Hokkaido Design

Two weeks ago I obtained a new tree to add to my collection. It formerly belonged to the founder of the local bonsai society, he passed away recently. It is probably quite old guessing 80 years or so, given that hokkaido elm are slow growing in comparison to the standard variety. It was very overgrown and appears that minimal pruning or styling had been performed in quite some time. So next opportunity I had it was cleaned and some structural work was performed. I guy wired 2 branches, ever so carefully… It is very brittle. Something this variety is known for. I haven’t done much else, as I’m hesitant to pursue my own vision out of respect to the original owner/founder and the other members.

Initially, I considered taking many air layers as part of a restyling. Many others also wanted this specimen, as I don’t want to offend the other club members I’m considering other options as well. What suggestions do you all have? Pictures to follow.

Before cleanup

After cleanup, current selected front

Right side

Left side

Back side

Nebari and lower trunk

A problem area, the main branches

Shaded buds and foilage

Now that its been cleaned, light is reaching the interior and the buds are swelling. I currently don’t have a pot for this yet, so I will work the roots next spring. It stands 25 inches tall to its current apex and it’s nebari is 6.25 inches wide.

I’m also interested in container suggestions as well.

Have a great spring season and bonsai on!