Bonsai Gardening Secrets

Chinese Elm Bonsai

Copyright © 2004
by Erik A. Olsen
Excerpted from Bonsai Gardening Secrets®
Chinese Elm

The Chinese Elm is native to the eastern portion of Asia, growing in its natural habitat up to 60 feet tall. The bark of this tree is a dark gray, mottled with cream and reddish brown. Grown both indoors and outdoors, the Chinese Elm will stay as a semi-evergreen when grown inside but then deciduous when outdoors.

The leaves are a deep green that feel thick and leathery. However, on the top, they are shiny and smooth, with very small, blunt teeth. During the fall, the Chinese Elm bonsai produces fruit.

If you want a good plant to grow for Bonsai, this would be ideal, especially for beginners. Since this particular tree has a nice, predictable growth pattern, and heals well when pruned, it is easy to grow and care for.


· During the cold winter months, the Chinese Else needs good protection from the elements but is still very hardy
· In the early spring, you will need to prune this Elm after the growth season has ended. Just be sure you leave two nodes on closest to the main branch or trunk.
· This particular Bonsai will need to be watered on a regular basis, making sure the soil is always moist but never over watered or dry
· About every two years, you will want to repot this tree during the early spring months. The key however, is the report one month before or after you have done the pruning, which will provide the least amount of shock to the Bonsai.
· The Chinese Elm is strong and relatively resistant to the dreaded Dutch Elm disease.
· This versatile tree has a cork-like bark, giving it beautiful character for Bonsai. Just be sure the tree is given good shade during the summer months.


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