The mature leaves on my 2 zelkova shohin are a little bigger and more numerous than last year and are preventing light from reaching the interior of the branches, they are also inhibiting the production of new buds. Time for some defoliation. I have never done this to a zelkova before, so I will be erring on the safe side, although I have heard that they can be fully defoliated without any problem.
Zelkova#1 before and after
Zelkova#2 before and after