Here’s a Cedar elm that needs repotting. It was collected two years ago, and has filled out wonderfully well. This growing season should see a finished bonsai of this specimen.
Repotting time is always the time to make corrections to the rootage of your bonsai. In the case of this tree, I have a large and ugly root on one side. Once I dig into the root mass, I’ll have an idea of how to make it better.
The other side of the root mass. There are a couple of roots that need to be taken off altogether.
A closer look at the ugly root I need to work on.
Starting the process of making this root better. If you don’t have a root splitter (a big and awesome tool, it makes short work of both roots and large branches), get yourself one. It’ll pay off sooner than you think.

With more work on this root, using a knob cutter relegated to below-ground carving, I’ve taken a lot of the “weight” off and this will make the root a lot less obtrusive.

You may be asking, Will this harm or kill the root? No, the root will not only continue to do its thing, it’ll heal over vigorously as this is a characteristic of Cedar elms.

Finally, the tree is back in its pot and ready for the 2020 season. Barring unforeseens, this tree will start leafing out within a week or so, stimulated by the root work.

I really like this elm bonsai. The design is unusual (something the tree did more or less on its own when it was rebudding), and elegant. The twigging will increase this year, and leaf size will reduce nicely.

I’d love to hear what you think of today’s work.