bonsai odds & ends – american elm, lantana
Here’s another American elm that’s coming along, and a Lantana in bad need of a haircut.
Bonsai Odds & Ends – American Elm, Lantana
I’ve written about American elm before. It’s sadly under-utilized for bonsai, most likely because folks are afraid of Dutch Elm Disease. I’ve never had a bonsai affected by DED in 30+ years of experience, nor have I heard of a case (though perhaps it’s happened out there somewhere).
This specimen is a perfect example of the bullet-proof nature of the species. I collected it in the dead of summer, along with two others, because I was cleaning up a former ground growing area. This tree and a couple of oaks were dug at the same time; all of the American elms made it, and one of the oaks is barely alive. Not only that, but all of the growth on this tree above the smaller cut-back leader coming off the main trunk is following the lift. So you see, it’s a tough species!
How tough? Well, I’m willing to slip-pot the tree at this time and bet on it surviving. I just got in this nice Lary Howard oval, and it’s a perfect complement to the tree.
Now it’s all about a few things: more leader and branch development, closing over the trunk chop and making ramification. You can see many of the leaves are already pretty small. This is very typical of American elm.
As for the trunk chop, you may be thinking it seems pretty straight across and somewhat jarring visually. Not to worry. American elm calluses vigorously, so expect the chop to look much more like a realistic transition in about a year or so.
It’s been a while since I wrote about Lantana. Although I just started working with the species last year, I have to say I’m very pleased. They have interesting bark, aren’t fussy about care, and bloom profusely in a pot (don’t be alarmed about the length of those flower stalks – with pinching and pruning you can keep the flowers in very tight and reduce the stalk length dramatically).
As I mentioned above, this one is badly in need of a haircut. I actually let it run this year for a couple of reasons: one, it helps to thicken the branches; and two, I’ll get a nice crop of cuttings to make more Lantanas with.
A nice improvement. I will cut back additionally before we start growing next year, but I wanted to leave the branches a little long for now in case I get some dieback (which is not likely).
Let me know what you think of today’s work.