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Chinese elms are very prolific growers and since we have a long growing season, usually at least 9 months, it is not uncommon to cut them back 2, 3, or even 4 times. This one looked like this on February 12, 2018:
Not much more than a month later it looks like this:
It is now time to trim it back to shape before the new growth gets too thick, especially in the apex. I usually start by looking at the new growth and deciding if I want or need to wire any of it to fill in areas that are lacking. The way that I grow elms is, first, I establish a framework of main branches which are generally wired into position the just use clip and grow to fill the framework in. Elms just grow too fast to keep up with wiring at each trim, at least for me. After selecting any branches that need wiring it is just a matter of pruning all of the rest to maintain the shape you have in mind for the tree. You can use directional pruning to direct the branch in the direction you want it to grow. Elms have alternating leaves, so whichever side of the branch that the last leaf that you leave is on, that is where the new bud will form and the branch will grow in that direction. Here is the result of all of that pruning:
The leaves on Chinese elm will reduce fairly well, here is the size of them this year:
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