This Cedar elm, Ulmus crassifolia, is showing about as much fall color as I can usually expect from the species. It’s not much, but I like it nonetheless. I washed the trunk today, and wanted to do just a little trimming and put wire on that low right branch. Everything else has grown well, and I got a lot of corky branching this year. My goal with this tree is to use grow and clip as much as possible, as I refine the branch structure. All in all, I’m pleased with the two years’ worth of training this tree has gotten so far.

For those of you familiar with Cedar elm, this will come as no surprise. Check out the healing on that chop! Cedar elms roll scars over very quickly. In fact, this wound will likely close in the next growing season. I need to do a little carving to ensure it’s all smooth. I’ll do that either now or in spring; it won’t matter which.

I trimmed out some interior shoots that had formed at the base of branches – this is common with many species – and removed others that have no place in the final design. And that unruly branch on the right makes more sense now (but I’ll let it grow out next spring in order to thicken the base more.

As often happens, turning this tree has given me an alternative idea about the best front. I’d love to hear what you think about the two choices. Leave me a comment. I’m pretty sure a repotting is in the cards for 2019.

There’s more work to do on the tapering transition, of course. I’ll let a shoot in the apex run in 2019, and that will cause the base of the new apex to thicken up very nicely. That should make the transition nice and smooth by next fall.