progression.
The large bit of stump on the left with the odd knob reminds me of a serpent swimming along the surface of the water, like Loch Ness. Then it made me think of this

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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  Zach Smith on Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:12 am

Marty Weiser wrote:I really like the wall idea, but wonder if it might be even better if it was built up along the lines of parallel retaining walls where a tree had fallen over and become a raft. An old ruins image. The current view looks like a suburban front yard to me.
Not a bad idea. I considered a break in the wall but time constraints made me lazy, as I had to get the slab ready for a demonstration. Good news is I can smash the wall wherever I need to in time. Might help "age" it.

Zach

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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  Zach Smith on Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:14 am

marcus watts wrote:hi,
thats going to be a reallly interesting raft, nice. Will it grow and ramify quickly like other elm species ?

The only think i would consider is some soil and moss etc at the base of the wall - it looks like it just appeared my magic in a car park atm

this is my wall planting - it was only about an hour after assembly but the aged look was helped by moss, and painting with yoghurt will start lichen growth Wink too

cheers Marcus

I actually have that planned, Marcus, I just ran out of time. I'm going to force some muck into crevices and add moss, but probably not till this fall. By summer it'll be a challenge to maintain the moss I have.

Zach

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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  Zach Smith on Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:19 am

marcus watts wrote:hi,
thats going to be a reallly interesting raft, nice. Will it grow and ramify quickly like other elm species ?

cheers Marcus

Oh, yes it grows quickly and will ramify very well. The growth habit is not exactly like other elms, much less "regular." Some shoots grow in the direction you expect, others more randomly (up, back toward the trunk, down, etc.). It's a fun fight.

Zach

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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  Mitch Thomas on Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:51 am

Zack
I love your raft, I've always wanted to collect water elm. Now with that type pot would you concider it to be "Pop Bonsai" ? Just wondering.

Mitch

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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  Zach Smith on Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:17 pm

Mitch Thomas wrote:Zack
I love your raft, I've always wanted to collect water elm. Now with that type pot would you concider it to be "Pop Bonsai" ? Just wondering.

Mitch
Good question. What led me to the wall was the understanding that summers here are brutal for slab plantings. I didn't want to risk this specimen so I got to thinking about how I could enhance my odds. We'd remodeled our kitchen during the holidays, and the backsplash included some neat mosaic tile. The mosaic tile was composed of glass tiles and slate tiles. My grandkids love Baby First TV, and Tec the Tractor is an English program and you can see the neat stone walls all over the countryside. So ... one thing led to another, and the wall went up. Time will tell as to how well it does.

As to your question, I guess it might be "Pop Bonsai" but there's lots of slab plantings out there so maybe I can get away with it Laughing

Zach

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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  Zach Smith on Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:27 pm

Here's a shot of this specimen through the forest, to give you a better idea of how it grew. The tree is actually comprised of two recumbent trunks that were clearly damaged when the thing was run over. As a result all of the smaller trunks grew from under the tree itself. Again, pretty unique.

Zach


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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  Mitch Thomas on Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:04 pm

That's a cool shot Zack, epic the will to live.

Mitch

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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  BrianG on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:51 pm

Mitch Thomas wrote:That's a cool shot Zack, epic the will to live.

Mitch

I was thinking the same thing... a very cool shot..... it has a unique look like you said Zach they way the trunks come from underneath. Gives me a feal of bowhunting season near you their in St. Fransisville. Awesome

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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  Zach Smith on Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:23 am

Thanks, Brian. I'm really looking forward to refining this specimen.

Zach

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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  Fore on Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:59 pm

marcus watts wrote:hi,
thats going to be a reallly interesting raft, nice. Will it grow and ramify quickly like other elm species ?

The only think i would consider is some soil and moss etc at the base of the wall - it looks like it just appeared my magic in a car park atm



this is my wall planting - it was only about an hour after assembly but the aged look was helped by moss, and painting with yoghurt will start lichen growth Wink too

cheers Marcus

Painting yogurt on a tree or stone helps lichen grow?? That's a new one to me!

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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  Sakaki on Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:30 pm

Someone said yogurt? Smile I like it very much and eat at least 1 kg a day, but no lichen grows inside me, Very Happy
Just kidding, Fora Smile

I would like to add something about it:
Yes, you can apply yogurt, milk and even rice water on surfaces where you desire lichens Smile
In Turkey where is the motherland of yogurt, my people (in ancient times) had been using this method to protect cement mortar between tiles in ancient style houses Smile

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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  Fore on Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:51 pm

Great story Sakaki! Well then I need to get some yogurt and apply some to my Ponderosa Pine. I really like the look of lichen and crusty barked trees Wink

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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  Sakaki on Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:59 pm

Fore wrote:Great story Sakaki! Well then I need to get some yogurt and apply some to my Ponderosa Pine. I really like the look of lichen and crusty barked trees Wink

No, I don't mean trees!
I mean stones, rocks, tiles, cement mortars etc.
I dont have a specific information either an experience about application on trees! Yogurt has an acidic content and may harm the tree.
Please ask marcus. He may have an experience about application on trees.

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Re: Water-elm Raft - 2010 to Now

Post  Fore on Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:19 pm

Oh! I see. Thanks for clarifying that for me Sakaki!

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