Chinese Elm

Genus: Ulmus

Family: Ulmacea

Botanical Name: Ulmus Parvifolia

Native to Asia with alternate leathery leaves and a beautiful mix of grey and orange surrounding the bark, This tree can be deciduous or evergreen based on its growing location (indoor or outdoor). The specimen produces very fine twigs, branches, and consequentially, small leaves, making it one of the most popular trees cultivated as Bonsai.

Chinese elm media


The Ulmus Parvifolia is usually presented in very sinuous stiles, such as informal upright, slanting, cascade, and semi-cascade, but it also looks great in many other styles, such as broom, literati, over the rock, group planting, and so forth.


Location and Position

Thanks to its adaptability, the Ulmus Parvifolia is a great specimen for both indoor or outdoor. It needs full sun during the spring and a bit of shade in summer. If it will be subjected to severe frost, then it is advisable to protect it.


Keep the soil moist and avoid letting it dry out. In the spring and summer, water regularly to sustain new growth.


To maintain small leaves, feed the tree with slow-release fertiliser low in nitrogen. Phosphorus will help the tree develop roots, while potassium will strength the trunk and branches. No feeding is needed when the tree is without leaves.

Pruning and Pinching

Hard pruning is best carried out when the tree is dormant.

Pinching to maintain the shape of the tree can be done during the growing period by reducing new shoots to two or three nodes.

Repotting and Soil

Repotting can be done yearly for young trees because they have very strong root growth. Soil doesn’t seem to be an issue for this plant as long the mix is well drained. A mix of clay, grit, and peat in equal parts should do.


Clip-and-grow is the best method for creating branch movement because they are brittle, and the trunk marks very easily. Wiring is still possible but requires attention.


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