Ulmus Minor, commonly known as the Field Elm, is a deciduous tree. It belongs to the genus Ulmus of the Ulmaceae family. There are different species of the field elm scattered around the European mainland.
The Ulmus Minor is chiefly found in Asia Minor and Iran in south Europe, and in the Baltic Islands of Oland and Gotland in the north. Some other identifiable species are the small-leaved Ulmus Minor found in France and Spain and the narrow-leaved Ulmus Minor found in northern and central Italy. Then there is the thick hairy leaved Ulmus Minor found in southern Italy and Greece. There are also the small-toothed leaved Ulmus Minor found in the Balkans, the large-toothed leaved Ulmus Minor found in the Danube region, and the small-leaved Ulmus Minor found in southern Russia and Ukraine.
The Ulmus Minor trees can tolerate both floods as well as droughts. They typically grow along the river banks, in low-lying forests. They are often found growing alongside oak trees and ash trees.
The Ulmus Minor tree grows up to a height of 30 m (98 ft) with a round crown and gray-brown, rough bark. The older trees are found with furrowed barks forming block patterns. The branches are brown and sometimes have corky ridges. Size of the leaves vary according to the tree’s maturity. Leaves on the young plants are coarse and nascent while on the matured trees are smooth and glossy with a leather touch. They are 6 to 15 cm in length with the edges double-toothed. The root system of this tree is shallow. The Ulmus Minor tree is capable of regenerating from its roots and stumps, even after being infected by the Dutch elm disease.
The Ulmus Minor tree blooms in February and March. It has dark pink to red flowers hanging in bunches. These are pollinated by the wind and develop into fruits known as samaras.
Some facts about the Ulmus Minor tree:
- The wood of the Ulmus Minor tree is highly durable in water.
- The wood is often used to build boats and piers.
- The wood cannot be easily split.
- The wood of the Ulmus Minor tree is also used in making furnitures.
The Ulmus genus has over 35 species of trees. They are:
- Ulmus americana – American elm or white elm
- Ulmus laevis – European white elm
- Ulmus alata – winged elm
- Ulmus mexicana – Mexican elm
- Ulmus crassifolia – cedar elm
- Ulmus serotina – September elm
- Ulmus thomasii – rock elm or cork elm
- Ulmus lanceifolia – Vietnam elm
- Ulmus parvifolia – Chinese elm or lacebark elm
- Ulmus davidiana – David Elm or Father David’s elm
- Ulmus davidiana var. japonica – Japanese elm, Wilson’s elm
- Ulmus glabra – wych elm or Scots elm
- Ulmus glaucescens – Gansu elm
- Ulmus macrocarpa – large-fruited elm
- Ulmus rubra – slippery elm or red elm
- Ulmus bergmanniana – Bergmann’s elm
- Ulmus castaneifolia – chestnut-leafed elm
- Ulmus chenmoui – Chenmou elm
- Ulmus gaussenii – Anhui elm or hairy elm
- Ulmus laciniata – Manchurian elm or cut-leaf elm
- Ulmus lamellosa – Hebei elm
- Ulmus microcarpa – Tibetan elm
- Ulmus minor – field elm
- Ulmus prunifolia – cherry-leafed elm
- Ulmus pumila – Siberian elm
- Ulmus szechuanica – Szechuan elm
- Ulmus wallichiana – Himalayan elm, Kashmir elm
How long does it take to grow Ulmus Minor Bonsai?
Bonsai trees have very significant value in the art of Feng Shui. According to Feng Shui, keeping a bonsai tree is very beneficial. Bonsai trees are said to draw life energy into a room. They purify the air around. They are said to be the source of joy and peace to their owners.
Almost all the perennial, wood-stemmed trees or shrubs having thick and dense branches can be trained as bonsai. Some are well-suited for their aesthetic reasons while some others for their low-maintenance.
The Ulmus Minor bonsai grows vigorously.
Before discussing how you can plant and grow your Ulmus Minor bonsai, let us go through the best conditions and requirements needed for the Ulmus Minor bonsai tree care.
Position and lighting
Full sun or partial shade, the Ulmus Minor prefers both. It should be placed in direct sunlight for 6 or more hours per day. It can resist the wind and the frost. It falls in the USDA hardiness zone 5 to 7.
