Author Topic: A zelkova project  (Read 11866 times)

Adair M

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A zelkova project
« on: January 18, 2012, 10:56 AM »
I rescued this zelkova from the local bonsai nursery recently.  There is a bit of "knobbyness" where all the branching starts.  I had thought of letting some of the whips grow out, and use them as approach grafts on the knobby area so there will be a branch there.

It obviously needs ramification.  But the bones are there.

In seaching thru this site, I don't see any other threads on zelkova.  Any particular reason for that? 

I do plan on repotting this spring.
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: A zelkova project
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 07:17 PM »
In seaching thru this site, I don't see any other threads on zelkova.  Any particular reason for that? 

A zelkova killed my goldfish.  I don't like to talk about it.

I've only got seedlings myself.  There's a local guy here that has trunks about that size, but gnarly scars and warts all over.  He's one that plants in the ground and forgets about them for decades.  Little to no work done on them in the ground produces inferior "trunks", let alone good bonsai.

Yours on the other hand looks like it has some promise. 
 

Judy

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Re: A zelkova project
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2012, 08:34 AM »
I Love Zelkova... It's the tree that got me into this mess...   er, I mean hobby.  This tree in this link actually. http://www.BonsaiSite.com/m12.html
 I had some trees before I saw this pic, but once I saw this, it was all over.  I have a zelkova, a much smaller one than yours.  I'm working on it slowly, and hope to accomplish something near to the linked one, but a shohin, not a mame.  Needs a new pot, maybe this year.  I think yours is a good base to start with, what does the nebari look like? 
 

Adair M

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Re: A zelkova project
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2012, 10:43 AM »
Judy,

Isn't it interesting how people get started in Bonsai?  I saw my first bonsai at the Dogwood Arts Festival in Piedmont Park in Atlanta, GA in 1975.  It was a trident maple shohin with incredible taper.  Since then, I have always like tree with taper.

I started researching bonsai, and one of the first books I got was a publication by the Brooklyn Botanical Society, that had translated articles on bonsai.  One of those was about zelkova, and how to start them from seed, and how they progresse over the years.  Since then, I've always wanted a decent broom style, and have never found one, until now.  I tried growing some from seed, and found that maybe 1 of 20 had any potential.

But I digress...

This tree has decent nebari.  Whoever started this tree had a clue.  I don't know why they let it go.  The provenance that I know of is that the local shop aquired it along with dozens of other trees, mixed varieties.  Only a few were zelkova.  They came from someone who was liquidating a "collection", originally from California.

I have not done anything to the tree, waiting for spring.  It was leafless when I purchased it.  The big clumps of moss will go.  I will really inspect the nebari when I repot in a month or so.  I'm not crazy about the white pot, I  may change it to a dark green/gray.

 

Judy

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Re: A zelkova project
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2012, 01:40 PM »
Funny mine is in a white pot as well, it just happened to be the next size up from the first pot I had it in, and I was giving a bit of growing room. Definitely the wrong color.  I'm looking for a light greenish pot for mine, I think that is a good color for these.  I'll be watching for your spring posts on this tree, do you think you'll cut the branching back and start anew?
Just for giggles, here is my zelkova, as you can see I still have a ways to go, I'm going to have to cut the left side branch back hard, as it's gotten too thick at the top...

 

Chrisl

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Re: A zelkova project
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2012, 01:50 PM »
Nice one Judy!

Adair, may I recommend removing the moss now as to prevent any damage/rotting of the trunk.   And I also think this tree has great potential.  Good Luck!
Chris
 

Adair M

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Re: A zelkova project
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2012, 06:09 PM »
Chris,

As of now, the moss doesn't touch the trunk, but does touch and cover roots.  But, you are right about the damage moss can do, or the excess moisture moss holds.  I will remove all the moss as soon as I can.

My white pine I got from Brussel's last spring had spagnum moss all over the JBP portion of the trunk.  I've been carefully picking that off.

This zelkova will benefit from some grooming.  There are a lot of old scars that have healed over, but need the dead bark from the original cut manicured back.  And a lot of the branches were just chopped back, and given no wound care.

It will also benefit from new soil mix.

Judy, this tree appears to have been neglected for the past couple of years, so, yes, I will probably have to cut back a number of branches and start over.  I'm hoping to get a lot of budding back on old wood this spring.

Adair
 

Jerry Norbury

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Re: A zelkova project
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2012, 06:29 PM »
Is it actually a Zelkova Serrata?

Looks more like a Chinese elm to me - and certainly in Europe, Chinese Elms are marketed as Zelkova Parviflora. I have 50 or more of these.
 

Rui Marques

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Re: A zelkova project
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2012, 05:38 AM »
Hi all,

The first post is a Zelcova serrata indeed. I have one.

 

Adair M

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Re: A zelkova project
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2012, 08:55 AM »
I went ahead and removed the moss to get a good look at the nebari.  It looks very good to me.  I'm thinking that this tree might have been an airlayer since the roots are fairly thin and consistent around the trunk.  Most seedlings, if not carefully tended to when they are young, will develop heavy taproots.

I've attached photos.

Even though we're having warm weather, the early daffodils are blooming, and my red maple trees in the front yard have flower buds swelling (some blooming) the zelkova's buds were tightly closed. I'm thinking the best time to repot is just when they are swelling?

 

John Kirby

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Re: A zelkova project
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2012, 09:08 AM »
Does look like an airlayer. I would suggest that when you repot it that you bare-root it. You can make a pretty nice flare on these by pruning everything that grows down, removing any roots that cross and combing out the roots form a generally flat, slightly undulating, root mass in a shallow container, wider and deeper (front to back), than the one it is in. maybe a shallow wood container if you don't have a ceramic one handy. You can get the roots right while you are working the top down and building taper on the branches, key on these brooms.

Nice pick up,

John
 

Adair M

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Re: A zelkova project
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2012, 09:18 AM »
Indeed.

I did start removing the crossing branches, and doing some trimming back. 

And I did think it needed a wider, shallower, pot.

I've attached a photo of one I think might do.
 

John Kirby

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Re: A zelkova project
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2012, 01:47 PM »
That could work.
 

Adair M

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Re: A zelkova project
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2012, 03:53 PM »
John,

I have some really thin, wide pots.  I used to use them for making forests.  Would something like that do better?
 

John Kirby

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Re: A zelkova project
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2012, 04:49 PM »
It would, the goal is to get the roots growing out horizontally. Remember to fertilize near the trunk and some out a way from the trunk as well. Encourages the the new roots from the base to grow more quickly.

Nice project, maybe I will get motivated and take some pictures- here in tropical Connecticut.