I began working on this Water-elm, Planera aquatica, last year as my quest began to rebuild a collection devastated in Winter 2014. I’d collected this one in Summer 2014, and considering the great trunk character starting with the fine root base I knew this one would make a great addition. I posted the beginning of this work last June.
Today this tree was in need of some serious attention, as you can see in this photo. I first cleaned up the trunk (I use white vinegar, 50:50 in water, in a spray bottle with a toothbrush to do the basic cleaning; water-elms will take a stainless steel brushing also). Then it was all about returning the form of this tree to the style I was aiming for. That meant trimming, pruning and more wiring.
Altogether this work took about 30 minutes. You can see I have a new lower left branch. The tree was nice enough to throw a shoot lower down on the trunk, in just the right spot. So I took advantage of it and created a new number one branch. That improves the design of this tree immensely.
This is a specimen I posted for sale not too long ago. I was able to wire up a new leader and a couple of branches at that time. You can see from this photo that the tree continues to gain strength and has thrown a number of new shoots. Time for more wiring!
Now I’m starting to get a good branch set. You’ll notice I have another branch on the right-hand side of the tree. That was lacking before. Now the design is making a lot more sense. This tree is of similar quality to the one above, and will make a fine addition to someone’s collection. If you’d like to take on the challenge, simply go to our Elm Bonsai sale page.