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TOPIC: The Great Elm Project

The Great Elm Project 3 weeks 2 days ago #52869

Three years ago I chopped a winged elm off about a foot and a half off the ground. (Auk - half a meter). Last year in spring I dug it up, put it in a large nursery container and let it grow. This spring it had some good branches a third of the way up and a lot of branches at the top, and nothing in between. It was too thin trunk to be a half meter talk, so I air layered it and now there are roots growing in the ball. Two questions.

At what point do I saw it off and put the top in its own dirt, and do I put it in akadama type soil immediately or wait? Weather here has cooled off a little but still hot in the day. Last winter the last leaves fell off this tree the last weekend in December, two weeks before the buds in the elms already in pots burst out. It seems to have stopped new growth but is absolutely not dormant and nowhere near. Do I just wait until spring and coming out of dormancy?

It's an elm and has lots of branches, but they are all way too vertical and will have to be managed somehow. How do you bend a branch almost a centimeter thick? If I try to bend it at the trunk, it looks like it will split off.
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The Great Elm Project 3 weeks 2 days ago #52872

For sizing, here are the branches I mentioned wit a US quarter and a Hong Kong dollar.

And, also a Euro.

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The Great Elm Project 3 weeks 2 days ago #52873

I always plant the air layer in pure spagnum moss peat and repot to a appropriate pot. After one season the pot is full of roots.

I always chop off air layers in early spring. That makes lots of new growth.

You can easily bend the branch with the right size wire.
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The Great Elm Project 3 weeks 1 day ago #52877

I separate air layers fairly early. As soon as i see clear roots i cut the layers off and pot them up. Important to fix the layer well in the pot so it does not move around and small roots break off.

I find that wiring branches as they are young and flexible give the best result. As they start to rthcken and get woodier, bending gets more dificult. You could consider regrowing the branches that are too thick to safely bend
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The Great Elm Project 3 weeks 22 hours ago #52892

So the plan is
  1. figure out which pot to put it in
  2. chop off the trunk as close to the roots as I can get it
  3. put it in the pot
  4. wire it into the pot
  5. gently put the smallest akadama, pumice, etc., I have around the root ball

Should step 2.5 be remove the peat moss around the roots now? I would think that would not be real gentle on the roots.
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The Great Elm Project 3 weeks 18 hours ago #52897

I am entle and take fibre by fibre moss off. But I have pulled roots off that way. Better to plant, let it get a good rootball and next repotting remove whatever moss is left I suppose.
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The Great Elm Project 2 weeks 6 days ago #52924

Step 6 - put in close to total shade.

Step 7 - don't repot or anything until 2021. I will probably cut some long branches off
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