Corkbark Elm - Design/Pruning Questions

Hello! First post here. I have a Corkbark Elm that I was given by one of the Portland Bonsai Society members after my first class. I’ve had the tree for 5 years now and I repotted the tree last year. I have done some pruning but I have some questions:

  1. One of my concerns is the branches seem long and leggy with growth spattered at the apical region. I’ve had some success with pruning to get backbudding and more growth but do I just keep reducing the foliar mass to encourage growth lower down? I’m nervous about reducing too much and hurting the tree.
  2. Do elms tolerate wiring very well? The branches don’t feel as flexible as others and I worry about breaking them.
  3. Any design tips?

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Thank you!

Don’t worry about cutting this back. All those bumps you see on the branches are nodes and buds will push from any and all of them if you cut back hard. Corkbark elms will also push buds from the corky bark on the trunk. The main problem will be having to remove all the new shoots from areas that you don’t want them. Branches on these trees are typically fairly flexible, so don’t worry about wiring.

Roger made the same suggestion to me at our meeting over the weekend with the comment to wait until it hardens off a bit more (we are both in Spokane, WA).

My question to the group is how big a cuttings can I expect to root? I am going to be doing some major cutback on mine since it is the first styling of what is essentially a bush on top of a root base and 3 trunks.