As many of you know, I collect Water-elms (Planera aquatica) in the heat of summer. I’ve collected some in late winter, but the trees seem to respond better to summer collecting. The big problem with summer collecting, of course, is the heat. Yesterday the heat index was probably around 110. Folks, that’s hot! But Cathy and I powered through, and we managed to bring home some really nice specimens. Below are a few examples.

This may be my favorite find of the day. It’s a triple-trunk on a nice base measuring 2.75″ across. The individual trunks are slender, with nice movement, taper and character. I envision a tall-tree group with these, and the nice thing is I can develop the group in about two years to showable condition.

This one’s a twin-trunk, with the best feature being a nice hollow at the base (most of it’s buried, in order to protect the radial roots). Also nice character in the trunks. The base is 2.25″ above the root crown, and it’s 14″ to the top chop.

And finally, the big hunky trunk of the day. Really super masculine tree, with a base of 3.5″ and chopped at 18″. The featured hollow from the base about a third of the way up the trunk is all rolled over and healed; adds great character to this specimen. I’ll let a new leader run once the tree comes back out, and the transition should start looking good in a couple of years with proper management.

Water-elm has a lot of great features, including small, glossy leaves that reduce with no effort on your part necessary. Just prune the tree to shape, and the leaves will reduce on their own. The species also loves heat and water, so they grow well in summer.
They train up fast!