A Huge Ulmus minor/Field Elm bonsai

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elm bonsai

During the Summer of 2013 I was fortunate enough to purchase this huge Ulmus minor/English or Field Elm as raw material. Originally collected by Graham Potter of Kaizen Bonsai, the tree was an impressive size. Having grown on the side of a ditch all of its life prior to collection, the tree had developed a thick upright trunk. However the powerful root-spread or nebari meant that the angle of planting had to be as shown in the image above.

elm bonsai harry harrington

Fast forward to February 2018, just 4.5 years later, and an image of me tweaking the same tree ready for photographing.

elm bonsai stump

One of the original problems facing me with this tree was addressing the large wound at the top of the Elm stump.

elm bonsai deadwood

My solution was to carve a huge hollow and to turn the lower half into the first branch of the bonsai. Needless to say, a lot of wood had to be removed to create this hollow that is big enough to insert my hand and arm!

elm bonsai

The lower half of the trunk has in fact been heavily carved to introduce some taper and movement to the overall design.

elm bonsai

Detail of the massive 17"/43cm wide trunkbase and nebari.

big elm bonsai

Victor Harris of Erin Pottery designed and made a 60cm wide pot for the Elm that is not only big enough to house the tree, but picks up on the colours of its bark perfectly.

elm bonsai ramification

The branch structure, including all of the primary and secondary branches were wired during the early Spring of 2015 by myself and apprentice Sean Stolp. In total taking over 25 hours to wire and place the branches. Since then I have defoliated the tree during the Summer and pruned back hard each Autumn to encourage dense ramification of the branches. Further development will focus on thickening the primary branches by allowing new inner shoots to extend each year.

elm bonsai

Ulmus minor/Field Elm Bonsai. February 2018.

Height above the pot:27"/69cm
Trunkbase: 17"/43cm wide
Overall width of the bonsai: 39"/89cm
Bonsai Pot by Victor Harris of Erin Pottery.