The Ulmus Minor bonsai does not have any preferred temperature. If the bonsai is grown outside, it should be kept in a sheltered place. When grown indoors, it can be kept in standard room temperature.
The Ulmus Minor bonsai prefers moist and light soil. It thrives in calcareous soil. Loamy, rich soil that drains well, as well as dry, sandy soil is good for this bonsai. It can withstand flood. Soil with pH value between 6.0 to 8.0 is best suited.
The Ulmus Minor bonsai should be watered weekly in its growing stage or when it does not rain. Older trees need watering only during the long, dry season. The soil should be allowed to dry before watering. Sprinkling method of watering is not helpful for the Ulmus Minor bonsai tree. Soaking the soil around the roots is the preferable method of watering this bonsai.
Misting the leaves help in retaining the moisture required. When grown as an indoor bonsai, the Ulmus Minor bonsai should be misted during the winter.
The Ulmus Minor bonsai requires feeding every spring during its growing phase. Feed it with a balanced fertilizer. Avoid fertilizers releasing huge doses of nitrogen into the soil. They will weaken the growth and harm the tree. Care must be taken not to over feed the bonsai. Over fertilizing the Ulmus Minor bonsai will increase the chance of contracting the Dutch elm disease. The older trees can be fed once or twice a year.
The size of a bonsai makes it special. It can fit into any space. You can keep your bonsai in the living room, in a small office room, as a center piece, indoors or outdoors. There is a bonsai style to fit for any room.
The Ulmus Minor bonsai is suitable for all bonsai styles. The best style is the broom style which recreates its natural shape.
How to plant and grow Ulmus Minor Bonsai
Each bonsai has its own unique style and shape. By pruning and properly wiring, you can train your bonsai to create wonderful piece of art.
The most commonly used species of Ulmus for a bonsai is the Ulmus Parvifolia or the Chinese Elm. But the Ulmus Minor species also makes for a lovely bonsai.
The Ulmus Minor bonsai is best grown in the spring.
The Ulmus Minor bonsai can be easily propagated by using cuttings. Propagation by seeds, although possible, is not recommended.
Pruning and wiring
The Ulmus Minor bonsai requires regular pruning. Pruning increases its vigor and improves its structure. Dead, diseased or broken branches should be removed at regular intervals to avoid contracting diseases. Live branches should be removed from time to time. This allows sunlight and air to enter through the crown. Pruning must be carried out at a particular time of the year. The Ulmus Minor bonsai should never be pruned during mid-April to late-July.
Any tree trained as bonsai requires a potting mix to grow known as bonsai soil mix.
The Ulmus Minor bonsai needs repotting more frequently during its young stage. Repot the bonsai every 2 to 3 years. Mulch the bonsai right after repotting. Mulching helps in maintaining the soil moisture.
How to care for your Ulmus Minor Bonsai
Most species of trees used for bonsai are very easy to care for. They are mostly hardy and can adapt to any living condition. All you need to care for your bonsai and keep it healthy are sunlight, water, and fertilizers. By controlling the environment, the bonsai tree receives the necessary nutrients needed for its growth. If care is not taken to provide it with the necessary elements, the bonsai tree will rapidly exhaust the resources provided in its small pot.
A healthy and happy bonsai will keep on growing and blooming for years, adding beauty to your surroundings. When a bonsai is taken care of properly, it will live up to decades when it is given the right conditions to thrive in.
Regular pruning, watering, and feeding will keep the Umus Minor bonsai tree healthy and beautiful.
Pests and diseases
Matured Ulmus Minor trees growing in grounds are highly susceptible to the Dutch elm disease. But when trained as a bonsai, it is not affected by the disease. Even if it gets infected, it can be easily cured by insecticides and fungicides.
You must keep a look out for aphids, leaf hoppers, and gall mites. Spraying with a good insecticide will help in getting rid of them.
The Ulmus Minor bonsai tree is a perfect bonsai choice for beginners. It is fast-growing and can be easily taken care of. The structure of its twigs is excellent which adds great character to the overall beauty of the bonsai.