Winter’s just a week away, meaning it’s almost time to gear up for collecting season.  It’ll be a few months before the new bald cypresses, hornbeams, hawthorns, etc. start hitting the site, but there’s a lot of activity going on behind the scenes.  Today I decided to experiment a little with a winged elm that spent the last four or five years annoying me in my former vegetable garden area.  I had edged the garden with cinder blocks, an assortment of volunteer trees sprouted up through the openings, and when I removed the blocks I had some nice pre-bonsai material.  Most of it’s still in the ground for further development, but this one caught my eye because of its root structure.

Winged elm bonsai in progressThe tree had grown over a mound of dirt inside one of the openings in the block, so when it came out of the ground it was – voila! – an exposed root specimen.  Now, without this feature the tree’s a pretty ordinary specimen, but I think the root structure makes a pretty nice statement.  Of course, there’s a lot of tree to build so for the time being it’ll sit on the bench while we wait for warmer weather …

… And to see if it survives.

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