This Cedar elm, Ulmus crassifolia, is now strong enough for an initial styling. I know this because it has undergone its second round of growth following the initial recovery period. Notice in this photo the growing tips of the shoots. There’s roots below ground!
Here’s the step by step process I used to take this tree from interesting raw material to a good working design for a tree. As I point out in the video, you don’t always need the perfect set of branches to make something really interesting – in fact, bonsai would be relatively boring if all the trees looked alike.

Here’s what I ended up with. Can you see this tree once it fills out? I love that low branch. I think it’s going to make for a truly unique Cedar elm bonsai.

My plan is to slip-pot this tree in another month or so, depending on how well it recovers from today’s work. Stay tuned.

I’d also love to know what you think about this specimen, even if it’s not your cup of tea.