The tree looks like its going to be a great success and I hope to see progress later on. This post has persuaded me to do the same thing with mine in the future. Thanks for the post.
Thanks for the kind words. I'm happy with the results so far. I'll be sure to post some pictures later this year.
I find it amazing at how the buds develope from the scar and how quickly.
Yeah I know what you mean, The regenerative power of this species is amazing. Not all trees will respond in this fashion, Zelkova is the preferred species for this technique. the first time I did this I could not find anyone who had actually done this to give me any meaningful advice so I just learned as I went.
I wanted to know when you actualy chopped the trunk because it looks as though the scar has been healing for a while before it started to bud?
You are quite correct, I did the chop earlier than is usually recommended for most species. The first time I did this we had an early warm spell at the very end of February and, getting anxious to do some work, I decided to go for it then. I suspect that my decision to attempt this so early was a stroke of good luck. Zelkovas obviously have the ability to re-grow in this fashion but first they will try to throw new buds from lower on the trunk and it was necessary for me to rub off several new buds in order to force the trees energy to the top.
Consider if I had done the chop later, as is usually suggested for other species, the callous would not have yet been formed by the time the weather had warmed requiring an extended waiting period and the removal of even more shoots from the trunk. By doing the chop earlier the callous had an extended period to form and was ready to go by early summer. Even so it took a full three months, March-May until new shoots emerged around the first of June.
I made the chop in the V shape that is usually shown, but in retrospect I believe that that technique is more appropriate if you want to follow a slightly different route. Not all brooms take the same form, some initially divide into two branches then repeatedly bifurcate. I think this V shape may be an attempt to recreate this look. Later I stumbled upon a web article that shows a really interesting technique that would seem to be more appropriate for this multiple branch style.
If you are going to try this you will need to have the tree on hand early in the year and preferably undisturbed for a full year beforehand. The cut is made with a sharp saw then go back and clean it up with a fresh razor knife. The wound is then sealed to prevent the loss of moisture. I used plasticine modeling clay mixed with a little vegetable oil. Whatever you do don't use any thing that hardens as some cut paste or alternatives, like wood glue, do. The edges are smoothed down and any excess that overlaps the bark is removed.
After about a month or six weeks, sorry I did not keep detailed notes, the callous will begin to form and it will lift the edges of the sealant. You can gently roll the sealant back to examine the callous, if it is well formed you can remove the sealant. You still need to keep the callous moist, I used damp, long fibered, sphagnum moss wadded up in a ball around the top of the trunk and covered with an inverted zip-lock bag.
Let it stay like this for a while then later remove the moss but retain the bag to keep up the humidity, mist periodically if necessary. This lets the callous get some light which I suspect is important for the formation of the new buds. By the first of June, 90 days, you should see the nascent buds forming.
Here are a few links that might help.
Ynot, see I told you this could end up being an E-novel.