Chinese Elm
Species: Common name: Chinese Elm
Botanical name: Ulmus parvifolia
Japanese name: Nire Keyaki


Deciduous tree, 40-50 ft (12-15 m) high, similar width, round-headed,usually pendulous. Older bark is gray-brown, flaking, mottled with green, gray, orange, and brown. Leaves alternate, simple, 2-6 cm long, half as wide, elliptic to ovate or obovate, rounded at base, acute, serrated, glossy dark green above, petiole 6 mm or less. Flowers late (Aug.-Sept.), in pendulous clusters, greenish, abundant but not showy. Fruit (samara) 6 mm, egg-shaped, notched at apex. Sun. Adaptable to soils. Grows best in moist, well-drained, fertile soil. Resistant to Dutch Elm disease. Often confused with the "second-rate" Siberian Elm (U. pumila) which is ometimes offered as "Chinese" Elm. Sometimes U. parvifolia is called Lacebark Elm to avoid the confusion. Zone 4 China, Korea, and Japan.

Varieties used as bonsai: Dwarf (Yatsubusa) Chinese Elm, Hokaido, Seiju, Catlin, Cork Bark, Korean Weepong, Semper Virenss

Advantages: As the varietal name indicates, the Chinese Elm is noted by its small leaves. Coupled with a twiggy habit, the Chinese Elm lends itself to pinching, root pruning and growing in a shallow pot. The list goes on: hardy, good fall color, fascinating exfoliating bark and a tendency to produce a well spaced root buttress.

Disadvantages: Leaf cutters, red spider, and aphids will dispell with all other plants to attack a Chinese Elm. Also, the elm seems a haven for sooty mold, root rot, as well as leaf fungus.

Suitability as bonsai (1 is least suitable 10 is most suitable): 8

Growing location: Full sun

Watering: Water thoroughly and often especially in dry, hot weather. The elms should not dry out.

Propagation: Primarily the elms grow extremely well from seed, but will grow well from hard wood cuttings as well as root cuttings.

Fertilizing: Use a balanced fertilizer weekly during high growth periods and from May 15 to Oct. 15.

Over-wintering: Keep sheltered from wind

Styling: Broom; informal upright; excellent for groves, landscapes but rarely cascade.

More Elm info from different article.

Ulmus parvifolia (Chinese Elm) S\M\-10ř\RG\Ls\B Deciduous trees. We grow dwarf Chinese Elms mainly for bonsai, however they can also make nice small landscape trees if staked until they can support their branches which may take 5-10 years. These are all trouble free, easy to grow trees. They prefer full sun and well drained soil. Brown scale may be a problem in some areas, but is easily treated. The small leaves and corky bark are very attractive. The real beauty of these trees is their performance in a bonsai pot or other container after trunk development. They can quickly achieve a 3in or greater trunk in about 5 years with deeply fissured corky bark when planted in the ground. They are easily top and root pruned and respond dramatically to root bound conditions where leaf size and node spacing is reduced to one half inch or more. They should be repotted every 2-3 years. A Seiju Elm field grown for 5 years will easily develop a 4in trunk and may be spring dug and placed immediately into a bonsai pot with spectacular results. Cutting grown plants. All of these elms are resistant to Dutch Elm Disease.

More Elm info from different article. Overview : Native to East Asia, the Chinese Elm (Ulmus Parvifolia) grows to 18 m (60 ft) tall and has a spreading, sinuous habit and bark mottled with dark gray, reddish brown and cream. It is both an indoor and outdoor tree, where it stays semi-evergreen if kept indoors, but is deciduous if kept out all year. The small, leathery, dark green leaves, smooth and shiny on top, have small, blunt teeth. The fruit mature in fall (autumn), much later than those of most other elms. It is relatively resistant to Dutch elm disease. Chinese Elm are quite good plants to choose for beginners at bonsai - with a predictable growth pattern and being quite forgiving when pruned. ‘Frosty’ is a shrubby, slow-growing form with small, neatly arranged leaves bearing white teeth - a good candidate for bonsai. General Care : Shelter from harsh conditions and cold weather, however most varieties of Chinese Elm are quite frost hardy. Prune after the growth period (early spring), leaving the one or two nodes closest to the main trunk or branch. Water moderately year round, but keep the plant moist at all times, keeping in mind to water well during spring and early summer. Repot in early spring, every 1-3 years, but this must be either a month before or after pruning to ensure that the plant sustains the least shock possible. Other Comments : The bark of Chinese Elms can be quite interesting, some varieties with smooth bark and the others with rough, cork-like bark which cracks and becomes deeply fissured with age - adding character to the bonsai. Generally, the smoother bark varieties will be less hardy than those with rough bark and care should be taken. Being quite versatile plants, they can be kept in a position of shade to full sun, but make sure that the plant receives some shade during the hotter months and does not dry out.

More Infor from yet another article

Chinese Elm...