Author Topic: Native Elm  (Read 9195 times)

Jay Wilson

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Native Elm
« on: January 13, 2010, 09:55 PM »
Here's a florida elm (Ulmus Americana floridana?). I collected this about four years ago. This is front and back, before and after defoliating. Any suggestions, especially about a pot, are welcome. Thanks.
 

ken duncan

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Re: Native Elm
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2010, 06:37 AM »
Very nice Jay. I love the Elms that You have posted over the years.
Ken
 

rockm

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Re: Native Elm
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2010, 09:09 AM »
Wider, shallower, oval, greyish green glaze

Excellent tree...
 

bwaynef

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Re: Native Elm
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2010, 10:23 AM »
My first thought when seeing this thread was ..."That's got to be the largest golf ball I've ever seen!"

Seriously, I was fooled into thinking this tree was MUCH larger than it was.  It took me a while for it to register that your size reference was indeed a golf ball.

I agree w/ rockm on the pot.
 

M.B.

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Re: Native Elm
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2010, 11:34 AM »
Wider, shallower, oval, greyish green glaze

Excellent tree...

I know wider and shallower pots with certain trees give a better overall appearance, but why do people not take into consideration the zone that the tree is living in. I also live in zone 9, but in California, and will usually go for a deeper pot for the sake of the tree to deal with the numerous 100 plus degree days in the summer. Yes the shallower pot "looks" better, but do you grow for better health and less stress of the tree or looks?
I also agree,,,, Excellent tree!
Mary B.
 

rockm

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Re: Native Elm
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2010, 11:42 AM »
The tree is in Fla.  may be in Zone 9, but it's not California. It is more humid and wet. It is a tropical 9, not a Mediterranean 9. There's a difference. Shelter from the sun is almost a given in both areas, but there are different considerations for containers. A less deep pot isn't really necessary in extremely humid areas, look at the shallow pots used to grow ficus in tropical areas...

Elm, especially American elm (which this is a subspecies) is also quite vigorous and capable of handling a shallower pot, IMO.
 

dorothy schmitz

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Re: Native Elm
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2010, 12:21 PM »

 Very nice tree, Jay.

 -dorothy
 

M.B.

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Re: Native Elm
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2010, 05:57 PM »
So rockm, I need to clarify and understand. Sauna 100 degree heat is O.K. and desert 100 degree heat is not. I get that, but wouldn't the tree roots still be happier in 3 inches of soil vs. 1 1/2 inches? Even in a super humid environment doesn't it still stress the roots to be closer to the air or if it's humid/wet enough, it doesn't even matter?
Mary B.
 

johng

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Re: Native Elm
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2010, 06:33 AM »
Great Tree Jay!!  Very nice nice branch development in a short time.  I personally do not care for blue glaze with elms.  If this were my tree I would probably go with something oval, unglazed and maybe in a grey tone. As Mark suggested, I think I would also use a slightly wider and shallower container.  As I am sure you are aware, aesthetic guidelines suggest the width of the pot should be 2/3 the height of the tree and the depth equal to the width of the base of the trunk.  I think I might also appreciate a slightly wider container that might suggest a single tree growing in an open field.

Its been discussed/argued many many times across several forums (so I am NOT trying to start the conversation again) but Mary, it is most likely a misconception to think that a pot that is wider and shallower will hold less water.  In this case, this pot is only 2" or so deep to start.

Again...fantastic tree Jay...I would like to think that the rapid development of this tree is due to the fact that you did not rush it into a bonsai container and instead took your time developing it in grow box.  Great Work!!

Thanks,
John

 

rockm

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Re: Native Elm
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2010, 11:40 AM »
"So rockm, I need to clarify and understand. Sauna 100 degree heat is O.K. and desert 100 degree heat is not. I get that, but wouldn't the tree roots still be happier in 3 inches of soil vs. 1 1/2 inches? Even in a super humid environment doesn't it still stress the roots to be closer to the air or if it's humid/wet enough, it doesn't even matter?
Mary B."


Mary,

I'm sorry if my recommendation upset you. I certainly had no intention of being controversial with it.

In my experience in growing elms, native and non-native, here in the East, I've  found that they can take shallower pots. I've got a big collected cedar elm (5 inches diameter, four feet tall) in a pot that's maybe 2 1/2 inches deep. It's been in that container for almost a decade now. It has been through some extreme temps during that time, from 103 F to -3 F. It hasn't had any problems. I take common sense precautions in the most extreme weather--covering the pot with old T_shirts on the hottest summer days and mulching it in well in the winter.

