Bonsai

Zelkova and ulmus


Question: elms and zelkove


I would like to know if the zelcova and ulmus bonsai is the same plant. Thanks

Zelkova and ulmus: Answer: elms and zelkove


Dear Carla,
the trees of the genus ulmus and those of the genus zelkova belong to two different genera, in fact, however, they are two genera belonging both to the Ulmaceae family, and are therefore closely related, and this is noted both in appearance and in cultural requirements.
Both genres are used to prepare bonsai, and therefore in general it happens to find ulmus and zelkove I called with the term common elm, even if zelkove are often called Japanese elms.
The zelkoves are trees, widespread in Asia and southern Europe; there are fewer than ten species, both deciduous and evergreen, meaning they lose their leaves only in the case of inclement weather; they have pretty minute foliage, and are very suitable for being raised as bonsai.
Elms are instead deciduous trees, widespread in Europe and Asia, commonly cultivated throughout Europe as trees in parks and as street trees.
The confusion between elm and zelkove also derives from the fact that bonsaists tend to cultivate species with particularly minute leaves, such as ulmus parvifolia, and zelkova serrata (or zelkova nire), which have many physical similarities between them.
The elms are outdoor trees, and even if grown as bonsai they must be kept outdoors, in the garden; having very small vessels, which can be completely frozen by the cold, during the winter months it is advisable to place the vases in an area sheltered from frost, and sunny; or cover the vase with the woven fabric, so as to preserve the soil from the most intense and persistent frosts; the zelkoves, especially zelkova nire (the most widespread species in Italy as bonsai), tolerate drought very well and tend to keep the foliage when grown at mild temperatures; for this reason these ulmaceae are often cultivated as apartment bonsai.
Growing them at home it is good to maintain high environmental humidity, often vaporizing the foliage; while the waterings will be thinned during the cold months, even if the climate is warm; this is because the few hours of daily sunlight (that is, very short days) push the saplings to go into semi-vegetative rest, even if the climate is warm and mild, with temperatures close to 20 ° C.