Growing an American Elm Bonsai

American Elm, also known as Ulmus Americana, is part of the Elm tree family. It’s native to Eastern North America. It is a deciduous tree, and was one of the most prominent trees across North America before the Dutch Elm disease, which resulted in the destruction of the bigger part of Elm trees. It has a vase like structure with an umbrella like canopy. These elms grow really fast, and are generally huge, going up to 100 feet in height.

The bark of the American is dark grey-brown, and leaves are alternate, pointed, double-teethed, and around one to five inches long.

The Ulmus Americana, like most elms, grows well in most types of soil. Therefore, it makes for a great bonsai tree to grow. Other elms that are similarly good choices are the English Elm, Wych Elm, and the Chinese Elm.

How to care for an American Elm Bonsai

This bonsai can be planted from a cutting or from seeds. The latter are easy to find for sale. The seeds must be germinated before potting, which takes around 2 days. It is a fast growing tree and adapts well to the most types of soils, though it grows best in a moist, draining soil. It needs to be placed in full sun or partial shade. The tree is not much sensitive to cold and can bear quite low minimum temperatures.

The American Elm should be watered as and when required and not regularly. It should be watered deeply so that the soil is thoroughly wet and most not be let completely dried out.

The tree should be fertilized every 25-30 days during Spring, using a fertilizer rich in nitrogen and potassium. Fertilizers with organic content should be preferred.

The American Elm Bonsai responds well to pruning and does reduce leaf size quite quickly.  It should be pruned during spring season, back to 2-3 leaves.

The tree species is highly prone to the Dutch Elm disease; however in the miniature form it is highly improbable. The tree must be protected against fungus and germs using effective insecticides.