Monday, March 9, 2009

Repotting Ulmus Parvifolia 'Seju'

Ulmus parvifolia ‘Seju’

I obtained this Seju elm from Hollander’s Tiny Tree Farm in southern Indiana (recently closed) in early spring 2006. I potted it in a plastic pot and just let it grow. In spring 2008 I planted it out in a new raised bed I’d created at a community garden because it had reverse taper. I believe that the trunk thickened by about 1 cm. The reverse taper is still there, but now it depends on from which angle you view it.

On Feb. 28 I dug up the tree from the community garden plot, potting it up in a square wooden box made from scrap wood (approximately 4 inches deep and 12 inches wide). It was a challenge to clear the dirt from the roots. I know that some simply use a root hook and their fingers to remove all the mud from field-grown trees. I have no patience for this and opt for running water. Usually I use the outdoor hose to wash all the old soil from the roots, but that faucet is still turned off. I dragged it into the house and used the detachable showerhead to clean it up and see the roots better, causing a mess.
It was VERY cold as well, which made the whole event a bit harder. I did minor pruning, but thought I might wait a week or two before making big styling decisions. I think it has potential.

The first two pictures below show an angle that reduces the appearance of reverse taper. The second two pictures show the taper more clearly.

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