Problems with nebari of Elm. What correction technique is better?

(Yaroslav) #1

Hi. I have two elms, their age is about 10 years, and both have a similar problem: the central root isn’t in the center, but on the side. These elms grew between the stones. I made a sketch of how this root looks out.

It will not be possible to completely remove it, because it’s located on the side and there are no other roots in this place closer to the trunk. Therefore, I see two options for correcting this: the first is to split the thick root into two thinner parts and grafting roots closer to the trunk to them. This is a rather complicated procedure, besides, the result will still not be perfect, but there is a second option that makes me doubt: to make a ground layering above this root. It’s a bit scary to remove a strip of bark around the trunk, because if ground layering isn’t successful, the tree will die. I decided that it was possible to go a safer way (tourniquet method): pull the wire at the base as a tourniquet, so that it crashed into the bark, and cover this place with soil and sphagnum moss.
Which of the above methods is safer and more effective in this situation?

(Frank Corrigan) #2

I think your analysis is spot on. I would ground layer using the ring cut method. Ground layers and air layers do not always turn out but i think it is a better option. But first i would prepare the tree with fertilizer and ensure vigorous growth. I have not tried the tourniquet method so cannot comment on that. lots of positive experience with ground layer and ring cutting approach. The only caveat, is that i am unsure of what type of Elm you are working with so that needs to be taken into account.

(Bruce Williams) #3

My first thought is to not disturb any of the current roots. It may be slower but also less risky to ground layer as Frank suggested. As to the thought that “layering” doesn’t always work, my limited experience is that I’ve had much better luck with ground layering than I have with air layering.
Certainly, much is written concerning root grafting. Be sure to get good information on the failure rate before you make a decision.

(Yaroslav) #4

This is a european elm. I’m faced with a choice, to do a lot of graftings around the thick root and then to remove it as much as possible, or to grow the new root system again.

(Frank Corrigan) #5

I would grow the new root system, my preference is to spend time with trees that have high potential. Therefore i would only proceed with a tree that can have good nebari. The ground layer can work very well and is a simple procedure even if it takes some time. Fertilize the tree now and begin the ground layer in a month or so.