The poodle elm

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The poodle elm

Postby bonborn » January 11th, 2018, 8:02 pm

I've decided to start a new thread specifically for this elm.

I call it the poodle because it's turning into one and I am not sure how to correct it. Ramification has always been my weakness. I just don't get the concept.

This elm doesn't like to backbud and grafts swell up and fail. Somehow it was my lucky day and it managed to put out one bud on the right side and that's it. The back and left side of the main trunk is deadwood so won't be getting anything there.

I am happy to work with it. How to I give it more of a filled up look. Can I have secondary branches growing up from another secondary branch. ImageImage

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Re: The poodle elm

Postby Boics » January 11th, 2018, 9:37 pm

Hello Bonborn.

With some close consideration and a bit of imagination I think you could find some suitable graft locations.
I suspect that (based on the image presented) your major issue is viable cambium and union with the graft stock.

If you can locate points that when scratched present nice rich green live cambium then this is where you need to focus.
Try looking towards some of the newer areas as opposed to the aged, rugged and in some cases dead trunk/bark.

What type of grafts are you trying?
One of the fabulous things about growing bonsai is as you get old and decrepit your trees get old and beautiful
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Re: The poodle elm

Postby bonborn » January 11th, 2018, 9:45 pm

Unfortunately left side is the problem. That's all dead wood so not possible to graft. I did some thread grafting from the left towards the right side and though the graft thickened well on that side it swells up at the joining side but doesn't merge with the live cambium. It then dies when you cut off the original branch.
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The poodle elm

Postby Beano » January 11th, 2018, 9:50 pm

There’s a few poodles at my house too...
Last edited by Beano on January 11th, 2018, 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The poodle elm

Postby Keep Calm and Ramify » January 11th, 2018, 10:51 pm

Beano wrote:There’s a few poodles at my house too...


Me too - I've just let mine grow out a fair bit, so I'm hoping it's becoming a little less obvious. :?:
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Re: The poodle elm

Postby Keep Calm and Ramify » January 13th, 2018, 10:36 am

bonborn wrote:I've decided to start a new thread specifically for this elm.

I call it the poodle because it's turning into one and I am not sure how to correct it. Ramification has always been my weakness. I just don't get the concept.

This elm doesn't like to backbud and grafts swell up and fail. How to I give it more of a filled up look.


Bonborn, if this tree were mine I would stop pinching or trimming any of the shoots that it now produces. I'm surprised it wont backbud for you, but you may be trimming / pinching back too much?
Let ALL shoots & branches grow long too achieve some bulk & extension.
The topiary "poodle like" foliage pads happen quite quickly on C.Elms as they tend to grow like hedging material. Especially when continuous trimming / pinching is done to the very tips of growth only.
Once you build up bulk, completely remove all disobedient branches from the foliage pads (any awkward or inward growing, upward etc) and any adventitious shoots from crutch or inner fork areas.
Concentrating on obtaining a more linear foliage pad that "feathers out" at the ends, rather than clipped all over.

Personally, I think your tree displays a great aged & weather beaten trunk. Having a more sparse foliage mass, may actually be more convincing (design wise) than trying to obtain a "full head of hair" by adding branch grafts to try & fill in spaces. I would think you could achieve an effective design utilising what foliage areas you already have - by feeding well, having some restraint in trimming/ pinching & just letting the tree grow freely for a fair while.
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