The ubiquitous Chinese elm, Ulmus parvifolia, perhaps better thought of as a ” so called ” indoor bonsai can nevertheless be kept outdoors with suitable thought to winter protection.
Hilliers Manual, my tree bible, describes it as ” One of the most splendid elms ” and ” we have never seen this tree affected by disease ” although it is true to say that some imported trees do come with Black spot. Typically the species has been grown in China as bonsai in the hundreds of thousands for garden centre markets throughout the world.
This example has been kept as an outdoor bonsai in recent years and is as most are, is an import from China. As bonsai nurseries in that country decline, due mainly to industrialisation, this sort of bonsai will become much more scarce than in the past and as a consequence also more expensive. This is a nicely shaped bonsai with a complex branch structure and dense ramification. The trunk features the very typical sinuous ‘ S ‘ shape and has reasonable taper. By the standards of this sort of bonsai the tree has quite good buttressing and surface roots. It has an overall height of 58cm. which puts it just out of the chuhin size category although in truth it feels like a chuhin bonsai. Branch spread is 55cm. across. The surface rootage if almost 18cm. across with a trunk diam. above this of 5cm. The nice oval glazed pot comes from the now defunct Korean pottery of Tong-rae.