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All information on theelm bonsaiwith particular focus onChinese or Japanese elm. Pruning, repotting, irrigation, care and lots of advice.
Elm bonsai: Chinese elm and Japanese elm
There are about two thousand species and 6 genera belonging to the family of Ulmaceae, for this you will understand that to speak of elm bonsaiit is rather distracting.
In nature, the elm it can reach and exceed 20 meters in height with a large trunk with a wrinkled dark brown or grayish brown bark in the native species. The bark can also tend to be smooth as in the case ofChinese elm, better known as Zelkova, much loved by bonsai lovers. TheZelkova elm bonsai, due to its Asian origin, it is also saidJapanese elm. From this it follows that there are no differences between a bonsai ofJapanese elmit's a bonsai Chinese elm.
L'Chinese elm (or Japanese elm) is a tree much loved by bonsai lovers, both for the shapes it manages to give and for the meaning it contains.
Hardly on a elm bonsai(whatever species it is) you can see flowering. Generally, in nature the elm blooms towards the end of winter while, on the contrary, theChinese elm it blooms and bears fruit in autumn, bringing the winged seeds to ripeness before the onset of winter frosts.
The best known varieties for bonsai use are: Ulmus parviflora, Parviflora sempervirens, Suberosa, Thumbergii, Makino, Zelkova, Zelkova serrata and Celtis australis.
The elm is a plant that adapts well to growing in pots and is resistant to any climate. To discoverhow to care for an elm bonsailet's take as an exampleChinese elm.
Elm bonsai cultivation
When to prune elm bonsai
There pruning respects the style conferred in the early stages of development of the bonsai. When pruning an elm bonsai you must respect the shape but also the pruning period.
In fact, there is no pruning period suitable for all bonsai, this period of time varies according to the plant.
For all deciduous trees such asElm tree(therefore including theChinese elmorJapanese elm), the cut must be performed in winter, when the plant is in vegetative rest.
How to prune the elm bonsai
You must proceed with small sterile scissors, specific for pruning bonsai. How to do? All the branches that grow in the wrong direction are cut (therefore the branches that grow up or down must be sacrificed and only the branches that grow perpendicular to the stem must be kept).
In prune a bonsaiit must be borne in mind that the last apical bud determines the direction of the new jet, this allows for zigzagging branches to be obtained, very beautiful on a small tree.
When pruning abonsai, the cuts must be protected with healing paste enriched with hormones, so as to protect the plant from pathogens.
The stapling of theelm bonsai
The stapling of the elm bonsai it is carried out throughout the bud growth period. The first two or three leaves that come out of the shape of thebonsai.
In the spring / summer period it will be possible to carry out the entire defoliation of the plant by forcing the sapling to emit new and more subtle backward branches.
Elm bonsai, repotting
The period of the repotting, as specified for pruning, is not unique to any bonsaibut it depends on the plant.
In the case of theelm bonsaitherepottingit is done in spring, when the first buds are about to appear. On the contrary, the best time for the repotting of the Chinese elm falls between mid-February until the end of March, before the beginning of spring.
To get goodnebari, at the time ofrepotting, it will be necessary to prune the roots of the bonsai. The plants already formed are repotted every 3 years, while ibonsaiwith rapid root growth they gorepottedannually.
What soil to use for an elm bonsai
The substrate must have good drainage and be rich in nutrients. For a elm bonsai(includingChinese elm) a mixture consisting of:
- 60% akadama,
- 20% land ready
- 20% river sand
Alternatively, at the time of the repottingyou can use a mixture of sand, peat and clay in equal parts.