The physical dynamics of a wider, shallower pot can actually make it hold onto water, as deeper pots tend to have better proportional drainage than shallower ones--I can't explain the physics behind it.

Additionally, I don't really understand the concern about roots' proximity to air. Roots need air, bonsai soil is made to promote gas exchange. I don't know if a root "prefers" to be buried in two, six, or 12 inches of soil. I do know that studies have proven that over 90 percent of a  tree's roots are in the first six to 12 inches of soil. The remainder, buried deep are primarily for structural support of the plant. The deepest roots are grown by desert-living species, while the shallowest systems are grown among tropical species.

Tree roots grow where they can. They do prefer to grow in the dark, but that doesn't stop them from surfacing:
http://www.learn2grow.com/gardeningguides/landscaping/maintenance/surfacetreeroots.aspx

Studies have shown that adding even four to six inches of soil over tree roots dramatically reduces the amount of water and oxygen available to them (roots need oxygen):
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/PUBS/Garden/02926.html

Also, I again point to existing plantings as evidence that shallower pots work well for many species:
http://bonsaijournal.com/larch-with-taper.php
http://www.artofbonsai.org/galleries/jsmith.php
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Smoothleaf_Elm_bonsai_257,_December_24,_2008.jpg
 

Jay Wilson

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Re: Native Elm
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2010, 07:06 PM »
Wow! Thanks everyone for your comments! This is one of my trees that actually looks pretty good in a photo. Maybe the only one :)
I agree with the pot assessments...a little lower,a little longer and grayish/greenish.

Mary, I can grow these elms in fairly shallow pots as long as I use plenty of organics to hold the moisture. Last year I tried using a fair amount of lava in my mix only to find my shallower potted trees suffering from drying out before I got home to water.
I think that what you can grow in what size pot has a lot to with the combination of the kind of tree, your climate and most important, your potting mix and watering ability.
I'm leaning towards growing in a larger pot and, if I ever do show a tree, have a properly sized show pot to put it in for a short while. These fl. elms have no problem with hard root work in the heat of summer.



Jay
 

Steven

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Re: Native Elm
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2010, 07:54 PM »




Jay
[/quote]These fl. elms have no problem with hard root work in the heat of summer                                                                                                                                                                               They don't suffer from sugar shock being in full leaf and the roots disturbed(repotting, root pruning, etc)?
 

John Hill

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Re: Native Elm
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2010, 08:39 PM »
Hi Jay,
Looking good!!

A Friend in bonsai
John
 

M.B.

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Re: Native Elm
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2010, 12:23 AM »
rockm, Your response didn't upset me, I just wasn't understanding about shallow pots and heat, and shallow pots with dry or moist heat. My concern about the roots and air was not the mere contact with air, but with hot air. I grasp the concept that if it's moist and humid enough, the heat isn't as big a concern for a tough species like elms.
I am interested in your covering you pots with old t-shirts. When it gets hot around here I move the trees to a more shaded part of the yard and  set them on the ground, but it's slowly becoming  too shaded as the big trees get larger and cover more of the yard. Does covering the pots make it possible to leave the trees in full sun when it's 100 plus degrees.

Jay, I'm sorry I got your thread side tracked. Back to your beautiful tree. When you said you would add more organic, what specific organics are you adding? I have read about adding chopped sphagnum moss or pine bark. How big was your tree when collected? Did you have to reduce it much or was it about this size and you only needed to work on ramification?
Mary B.
 

donmaple

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Re: Native Elm
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2010, 10:41 AM »
Jay, this is a really beautiful elm. Very natural looking which gives it the appearance of being larger than it is. Great job! Nice ramification that makes it look like a monster elm. Looks like you are already heading the right way with your pot choice too.

Jay if you don't mind...
Mary, here is a simple experiment that will help you understand the physics of water. Find an ordinary dish washing sponge, about 2"x4"x1/2". Now wet it thouroughly and holding it flat in your hand run water onto it until it drips out. Wait for it to quit dripping, this is as much water as it will hold. Now turn it up on its side or end and notice that water will drip out. Gravity will put more pressure on the taller water column and the waters affinity for itself cannot counteract the higher force of gravity. So you can see that given the same area (the size of the sponge) a flatter wider area will hold more water than a taller area. And your potting medium plays an important role as well, a finer spongier ( sifted composted materials) medium will hold more water than a course solid (rock) medium. Its because water holds better at it's surface, so the more surface area the more water. I hope this helps you.