Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => Deciduous Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: nover18 on July 22, 2012, 02:00 PM

Title: japanese gray bark elm broom
Post by: nover18 on July 22, 2012, 02:00 PM
I've got some young seedlings (2 yrs old) that I'd like to train into broom bonsai.  Is there any advice for how to start nice straight smoth trunks that i've seen so often?  My seedlings look much more bushy than most of my other deciduous trees.  They do not seem to grow as upright and have a lot of branches starting low on the trunk.  thanks.
Title: Re: japanese gray bark elm broom
Post by: Adair M on July 22, 2012, 03:46 PM
Pictures, please!

How tall do you want them to be?

Old Japanese way to get straight trunks on zelkova are to take a bamboo chopstick, position it along the trunk, and wrap the two together with raffia, making sure the trunk of the tree stays straight.

Below the point where you want the broom to start, you rub off all buds to make a smooth trunk.

Start working on the root system.  (This is not the time of year to do this.) But, at the next repotting, cut off the tap root going down, and spread out the roots in a radial fashion.  If you have any that only have roots on one side, go ahead and layer them to start a new root system.

Title: Re: japanese gray bark elm broom
Post by: nover18 on July 23, 2012, 11:29 AM
Still working on the pictures.  I'm aiming for them to be about 18-24" tall.  I've removed the taproot this spring during repotting.  I was given the advice of just let them grow to promote qucik growth so I haven't removed the lower branches which are now contributing to the lack of a straight trunk.  I do have these staked in pots with bamboo and floral tape.  I was thinking about removing the lower branches this fall.  Too premature?  Or should i wait until next spring.  I'd like to repot again this spring or transplant to the ground in order to get good growth.  Trunks are about pencil thick right now so i realize i have a way to go.

Title: Re: japanese gray bark elm broom
Post by: Adair M on July 23, 2012, 12:29 PM
Remove the low branches, below where you want the broom to start immediately.

Pencil thick?

You may be too late.

If your goal is to have an 18 inch tree, 1/3 (6 inches) would be perfectly straight trunk.  Broom style trees usually have no taper between the nebari and the branches, so no need for low branches.
Title: Re: japanese gray bark elm broom
Post by: nover18 on July 24, 2012, 08:22 AM
would it be ok to remove these lower branches now? 
Title: Re: japanese gray bark elm broom
Post by: bwaynef on July 24, 2012, 09:44 AM
Remove the low branches, below where you want the broom to start immediately.

According to what he wrote, looks like now's a good time.
Title: Re: japanese gray bark elm broom
Post by: Adair M on July 24, 2012, 09:49 AM
LOL!!!

What part of "immediately" don't you understand? :D

Yes, remove them now.  Use some type of concave cutter to dip into the hardwood a little bit.  Cover the wound with cut paste.  It will heal quickly, but try to bulge on you, and the old bark will peel back a little.  You can pare that back in a a few months with a razor blade.  THe goal is to have a smooth trunk with minimal scars.
Title: Re: japanese gray bark elm broom
Post by: nover18 on July 25, 2012, 08:29 AM
removed... thanks!  Usually when i hear immediately it means i'm too late in the bonsai world...haha thanks.