How to Develop a Triple Trunk English Elm Bonsai Tree

I reveal you how to establish an excellent triple trunk bonsai. I likewise reveal some air layering method and winter season pruning an English Elm bonsai tree.

I’m going to do some winter pruning on this triple trunk elm that i air layered a couple of years ago my name’s dave you’re watching blue sky bonsai enjoy the video i air layered this from the middle of a hedge and the three trunks come from one point this video is not about air layering but i wanted to show a bit of the history behind this triple trunk elm i found it growing in the middle of a hedge behind some of my own railings so it’s a bit difficult to access but i managed to get the air layer on there in retrospect i should have done the layer a bit higher but we’ll get onto that by april of that year it had really leafed out very nicely and by the end of may it had grown a huge load of very healthy looking roots so in june i took the plunge and chopped the trunk below the air layer and to be honest i probably left it too late because on unwrapping the air layer i found that some of the roots had rotted in that layer but english albums are super resilient so i was able just to snip back some of those roots i potted it up and left it to grow for a year and a half [Music] when i was posting some photos of it online somebody said this will never make a good bonsai and to be honest i don’t really care i love it i think it will make a good bonsai in my eyes and i guess that’s what counts [Applause] so let’s take a look at some of the characteristics that are considered to make a good triple trunk bonsai now keep in mind that these are just guidelines and not hard and fast rules and as you’ll see my elm doesn’t really hit the mark on any of them firstly all three trunks should be emerging from the root base so that they really look like trunks and not just fat branches secondly there should be variation between the three trunks so they should be three different heights they should divide at three different angles [Music] the three trunks should not form one straight line and the reason for that is that you want to have the three trunks at different viewing distances from the front view and the fifth guideline you want the three trunks to have three different diameters again showing some variation between trunks so let’s have a look at my air layered english elm to see how it’s doing on those characteristics are all the trunks emerging from the root base no they’re not because i air laid it too low down do the three chunks have three different heights um no the two side branches are about the same height as each other other three trunks emerging at three different angles yes a result i’ll take that even though i’m not happy with the planting angle do the trunks all emerge at different distances from the front view not really although the trunks do have some good movement further up and do the three trunks have different diameters no they’re all about the same thickness so um on paper it’s not looking so great luckily though in real life it does look pretty good and there are things we can do to remedy some of these points to make the trunks emerge from the root base i can bring the root base up by doing a ground layer which i plan to do in spring i’m going to do some pruning to adjust the trunk heights [Music] i can never really change where the trunks emerge from the root base but over time i can try to grow it so the three trunks develop with three different thicknesses [Music] i’ve had to put quite a lot of wires and a cork here to try and push the trunks apart because when i first air layered it they were really these two here were too close together and kind of want them to be growing outwards a bit more the other thing here i get the feeling it’s kind of leaning over this way and i think it probably would look better to be something like that we’ll have to get the angle exactly right in a future repotting so let’s just get a rock and put it in the right way so that it’s kind of leaning over see how this looks like this i’d say pretty good okay so i’m going to get my tools need to start pruning this one down i really like all the little curves all the ducking and diving of the trunks all three of the trunks have got a nice lot of movement in them and i think it’s worth conserving that so what i’m going to try at least this year is to cut it down to here this third trunk to this level so it’s just going up and then popping over to the side here and i think that’s right for how the overall look of the triple trunk should be so as you can see there really are quite a few defects if i’m to consider this a decent triple trunk bonsai but some of those defects we can work on so clearly the central trunk i can just fatten up over the next five years by continually pruning these trunks down and just letting this one grow wild let a few sacrifice branches grow out of this one and another one clearly the roots need to be coming out of this base just here and to do that this spring i’m planning to do a ground lay around here in the meantime let’s just pop it up on here now the trunk heights i’ve got clearly the central trunk is the tallest when we lean this up at an angle that i’m happy with i find that these two trunks are the same height as each other and i’m not very happy about this top very straight bit here so i’m going to do another trunk chop just here and really leave an ugly stub for this bit and in the future we’ll get a new canopy of this mini trunk here so we’ve got a nice little bit of movement in the lower part of the trunk and just here it’s just too straight so i’m gonna get my pruners and leave an ugly stub just about here and that makes this trunk a lot lower let’s do a few bits of final work here now as a as a trunk i don’t need to fatten this one up at all so i can keep this really quite low this will be the mid-size one and obviously the central and the dominant one i think also i’m going to get rid of this inward branch here see if you can see that from that side this branch here it’s kind of just pointing in towards the central trunk a little bit it’s maybe not necessary because i’ve got a smaller trunk just here so let’s come in there and leave a little stub tidy up next year and now let’s put it into the sun a bit now now i’m happy with it [Music] thank you so much for watching if you haven’t already subscribed please go ahead and subscribe to bluesky bonsai and hit that thumbs up button to tell youtube you liked it see you in the next video perfect

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