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Japanese Elm (Zelkova Serrata) Bonsai Tree

Japanese Elm (Zelkova Serrata) is a medium sized deciduous tree usually growing to 30 meters (100ft) tall. This tree is characterized by a short trunk dividing into many upright and erect spreading stems forming a broad, round topped head. The tree grows rapidly when young though the growth rate slows to medium upon middle age and maturity. In summer, this tree has alternately arranged deciduous leaves. The leaves themselves are simple and ovate to oblong-ovate with serrated or crenate margins, to which the tree owes its species name “Serrata”.

Japanese Elm are often grown as an indoor bonsai in the UK. Japanese Elm Bonsai can be kept outside in the summer months. Give the tree a full sun or mostly sunny location. The trees should not be exposed to frost or extremely high temperatures. You can bring the trees indoor over winter or keep the outside (with protection).

Japanese Elm can be grown in most upright informal and formal styles. Single trunk, informal styles are common.

Keep the Japanese Elm well watered throughout the growing season. The soil should be kept moist at all other times. Use rainwater if possible and the tree will also benefit from a regular water mist spray.

Young Japanese Elm should be repotted annually. Use a good well draining compost mix.

Heavy pruning should be done in early spring. General pruning can be done throughout the growing season.

Feed the bonsai with a general purpose plant feed every two weeks or use a slow release feed in the compost.


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Japanese elm