Nebari development Zelkova clump bonsai

At the end of summer, I separated this Zelkova air layer from the donor plant. At that time, I planted the layer on top of a piece of Slate to help develop the nebari. Since then it has been sitting in a corner of the yard, waiting for better times.


In my yard most of my trees are in plastic trainers. I have started to move some of the more permanent projects in ceramics, as it just looks better. The Zelkova has made it to my “like list” so today I decided to lift it from the trainer and slide it over into a large ceramic container.

I was well surprised when I pulled the plant from the trainer though. The pot was fully filled with roots, to the point that the root ball had taken on the shape of the pot. Reason enough to do some basic root work, which I did not do after separating the layer. I combed out the roots and trimmed them back to a basic circle. At the same time, high roots and roots emerging from the bottom of the trunk were removed.

When I was potting the tree, I placed a thick aluminium circle on top of the substrate, and fixed it to the bottom of the pot through the wiring holes. This offers a good place to connect guy-wires. After trimming the multiple stems and removing all the side-branches the tree was ready.

Off to next year.

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