Zelkova Demo in Seattle

Here are a few photos from a Zelkova serrata styled during a demo. The photos show the progression from ‘pre-broom bush’ to ‘not-quite-broom but no longer bush.’ These are the highly technical terms for the grey areas after the vigorous use of a saw but while we’re waiting for new growth… It will, eventually, be a broom style Zelkova. Thanks to the excellent Peter Chapman for the use of these photos, and the Puget Sound Bonsai Association who sponsored this event on April 26, 2010.



And after. Further developments will be shown as we go along in this several-phase demo in Seattle.


  1. chris says:

    Is this two trees fused together? Cannot see image very well on my small laptop screen.

  2. Ram says:


    Might I inquire about the flat cuts?

    Why did you choose this over an angled cut for the larger branches?



    • crataegus says:

      The flat cuts are best for a strongly growing tree that you’re making a big transition on from the large branch to the new leader. And it leaves the buds on the opposite side, too, you won’t be cutting off your options.

  3. Ram says:

    Good to know, thanks.

  4. Luc says:

    Hi there,
    I’ve just discovered your blog, and am reading through it, which is why I’m commenting on a bit of an old post.
    Very interesting, and I’m sure the next five pages will be just as good.

    About this tree, what will happen to those flat cuts, how will you integrate them into the future tree ?

    Thanks !

    • crataegus says:

      Flat cuts are preferred for the first hard pruning. Especially with a large cut, a flat one is best as the tree will not have as much die back of the cambium. Then you can come back in next year and cut them flush. Another option is to slowly remove a large branch like a beaver, whittling away at lower side first. That allows the tree to redirect fluid flow and to start the healing process on the bottom half—where it has trouble doing so—before the top part of the slope is cut. Hope that makes sense. Cutting off a large branch is a sensitive thing to do… if it is too low on a tree we can lose part of a root system!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: