I am looking for some advice and guidance on what to do with this English elm (Ulmus procera) that I acquired earlier this year. I could use some suggestions on how to handle this tree with a very large wound on the trunk.
- The wound has created a rather unsightly nob fairly low on the trunk. I think this could be addressed by establishing a new front and changing the planting angle. In all likelihood it’ll probably get worse over time.
- The wound is quite large. You’ll see in the pictures below - not only does this go high up the trunk but I’ve discovered that it is also quite deep. I’m concerned about how deep into the trunk the soft wood goes and how much more I’ll need to dig to get to something firm.
Air layer above the wound. I rather like the current height of the tree - but I’m also concerned that this wound will fester and grow worse over time and jeapordize the health of the tree. I feel that I could air layer above the wound and do it cleanly or I could try near the top - possibly use that to establish some interesting nebari.
Clean and fill. You’ll see in the pictures below that I started digging into the wound today to remove the rotting wood inside. It went a lot deeper than I was expecting and I still have futher to go. My plan here would be to completely clean the area and fill with a manmade epoxy. The begin the multi year journey of repeatedly opening the callous to get this to close.
About this tree
- Purchased this from the owner who said he had grown this from seed about 25 years ago
- Could have been repotted this season. I always move slowly on newly acquired trees until I understand their current situation - after removing the top soil it seems clear to me this tree is likely rootbound and was in need of a repot.
- Otherwise this tree is in good health. Good amount of new foliage this spring, no signs of weakness.
What do you think?
Not sure which way previous owner intended the front to be
Opposite side showing the numerous trunk wounds
The wound before I started to dig in
Removing some of the material
Very soft, easily removed, cork-like wood