Camperdown Elm Question

Asked May 12, 2016, 2:10 PM EDT

Hi, I recently purchased a couple of camperdown elm trees (which took forever to find here in Michigan for some reason) and I have a question regarding the graft. I know these are supposed to be a grafted tree, and on the older camperdown elms I have seen have a definite "knot" on the trunk which I am assuming is where the tree was grafted. I have not been able to find where my camperdown trees were grafted? I am hoping I have the right tree - from everything I have googled, it appears to be a camperdown sapling, but it has been bothering me that I cannot see the graft. Do you know why the graft would be so apparent in older trees, and not in the sapling? I have attached a few pictures of my tree. Thanks so much for your help! Diana
Update! 5-16-16: I took a closer look at the base of the tree. I believe this is where the grafting took place as you can definitely see 2 different types of trunk there. I guess I expected to see it higher on the tree as I have seen with the older trees, but it would make sense that it starts lower and grows up to the height you see on the mature trees. So my next question would be, do you bury where the graft took place or leave it above the soil line? For now, the graft is exposed - just above the soil line.

Ionia County Michigan

1 Response

Your graft is at the bottom. It should not be covered with soil or mulch because it is going to allow the top-grafted portion to grow roots. If this is a true Camperdown, the bark of the on the top portion, the Scotch or Wych elm, eventually looks cross-checked where the bottom, which is usually American elm, is heavily furrowed. The usual grafting is done on the top of the trunk, like you researched. I am guessing that the picture of the green portion of the tree are not leaves, but flower structures. Wych elms have very elm-like leaves that are doubly serrate on the margins. Those leaves may be present currently but small.

If you saved the shipping information or tags, look for any botanical names that would give a guess as to the parentage of the parts. More information would be helpful.