About Chinese Elm Bonsai Trees

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The Chinese elm bonsai tree is the best species for beginner pruners, as it does not require a dormant period, it is easy to grow, and it is very forgiving. Care for an indoor Chinese elm bonsai tree with advice from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening.

Part of the Video Series: Gardening Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hi this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment we're going to talk all about Chinese elm bonsai trees. Now bonsais are basically any tree or shrub that's been trained to stay small through pruning and wiring and the word bonsai means a tray with a plant. So pretty much any plant that is grown indoors or outdoors that's in a small tray that's being trained is called bonsai. It started in China more than 2 to 3,000 years ago they started growing the bonsai and then in Japan there are still specimens that are over 800 years old. It's just amazing. Chinese elm is one of the best trees to use for bonsai. Because the number one problem that people have with bonsai plants and me personally is that you leave them indoors year round and they don't get a dormant period, they don't get a cold period where any type of fir or pine really needs to get two to three months of a winter break, they need dormancy. So you've got to put them in your garage or your basement or outside where they're not freezing too hard because they just have the tray to protect them and nothing else but yet they need a cool period of under 50 degrees. Whereas if you've got them in the house or an office year round, they end up dying. Well the Chinese elm does not need a cooling period so it's one of the best choices for a beginner if someone wants to leave it inside year round. And they grow very evenly and you can mess up with them and prune them and they're very forgiving and very easy to grow. And outside they're deciduous but inside they don't lose their leaves at all, they're evergreen. And as long as you keep them moist but not sitting in water, and yet don't let them dry out completely they will survive and they can handle a lot more drought then some of the other types of bonsais too. And so they're really easy to grow. Just start with a smaller plant, just get a tree start and put it into some gravel with a little bit of soil right into the bonsai tray and let it grow and you only want to trim it back like every, you don't start really trimming them until at least they're a year old. And then you can start working with them and it's best to work with them when they're in the winter's months because that, they won't go dormant, but yet that's they're least active time. And you never want to put them in too hot of sun where if they're in a sunny window and the sun is just beaming on them in the summertime, I found that they still can sunburn but they great part about the, but the Chinese elm is a great tree because it can handle pretty shady conditions and pretty sunny conditions as long as it's not getting cooked, it will survive. So it's a great bonsai plant for any beginner or anyone that wants an easy plant to grow.

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