Water-elm6-5-16-1I 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.

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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.

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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!

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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.