I bought this Chinese elm in South Africa in February 2013. I suspect it is a Chinese import. The first thing i did was to bareroot it and change the clay soil it was in. It has grown freely a lot since then, considering the fact, that our winter just ended. The trunk has also thickened somewhat.
It was planted in seaved washed river sand, which is 3-5mm particles. It has been fertilized with chicken manure processed granules, and some cow manure.
The first thing today I did is to examine all four sides of the trunk, and remove some of the top soil to check the state of the nebari.
Cleaned the trunk, and marked the front with a wire.
Decided that this will be the front. The trunk from this angle has some movement, and it is widest at the base
This front branch will be used as a leader, and the two branches on the sides will be the first primary branches. They were trimmed for movement and taper, as well as not to allow them to grow too thick.
They are somewhat hard, so I shall bend them slowly downwards a bit every few days.
The back branches were left for now to thicken the trunk. Later the trunk will be chopped at an angle and all those branches will be gone, I want to try a method of trunk chop Oyakata thought me. You cut half way, through the trunk, and leave the rest, so it heals faster, then later you remove the other half.
Some of the back branches were trimmed not to shade the leader.
Note the wire left on the end of the branch. Ones new shoots appear I use that part to give them initial direction, since I am too lazy to wire often.
I hope you have enjoyed this post. Thank you for reading.