Well I went to the Philadelphia Flower show today to view the displays and search for a new tree. I was prepared to spend a lot of money for a nice specimen with a developed trunk. Well I found one in the form of a cork bark elm. The trunk is about 1 1/4" wide just above the base and the root base is about 3" wide on the side in which I believe is the best front for now. I payed $60 for it and to me it was well worth it. My only problem for right now is that it has already leafed out and I would like to work on the roots, ie: put it in better soil and remove the unwanted and rotting surface roots. I am guessing that will have to wait till next year though. Although, I may be able to remove the dead roots for now.
My plan is to let the chop site heal for a few years by letting the branches around it grow freely. There is some kind of cement sealing it as well. The whole branch structure will be left alone while all the focus is on the roots.
Tell me what you think. Sorry about the pics I'll take some better ones later.
These pics don't do the base justice. Trust me it is going to look great once I can remove all of the smaller ones that you see. I believe the base gets wider as it goes down and will look awesome after the repot.
This last pic is of the chop site and the new leader to the right.