Sunday, February 27, 2011

Development of an English Elm.

This English Elm was collected in 1999, from a hedge on a building site. The photo was taken 2 years after collection and at this stage the right side of the tree was dying off. On inspection, I discovered most of the roots had been eaten by Vine Weevils. That Winter, I removed the dead bark to discover 2 tiny roots and a 1 inch (25mm) live vein. The deadwood was a bit dull and lacking in character, so I decided to machine carve and refine the detail with a Scalpel. The work took about 5 hours to complete.
The deadwood pictured a couple of years after completion. The lateral cracks add to the illusion of age.
A closer picture of the deadwood, showing the graining hand carved with a Scalpel. All the deadwood has been treated with wet rot wood hardener to help preserve the more delicate deciduous hardwood.
This photo was taken in 2006, just after I commisioned a pot from Gordon Duffett. His pots give an antique appearance and the glaze colours reflect in the deadwood and bark
This picture was taken in January 2011 at the Noelanders Trophy.
The table was made by Peter Sandford 
The accent pot is one of my own and planted with Polypody, Lichens and Moss.

May 2011.After daily feeding with Miracle gro, the shoots have extended massively. Time to remove all the leaves.

The only leaves left are the weaker and inner ones. I will carry on feeding strongly through to Autumn.

Back in leaf and looking healthy. June 2011

I treat the deadwood twice a year with a wood hardener

As you can see, it is quite shiny to start with but weathers down in a couple of weeks

                                                      Photo taken at the end of June 2011

Autumn 2011
End of Feb 2012. Update before the leaves go and spoil it all. Necessary evil I think.  
More unusual view of the deadwood.
Summer 2012
Summer 2012 again and the ramification improving really quickly now.
Autumn 2012

360 video view of the tree

Some stills taken at the same time.

Summer 2013

One more year in this pot should do it. I have pruned back quite a lot this year so should see some good back budding hopefully. I will be trying a new product on the deadwood this year and will post my findings later. The tree seems to have tipped over in this pot so that is why it is at a funny angle.


  1. Looking forward to reading about your tree fetish Mr B. See you next week


  2. Nice one Andy.Will bring this one with me and look forward to your clubs get together

  3. Nice one Will, shaping up well. Look forward to seeing you at the BOBB.


  4. Fantastic tree and a great recovery.