There’s nothing quite like collecting trees during a heat advisory.  This is where it’s over 80° at daybreak and only gets worse from there.

Alas, this is the time of year when it’s best to collect Water-elms (Planera aquatica), so you pretty much have to forge on through the heat, no pun intended.

We did well regardless, and here are a few examples that I hope will survive collecting.

Water-elm7-9-16-3Here’s a nice informal upright specimen.  The trunk base is 2.5″ in diameter, and it’s chopped at 12″.

Water-elm7-9-16-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the trunk movement of this one.  It splits off pretty low, so I kept both trunks.  This is going to make a super bonsai.  The trunk base on this one is 3″, and it’s 13″ to the tallest chop.

Water-elm7-9-16-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the hunky masculine winner for this trip.  The trunk is 3.5″ and it’s 14″ to the top chop.  I see an awesome broom-form specimen with this one.

All of these trees have terrific radial roots which have been cut back enough for their ultimate bonsai pot.  In two weeks I should be seeing new buds if they come through all right.

If you don’t have a water-elm bonsai in your collection I highly recommend the species.  They have beautiful glossy dark green foliage that reduces without any effort on your part, they ramify well and you can literally go from a collected trunk to a showable tree in three years.  The bark exfoliates every few years on older specimens, which is another nice feature.  They are not much bothered by pests and diseases, and you can’t overwater them as they can spend months completely submerged in the wild.  There’s really nothing not to like about water-elms.