Only the lower branches woke up on European Elm after ground layering

I have several elms, and on one of them last year I made ground layering, as it has problems with nebari. I gave it free growth all the season. This spring I repotted it when the buds began to break. The elm has a lot of new roots in the layering. Even before the repot, I noticed that the buds of the lower branches were most swollen, compared with the upper branches. Now on the lower branches there are already small leaves, while on the upper branches the buds don’t swell. Some branches are dry and dead, but most of them are alive and have green cambium, if I scratch the bark. What can I do in this situation? It may make sense to cover the top of the tree with a bag to keep moisture in the upper branches and trunk? Perhaps this will stimulate the buds opening on the upper branches? Also, maybe they should just be cut to stimulate back budding?

Interesting. I’d leave the tree alone and see what happens as sometimes different parts of the tree open at different times.

Am also curious why the top might be weak. It could be that there aren’t enough roots.

If you do try the bag technique, let us know what happens - will be curious to learn how it works!

This year we had an abnormally warm winter and already in mid-February the buds began to swell. Last year, the elm gave strong growth on the lower branches, since the tree is in the process of being developed and requires thicker branches at the bottom. I also have a sacrificial branch at the top, which has had strong growth all season. And it’s also in a sleeping state, which is a bit strange. Only the lower branches began to actively wake up.

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Today I decided to cover its top with a black partially transparent plastic bag, I will maintain moderate humidity in it so that mold doesn’t form. Although it may be worth using high humidity, as in the original “sweating techniques”…