Saturday, November 30, 2013

American Elm Bonsai

I am still not completely sure what exact type of elm this is but I am leaning towards American Elm. Here it is today, the original leader has died and now there are several leaders that make up the apex. I just love the bark on this one and the branches are coming along nicely. The tree was collected near some railroad tracks behind a McDonald's a few years ago. I'm letting the tree do what it wants to do for now while I figure out the first branch. I keep it outside all winter here in Cincinnati with zero protection (could be why I lost the leader branch).

I don't have a garage or a shed or a yard to bury the trees in. I live in the city and all my plants survive on a balcony facing east. These conditions are less than ideal for gardening but I am somehow able to keep them alive. My mulberry died last winter but I attribute that to over-working the roots. City/balcony gardening can be annoying but it beats the alternatives; giving up bonsai or moving out of the city, both things I would never do at this point. Anyhow, the elm is perfect for such a situation as it is very cold hardy and tolerates receiving only morning sun. Pests are still a problem.


  1. Are you sure that is not a Chinese Elm? They are so much more prolific and widespread than American Elm that was wiped out in the 50's.

    Have followed many of your posts regarding Juniper on bonsai sites - your specimens are marvelous. And on a balcony no less.


  2. I have no idea what it is exactly. I'm just happy it can survive under my care. There is another one I plan on digging up this spring. I'll post some close up images of the leaves when they appear.