Zelkova Layer 1

I struck a meager Zelkova cutting in ’09 from a older bonsai on the bench. It was ignored, abused, even moved once or twice…finally it had enough and grew to 12 feet tall last year. This spring I cut it down to get it lower than the fence, and decided to air layer at the “Y”. I took many photos of the whole process, but now I have no clue where they are…so this isn’t a how-to post as much as a what-did post.

The parent:

The cutting in ’13:

The layers (April, removed all bark/cambium/xylem/phloem, packed the area with sphagnum moss, and bagged it) in June:


Then, as an experiment in July, instead of removing the layer when the bag was full of roots, I trunk chopped them to see if I could hasten the growth of new branches to start some broom style trees.


Checking on the layers in early September, I discovered the left one had bridged and failed:

Better luck and a wider cut next year.

The right one was going strong, so I opened the bag and packed a little coarse soil around the moss to expand the room for roots to grow a few more weeks before separating at the end of the month:




Next week, we’ll finish up the project. Going through some old photos, I found this one of the parent tree, from ’02…about 4 years before it was cut down. This angle is approximately the present left.



One thought on “Zelkova Layer 1

  1. OMG…I had a tree that looked just like the older parent. But, the it never looked as good as any of those. Good job.

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