Cedar elm design

Got an early Christmas gift: a yamadori cedar elm. It is pre-bonsai. I am beginning to look at design possibilities. The crown is a rat’s nest of branches that, when in leaf looks like a pom-pom. WAY-Y-Y be low that apex of the tree is the only other living primary branch. There is also an interesting cavity just below the apex and a natural looking deadwood wound just above the lowest branch on the trunk. Here it is:

What I am thinking is that a good design option would be to air layer off the current apex, let the trunk die back to the lowest branch and nurture the lowest branch to become the only live branch on the tree. Something like this:

Comments or other alternatives would be appreciated.

I like the plan to airlayer off the top. However, I would push the asymmetry of the single branch rather than trying to build a broad form with a dead trunk pushing up through the middle.


Good thought Marty! I was focusing on what to do with the top when I did the drawing. I wasn’t thinking about the bottom branch yet, Right now, the bottom branch does just surround the main trunk.