Category Archives: Chinese Elm

Chinese Elm Repot

This is my favorite little tree I have at the moment. I’ve been excited for this repot as it’ll finally put the tree into a pot that is correctly sized. The constricted environment that it will provide will increase ramification and give it a smaller leaf size.

Started by cutting the wires on the bottom in the middle, then making a flush cut to make sure they aren’t jagged when I drag them through the root mass.
This little guy grew pretty vigorously for 1 year after a repot.
Raked out the roots to see what I really had to work with.
I put some soil in and tried to get a better idea of what would fit in the pot.
I prepped the pot with the drain screen and wire ready to take in the tree. img_3290
I’m going to cut the two wires at an angle and fish them through the main portion of the roots or the ‘shin’ of the tree. You then bend them over once they’re through the shin and use that as a means to anchor the tree down.
As you can see here, the wires become buried and hidden in the rootball.
I then piled up the Akadama and chopsticked it in.
I used Akadama as I can use this to be able to scale the roots and branches to get them finer and finer. For a deciduous tree in refinement this is how you can get the most fine ramification.
Then the topdressing. This is to help keep the moisture even throughout the Akadama and help with moisture loss on the top portion of the soil.
From the top down. Obviously it is going to get some pruning before the Spring comes in.

It made it through one night of sub 32° weather that I missed, but has leafed out without too many issues.



I went to Bonsai-A-Thon at The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens. Here were the trees on display for the exhibition. DSC_0580
Japanese Black Pine
Flowering PlumDSC_0589
Shimpaku Juniper
Coast Live Oak
Shimpaku JuniperIMG_3838
Cedar ElmIMG_3845IMG_3847
Chinese ElmIMG_3851
Shohin Display
Japanese Black Pine, Silverberry (Eleagnus Pungens), Chinese Elm, Korean Hornbeam, Japanese Quince
Satsuki Azalea (on the left) IMG_3853IMG_3854IMG_3855IMG_3856IMG_3857IMG_3859

The amount of trees was a bit less than I expected, but they were all great regardless. The flowering plum, coast live oak, and the large shimpaku juniper were my favorites. The oak didn’t have any large scaring that was unsightly, it was amazing.

55th Annual Winter Silhouettes Exhibition

Here are the display photos I took from the exhibition. Enjoy!

Here is a video taken and posted by someone in the club I assume:

Some names and species weren’t displayed when I attended. They were a bit behind in setting up the exhibition, so sorry if I missed your display or information!


Chinese Elm – Ellen Keneshea



Korean Hornbeam – Lindsay Shiba


Persian Quince – Steve Valentine



Cork Bark Elm – Michael Roberts


Cork Bark Elm – Tom Vuomo


Chi Chi Ginkgo – Jim Barrett


Chinese Elm – Joe Galgoul


Pomegranate – Charlie Washburn


Chinese Elm – Carol Upston


Pomegranate – Charlie Washburn


Contorted Quince – Tom Lau



Trident Maple – Kathy Benson


Chinese Elm – Marge Blasingame


Flowering Pear – Mr/Mrs Manning



Pomegranate Forest – John Nielson



Contorted Quince – Shirley Quan



Cork Bark Elm – Mel Ikeda


Crape Myrtle


Coral Bark Maple – Ed Clark



Chinese Elm – Dick Ryerson


Korean Hornbeam – Alex Marien




Plans For The Elm

This elm had a rough year. I was hoping to get better ramified branching this year after repotting, but instead of ramification and smaller leaves I got long internodes, vigorous growth, and a near death experience when I left for vacation.

I have this blue pot that I’m excited to combine with the yellow color of the Fall leaves on this Elm.

Both the trunk and the pot are pretty feminine in design, and will compliment each other nicely once combined. The smaller size of the pot will help to facilitate smaller leaves and internodes. Hopefully I can get a bit more progression in refinement this next year.

Things I've Killed

One things I’ve always thought to be a bit unfair is seeing everyone’s successes and not their failures. Failure (AKA the journey to success) is just as important as the end result. Without further ado, the dead trees!

I dug both of these Live Oaks up in the late Spring and I definitely didn’t do it right. Didn’t wait for rain in the previous month, the rootball fell apart when I dug it up, and I barely got any fine roots. Too bad, they had some good trunks on them.

These Olive cuttings that I took off my own tree didn’t go anywhere. I’m not sure if I kept too many leaves, took it at the wrong time (Spring), should’ve stripped the leaves, or kept it too wet, but nonetheless they didn’t root.

I dug up 4 large Pyracantha bushes in late Spring/early Summer and two made it and two didn’t. I also got a few small rooted shoots and I killed 2 of the 3.

This guy below me is dead as well.

This Cotoneaster as well as 3 more all died. These poor fellas.

Barberry is dead. I got a rooted cutting off of it that I still have, so the legacy lives on.

This one got almost no water over my vacation and rather than trying the scratch test and watering it, I threw it away in my rage. The one I didn’t throw away came back……so whoops.

Another dead Cotoneaster.

This Azalea that was heat tolerant came back twice, but apparently twice was the charm.

Besides my 3 failed air-layers (stupid dog…) on my Japanese Maple, I did this one that stayed on but ended up bridging the gap between the cuts and I took it off and ret severed the connection. Hopefully with a large pot and Akadama it will take.

The totals so far this year are the following:
Cotoneasters – 5

Pyracantha – 4

Chinese Elm – 2

Azalea – 3

Barberry – 1

Olive – 3

Oak – 2

Juniper Yamadori – 2

Nana Junipers – 2

Total Kill Count – 19

Green thumbs come with black thumbs. Don’t get discouraged, just keep your head up and keep killing!

Windswept Inspiration

I have a Chinese Elm that I’ve been looking at for awhile now. I’ve been leaning towards the windswept style for this one (Couldn’t resist it). You can see the exposed roots that can be the “anchoring” nebari to show the tree being held into the ground.

I’ll need to do some bending and shifting of the nebari and branches, but it is definitely doable. Chinese Elms are really flexible so I’ll put some protection on the bark and bend away this coming season.

Windswept Desert Willow

I recently took my daughter to the park and noticed these Desert Willow trees that are windswept naturally. I can see how the branches naturally bend and split with a curvy nature. I think this will be necessary to wire to create waves in the branching which is essential in creating a windswept tree that draws your eyeballs in.

This is a great example:

Windswept Bonsai Tree

Here are the rest of the trees for your viewing pleasures.

Chinese Elm Repot

This is “Root Reject”s makeover. During the repot I’ll remove the root that sticks out a little too high for my liking. I also enjoyed doing this repot more than the others since this was filled mostly with bonsai soil.

You can see a huge mass of roots in the corner or lack thereof (It’s a circle pot…)

Another angle

Backside view of the ugly root that is too high.

Ew! Make it go!!!

Root removed and roots combed out to my liking. I’ll be repotting in the same pot.

Better view of the removed root. You can see where the cut was made.

More photos

After the repot in a bowl soaking up some agua.