Sunday, 21 February 2010

Ugly elm gets reprieve

This Ulmus parvifolia was bought from a garden nursery in 2006: it was covered with greenfly and nigh on at deaths door... I got it for £3. The roots were terrible and the canopy abysmal... what was I thinking, even at £3 this seemed like a waste of money... not even the nasty dark green glazed pot was worth that!
So in Spring 2007 (after a year improving the trees) I wrapped the ugly roots over a piece of limestone and trunk chopped it bellow the canopy eliminating a nasty inverse tapper in the process; this was an experiment, a learning tool.
In spring 2008 I had a lot of very straight twigs coming straight up off a rather dull stunk with a few big scars on it. I selected a few branches wired them to a rough shape (just fanning out) and then let it grow freely, cutting the branches back twice a year.
A couple of weeks ago, anticipating the coming spring (still not quite here yet!) I gave this tree it's first full styling... and yes, it looks half decent. The roots are almost certainly still awful but now the canopy will make up for that a little bit. Once the buds begin to swell and extend I'll see if the roots have grasped the rock, if they have it'll go into a more suitable pot.

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