Temporary storage: my bonsai bin

Bin o’ bonsai. I dug up these Siberian elms (Ulmus pumila) yesterday and did some basic root pruning. They’d been in the ground for about 4 years, with the occasional root severing with a shovel.

I’m trying to figure out what to do with them, either make a cheapo wood tray to begin a gnarly birchwood-esque grove like I’ve seen in the Scottish highlands (I have a bunch of 2 year old seedlings I can add as well), or pot them up individually.

In the meantime, how long can I leave them like this? I have some more pressing things to deal with right now, and don’t have room in my repotting poly tunnel. It’s supposed to get down to 17F in a couple nights, but at least the bin is easy to move


Go for a forest… I’m doing two elm forests.

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Those have lots of ramification for Siberian elm. I agree they look like the core to a forest with maybe one or two out as singles.

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So do folks think these can hang out in the bin safely until the buds really start to pop? Anything I should be considering based on experience?

I wouldn’t treat a native species this way, I think I’m morally torn between keeping these trees healthy and my knowledge that they are invasive in some areas. I think I need a bonsai therapist.

Yea, the collection method in Albuquerque was vice-grips to simply rip them out of the ground. They would continue to grow when potted.

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That’s about what I figured. I kill them whenever I come across them out in the wilds, but it was too tempting to plant some seeds when they carpet the sidewalks in town every summer.

Hedged them 2-3 times per year for 4 years. Amazingly vigorous things.

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I think you’ll be hard pressed to kill these things. Elms best and worst quality is that they’re hard to kill.

Are you going to repot them before leaves come out or are you planning on leaving them in there for the year? EIther way you’ll be fine imo.

If only they wouldn’t sacrifice random limbs now and again.

I think I’m going to make a very shallow box out of some redwood fence slats to make an initial woodland planting. Now if only I could find time between endless video conferences and kids with cabin fever…

I got around to making the core of a forest, keeping the largest one out as a solo. In a couple years I’ll add a bunch of smaller trees to the composition, and hopefully in a proper container :wink:

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