Shohin Chinese Elm

This is my little shohin love. This is currently the only tree I have in refinement. Maybe that is why I like it so much, it looks the most like a tree. It needed a repot to change the soil and change the front of the tree. This is what we started with.

Once removed from the pot there were several large roots and a mass of roots going around the container on the bottom.

Even the large roots were circling around the pot.

I found a root on the backside of the tree that comes out underneath the soil line. Not sure what I want to do with it.

The larger root once I cut it off.

I had to remove a bit of the root mass to rotate the tree 90 degrees since it was facing the wrong way to begin with. Here is the tree positioned in the pot from the back.

The front. You can tell that the large root isn’t visible from the front, but it might grow into something good or something bad, either way only time will tell.

That is it as far as repotting. As the tree is also dormant I went ahead and did some refinement pruning. I wanted to go over branch removal


I’ll give you this shot from the front to use as a reference to the branches I point out and see how each one interacts with the tree as a whole.

This branch goes straight up and grows into another branch, both of which we want to avoid. Since Chinese Elms tend to have wire bite into the bark easily I’m using a clip’n’grow approach. I could wire this out of the way, but I’ll just snip it off.

This is growing back towards the middle of the tree, and that is reason for removal.

This branch is growing a bit horizontally into another branch behind it. I’m going to shorten it to keep the ramification and the smaller branch can head into an empty space when looking at the tree from above. See photos below

Two photos of the branch after pruning it back. You can see the open space that needs to be filled.

This branch grows right into another branch higher up. I can prune it back a bit and hope for some side branches.

This one is going because it is growing straight up. This is called a “water spout” and is a high energy branch. The more vertical a branch is the higher the amount of energy it has, which in turn thickens the branch quicker.

You’ll see plenty of knobs in the silhouette. Pruning and leaving a small knob grants the cut a bit of space to die back. Then the following season you can prune off the dead knobs and not have to worry about dieback into the parts of the trunk or branch you want to keep. How many dead knobs can you find?

The final product after the repot and minor pruning.

I’m excited to see this baby leaf out again and get to some ramification pruning in the Spring.