Finally Repotting my Water Elm

I’ve really been looking forward to this. I collected this tree in June of 2014 in the South Carolina swamp.

It looked like this when I got it home and potted up. And that beer was well deserved.

I just let it grow and hedge trimmed it for a couple of years. The last time I posted about it was February 2017 when it looked like this.

Yeah…a little like my son’s hair when he wakes up in the morning.

This is how it looked when I started (the back side from the above view). I have a lot of branches to work with, but they’re just too long and spindly. I want to bring everything back closer to the trunk and start over.

The main trunk fell victim to my nephew and snapped off last summer.

I think he helped me out. I wasn’t sure what to do with that trunk anyway since I’m no carving expert. So now we’ll just work with what we have.

So let’s pull it out and see how the roots are looking.

A solid block of roots…that’s a good sign. It took some work to pull it out. With this type of tree and how strongly it was growing, you can be pretty brutal.

So I grabbed my saw and went to work just cutting it to a smaller square, and then cutting about 2 inches of depth off.

Spray it with the hose, chop back, repeat. And then…

Wow…I couldn’t believe that deadwood under the soil line. That will be a great accent to this tree once I get a little further along.

And while deadwood is awesome, I don’t want it under my soil where it will stay damp and invite all kinds of pests and things that I don’t want ruining the party.

I left more thick roots that I would have liked, but I didn’t want to remove too much. Next time I repot, I’ll work on that.

Got it wired into an old grow box that I had laying around. I had planned to work it into it’s first bonsai pot, but shit happens. That deadwood under the soil was a surprise and I didn’t have one that would accommodate it. I’ll be on the lookout for one.

All wired in and ready to be cut back.

And the finished project for now. This thing grows like wild so I will be working on cutting it back and wiring this year. Wish me luck!

I worked on a landscape azalea this week so be on the lookout for that in the next week or so.