Winged Elm Progression


Hey guys-

Looks like my winged elm post was lost in the outage. For those of you that still might be curious, I did a little bit of work on it this past weekend…


After cutting off all of the winter wire, this was the profile. For now, I’m using this as the presumed front. The top branches went nuts after I reduced the trunk height last Spring.

After I reduced the branch length on some of the lower branches and the whippy top growth from last Spring.

I’m looking at different fronts, based on the root structure and the placement of the lower branches. I kind of liked this one, even if the roots look somewhat unbalanced.

The complete reverse of the existing “front.”

A different angle of the same rotation.

Still back to the same front, before some more pruning for branch length.

I plan on working on this one more to get the top branches distributed better, and to wire them into an acceptable structure to grow out a more ramified apex this growing season. I was tempted to reduce the height once more, but I think that if I keep the branches wired to let light on the trunk, there will be back-budding to fill in most gaps (I’m surprised at how well this tree buds, even on the trunk).

(Jonas Dupuich) #3

Thanks for the update! Have any ideas if air layers work with winged elms? If so, you can select the best front based on the trunkline and fix the roots down the road.


I’ve never done any air layering, but as vigorous as these trees are, I think that would be a great technique, especially with these kinds of harvested trees.


So, here’s the tree in full leaf, as of this morning. I’m thinking some of these stronger branches are going to need some wire soon, so it doesn’t get too unruly over the summer.

(Frank Corrigan) #6

The tree is very interesting. It appears that there is an excellent option to airlayer the top for a two tree option. The bottom portion in a shorter version could be nicely balanced with a good selection of branching already in place. Could you comment on the size of trunk caliper to overall height of the main portion of the trunk. Perhaps you could also comment on the overall finished size you envision. Thanks


Hi Frank!

The overall height is about 24 inches, and the trunk diameter is relatively constant over that length, from about 4 inches at the base to about 2.75 at the apex.

I’m undecided as to the finished height, although I am torn between leaving it at the current scale, and starting to develop stronger branches, as well as train it into a proper pot in the next two years or so. I’m hesitant to air layer it, as I don’t really have any experience with the technique. I’m also partial to the keeping the current proportions, as they make a very “American hardwood” look.

(Frank Corrigan) #8

Thanks for the additional info. Consider leaving the tree in a larger training pot until you have finished growing the basic branch structure to the desired thickness. I understand your hesitation over airlayering if you have not previously attempted one. Good luck as you move forward.


Here’s how it looks this Spring. I’m going to keep refining the shape, and get it into a pot, maybe in the Fall. I’m pretty pleased with it, even if it is a bit on the larger scale.

(Frank Corrigan) #10

The tree is responding nicely and looks very healthy. Well Done!


Thanks! I love how vigorous this species is. I plan on wiring some fo the branches in a few days, to get them to start laying in the proper places, and to let some light into the interior of the tree.


WIP: wiring this Spring.

(Jonas Dupuich) split this topic #13

A post was split to a new topic: How long might it take for collected cedar elms to produce root growth before the tree can be styled and placee in appropriate bonsai pots?



it looks like this tree loves to be wired.

(Frank Corrigan) #16

The tree is responding well. Wire will likely start cutting in pretty quickly this summer!