07 March 2012

Chinese Elm- tough, durable, forgiving........

Ulmus parvifolia

Lacebark Elm
Chinese Elm

Popular Urban Tree
the natural shape is a "broom".  

 Chinese elms are durable,  deciduous, semi-deciduous  semi-evergreen tree trees with small leaves, a large trunk base, balanced root spread, and an evenly tapered trunk.Chinese Elm is native to China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam.

Seed ripen in late summer

Lacebark Elm
 flaky bark with mottled grays, tans and reds

 A very forgiving Tree

Ulmus parvifolia  tolerates a wide range of temperatures, light, and humidity conditions and makes  an excellent bonsai species, and is widely available. It is a good choice for beginners because of its high tolerance of pruning and benign neglect. 

“Bonsai Beginner” friendly 

Ulmus Parvifoliafine growth at the tips of the branches

Chinese Elm /Ulmus parvifolia
Keep Outdoors in a sunny location. 
Temperate trees that are fully frost hardy.
Check the compost daily but only water when necessary.
 Never allow the soil to dry out, keep it evenly moist.
In spring when the plant sports lots of new growth water more frequently to keep the soil moist. 
Allow shoots to extend 3 or 4 nodes then prune back to 1 or 2 leaves, to maintain shape
Frequent pruning can create good branch ramification.
Repot in spring before the buds begin to extend 
Fertilize at one-third strength during the growing season. 
There is no need to feed when the tree is dormant.
A great tree for beginners.

Popular choice as a bonsai species
Root over Rock

During summer Chinese Elm bonsai need some protection from extreme sun and heat. move them into a semi-shaded area. Also during the coldest months of winter it is best to protect them from severe freezing. Move them into a cold greenhouse or cover them with a plant blanket. 

 Root over Chert
Savannah River Agate

 Ulmus parvifolia  bonsai is mass produced  and imported from Chinese nurseries. The "S" shaped trunk can be seen in many big box stores. They can have a nice graceful movement and can develop into very nice Bonsai, Pensai, or Penjing. Frequent pruning can create good branch ramification. 

Wind on the Mountain is a Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia) Penjing
on display at the North Carolina Arboretum.

 An ideal tree for any Bonsai Beginner

Chinese Elm
Ulmus parvifolia

Lacebark Elm
 mottled grays, tans and reds

Ulmus parvifolia 'Frosty'

'Frosty' fringe on the leaves

Chinese Elm is easily Air-layered 

 Collected seedlings found growing under an Elm

Chinese elm seeds can be sown in late fall for early spring germination. As with most species, growing a tree from seed, will reproduce a generic Chinese elm. A new tree from cuttings will reproduce the exact same genetic set as the parent plant.

The seed have a high germination rate

 Collected seedlings planted in bonsai soil

Chinese elm cultivars:
  • Ulmus parvifolia ‘Catlin’
  • Ulmus parvifolia ‘Corticosa’
  • Ulmus parvifolia ‘Hokkaido’
  • Ulmus parvifolia ‘Seiju’
  • Ulmus parvifolia 'Yatsubusa'
  • Ulmus parvifolia 'Drake'
  • Ulmus parvifolia 'Frosty'
  • Ulmus parvifolia 'Nire-keyaki'
  • Ulmus parvifolia 'Emer I' or 'Emerald Isle' (Athena)
  • Ulmus parvifolia 'Emer II' or 'Emerald Vase' (Allee)
  • Ulmus parvifolia 'Matthew'

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