Cedar Bonsai

Typically found in the United States, particularly from New Mexico to Tennessee, this plant makes a great choice for Bonsai. Cedar Bonsai can tolerate neglect, although it is not a good idea.

The rough, fissured bark is one of the features making this a desired species for Bonsai. They can be found at nurseries, gardening centers, or on the internet but also found in the wild. The trunk and branches have an aged look that is perfect for Bonsai.

You can ramify the branches simply by pinching the shoots and leaves on a regular basis. If you were just getting started in growing Bonsai. the Cedar Elm would be an ideal choice. This tree does quite well in most soils but the best type is organic soil that is 50% organic and 50% Haydite. The key is to ensure the soil has a balanced pH level.

With Cedar Elms you need to be careful with the water in that they do not do well if too wet. Since they grow naturally in regions that are hot and arid, they will do best if kept more on the dry side. Additionally, with Elms and other trees, they do require more water during the springtime than any other time of the year.

You can keep this Bonsai in full or partial sun but if they are exposed to too much sun, the leaves will rotate so the edges are up. If you notice this happening, then you know you need to cut back on the direct sun. Typically, a few days in the shade and the problem will be corrected. Too much sun also causes the leaves to turn yellow.


  • This particular Bonsai will need to be watered on a regular basis, making sure the soil is always moist but never over watered or dry.

  • During the winter, the Cedar Elm will require protection from the elements, especially if temperatures dip to 20 degrees or less.

  • Fertilize during the spring once leaves have grown, then in the late summer and early fall.

  • With the Cedar Elm, they naturally stop growing during the summer. Therefore, you will not want to fertilize at this time.

  • You can use chemical fertilizers but organic is best.

  • To ramify, new growth should be pinched back to two leaves.

  • Since the Cedar Elm heals very slow in the spring and early summer, do not prune at this time.

  • Although wiring is easy on this tree, you do want to be careful around branches and shoots, as they swell easily.

  • Although Cedar Elm has very few problems with pests in their natural habitat, they do tend to have issues with the caterpillar, which will destroy the foliage.

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