The Chinese elm, Ulmus parvifolia, is arguably the species that the majority of non bonsai folk associate with the art.
This is because it has been produced in large numbers in China and sold in western garden centres and other outlets as ” indoor bonsai ” It is in fact found right across the far east and was first introduced to this country as far back as 1794 although it is not exactly a familiar tree in our parks and gardens despite that. This may be because it is sometimes seriously set back by the odd really severe winter that we get. It is actually a brilliant species for bonsai with very good growth characteristics and an ease of growing in pots that make it quick to develop without any major issues.
The Cork bark variety as bonsai is pretty much exclusively a product of Japanese nurseries although because it is easy to propagate it is not at all uncommon to find reasonable bonsai that have been created in this country. It is not clear to us whether this example is of the former or the latter source. The tree is 46cm. high and the branches have a span of 48cm. The typically craggy barked trunk is 6cm. across at the base. Whilst this bonsai is styled in a very ” naturalistic ” way it might benefit from a little more refinement of the silhouette and then denser twig formation within that shape. The whole has a real look of age about it with the corky bark extending up into the branching. The pot is a good quality Japanese rectangular glazed ceramic 25x20x7cm.